IRL: Texas II: Dan Wheldon race report

Another strong performance by Wheldon in IRL. Dan Wheldon completed a difficult weekend by finishing 15th in the last race of this year's Indy Racing League (IRL) series at Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas yesterday -- despite having to...

Another strong performance by Wheldon in IRL.

Dan Wheldon completed a difficult weekend by finishing 15th in the last race of this year's Indy Racing League (IRL) series at Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas yesterday -- despite having to start from the back of the 28-car grid.

The 24-year old Englishman -- from Emberton in Buckinghamshire - had damaged his No 15 Pennzoil Panther Racing Dallara Chevrolet Firestone in Friday's second practice session when engine oil leaking onto one of his rear tyres caused him to crash and suffer enough damage to his car to prevent him from setting a qualifying time for yesterday's race.

Undaunted, Dan Wheldon quickly moved up the field in the 200-lap Chevy 500 race. By lap 19, he was already in 19th place and by lap 63 he was up to 13th. Before long, the young Briton was running in the top ten, but then he was 'black-flagged' because his radio was not working and had to pit. Nevertheless, Wheldon returned to the track and continued to run strongly to eventually take 15th place.

The race was won by Dan Wheldon's team-mate, Sam Hornish Jr, who has now also won the Indy Racing League series for the second consecutive year.

After the race, Dan Wheldon commented: 'I think everything went wrong today! We didn't have any radio communication from the start. It was a disappointing day, but we'll come back next year and be strong.

'I'm really happy for Sam, Panther and Chevy. They do a good job. They work hard. They deserve to win two in a row.'

Wheldon's performances in his first two IRL races over the last two weeken ds have proved his ability and that he is deserving of a full-time drive in a top race series in the USA for 2003.

In his career since moving to the USA in 1999, Dan Wheldon has already won the US F2000 title. He then finished runner-up in the standings in CART Toyota Atlantic in 2000 and the CART Dayton Indy Lights series last year. He was named Rookie of the Year in all three series.

-dwr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dan Wheldon , Sam Hornis
Teams Panther Racing