Â Wheldon Qualifies Third at Kansas, Has Laps Disallowed for Saturday Panther National Guard Driver Plans Exciting Race from Front to the Back on 1.5-mile Oval KANSAS CITY, Kan. - (April 30, 2010) -- National Guard Panther Racing driver Dan...
Wheldon Qualifies Third at Kansas, Has Laps Disallowed for Saturday
Panther National Guard Driver Plans Exciting Race from Front to the Back on 1.5-mile Oval
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - (April 30, 2010) -- National Guard Panther Racing driver Dan Wheldon qualified third for Saturday's Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway, but later had his four-lap average disallowed for going beneath the white line during his run. Wheldon will instead start 25th in the field of 27 competitors, but remains one of the IZOD IndyCar Series' biggest threats for victory.
Wheldon had posted four lap speeds of 211.189, 211.271, 211.219 and 211.290 mph for a four-lap average of 211.242 mph.
Andretti Autosport driver Marco Andretti also had his qualification time disallowed for the same infraction, but because Wheldon is ahead of Andretti in the IZOD IndyCar Series' point standings, he will start ahead of Marco in the 25th position. Conquest Racing driver Mario Romancini crashed during the first practice session and did not make a qualification attempt, and will start at the rear of the field in 27th position.
Last year at Kansas, Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti incurred identical penalties during qualifications and were sent to the back field. Both drivers quickly made it to the front of the field on Kansas' exciting oval, and Castroneves eventually finished in second place. Franchitti had a Top Five finish spoiled when he was collected in another driver's crash. Despite the setback, Wheldon was upbeat; knowing that his No. 4 car is one of the fastest in the field.
Team Penske driver Ryan Briscoe captured the pole position and will be joined in the front row by Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon.
Wheldon won back-to-back races at Kansas in 2007 and 2008, and has also finished runner-up in the race in 2005 and 2006. Panther had similar runner-up finishes with Sam Hornish Jr. in both 2001 and 2002. The team is currently in 10th place in the series' point standings.
Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda
"It was an excellent job by everybody in the National Guard Panther Racing team; we had a little bit of a problem in the first practice, and it shows how good our boys are to bounce back like that so quickly and have such a good car for qualifying. This team has really done a tremendous job this season, and we've been competitive everywhere we've gone. This weekend we've obviously got a very good car and I like this track, and while there's still a long way to go in this race weekend, we're quietly confident that we have a very good package and we're hoping to have a very good race."
-source: panther racing