Michigan: AGR/Wheldon preview

Wheldon looking for a change of fortune in Colorado INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 10, 2003) -- Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon is looking to get things turned around this weekend in the Honda Indy 225 at Pikes Peak International Raceway...

Wheldon looking for a change of fortune in Colorado

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 10, 2003) -- Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon is looking to get things turned around this weekend in the Honda Indy 225 at Pikes Peak International Raceway (PPIR) after suffering through disappointment in the last two Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar^Ù Series races.

After a seventh place finish in Motegi, Japan on April 13, Wheldon has run competitively, but failed to finish in his last two starts and is looking to get back in a groove heading into a stretch of summer events.

With the competition so close in the IRL's IndyCar^Ù Series, an extra importance has been put on qualifying. With all of the cars running so close together, any advantage in track position is a premium the team will take. The 24- year-old rookie tested at PPIR in mid-May, logging Andretti Green Racing's first laps around the one-mile oval. The Klein Tools/Jim Beam team was able to collect a lot of data, and while Wheldon learned a lot, he knows he will have his work cut out for him this weekend.

"It has been disappointing the last couple of races," said Wheldon. "I'm looking forward to having a strong weekend where we can qualify well, run up front and not get involved in all the trouble that goes on when you qualify in the middle of the field. Our test went well at Pikes Peak and the Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew will stand me in good stead for a good result."

Though the team is disappointed in its last two finishes, team manager Tony Cotman is confident things will get turned around.

"Dan is doing a great job for us," said Cotman. "Even though he is a rookie, he has provided great feedback for the engineers and he is working well with his teammates. Right now we have hit a stretch of bad luck that we need to turn around and I'm sure we can get back on track this weekend."

- AGR -

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jim Beam