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Wheldon Quickly Up to Speed in First Full Day at the “Office”

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Dan Wheldon, Indianapolis 500

Wheldon Quickly Up to Speed in First Full Day at the “Office”

Andrew Herta
Bryan Herta Autosport
May 19, 2011

Following several days of inclement weather which canceled track activities, Dan Wheldon was able to participate in his first full day of practice aboard the #98 William Rast/aigo/Curb/Big Machine/ Forsythe Solutions entry for BHA/Curb-Agajanian. Wheldon, whose last IZOD IndyCar Series appearance was in October at the Cafes do Brasil Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, quickly dusted off the cobwebs to end the day with a fastest lap of 225.716 mph.

The 2005 Indianapolis 500 winner and IZOD IndyCar Series champion, who completed 18 laps on Monday during a brief shakedown, returned to the track shortly after noon today. He completed 35 laps and was immediately among the pacesetters posting a best speed of 225.435 mph. Wheldon returned to the track at 4:00 pm for an additional 30 laps to claim the 10th fastest speed at the 5:00 pm mark of 225.716 mph before retiring to the garage for the day. Weather conditions were near perfect with scattered clouds and temperatures in the low 70s.

Fastest Speeds of the Day:
1. Will Power 227.778 mph
2. Alex Tagliani 227.652 mph
3. Ryan Briscoe 227.217 mph
14. Dan Wheldon 225.716 mph

Dan Wheldon, #98 William Rast/aigo/Curb/Big Machine Forsythe Solutions Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
“We had a good day. It was obviously nice to be on track. I think one thing the fans don’t see is how hard the guys work on the Bryan Herta Autosport team. They did a phenomenal job in the days off track. They weren’t sitting in the garage waiting for it to stop raining. They worked incredibly hard.

“The car today was good. It seemed certainly reasonable in qualifying trim. We were able to work on the race car which is obviously important to me. There are still some improvements to be made but, for as limited running as we have had, I am pretty encouraged.”

Bryan Herta, Team Co-Owner:
“It was great to finally run and a shame that it took until Thursday for the weather to cooperate. I am really happy with how the car ran and Dan is happy with the car, which is important. I feel we had a very positive day with lots more work to do tomorrow. We are looking forward to ramping up the speed heading into qualifying.”

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