MAK­ING IT BIG

Motor Sport News - - Dan Wheldon -

Michael An­dretti, team owner, An­dretti Green Rac­ing Indy Rac­ing League, 2005

“The big test for us was road courses. We tested at the Day­tona road course as the IRL pre­pared for its first road-street race in 2005. By the end of the ses­sion, he was fastest. That was a shock to all of us. We hadn’t seen road rac­ing to be his strength, but he per­formed very well at the test.

“Then we went out and won the first IRL street course at St Peters­burg. The team fin­ished 1-2-3-4 in that race and Dan was in front. The fact we were that fast can be traced back to Dan’s test­ing with us. He gave us a great un­der­stand­ing of the car and how it would re­act to road and street rac­ing.

“But In­di­anapo­lis is where he re­ally stood out. Dan and Marco [An­dretti] are the two best driv­ers I’ve ex­pe­ri­enced at Indy. They both took to it like a fish to wa­ter. They both ran the car so neutral there. I have never seen other driv­ers to that. If you watch the in-car cam­era from Dan’s win at Indy for us in 2005, you can see how loose that car was. He car­ried it all the way for 500 miles. He just had a knack for Indy.”

Photos: kart­pix.net, LAT

Whel­don won the Indy 500 in 2005

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