IRL: Wheldon hopes to keep Kansas streak alive

By Andy Darley

CalendarFriday, April 25th, 2008

 
 

Here are a couple of numbers to ponder: almost 40 per cent of IndyCar race laps at the Kansas Speedway over the last five years have been led by Dan Wheldon, and the Englishman has finished second-second-first in the last three races there.

Naturally, he’s hoping those figures will look even more impressive after this weekend’s race.

If he manages it, that will make him the first IRL back-to-back winner at the circuit: “I really want to do it again, winning last year was much better than being second place in 2005 and 2006,” he said.

“Surely, there’s something to be said about consistency, but the Target team is focused on being at the top of the podium this weekend.”

A win would be useful for another reason – it would allow him to redress the balance with team-mate Scott Dixon.

When Wheldon was first past the chequered flag at Kansas last year, it was his third win and fourth top-two finish in five races. In the 12 months since then, however, he has never finished better than third.

In the same period, Dixon has recorded five wins and four second places.

It’s not a record that Wheldon is losing any sleep over, though – with the previous IRL race having been held in Japan, he’s been getting plenty of rest to recover from the change in time zones.

“There really is no short cut that I have observed on how to curb jet lag,” he said. “The tried and true way for me is get to bed at the right time. I’m looking to be back to my full-functioning self by Thursday – just in time to be in the car on Saturday.”

Scott Dixon, beware.

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