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Indy 500 champ Wheldon back on ovals

Britain's Dan Wheldon Daniel Clive Weldon (born June 22 1989 in Emberton, England) is a successful English auto racing driver. The 2005 Indy Racing League champion and Indy 500 winner, Wheldon is nicknamed "Difficult Dan" in the IRL pit lane for his choleric temperament. He currently resides in St.  will race in Sunday's IndyCar race at Kentucky as a tune-up for his attempt to go from worst to first and win $5 million in the season-ending race at Las Vegas Las Vegas (läs vā`gəs), city (1990 pop. 258,295), seat of Clark co., S Nev.; inc. 1911. It is the largest city in Nevada and the center of one of the fastest-growing urban areas in the United States. .

The Englishman who won the 100th anniversary edition of the Indianapolis 500 last May is not a regular racer in the series, having won $2.5 million and his second career Indy 500 title as a one-off driver at the famed Brickyard oval.

Now Wheldon will replace Canada's Alex Tagliani Alexandre Tagliani (born October 18 1972) is a French Canadian auto racing driver from Montreal, Quebec. He has raced in the Champ Car series since 2000, when it was still known officially as CART.  in driving for Sam Schmidt Sam Schmidt (born August 15, 1964 in Lincoln, Nebraska) is a former Indy Racing League driver and current IRL and Indy Pro Series team owner.

After graduating from Pepperdine University, he became a successful businessman, eventually purchasing his father's parts company in
 at Kentucky so he can prepare for a sponsor challenge in which he will split $5 million with an IndyCar fan if he wins the October 16 race after starting last.

"I can't thank Alex enough for letting me drive his car in Kentucky and to work with the team in preparation for Las Vegas," Wheldon said.

"I'll be stepping into a fast race car that's capable of winning. As a driver, that's all you can ask for."

Schmidt's team backed Wheldon's Indy 500 effort in May and Wheldon will be driving the car that Tagliani drove into the pole position at Indy this year.

"I'm obviously not happy about sitting out Kentucky," Tagliani said. "But this is a very exciting opportunity (and) Dan and I are good friends."

Wheldon has won 14 career titles on ovals, second-best in series history.
Copyright 2011 AFP American Edition
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Author:Staff Reporter
Publication:AFP American Edition
Date:Sep 26, 2011
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