Dana tests for Hemelgarn

Young American racer Paul Dana took a step closer to the big move up into Indycar racing when he tested a Hemelgarn Racing Dallara at Phoenix International Raceway

Dana tests for Hemelgarn

Dana finished second in the 2004 Menards Infiniti Pro Series - Indycar's feeder formula - with Hemelgarn and aims to move up to the senior category with the team in 2005.

Dana completed 80 laps in the team's 2002-spec Dallara on the one-mile Phoenix oval. He also practiced pit stops.

"Paul did a good job," commented team manager Lee Kunzman. "He took his time getting comfortable at first, but then was right on race pace. He got into the high 20-second range. For the track conditions and how we had the car set, those were the lap times we expected."

Dana enjoyed his run. "It was awesome to finally get a chance to drive an IndyCar Series car," he said. "To have been chasing this for so long, it's a dream come true. The amount of grip the thing has is unreal. It makes great power. It sounds awesome. It handled well and was really predictable, which made my job easier. I had a blast and can't wait to do it again."

"It's no secret that we've been working hard to put a program together to step up," Dana said. "Today was just the first step. I'd like to thank Ron Hemelgarn for giving me the opportunity to drive his car. Hopefully we'll have something to announce about our 2005 plans soon."

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