Wheldon hoping for strong finish

British IRL IndyCar driver Daniel Wheldon is hoping to turn around his poor finishing record in this weekend's Emerson Indy 250 on the 1.25-mile Gateway International Raceway. The Andretti Green Racing squad tested at the venue last week to give Wheldon a chance to acclimatise to running IRL cars on short tracks

Wheldon hoping for strong finish

Wheldon's best finish so far this year was a fourth place at Nashville, but a series of accidents and mechanical failures has seen him retire five times in eight starts. He is hoping that despite his short oval inexperience, he can change that this weekend.

"It won't be like [racing on] a superspeedway at all," said Wheldon. "Qualifying is going to be very important and race strategy is also going to play a big part. Passing is going to be difficult during the race so you will have to start near the front and use a good pit strategy to keep track position. We should be competitive.

"It is a totally different technique driving on the short tracks. Coming up through all the other series, the cars were never powerful enough for me to have to brake and downshift in the corners. It's very unnatural for me because in Europe you brake with your right foot because you're using your left on the clutch.

"I've won many titles coming up through the ranks so I should be able to pick this up pretty quickly, but it is still difficult having to brake and downshift at the same time. I gained a lot of confidence at the test and things seemed to get better as the test went on, so I don't think I'll have any problems this weekend."

Wheldon's team manager Tony Cotman believes that Wheldon's finishing record is more down to bad luck than anything else and that it is only a matter of time before the Englishman registers a podium finish: "There is no doubt that Dan is good on superspeedways and we just need to work on his technique a little bit on the shorter tracks.

"He has been keen and willing to learn all year so I don't think we will have any problems this weekend. We really need a solid finish this weekend to put all this bad luck behind us. Dan has been running really well, but we just don't have the finishes to show for it."

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