Dan Wheldon will try to keep his IRL title challenge on the rails this weekend as the series heads to Pikes Peak.

Third place last weekend in Kentucky was Wheldon's seventh podium finish of the season, and he heads into the Honda Indy 225 aiming to close the gap on second placed Buddy Rice in the standings.

"I'm looking forward to Pikes Peak a great deal," the British driver said. "We've got some good momentum going right now. We just need to capitalize on it and get everything we can get in these last five races. The Klein Tools/Jim Beam crew needs to get another win and it would be great to accomplish that this weekend at an event that carries the Honda name."

Race engineer, Eddie Jones thinks Wheldon could produce a strong showing in the race.

"The Klein Tools/Jim Beam team believes it has made good progress on the short ovals and we hope to reap the rewards of that this weekend at Pikes Peak," he said. "We're pretty confident with our program and Dan is driving particularly well at the moment. It certainly has us feeling like we're heading toward a successful weekend."

Teammate Tony Kanaan heads into the meeting on top of the standings. The only driver to have completed every lap this season, Kanaan has built his title challenge on an amazing run of consistency that has seen him finish in the top five in the last ten races.

"I'm very happy with the way the #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone has been performing," he said, "and I believe we will have a good car for Pikes Peak, just as we had in Phoenix. I'm still taking everything race by race, and am trying to think about the championship. I'm just trying to focus on winning races."

Bryan Herta heads into the weekend looking to carry on a run of form that has seen him collect five top ten finishes in the last six races.

Herta heads to Pikes Peak for the first time, aiming to improve on his current eighth place in the standings, but despite his lack of racing experience at the track he is confident of collecting a strong finish.

"I've never raced at Pikes Peak," he said. "but I did test there last year and I really like the track. To me, it's a one-mile version of Michigan. I just really like short oval racing, so I'm really looking forward to these next two events in the XM Satellite Radio car. Short ovals are just a little more challenging for the driver and they're really intense racing, which I enjoy a lot."

Pikes Peak was the last race Dario Franchitti took part in last season before he was forced to under go surgery, and he is looking forward to a return.

"Pikes Peak was my last race last season before my surgery, and we didn't do too badly considering the physical condition I was in," he said. "I'm looking forward to going back there, and hopefully we can have another strong run on a one-mile track. I won the last time we were on a short track, so we'll see what happens."

 

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