2011 Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon will get behind the wheel of a Dallara for the second time this season this weekend in Kentucky.
Wheldon will run the #77 Bowers & Wilkins at Magnolia Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry, replacing veteran Alex Tagliani.
“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 know when I step into the No. 77 Bowers & Wilkins at Magnolia Honda, I’ll be stepping into a fast racecar that’s capable of winning. As a driver, that’s all you can ask for. I’m really excited about this opportunity and look forward to working with everyone at Sam’s team. They were a large part of our winning effort in May, and I’ll do my best to get back to victory lane.”
The only driver running for the $5 Million prize in Vegas, Wheldon will use the 1.5 mile Kentucky Speedway as a warmup for the 1.5 mile Las Vegas event.
“I’m obviously not happy about sitting out Kentucky, but this is a very exciting opportunity,” Tagliani said. “Dan and I are good friends, and I’m very jealous that he gets to run for the $5 million. But, I fully support what INDYCAR has done to generate fan interest and will do everything I can to help the SSM team run Dan in Kentucky and prepare for the Go Daddy Challenge. I’m out to win the Vegas race, as well, and won’t back off one bit, so Dan will be on his own when the green flag drops.”