Dan Wheldon Steals Ride from Current Full-Time Driver to Race in Kentucky

Eric SmithCorrespondent IIISeptember 26, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 30:  Dan Wheldon of England, driver of the #98 William Rast-Curb/Big Machine Dallara Honda, poses with the Borg Warner Trophy on the day after winning the IZOD IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 30, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

According to Indystar.com, this year's Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon will race the No. 77 Bowers & Wilkins Honda for Schmidt Motorsports this weekend in the Izod IndyCar Series race in Kentucky.

Wheldon will replace full-time driver Alex Tagliani for this weekend only and drive the No. 98 Herta Autosport Honda in the last race in Las Vegas. 

Sam Schmidt the owner of Schmidt Motorsports thought it would be a good tune-up for Vegas to put Wheldon in the car this weekend.

Due to Wheldon's 500 win and not being a full-time driver IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard offered Wheldon the $5 million dollar bounty in Vegas. If Wheldon wins, he will win the most money ever offered for a single race.

Schmidt Motorsports and Herta Autosport merged this past May to put Wheldon in the winning car in this year's Indianapolis 500. They will once again merge teams for the season finale in Las Vegas.

Tagliani is the odd man out in Kentucky due to Schmidt already promising young rookie Wade Cunningham a ride in the second car the No. 99 Honda and lacked the funding for a third team.

Tagliani who happened to be this year's Indianapolis 500 pole sitter will get his ride back in Vegas.

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