Meira Qualifies in Eighth for Season Finale at Chicagoland Speedway

JOLIET, Ill. (September 6, 2008) -- Delphi National Guard driver Vitor Meira qualified eighth Saturday afternoon at Chicagoland Speedway for tomorrow's PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300. Meira is currently ranked 12th in the IndyCar Series points standings, will be making his final start of the season for team on the exciting 1.5-mile oval.

Meira's qualification run consisted of a average speed of 214.796 mph, which was made up of laps of 214.897, 214.818, 214.730, and 214.741 mph.

Panther has won two IndyCar Series races at Chicagoland, including the closest 1-2 finish in series history (Sam Hornish over Al Unser Jr. in 2002) and the closest 1-2-3 finish (Hornish ahead of Dixon and Bryan Herta in 2003). The team also captured an Indy Lights win in 2003 with Mark Taylor, the same year the Englishman clinched the championship.

Tomorrow, Panther will display a pit wall banner than says "Thank You Vitor" to express their appreciation for the team's longest-tenured and most-respected driver. The team has left the door open for Meira to return if funding come available for a second IndyCar Series ride.

Vitor Meira, No. 4 Delphi National Guard:

"Our car is consistent and it's really solid in traffic, and that's what you need here. We're happy with where we're starting and the package that we're bringing tomorrow. This race should be exciting and it's always better when you know how good your car is going to be.

-credit: pr