Iowa: Panther Racing preview

Former Iowa Winner Wheldon Returns to Bullring with Panther Iowa Speedway's 2009 Winner Returns to Short Oval Where Panther Has Had Previous Success INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - (June 16, 2010) -- The National Guard Panther Racing team returns to...

Former Iowa Winner Wheldon Returns to Bullring with Panther

Iowa Speedway's 2009 Winner Returns to Short Oval Where Panther Has Had Previous Success

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - (June 16, 2010) -- The National Guard Panther Racing team returns to the tight 7/8-mile bullring at Iowa Speedway this weekend for the IZOD IndyCar Series' Iowa Corn Indy 250. Team driver Dan Wheldon won the race there in 2008 while driving for Ganassi Racing, and Panther has led laps in two of its three starts at the exciting short oval.

In the inaugural event at the track in 2008, Panther looked poised to take the victory as then-driver Vitor Meira dominated the latter part of the race, leading 71 laps, until a suspension failure as the team was preparing for its final pit stop ended the potential celebration. Meira finished 15th in Panther's second start at Iowa after an incident in pit lane.

Wheldon's 2008 victory was his last with Ganassi, and the 2005 Indy 500 winner led the race and finished fourth last year in his first start at the track with Panther. After his victory in 2008, Wheldon donated all of his winnings to victims of the flooding which had ravaged the area. He finished 11th at Iowa in 2007.

The team is currently ranked 10th in the IZOD IndyCar Series points championship, as Wheldon trails championship-leader Dario Franchitti by a total of 82 points, and is just 15 points out of the seventh overall position going into this weekend's event.

In seven starts this season, Wheldon has two Top Five and four Top Ten finishes. His best finish of the season was a runner-up result in the Indianapolis 500.

Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda

"Iowa Speedway is a great track for IZOD IndyCar Series fans, and it's a place where the National Guard Panther Racing team has gone very well in the past. It's a great race to be a part of; it's like that little bullring-type track where you can overtake. And there's always a fantastic crowd there and for me it's a very challenging racetrack and it seems like everything we go back the track loses a little bit of grip. So it's very challenging from a driver's standpoint and from an engineering standpoint, but like I said, there's always a great crowd there because we race side-by-side and certainly if you have a good car there -- like I know we will -- you can get to the front very quickly. Although people say it's in the middle of nowhere, I think it's a really great race and one I truly enjoy."

-source: panther racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Dan Wheldon , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing