IRL: Michigan: Panther Racing preview

Panther Back on Track at Michigan International Speedway Team Started on Front Row, Finished on Podium Last Year at MIS BROOKLYN, Mich. (July 28, 2006) -- Revive Panther Racing and driver Vitor Meira have been running up front all season, and...

Panther Back on Track at Michigan International Speedway

Team Started on Front Row, Finished on Podium Last Year at MIS

BROOKLYN, Mich. (July 28, 2006) -- Revive Panther Racing and driver Vitor Meira have been running up front all season, and the team expects nothing less this weekend at Michigan International Speedway in Sunday's Firestone Indy 400.

In three MIS starts, Meira has a best finish of fifth in 2004. Michigan's wide two-mile oval is the first place where Vitor watched an IndyCar Series event, in 2002. He now returns to the track as one of the league's best drivers. Vitor had an electrical problem last season, forcing him to finish the race in 14th position.

Panther Racing had an impressive run at MIS last season, and the team ran three cars in the event -- Tomas Scheckter, Buddy Lazier and Townsend Bell, who was subbing for an injured Tomas Enge. Bell crashed all by himself late in the race, but Scheckter turned a front row starting position into a podium finish, and Lazier joined him at the front of the field, finishing sixth. Aside from Bell's mistake, it was one of the best two-car results for the team last season.

After Tony Kanaan's victory last weekend in Milwaukee, Meira is tied with the Andretti Green Racing driver for fifth place in the IndyCar Series Championship. In his first season with Panther, Meira has finished in the Top Five in half of his starts with the team, and in only two races has the 29-year-old Brazilian finished outside the Top Ten.

Vitor Meira Quote:

"I always remember Michigan well because it's the first track where I watched an IndyCar Series race. At the time I thought to myself, 'Wow these guys race too close together!' But Panther always does an amazing job with the cars; the fitting is perfect and the aerodynamics on the No. 4 car are strong, and that's the bread and butter of this championship. All year we've been running in the Top Three and I expect that to continue this weekend. As a team we're fifth in the championship and now it's time to go hunt down the guys in the top four."

-www.pantherracing.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Tomas Enge , Buddy Lazier , Tony Kanaan , Townsend Bell , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing