IRL: Nashville: Panther Racing Friday notes

Matsuura to Lead Panther From 13th; Meira Starts 15th NASHVILLE, Ten. (July 13, 2007) - Super Aguri Panther Racing driver Kosuke Matsuura qualified 13th Friday for the Firestone Indy 200 tomorrow night from Nashville Superspeedway. Delphi...

Matsuura to Lead Panther From 13th; Meira Starts 15th

NASHVILLE, Ten. (July 13, 2007) - Super Aguri Panther Racing driver Kosuke Matsuura qualified 13th Friday for the Firestone Indy 200 tomorrow night from Nashville Superspeedway. Delphi Panther pilot Vitor Meira - who finished third here last year - will start in the 15th position.

Matsuura is coming off his best finish of the season, an eighth place result last weekend at Watkins Glen. Now Kosuke and the Panasonic team will attempt to carry that momentum through the 200-lap race on Nashville's bumpy 1.33-mile concrete oval. Kosuke's best finish at Nashville came in 2004 when he finished ninth after starting in the 14th-spot on the grid.

In addition to Watkins Glen, Matsuura scored a Top Ten finish at Texas Motor Speedway, where he finished ninth in June.

Meira's team has been frustrated by the lack of speed, but confident about the race tomorrow. The race at Nashville was one of the best of the season last year, where Meira battled with Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon during the last few laps, finishing third behind the rival teammates. At the time, it was Meira's fourth top three finish in his last five starts.

In 2004, Meira qualified second and led 114 laps at Nashville.

Vitor is currently ninth in the IndyCar Series points standings, just 19 points behind Scott Sharp for seventh place. Meira finished fifth in the standings last season.

The Firestone Indy 200 will be broadcast live on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. (EST) with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network and XM Satellite Radio Channels 144 and 145.

Vitor Meira:

"It's just been one of those days. We don't really know why the Delphi car is so slow. We had such a great race at Nashville here last season and we expected to be at least that good. The conditions will be different tomorrow night and it seems like the No. 4 car always comes alive during the race, and that's what we're hoping for tomorrow."

Kosuke Matsuura:

"I think the car was better during the first practice session, the car became slower in the afternoon. The car is not bad but I couldn't run in traffic and the track was so bumpy so I couldn't finish setting up the car. It will be a tough race for me but I will just do my best and keep trying to move up the positions."

Credit: panther

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp , Scott Dixon , Dan Wheldon , Kosuke Matsuura , Chip Ganassi , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing