IRL: Richmond: Panther Racing Friday report

Vitor Meira to Start Richmond Race in Sixth Place Panther Equals Best Starting Position of 2006 RICHMOND, Va. (June 23, 2006) -- After qualifications were rained out Friday at Richmond International Raceway, Vitor Meira and the Panther Racing...

Vitor Meira to Start Richmond Race in Sixth Place
Panther Equals Best Starting Position of 2006

RICHMOND, Va. (June 23, 2006) -- After qualifications were rained out Friday at Richmond International Raceway, Vitor Meira and the Panther Racing team will start sixth for Saturday night's SunTrust Indy Challenge. The starting positions were based off combined practice times for the day, leaving Meira on the outside of the third row.

Meira's quickest lap was 171.972 mph, 15.7002 seconds.

This equals the best qualifying position of the season for the Panther team, tying the sixth place start in the Indianapolis 500.

The SunTrust Indy Challenge will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. (EDT) with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network and XM Satellite Radio channel 145.

IRAQ WAR VET TO WORK ON PANTHER PIT CREW TOMORROW

Marine Lt. Patrick Francescon will be the left-front tire assist during Vitor Meira's pit stops tomorrow night at RIR. Patrick returned home to the United States in March and spent the weekend of the St. Petersburg race with the Panther Pack. The team originally met the Marine Lt. when the officer's wife Sherri sent photos of Francescon, while in Iraq, to the team. The photos showed the Lieutenant in his full battle gear, posing with a Panther Racing t-shirt. The Francescons took a two-seater Indy-car ride on Thursday and have been honorary guests of the team all weekend. Lt. Francescon is expecting to return to Iraq in the near future.

Panther is running a decal of Francescon's 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division logo on the No. 4 car tomorrow.

Vitor Meira Quote:

"We would have been strong in qualifications, but we're happy with our position. The rain is good in one way and bad in another way. There is nothing we can do about it now. The Panther Honda has been strong all week and we are confident about tomorrow. It's going to be busy out there but we'll be there at the finish."

-pr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing