IRL: Texas: Panther Racing preview

Panther Racing Looks to Add to Texas Motor Speedway Win Total Team Boasts Five Wins at High-Banked Oval; Meira, Matsuura Look for Number Six FORT WORTH, Tex. (June 6, 2007) -- Panther Racing enters this weekend's Bombardier Learjet 550k at...

Panther Racing Looks to Add to Texas Motor Speedway Win Total

Team Boasts Five Wins at High-Banked Oval; Meira, Matsuura Look for Number Six

FORT WORTH, Tex. (June 6, 2007) -- Panther Racing enters this weekend's Bombardier Learjet 550k at Texas Motor Speedway in search of its sixth victory at the high-banked 1.5-mile oval.

The team's five victories at Texas -- two each by Scott Goodyear (1999, 2000) and Sam Hornish (2001, 2002), combined with Tomas Scheckter's 2005 victory -- makes Panther the winningest IndyCar Series team in the track's history.

Saturday's Bombardier Learjet 550k will give Panther drivers Vitor Meira and Kosuke Matsuura an opportunity to extend that record. Meira, who was the pole-sitter here in 2002, finished sixth last season as he coasted across the finish line out of fuel. He was running in fourth place as he exited the race's final corner, but ran out of fuel and was passed by two cars before reaching the final stripe.

In seven starts, Meira has collected six Top Ten and three top five results. Matsuura has participated in four Texas events, with a best start of fourth (2004) and a best finish of seventh (2005).

It was 2002 that Panther and Hornish won what was arguably the best race in the IndyCar Series history, and lurking just behind Hornish and Castroneves -- who were fighting for the league championship -- was Meira, who finished third behind the two series veterans.

The Bombardier Learjet 550k will be broadcast live Saturday evening at 10 p.m. (EST) on ESPN2, with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network and XM Satellite Radio channels 144 and 145.

Vitor Meira:

"You've gotta love Texas. When I first signed with Panther Racing I was excited to get to this track because of the great history we have here. I remember chasing (Panther driver) Sam Hornish and Helio (Castroneves) here in 2002 when Hornish won the championship for Panther. Now it's great to be here in that Delphi No. 4 car. We would have finished fourth here last year if we hadn't run out of fuel but sixth was still a good result. We're coming off a good weekend in Milwaukee and we want to keep rolling this weekend."

Kosuke Matsuura:

"Texas is a track that is a lot of fun for the fans and I'm excited to race here with Panther Racing. Last weekend wasn't great for us, but it was a step in the right direction. Panther has a good history here and that will help the Panasonic team very much. I look forward to the race going very well for us this weekend."

-credit: pr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Kosuke Matsuura , Sam Hornis , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing