IRL: Watkins Glen: Panther Racing race report

Meira Finishes Second Place at Watkins Glen Panther Jumps To Sixth in IRL Points Chase WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 4, 2006) -- Panther Racing driver Vitor Meira finished second Sunday at Watkins Glen International Raceway, helping his Panther...

Meira Finishes Second Place at Watkins Glen
Panther Jumps To Sixth in IRL Points Chase

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 4, 2006) -- Panther Racing driver Vitor Meira finished second Sunday at Watkins Glen International Raceway, helping his Panther team jump from 10th in IndyCar Series points all the way up to sixth.

Meira, who started eighth, collected his fifth career second place finish and his best finish as driver of the No. 4 Panther Honda. His result was also the best finish for Panther Racing dating back to Tomas Scheckter's victory at Texas Motor Speedway last season. In what was his 50th start in the IndyCar Series, Vitor collected his 17th Top Five and 30th Top Ten finish.

Panther Racing is now just 58 points out of the points lead.

In what was a cold and rainy day at The Glen's historic 11-turn road course, all competitors were bouncing between rain and slick tires as the weather changed. After starting on rain tires, Meira joined the rest of the field in jumping into slick tires after the rain stopped just eight laps into the race.

Meira had climbed all the way to fourth after an early restart and never let himself slip down the grid. Rain began to fall again late in the race, but Meira and the Panther Pack were patient and followed leader Scott Dixon, who elected to stay on his dry tires for the final laps of the event.

Meira now has two Top Five and four Top Ten results in just five starts with Panther Racing.

The IndyCar Series will travel to Texas Motor Speedway for the Bombardier Learjet 500, where Panther Racing is the defending race winner. The team is also the winningest team in the history of TMS, with a total of five victories at the high-banked 1.5-mile oval. The Panther victories at Texas have come from each of Panther's No. 4 car drivers; Scott Goodyear (2); Sam Hornish Jr. (2); and Tomas Scheckter (1).

The Bombardier Learjet 500 will be broadcast live on ESPN at 9 p.m. (EDT), with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network and on XM Satellite Radio Channel 145.

Vitor Meira Quote:

"What a great day for the Panther Racing team. The tough part today was pacing myself, there was only one time today when we could get into a rhythm. Finishing second would get old if I felt like we deserved to win, but that's not the case today. We fought hard to finish second here today. We took 100% out of our Panther car and took advantage of our chances. I'm happy. We moved several places into the championship heading to a track where Panther has won a lot of races. I have no doubt that with Panther Racing we are going to get a win. I could have risked it more today but sometimes when you take chances it bites you. I'm glad I followed John Barnes instructions at the end to do what Scott Dixon did and stay out with the slick tires. Our strategy has been great this year, and that's because of JB and all the great people we have on this team. I'm ready for Texas."

-pr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Scott Dixon , John Barnes , Sam Hornish Jr. , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing