Wheldon Posts Fourth Quickest Overall Time in Friday Long Beach Practice
National Guard Panther Team Improves in Each Practice Session, Saves Best for Last
LONG BEACH, California (April 17, 2009) -- Panther Racing's first day on the Streets of Long Beach featured team driver Dan Wheldon posting the fourth quickest overall time during the Friday practice session. Wheldon, racing on the course for the first time since he ran here in Atlantics, is coming off a performance in St. Petersburg where he ran within the top three competitors for the majority of the day prior to late-race contact and a 14th-place finish.
His quick lap on the day was registered at 99.922 mph, 1:10.9 seconds.
The day also marks the first time in the team's history is has performed at Long Beach, one of the most historic and celebrated events in open-wheel racing history. The weekend will also be the 35th Long Beach Grand Prix in history, and the first under a unified open-wheel series in over ten years.
The Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix will be held on Sunday, April 19th at 3:30 p.m. with live coverage on Versus, IMS Radio Network, www.IndyCar.com and XM Sirius Channel 145.
Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda
"After working on the National Guard car following the morning session we were able to get it pretty close to where we would like. There are still some improvements that we'd like to make, but for the most part the car is good to the point where we just have to make a few small changes and we'll get it to the point where it's better and working towards a track that's going to continue to get more and more grip. If we can get it to that point, we're going to be looking at a very strong weekend."