Vitor Meira: ABC Supply No. 14 Dallara/Honda/Firestone * Vitor Meira on the key to Twin Ring Motegi: "Motegi is like the shape of an egg--it has a tight corner and a very wide corner. The tight corner--turns 3 and 4--that's where you need to be...
Vitor Meira: ABC Supply No. 14 Dallara/Honda/Firestone
* Vitor Meira on the key to Twin Ring Motegi: "Motegi is like the shape of an egg--it has a tight corner and a very wide corner. The tight corner--turns 3 and 4--that's where you need to be fast. If you're fast there then the rest of the track is pretty much a straightaway. Turns 1 & 2 are very, very wide--you can go 2-3-4-wide no problem. The problem is 3 and 4. Getting off of turn 4 fast is even more important than getting into turn 3 so that's the part of the track that everyone is going to be focusing on because that's where the secret lies to getting around Motegi."
* Meira on the short stay in Japan: When the teams first began traveling to Motegi, they would leave on Sunday but as the years went on, the travel has been shortened as has the track time (from three days to two). Asked if arriving on Thursday afternoon to drive on Saturday morning poses any problems, Meira responded: "I never had a problem going to Japan, I always had a problem coming back. The flight is good enough that you rest during the flight. I'm probably going to go asleep around 7 that night so the worst that will happen is that I wake up around 5 or 4 am. I never had a problem time-wise going there, but coming back? I had big problems for like a week. Fortunately, we don't have a race the next weekend so it won't be a problem at all."
* The third time's the charm? Larry Foyt will be the race strategist in Japan for the third straight year as his father A.J. opted to stay home again this year. Last year A.J. didn't make the trip to Japan for the first time since the IndyCar Series began running there in 2003. In 2008, A.J. didn't stay for the race when it was postponed to the following day due to torrential rain. It will be the third different driver (and engineer) in Japan for Foyt's ABC Supply team.
* Oval Champion to be determined this weekend: At 228 to 201, Dario Franchitti holds a 27 point lead over teammate Scott Dixon in the Oval Championship Series as they head into the final points race for the A.J. Foyt Trophy. As noted above, Foyt will not be there to present his namesake trophy but he will congratulate the Oval Champion during the season finale weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway next month.
* Meira Feeling Better: After three accidents in the past two races, Meira was feeling the effects especially after his wall banger at Kentucky Speedway over Labor Day weekend. He said, "I'm feeling much, much better now. I knew it was a big hit but guess I didn't realize how big, but man I was sore the next day. When I hit, it hurt but then every crash hurts and I was focused more on the situation that night, but the next day I woke up and I felt like hell."
* Past performance in Japan: Meira's best start was seventh in 2005 and best finish was 10th in 2006. Ryan Hunter-Reay, subbing for the injured Meira in 2009, started 15th but crashed on lap 157 to be credited with 21st. The Foyt team's best finish came in 2008 when Manning finished eighth and their best start was ninth in 2006 with Felipe Giaffone.