Two-Time Motegi Winner Wheldon Returns to Japan with Panther Racing National Guard Driver Hopes to Add to Twin Ring Motegi Victories in 2004-2005 MOTEGI, Japan - (September 16, 2009) -- In the closing laps of the 2005 race at Twin Ring...
Two-Time Motegi Winner Wheldon Returns to Japan with Panther Racing
National Guard Driver Hopes to Add to Twin Ring Motegi Victories in 2004-2005
MOTEGI, Japan - (September 16, 2009) -- In the closing laps of the 2005 race at Twin Ring Motegi, then-Panther Racing driver Tomas Scheckter held a formidable lead in the race with just two laps remaining, but his No. 4 car ran out of fuel as he approached the white flag. The unfortunate turn for Panther handed the race victory to Dan Wheldon, who captured his second consecutive race victory at Twin Ring Motegi that afternoon. Now, with Wheldon piloting the team's No. 4 National Guard entry he hopes to help Panther earn the Twin Ring Motegi Victory that escaped them four years ago.
The victory that day was Wheldon's second consecutive at Motegi, and followed his historic win at the 1.5-mile oval in 2004 -- the first in his IndyCar Series career, and the first for engine supplier Honda at their home track.
With the IndyCar Series season winding down, Wheldon currently ranks ninth in the championship chase with this weekend's race in Japan and the season finale in Homestead on October 10th. Wheldon is currently 17 points away from seventh-place Tony Kanaan, the former series champion from Andretti Green Racing.
The Honda Indy Japan will be broadcast live on Versus at 10:30 p.m. (EST) on Friday evening, with additional coverage provided by IMS Radio and XM Sirius channel 211. The league website IndyCar.com is also providing live streaming of the event online at no cost.
Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda
"I always enjoy the trip to Japan, as it's a very special and memorable place for me. I had my first win at Twin Ring Motegi in 2004, and obviously that was very special because it was the first victory for Honda at their track as well. I have such a great relationship with them, and I was honored to be a part of that moment. As far as the track, it's one of my favorites and one that I've always gone pretty well at. It's a challenge as far as ovals go and the National Guard Panther Racing car was strong a few weeks ago at Chicagoland and it has been strong here in the past, so we look forward to a good weekend."