Meira Starts 15th at Nashville; Both Indy Lights Drivers in Top Seven Battistini Looks for Fourth Win of Season, Vitor Looks to Match 2006 Nashville Run NASHVILLE, Ten. (July 11, 2008) -- Panther Racing and its trio of drivers prepare for a...
Meira Starts 15th at Nashville; Both Indy Lights Drivers in Top Seven
Battistini Looks for Fourth Win of Season, Vitor Looks to Match 2006 Nashville Run
NASHVILLE, Ten. (July 11, 2008) -- Panther Racing and its trio of drivers prepare for a full day of racing tomorrow at Nashville Superspeedway, site of tomorrow's IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights races. Delphi National Guard driver Vitor Meira will start the Firestone Indy 200 from the 15th position tomorrow, and his Indy Lights teammates Dillon Battistini and Brent Sherman will both start in the top seven.
Meira posted a four-lap qualification average of 201.661 mph, which was comprised of laps of 201.768, 202.148, 200.930 and 201.801 mph. The four laps consisted of a total time of 1:32.8289 seconds.
Vitor is set to rebound from a difficult weekend at Watkins Glen, where Panther's driver saw a race-winning fuel strategy go to waste when rival driver E.J. Viso took him off course. Meira finished third at Nashville in his first start here with Panther in 2006.
Sitting third in the championship standings, Battistini will start the Sunbelt Rentals 100 from the inside of Row Two in the third position after posting a two lap average of 180.278 mph, his two fastest laps of the day.
Driving on a track where he has had past success in stock cars, Sherman qualified his machine in the seventh position with a two lap average of 179.100 mph. Although Sherman also turned his two fastest laps of the day during his qualifying attempt, the Panther driver thought he could have posted a better time.
Panther's Firestone Indy Lights twosome will look to add to their successful season that already includes three wins, seven Top Five's, eight Top Ten's, and one pole award in nine races.
Vitor Meira, No. 4 Delphi National Guard:
"There is no doubt that we were hoping for better in qualifications. We were quick in practice, and we know we've got a great racecar; a consistent car for tomorrow. We should have qualified quicker, and it just didn't seem like the car was pulling down the backstretch like it was in practice. But, like I said, our car is very consistent and that is important in Nashville. The Delphi National Guard car has been in a position to win many times this year, and we expect that to be the case tomorrow."
Dillon Battistini, No. 15 AlexP (Firestone Indy Lights):
"I am happy with our qualifying effort. I feel like we got the most out of the car. It felt fantastic; perfect. It's a shame that I am not starting on the front row. The cooler track later in qualifying worked against us unfortunately I had to go first, but there will be plenty of time during the race to get into the lead. It's going to be tough to overtake, so we'll have to rely on circumstances to pass with the back markers' interference."
Brent Sherman, No. 16 National Guard Delphi (Firestone Indy Lights):
"I am a little disappointed with the run. It is the same old deal. We have a good car throughout practice, but we get killed in qualifying. All I can do is put the pedal all the way down. It's obviously not the guys, we just lose speed somewhere along the line. We are just going to have to fight through traffic and make our way to the front."