Sonoma: Panther Racing Friday report

Wheldon Starts Infineon Raceway Weekend in Ninth on Speed Chart National Guard Panther Racing Team Off to Quick Start in Sonoma, California SONOMA, Calif. (August 20, 2010) -- National Guard Panther Racing driver Dan Wheldon finished the...

Wheldon Starts Infineon Raceway Weekend in Ninth on Speed Chart
National Guard Panther Racing Team Off to Quick Start in Sonoma, California

SONOMA, Calif. (August 20, 2010) -- National Guard Panther Racing driver Dan Wheldon finished the first day of IZOD IndyCar Series practice Friday in preparations for this weekend's Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma by finishing in the ninth position on the final speed chart for the day.

The team posted a quick lap of 105.052 mph, 78.9209 seconds and turned a total of 21 laps during the one-hour practice session.

Wheldon, who finished in the 12th position at the Infineon Raceway event last year, was able to drive from a 12th-place starting position and into the Top Five before having to pit late in the event to replace a broken front wing. For his career, Wheldon has made a total of five starts on the 12-turn, 2.303-mile permanent road course and has collected a total of three Top Ten and one Top Five finish. His career-best effort at the track was a fourth-place finish in 2008 while driving for Ganassi Racing.

Panther had a strong effort here in 2006 when former driver Vitor Meira passed three cars on the final lap to capture a podium finish. The team has a total of seven starts on the racetrack, with a total of five Top Ten finishes and two Top Five finishes. The team started fourth and led the race here in 2005 with former driver Tomas Enge, who eventually finished in fifth.

The Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma will be broadcast live on VERSUS at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 22nd with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network, www.indycar.com, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 121.

Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing:

"It was a good start to the weekend; from the moment I got into the National Guard car it felt very comfortable. As the session went on we worked on a couple specific things thinking towards the race and fortunately we only had to use one set of Firestone tires -- and that gives us plenty for tomorrow. It was an excellent job by the entire team preparing for this race and we're certainly looking forward to the race on Sunday."

-source: panther racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Enge , Dan Wheldon , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing