Panther, Wheldon Ride Indy Momentum into Texas Motor Speedway National Guard Team Hopes to Return to Victory Lane for Sixth Time at Exciting 1.5-mile Oval FORT WORTH, Texas. - (June 3, 2010) -- After its third-consecutive second place finish in...
Panther, Wheldon Ride Indy Momentum into Texas Motor Speedway
National Guard Team Hopes to Return to Victory Lane for Sixth Time at Exciting 1.5-mile Oval
FORT WORTH, Texas. - (June 3, 2010) -- After its third-consecutive second place finish in the Indianapolis 500, Panther Racing and National Guard driver Dan Wheldon return to the thrilling oval at Texas Motor Speedway -- where Panther has collected a total of five race victories. While Wheldon has never been victorious at Texas, he was dominating the event in 2006 when a miscue on his final pit stop sent him to a third-place result.
Since the team's inception, Texas has been one of Panther's most memorable tracks. The team has won races on the 1.5-mile oval with three different drivers -- Scott Goodyear (1999, 2000), Sam Hornish Jr. (2001, 2002) and Tomas Scheckter (2005) -- and captured the 2002 IZOD IndyCar Series title here when Hornish out-dueled Helio Castroneves and Team Penske for the race victory and league title. Scheckter started from the pole in 2005 en route to victory, the team's most recent win.
In 10 starts at Texas, Wheldon has a total of four Top Five and six Top Ten finishes, including a seventh-place result last season with Panther. He also started on the front row here in 2006 while driving for Ganassi Racing.
Wheldon is currently ninth in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings, just nine points behind Tony Kanaan in eighth and 13 points behind Ryan Briscoe in seventh.
Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda
"The entire National Guard Panther Racing team did a phenomenal job the entire two weeks we were at Indianapolis and I think we're in good shape for Texas this weekend. We've got a lot of momentum from Indianapolis that I believe will propel us to a great second half of the season and especially in the championship. Texas is a track where the team has gone very well on in the past and I know we'll be strong again this weekend. It's also an exciting race for the fans and with the help of IZOD we're making this sport sexy again, and hopefully both the team and the series can capitalize on the momentum we generated from Indianapolis and have that carry through the rest of the year."
SGT Manolo Travis Cabasal, Jr. Named Panther Racing's National Guard Texas Hometown Hero
Texas National Guard SGT Manolo Travis Cabasal Jr. is currently assigned to the Education and Incentives Branch of the Texas Recruiting and Retention Command as a Guidance Counselor, after being deployed with the 636th MI BN to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Serving as an Assistant Team Leader, SGT Cabasal and his team successfully completed missions that included the capture of numerous IED making materials, IED making cells and the imprisonment of militant insurgents.
He originally joined the Texas Army National Guard while in high school in March of 2004 and after attending Infantryman training in Fort Benning, he was assigned to 3/112 AR C. Co Brownwood, Texas as a Mortar Team Member and was selected as Recruiter for the Recruiting and Retention Command from August 2005 until October 2007.
SGT Cabasal Jr. will join driver Dan Wheldon at tonight's Indy Racing League autograph session and sign a specially-made "Hero Card" with his picture and biography on one side, and Wheldon's on the other. He will also be honored in the National Guard's hospitality area on Saturday afternoon and then recognized on the pre-race stage prior to the start of the event.
He has received the following decorations, awards and citations during his tenure in the National Guard: Combat Action Badge, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Mobilization, Army Achievement Medal, Army Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Army Overseas Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign with Campaign Star, NATO ISAF Medal Ribbon.
Panther honors a "Hometown Hero" at each IZOD IndyCar Series race held in the United States.
-source: panther racing