National Guard Team Looks for Another Strong Finish in Edmonton Panther, Wheldon Look to Continue Effort at Edmonton& ...
National Guard Team Looks for Another Strong Finish in Edmonton
Panther, Wheldon Look to Continue Effort at Edmonton’s City Centre Airport Road Course
EDMONTON, Canada (July 22, 2010) -- The National Guard Panther Racing team and driver Dan Wheldon have been able to overcome early-race incidents in each of the past two IZOD IndyCar Series events and rebound for Top Ten finishes. As the team travels to the City Centre Airport course in Edmonton this weekend for the Honda Indy Edmonton, the hope is if the team can avoid any early pitfalls in the race, Wheldon will finish even closer to the front of the grid.
Entering the weekend ninth in points, Wheldon looks to advance up the standings on a track where he qualified ninth and finished seventh in his first career start at the track in 2008 with Chip Ganassi Racing. He overcame a crash in practice last season in his first start at Edmonton with Panther and advanced seven positions during the race and finished in the 15th position. Panther competed with Vitor Meira in Edmonton in 2008, when the Brazilian driver had an issue with his steering and hit the tire barriers during the race before finishing in the 19th position.
In each of the last two races, Wheldon has overcome early-race contact to drive back inside the Top Ten. At Watkins Glen the No. 4 was struck from behind by Alex Lloyd and had to be restarted by the safety crew and returned to the field in the back of the pack. Wheldon was able to drive back through the field and into the Top Five that afternoon before finishing in sixth position. Last weekend in Toronto Panther's driver ran into the back of the car driven by E.J. Viso, had to pit for a new nose, and again had to return to the field at the end of the line. But again Wheldon was able to move back through the field, avoiding several close incidents along the way, and finish in the Top Ten -- the team's sixth Top Ten finish of the season.
This weekend's race on Edmonton's 14-turn, 1.96-mile airport circuit will the Panther's 11th start of the season, and the team has earned one Top Five and four Top Ten finishes on non-oval circuits this year.
Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda
"Edmonton always bodes for great racing, and the fans here in Canada do an unbelievable job supporting the IZOD IndyCar Series. It's always fun to race in front of fans who are so passionate. From a driver and engineering standpoint it's an incredibly tough track, but one that I like very much. The National Guard Panther Racing boys have done an unbelievable job each of the past two weekends and we've had to work incredibly hard to put ourselves into a position like we have. We're looking to break the No. 4 National Guard car into victory lane this season, and we're confident we're going to have a good weekend in Edmonton."