Panther Driver Vitor Meira Qualifies 17th for Edmonton Indy Weekend Improvements Not Enough to Put Delphi National Guard Team in Top Ten EDMONTON, Canada. (July 25, 2008) -- Two days of continued improvement for Panther Racing and driver...
Panther Driver Vitor Meira Qualifies 17th for Edmonton Indy
Weekend Improvements Not Enough to Put Delphi National Guard Team in Top Ten
EDMONTON, Canada. (July 25, 2008) -- Two days of continued improvement for Panther Racing and driver Vitor Meira went unrewarded during qualifications for tomorrow afternoon's Rexall Edmonton Indy. Meira, racing in Canada for the first time in his career, qualified 17th out of the 27 entries in the IndyCar Series field, putting him on the outside of the eighth row.
Meira's quick lap was 1:02.4907 seconds, 113.662 mph.
Vitor is coming off back-to-back sixth place finishes, results he earned at Nashville Superspeedway and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Meira has led at least one lap in every non-oval event this season, races that included St. Petersburg, Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio. In St. Pete and Mid-Ohio -- both races affected by rain -- Meira was one of the first to switch from rain to dry tires, and both times it helped propel the team's driver into the lead of the field.
Meira currently ranks in 14th position in the IndyCar Series points standings and has collected five Top Ten results this season, including a second place finish in the 92nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.
Panther will have to tackle tomorrow's race without two of its team leaders: Race Engineer David Cripps flew to England late this weekend for funeral services for his mother, who passed away recently after a battle with cancer; team owner John Barnes remained in Indianapolis for the weekend to join officials from Delphi and the National Guard during festivities for the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Team Manager Ron Catt will assume race strategy duties and Brent Harvey will serve as Race Engineer for the race tomorrow.
The Rexall Edmonton Indy will be held at the Edmonton City Centre Airport on Saturday, July 26th. The race will be broadcast live on ESPN at 5 p.m. (ET) with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network and XM Satellite Radio Channels 144 and 145.
Vitor Meira, No. 4 Delphi National Guard:
"We've been making improvements each step of the way this weekend. And, like always, we know we're going to be better for the race. I think we might have just been a step behind when we rolled off the truck, because we're getting better every time out here. It might not have been our best effort, but the Delphi National Guard guys are working hard and we're hoping to make that pay off during the race tomorrow."