Pit Mishaps Put Panther's Meira in 15th Position at Iowa Speedway Two Pit Lane Penalties Plague Delphi National Guard Team in Iowa Corn Indy 250 NEWTON, Iowa. (June 22, 2008) -- An adventurous day in pit lane Sunday at Iowa Speedway stuck ...
Pit Mishaps Put Panther's Meira in 15th Position at Iowa Speedway
Two Pit Lane Penalties Plague Delphi National Guard Team in Iowa Corn Indy 250
NEWTON, Iowa. (June 22, 2008) -- An adventurous day in pit lane Sunday at Iowa Speedway stuck Panther's Delphi National Guard team in the 15th position in the Iowa Corn Indy 250. Team driver Vitor Meira suffered two penalties in pit lane during the race, the second of which stuck the team's veteran driver two laps down and unable to advance up the grid.
After qualifications were rained out yesterday, Meira started in 12th position -- his spot in the IndyCar Series points standings entering the weekend. As cars were bottled up at the start of the race, Meira dropped quickly to 15th position, but drove back to 10th place before his first stop. But as Vitor exited the pits following his first stop, he ran over the air hose of A.J. Foyt IV, which resulted in a penalty, sending Meira to the back of the field at the next restart.
Again, Meira climbed forward. He began his rise from 22nd place, and again reached 10th place before pitting on Lap 160, but the No. 4 car clipped the right-front tire of E.J. Viso as Meira entered the pits, sending the Delphi National Guard car into the inside pit wall. The time it took to replace the front wing and the subsequent drive-through penalty put the team two laps down.
Former Panther drivers Dan Wheldon and Hideki Mutoh finished first and second, respectively, and Marco Andretti came home in third.
The result put Meira in the 14th position in the IndyCar Series points standings.
The IndyCar Series will travel to Richmond International Raceway next Saturday night for the SunTrust Indy Challenge. Panther won at Richmond in 2002 and finished second there with Meira in 2006.
Vitor Meira, No. 4 Delphi National Guard:
"Our car was fast today. Unbelievably fast. I told my guys we had a top three car today, but I just made a mistake in the pits that hurt our chances. I apologized to the Delphi National Guard crew, and mainly I'm just glad that nobody was hurt. We had a great package today, and we know we'll have a great package at Richmond."