Four Days of Hard Work Brings Panther to Kansas Ready to Roll Meira, Matsuura Both Strong at Kansas Speedway Last Season KANSAS CITY, Kan. (April 27, 2007) -- With just one race between now and the start of the 91st Indianapolis 500, Panther ...
Four Days of Hard Work Brings Panther to Kansas Ready to Roll
Meira, Matsuura Both Strong at Kansas Speedway Last Season
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (April 27, 2007) -- With just one race between now and the start of the 91st Indianapolis 500, Panther drivers Vitor Meira and Kosuke Matsuura are excited to return to Kansas Speedway's 1.5-mile oval, a track where both drivers had impressive runs and finished inside the top eight last season.
While the last four days might not have been relaxing for the Panther Pack, who completed a frantic non-stop effort to prepare the Delphi and Panasonic Hondas of Vitor Meira and Kosuke Matsuura for the Kansas Lottery Indy 300, the team has been able to gel over an impressive week of production.
Returning from Japan late Monday evening after a flight cancellation in Chicago added an unexpected five hours to an already across-the-world journey, the Panther team received their freight from Japan on Tuesday afternoon and have been working around the clock ever since. Hampered by the short time frame and having two damaged racecars from the weekend in Motegi, the Panther transporters rolled into Kansas Speedway on Friday afternoon completely prepared for this weekend's Kansas Lottery Indy 300.
Matsuura had one of his best drives of the season last year in Kansas, where he started on the second row and finished in eight place -- one of six Top Ten results he had in 2006. It's no secret that Kansas' oval is one of Meira's favorite tracks on the circuit. In just four starts here, Vitor has finished on the podium in each of his last three events, included a third-place result last year in Panther's No. 4 Honda. His 2004 effort was one of the most memorable in IndyCar Series history, when he finished second to then-teammate Buddy Rice in the second-closest 1-2 finish in league history.
The Kansas Lottery Indy 300 will be broadcast live on ESPN2 this Sunday at 4:30 p.m.
"The Panther guys have been working so hard all week. But they got everything put back together perfect. Kansas Speedway is one of my favorite tracks and I've had good results here in the past. I know the Panasonic car will have a good setup. This will be my first race to finish and we're going to make sure we get a lot of points this weekend.
"I'm seriously amazed by the entire Panther team. Both the Delphi and Panasonic teams worked all week to make sure we were completely ready for Kansas, and now we are. The good thing is we are getting right back to racing and now Kosuke and I can get these guys the good result they deserve before we go to Indianapolis. It's weeks like this that make me very proud to be a driver for this team."