IRL: Kansas: Panther Racing race report

Meira Captures Another Podium Finish at Kansas Panther Driver Duplicates 2005 Result at 1.5-mile Oval KANSAS CITY, Kan. (July 2, 2006) -- With another late comeback, Panther driver Vitor Meira collected a podium finish Sunday in the...

Meira Captures Another Podium Finish at Kansas
Panther Driver Duplicates 2005 Result at 1.5-mile Oval

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (July 2, 2006) -- With another late comeback, Panther driver Vitor Meira collected a podium finish Sunday in the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway. Meira, who started sixth, rallied late in the event to capture a third place result, gaining valuable points on two of the four competitors ahead of him, and pushing sixth-place Tony Kanaan further behind.

With a car that was pushing badly in traffic early, Vitor let his Panther teammates make adjustments during each pit stop. As the car improved throughout the 200-lap event, so did Meira's position on the track. He held his ground around the top five and six cars, but with 26 laps to go, Panther's Brazilian driver turned up the heat.

He started eighth on a Lap 174 restart and jumped two positions before another caution flag packed the field back together. After the last restart of the race Vitor moved past Scott Dixon to regain the fourth position and then blew ahead of fellow Brazilian Kanaan with just four laps to go. Dixon also moved past Kanaan and despite putting massive pressure on Meira during the final two laps, Panther's driver was able to hold onto his podium finish.

In Meira's 53 IndyCar Series starts he now has 19 Top Five and 34 Top Ten finishes. He extended his streak of consecutive Top Ten finishes to seven, the longest among the series' drivers. Today's result marked his fourth Top Five finish -- which includes three podiums -- in his first eight starts. His only result outside the Top Ten was a mechanical failure in the first race of the season.

The IndyCar Series will have a weekend off before traveling to Nashville Superspeedway for the Firestone Indy 200 on Saturday, July 15. The race will be broadcast live on ESPN at 9 p.m. (EDT) with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network and XM Satellite Radio Channel 145.

Vitor Meira Quote:

"It was another great day for us here in Kansas. I feel like we got 100% of what we had, and that's all you can ask out of your team and your racecar. We improved what we had during the race and we were the best at the end, which is how you want it to be. This is great for Panther Racing, everybody on this team has so much passion about what we are doing. Everybody is still catching the Penske and Ganassi cars, but I feel like we're going to get there. Everything was consistent on the track today and that's what allowed us to catch up and be there at the end. We're ready for Nashville."

-www.pantherracing.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing