IRL: Kentucky: Panther Racing qualifying report

Meira Qualifies Ninth at Kentucky Speedway Brazilian to Start Next to Last Year's Race Winner SPARTA, Ken. (Aug. 12, 2006) -- Lincoln Tech Panther driver Vitor Meira qualified ninth Saturday for the Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway. Vitor ...

Meira Qualifies Ninth at Kentucky Speedway
Brazilian to Start Next to Last Year's Race Winner

SPARTA, Ken. (Aug. 12, 2006) -- Lincoln Tech Panther driver Vitor Meira qualified ninth Saturday for the Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway. Vitor looks to continue his climb in the IndyCar Series points championship from the inside of the fifth row, where he will line up next to last year's race winner Scott Sharp.

Meira's quick lap was 216.182 mph, 24.6459 seconds.

The last time the IndyCar Series was on track, Meira was leading the majority of the race at Michigan International Speedway. The Panther No. 4 Honda led a race-high 75 laps during that event before finishing second to Helio Castroneves, the current points leader.

Meira and the Panther team have been the hottest team this summer in open-wheel racing. Since the 90th Indianapolis 500, Vitor has rattled off five podium finishes in his last seven starts. He is approaching his own career records for Top Five finishes (7) and Top Ten finishes (11) in a season. He needs one more Top Five to equal his career best in that category and is two away from his personal best in Top Tens.

Panther Racing won the Kentucky Speedway event here in 2003, when then-driver Sam Hornish Jr. nearly lapped the entire field. The team has collected two pole positions in its history here, one each with Hornish and Scott Goodyear.

Vitor will be making his fourth start at the track. He finished second here last season.

Vitor Meira Quote:

"I'm happy with our qualification run. The surface changes here a lot; this is one of the bumpiest tracks we go to and it's different every season. This year, though, I think it is better. We know our car will be better for the race, we're just a little behind on our qualification set up. The Lincoln Tech car is good and we know it won't be a problem to run at the front. Everybody on the team has been picking things up and we just keep pushing every weekend."

-credit: www.pantherracing.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp , Scott Goodyear , Helio Castroneves , Sam Hornish Jr. , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing