IRL: Michigan: Panther Racing qualifying report

Panther Set to Line Up in Sixth at Michigan Meira Ready to Launch From Outside of Third Row BROOKLYN, Mich. (July 29, 2006) -- With his quickest lap Saturday during qualifications for the Firestone Indy 400, Vitor Meira returned to his...

Panther Set to Line Up in Sixth at Michigan

Meira Ready to Launch From Outside of Third Row

BROOKLYN, Mich. (July 29, 2006) -- With his quickest lap Saturday during qualifications for the Firestone Indy 400, Vitor Meira returned to his familiar starting position of sixth place at Michigan International Speedway. Vitor's No. 4 Honda had been at the top of the speed charts in both practice sessions Saturday and the Brazilian driver followed that up during his qualification run, putting his car in sixth for the fourth time this season.

His quick lap was 214.170 mph, 33.6182 seconds.

Vitor's effort was just one spot short of his personal best at MIS, which came in 2004 when he started and finished in fifth place. He looks to better Panther's effort at the two-mile oval last season, when Tomas Scheckter finished third after starting on the front row. Meira has been smooth and consistent all season, putting Panther in fifth place in the IndyCar Series points standings, the best position they've been at this stage of a season since 2003.

With just four races remaining in the 2006 season, Panther looks to capitalize on what traditionally has been one of the tracks where the team performs well. Panther nearly captured it's first victory at MIS in 2003 when Sam Hornish Jr. was edged out at the line by Alex Barron, in what was then one of the closest finishes in league history. Hornish's narrow defeat was the team's best finish at the track.

Mark Taylor won the Indy Pro Series race at Michigan in 2003, one of seven races the Englishman won that season.

Vitor Meira Quote:

"Honestly, we thought we would be even faster today, but luckily Michigan is a track where qualifying doesn't really matter. Even though we know we could have been quicker, sixth is a good start and this is our first time on a two-mile oval this season. We're going to be strong in the race tomorrow, just like we have been all season in our Revive No. 4 car. The race here is always very packed up and you have to be aggressive here in a lot of ways -- both with the way you drive and in your strategy. You do have to be patient early because this race is a big chess match. It's going to be a fun one."

-www.pantherracing.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Mark Taylor , Sam Hornish Jr. , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing