Richmond Qualifications Cancelled Due to Rain Meira will Start Ninth; Matsuura 18th RICHMOND, Va. (June 28, 2007) -- Friday's qualifications for the SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway were cancelled due to rain, meaning ...
Richmond Qualifications Cancelled Due to Rain
Meira will Start Ninth; Matsuura 18th
RICHMOND, Va. (June 28, 2007) -- Friday's qualifications for the SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway were cancelled due to rain, meaning Panther Racing drivers Vitor Meira and Kosuke Matsuura will start based on their positions in the IndyCar Series points standings.
Meira will start ninth, although he is tied for eighth position in the standings with Danica Patrick, who starts ahead of Vitor because her best finish of the season -- third at Texas -- is better than Meira's fourth place finish at Homestead. Meira started sixth here last season, in a race where he finished second.
Matsuura will roll off tomorrow in 18th position and will look to improve upon his best career finish at Richmond; a ninth place finish in 2005.
Meira's practice time was limited today because his No. 4 Delphi car experienced another left-front suspension failure as he was entering pit lane. The team had purchased brand new parts following the failure at Iowa Speedway and is investigating the problem. Panther makes no alterations to its suspension pieces.
The Delphi Panther team worked feverishly to prepare the No. 4T car, and it was prepared to qualify before the rain cancelled the day. Panther has finished inside the Top Five in each season at RIR except 2004.
"We're looking into the failure to see what happened. It's frustrating because we are very confident about this weekend. I think this is a setback for us, but Panther is all about overcoming problems like this. I'm actually not worried about it. I would have liked to qualify just to get some laps in the back-up car. It's odd not knowing what you're going to have going into Turn One, but I've got enough confidence in (race engineer) Bill Pappas and (team owner) John Barnes to know the Delphi car is going to be great tomorrow."
"The car is going to be better in the race tomorrow than we were in practice today. We worked on a lot of different things today. I feel like we made several improvements. The Panasonic Panther guys have been working hard and I'm happy about that."