IRL: Texas: Panther Racing qualifying report

Meira Set to Start Texas Race from 13th Position Matsuura Qualifies 15th for Saturday Night's Race FORT WORTH, Tex. (June 8, 2007) -- Delphi Panther Racing driver Vitor Meira qualified 13th for tomorrow night's Bombardier Learjet 550k at...

Meira Set to Start Texas Race from 13th Position
Matsuura Qualifies 15th for Saturday Night's Race

FORT WORTH, Tex. (June 8, 2007) -- Delphi Panther Racing driver Vitor Meira qualified 13th for tomorrow night's Bombardier Learjet 550k at Texas Motor Speedway, while Super Aguri Panther teammate Kosuke Matsuura will start in the 15th position.

Meira set the second-quickest lap time during the afternoon practice session, and brushed off his qualifying position as nearly meaningless at Texas' 1.5-mile oval, where tight pack racing makes moving to the front much easier. The 2002 pole-sitter at TMS, Meira has finished inside the Top Ten in six of his seven starts, a run that includes three Top Five finishes.

Meira's qualification lap was 212.028 mph, 24.7043 seconds.

Panther Racing has won five races at Texas, making it the winningest team in the history of the popular racetrack. The team has won races here with Scott Goodyear (1999, 2000), Sam Hornish, Jr. (2001, 2002) and its most recent victory with Tomas Scheckter (2005). Hornish clinched the team's 2002 championship with a win over Penske Racing's Helio Castroneves at Texas, in a race where Meira finished third.

Matsuura is coming off his best finish of the season; a 12th-place result last weekend at the Milwaukee Mile. His lap speed was 210.731 mph, and 24.8563 seconds. Kosuke is now set to make his fifth start at the track, where he recorded a best start of fourth (2004) and a best finish of seventh in 2005.

The Bombardier Learjet 550k will be broadcast live Saturday evening at 10 p.m. (EST) on ESPN2, with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network and XM Satellite Radio channels 144 and 145.

Vitor Meira:

"These last two days have just been about the race. The Delphi car is really fast in the draft, and that's why we were so quick in the last practice session. I didn't have any major expectations for qualifying today, and it won't matter after a couple laps tomorrow night. The good thing is we are able to run two-wide again this year, and the fans will be getting another great Indy-car race at Texas. Last year's event here wasn't the best, but it feels to me like we're going to have a great show here tomorrow night."

Kosuke Matsuura:

"We concentrated on the race setup today during the practice session so I didn't expect such a good qualifying time but my time is more than 0.1 second slower than my teammate so my engineer and I will try to find out what we can do to improve the car. Hopefully we will be able to find some good setup and solution to the problems we had today, and get more speed in traffic tomorrow."

-credit: pr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Scott Goodyear , Helio Castroneves , Kosuke Matsuura , Sam Hornis , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske