Meira Gets Airborne in Late Milwaukee Crash; Panther Finishes 22nd Delphi National Guard Driver Gets Caught in Crash Between Carpenter and Andretti WEST ALLIS, Wis. (June 1, 2008) -- The wildest ride Panther driver Vitor Meira took all day ...
Meira Gets Airborne in Late Milwaukee Crash; Panther Finishes 22nd
Delphi National Guard Driver Gets Caught in Crash Between Carpenter and Andretti
WEST ALLIS, Wis. (June 1, 2008) -- The wildest ride Panther driver Vitor Meira took all day Sunday at the Milwaukee Mile was in the cockpit of his No. 4 Delphi National Guard car, but it wasn't on the ground of the track's one-mile oval. Meira's run in the ABC Supply ABC Indy 225 came to an abrupt end when he ramped airborne over the top of a spinning Marco Andretti just three laps from the conclusion of the race.
The team finished in the 22nd position.
Meira, who started in 26th because of a crash in qualifications yesterday, was making the most of an untested car during the race. Despite passing seven cars in the early laps of the event -- moving from last to 19th -- Meira fought with a loose racecar in his first green flag stint. He fell a lap behind to then-leader Scott Dixon on Lap 53, and had to wait until his pit stop eleven laps later to make wing and tire pressure adjustments.
Following his stop, Vitor's Delphi National Guard car was much more competitive and as the race continued, and he moved past several cars on the lead lap. A quick final pit stop moved Meira to 15th position as the race had just three laps to go. It was then, as Vitor entered the second turn, that Carpenter and Andretti had contact. Meira attempted to avoid Andretti's spinning No. 26 car, but he struck the left-front corner of the car and ramped completely over the top of the car and landed near the outside retaining wall.
Vitor was uninjured in the accident.
Team Penske driver Ryan Briscoe was the race winner, with Indy 500 champ Dixon second and Tony Kanaan third.
Now the team turns its attention to Texas Motor Speedway, a track where Panther has won on five occasions, making it the winningest team at the high-banked 1.5-mile oval. The team's last victory, in 2005, was at Texas with Tomas Scheckter and both former drivers Scott Goodyear and Sam Hornish Jr. won multiple races in the Lone Star State.
The race will be broadcast next Saturday night, at 10 p.m. (Eastern) on ESPN2, with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network and IndyCar.com.
Vitor Meira, No. 4 Delphi National Guard:
"Getting airborne wasn't that bad; it's landing that causes all the problems. I was just protecting myself, trying to finish the race and it looked like Marco (Andretti) and Ed (Carpenter) got into one another off of turn two. I did everything I could to stay out of it, but it looked like Marco lit up the tires trying to keep it off the wall and I couldn't avoid him. We knew starting last was going to make it a tough run today, but we really were quick after our first pit stop. I just feel bad for the Delphi National Guard crew having to leave here with two crashed cars."