Rain Washes Out Motegi Qualifications; Meira to Start in 13th Position Panther Set for Indy Japan 300 Motegi, Japan (April 18, 2008) - The only vehicle turning laps at Twin Ring Motegi on Friday was an Ibaraki Kotsu tour bus, as a ...
Rain Washes Out Motegi Qualifications; Meira to Start in 13th Position
Panther Set for Indy Japan 300
Motegi, Japan (April 18, 2008) - The only vehicle turning laps at Twin Ring Motegi on Friday was an Ibaraki Kotsu tour bus, as a steady rainstorm ended any hopes of IndyCar Series participants making qualifications attempts for the Indy Japan 300. Due to the rainout, the starting grid for tomorrow's 200-lap event was set by entrant points, which put Delphi National Guard driver Vitor Meira and his Panther team in the 13th position.
Pit Change: Panther crew chief Dan Miller did not make the trip to Japan because of a herniated disc in his lower back. Miller, a three-year veteran of the team, also relinquished his duties as an outside front tire changer. To compensate, Panther moved Doug Barnes to outside front tire changer and Paul Sheehan -- who changed a tired on Kosuke Matsuura's No. 55 entry last season -- will return to over-the-wall duties on the inside front tire for Meira.
Miller is expected to return in time for next weekend's race at Kansas Speedway.
"We could have used the practice time today, but everybody out here is in the same boat. We weren't at the top of the speed chart yesterday, but the last couple changes we made were good ones, and we're headed in the right direction. Starting the race tomorrow on a green track with a new setup is always a challenge, but it's something that we've done before here and we've been able to get good results. The Japan race is always an exciting event, and we expect the Delphi National Guard car to be right in the mix."