Panther, Wheldon Hope to Continue Hot Streak at Twin Ring Motegi Consecutive Podium Finishes for National Guard Panther Team Puts Victory Lane Within Reach MOTEGI, Japan - (September 16, 2010) -- National Guard Panther Racing travels across...
Panther, Wheldon Hope to Continue Hot Streak at Twin Ring Motegi
Consecutive Podium Finishes for National Guard Panther Team Puts Victory Lane Within Reach
MOTEGI, Japan - (September 16, 2010) -- National Guard Panther Racing travels across the world for this weekend's Japan Indy 300 at Twin Ring Motegi riding a wave of momentum from two consecutive podium finishes at Chicagoland and Kentucky Speedway. Driver Dan Wheldon has led a total of 107 laps in the two previous IZOD IndyCar Series events, where he captured a second place finish (Chicagoland) and a third place finish (Kentucky) for Panther.
Motegi was the site of Wheldon's first victory in the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2004, the race also marked the first win for Honda at its home racetrack. Wheldon returned with the team formerly known as Andretti-Green Racing in 2005 for his second consecutive victory at the 1.5-mile oval. In seven starts at the track he's led a total of 356 laps, and in addition to his 2004-05 victories he's collected second place finishes (2006-07) a fourth place in 2008 and an eighth-place result last season with Panther.
Panther's best result at Motegi was a sixth-place finish with Sam Hornish Jr. in 2003, and former driver Tomas Scheckter was leading the 2005 event here with just two laps remaining when his No. 4 car ran out of fuel while leading, relegating Panther to a 10th-place finish that afternoon. In 2006, Vitor Meira led two laps and collected a 10th-place finish.
In 15 races this year, Wheldon and Panther have combined for two Podiums, four Top Five and eight Top Ten finishes. The team has led a total of three races together for 108 laps. Panther is currently eighth in the overall IZOD IndyCar Series point standings, trailing Andretti Autosport driver
Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda
"Obviously Motegi is a very special track for me, especially because of my relationship with Honda. Last year I honestly felt that the No. 4 National Guard car was one of the strongest in the field, and probably one of the strongest racecars we had all season last year. We just caught out on a yellow flag that came out right after our last pit stop that got us caught back in the field. We've got a lot of momentum going right now within the team from our performance at Chicago and Kentucky, and we feel like we're going to continue that this weekend in Motegi. It's a great racetrack, and outside of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway it's probably my favorite oval track on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule. The National Guard boys have been working so hard lately and we feel like we're getting closer and closer to our first trip to victory lane together."
-source: panther racing