Panther Moves to Eighth in IndyCar Championship with 10th in Japan Ninth Top Ten Finish of the Season Helps Boost National Guard Team Up One Position in Standings MOTEGI, Japan - (September 19, 2010) -- The National Guard Panther Racing team...
Panther Moves to Eighth in IndyCar Championship with 10th in Japan
Ninth Top Ten Finish of the Season Helps Boost National Guard Team Up One Position in Standings
MOTEGI, Japan - (September 19, 2010) -- The National Guard Panther Racing team and driver Dan Wheldon moved into the eighth position in the IZOD IndyCar Series points championship with a tenth-place finish Sunday in the Japan Indy 300 at Twin Ring Motegi. The result was the team's ninth Top Ten finish of the season, and third consecutive, with just one race remaining on the 2010 IndyCar schedule.
Wheldon, a two-time winner at Motegi, started in the ninth position and quickly jumped two positions and into seventh place before a caution period on just the second lap for a crash involving Bertrand Baguette. The team maintained its position inside the Top Ten for a majority of the race, and was running in ninth position on the final lap of the race when Wheldon was alongside Graham Rahal to take eighth position before the competitors caught the lapped car of Roger Yasukawa, checking them up and enabling Rahal and Ryan Hunter-Reay to pass the No. 4 car before the finish line. The tenth-place finish means Wheldon has finished inside the Top Ten in all eight of his career starts at Twin Ring Motegi.
The team will now travel to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the final event of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season, which will be held at the 1.5-mile oval where Wheldon and Panther have combined for a total of five IndyCar victories. Panther won races with Sam Hornish Jr. at the track in both 2001 and 2002 and Wheldon won an IndyCar Series record three-straight victories there in 2005, 2006 and 2007. In 15 combined starts between driver and team, the duo has collected three pole positions, seven podiums, nine Top Five and 11 Top Ten finishes. Wheldon has led a career total of 368 laps on the Miami-area oval and Panther has paced the field for a total of 343 laps.
Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda
"The National Guard Panther Racing car was well balanced today, but we just carried too much downforce and drag and it made it very hard to race with. Unfortunately sometimes when you're trying hard, like this team always does, it doesn't go for you. It was one of those days. We'll move on and try to close out this IZOD IndyCar Series season in victory lane."
-source: panther racing