Sears Point: Panther Racing qualifying report

Meira Qualifies 18th for Sunday's Infineon Raceway Shootout SONOMA, Calif. (August 23, 2008) -- After posting the fifth-fastest practice time yesterday at Infineon Raceway, Panther Racing driver Vitor Meira was eliminated in the first round of...

Meira Qualifies 18th for Sunday's Infineon Raceway Shootout

SONOMA, Calif. (August 23, 2008) -- After posting the fifth-fastest practice time yesterday at Infineon Raceway, Panther Racing driver Vitor Meira was eliminated in the first round of qualifications for tomorrow's PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300 at Infineon Raceway. Meira and his Delphi National Guard team will start in the 18th position.

Vitor posted a top lap of 1:17.5399 seconds, which makes for an average speed of 106.923 mph around Infineon's challenging 12-turn, 2.303-mile road course. Vitor's time is faster than four competitors starting ahead of him, but those drivers were in the slower first group of qualifiers, and therefore placed ahead of Meira in the starting grid.

For the third consecutive road course event, Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe swept the front row of qualifications.

Meira finished third at Infineon in 2006, his first season with Panther Racing. The team led the event here in 2005 with Tomas Enge before the Czech driver finished in fifth place, his best career IndyCar Series finish. Meira has led a total of six events this season, including non-oval tracks St. Petersburg, Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio.

Vitor Meira, No. 4 Delphi National Guard:

"Obviously I'm disappointed. Our expectations were much different from where we finished in qualifications today. We're working on it. The Delphi National Guard car was very fast in practice yesterday and we were just a few ticks away from advancing to the second round today. Like always, a lot can happen in the race tomorrow, and we're looking forward to it."

-credit: pr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Enge , Ryan Briscoe , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske