Panther, Wheldon Rebound in Honda Indy Toronto for Top Ten Finish National Guard Panther Team Replaces Front Wing After First Lap Incident, Climb Back Into Top Ten TORONTO, Canada (July 18, 2010) -- For the second consecutive IZOD IndyCar Series...
Panther, Wheldon Rebound in Honda Indy Toronto for Top Ten Finish
National Guard Panther Team Replaces Front Wing After First Lap Incident, Climb Back Into Top Ten
TORONTO, Canada (July 18, 2010) -- For the second consecutive IZOD IndyCar Series race the National Guard Panther Racing team and driver Dan Wheldon were able to overcome an early incident and climb back amongst the frontrunners. On Sunday during the Honda Indy Toronto, the team was forced to change the front wing after contact on the first lap and bounced back for a Top Ten finish.
Wheldon is now in the ninth position in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship standings, nine points behind Justin Wilson and 42 points behind Tony Kanaan in the seventh position. The result was the team's sixth Top Ten finish of the season, including three previous non-oval courses this year -- Brazil, Long Beach and Watkins Glen.
In what was an action-packed and crash-filled race, Wheldon made contact with E.J. Viso at the start of the race and had to immediately pit for a new front wing. He returned to the field in the 26th position and with the leaders hot on his tail. Wheldon was able to fight off Wilson until a full-course caution in Turn Three for contact between KV Racing teammates Mario Moraes and Takuma Sato, giving the team the chance to move back up the grid.
Wheldon jumped into the pits on Lap 28 to top off on fuel and was one of the first teams' to make its final stop -- on Lap 52. With a total of six full-course cautions in the 85-lap race, the No. 4 car came dangerously close to a few incidents, including a Turn Three crash between Moraes (again) and Mario Romancini on Lap 32 that blocked the track entirely in front of Wheldon.
Dan was 10th on the final restart of the race, lost a spot to Wilson who was coming back through the field after spinning, but then passed former Panther driver Vitor Meira with just two laps to go to claim a 10th-place finish.
The IZOD IndyCar Series will travel next weekend to Edmonton, where the race will be broadcast live on VERSUS at 5:00 p.m. (ET) with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network, www.indycar.com, XM Channel 145 and Sirius channel 211.
Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda
"It was disappointing that I made a mistake and didn't get a great start; I was on the inside going into Turn One quite deep and then the field bottled up and I made contact. That was my fault, but then the entire National Guard Panther Racing team made a comeback and made a big improvement here compared to last year. We all just continued to get better as this weekend went on and learned a lot of things that are really going to help us moving forward."
-source: panther racing