Watkins Glen: Panther Racing qualifying report

Wheldon Qualifies 12th for Camping World GP at the Glen WATKINS GLEN, NY. (July 4, 2009) -- National Guard Panther Racing driver Dan Wheldon advanced to the second round of qualifications Saturday at Watkins Glen International Raceway and ...

Wheldon Qualifies 12th for Camping World GP at the Glen

WATKINS GLEN, NY. (July 4, 2009) -- National Guard Panther Racing driver Dan Wheldon advanced to the second round of qualifications Saturday at Watkins Glen International Raceway and qualified in the 12th position for tomorrow's Camping World GP at the Glen. Wheldon bumped his way into the second round of qualifications on his final lap of the first session, posting a lap of 135.342 mph, 1:29.6398 seconds, which knocked Helio Castroneves out of the advancing top six.

Sunday will mark the team's third start together in 2009 on a non-oval track and the first on a permanent road course. Wheldon captured his first Top Five finish of the season on the Streets of Long Beach, after running in the top three for the majority of the St. Petersburg race before contact with Robert Doornboos.

Wheldon's best lap of the second qualification session was recorded at 134.929 mph, 1:29.9137 seconds and he will start in the sixth row alongside E.J. Viso. Team Penske driver Ryan Briscoe captured the pole position with Dale Coyne Racing driver Justin Wilson joining him on the front row for tomorrow's 60-lap event.

Panther's previous best finish at Watkins Glen was a runner-up result with Vitor Meira in 2006. Wheldon's best finish in four career starts on the 11-turn, 3.37-mile road course was a fourth-place result in 2005, the same race he secured the 2005 IndyCar Series championship.

The Camping World Grand Prix at the Glen will be broadcast live on ABC on Sunday, July 5th at 1 p.m. with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network and Sirius XM Channel 211.

Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda

"It was a big improvement from practice in the National Guard Panther Racing car, and that's very positive. At the start of qualifying the car was performing quite well, we just made a change that perhaps wasn't in the right direction -- but sometimes that happens. We've been right there all weekend, and we'll continue to get better. If you put us out front in the race I don't think anybody will get past us, it's just with the strategy and how competitive it is out there we have to be on all the time. It's not where we want to start, but not too bad either, and with some good pit stops we'll be looking to get into the Top Five and hopefully win."

-credit: pr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Helio Castroneves , Dan Wheldon , Ryan Briscoe , Dale Coyne , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske , Dale Coyne Racing