2009 IRL Team Reports: Panther Racing

IRL Team reports for the 2009 IRL season

Moderator: mlittle

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:56 am

Wheldon Looks To Add Another Victory to Panther's Texas Win Total

National Guard Panther Racing Team Hopes First 2009 Win Comes on Thrilling 1.5-mile Oval

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 3, 2009) -- National Guard driver Dan Wheldon will look to become the fourth Panther Racing pilot to win a race at Texas Motor Speedway's breathtaking 1.5-mile oval in this weekend's Bombardier Learjet 550k. Panther has captured five of the team's 15 career IndyCar Series victories on the Texas high-banks, with former drivers Scott Goodyear and Sam Hornish Jr. winning two races apiece and Tomas Scheckter collecting the team's most recent victory there in June of 2005.

Wheldon, like Panther, has a total of 15 career wins but unlike his new team, none of which have come in Forth Worth, site of one of IndyCar's most exciting venues. He hopes to change that during Saturday night's race until the lights of Texas.

Goodyear captured his second victory with Panther at Texas in the summer of 1999, and then won what would be his final start with the team in the last race of the year in 2000. Hornish followed tradition the next year, winning the season finale there in 2001, and then followed up the next season by defeating Helio Castroneves for the 2002 Texas Motor Speedway victory, and the IndyCar Series championship. Many observers have labeled the Hornish-Castroneves Texas duel as the greatest race in the short history of the IndyCar Series.

In Wheldon's nine career starts there, he has collected four Top Five and three top-three finishes. In 2006, he started on the front row and had a commanding lead until a problem on his final pit stop forced the Ganassi Racing driver to settle on a third-place result. Last season, despite a suspension failure that caused Wheldon's No. 10 car to crash and flip upside down on the infield grass, he rebounded to finish fourth in the race.

This is the first race of the season where Wheldon will be returning to a track where he started with Panther during his first stint with the team in 2002. That season, Dan made his second career IndyCar Series start, and finished 15th at Texas despite not even making a qualification attempt (he started 28th).

Specialist Bernard Hanus Named Panther's "Hometown Hero" for Texas Race

Houston native and Texas National Guard Specialist Bernard Hanus has been named Panther's "Hometown Hero" for the race at Texas Motor Speedway. Specialist Hanus, 37, is currently an Infantryman assigned to HHC, 72nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion in Huntsville, Texas.

After originally entering the U.S. Army in August of 1989, Hanus was deployed to Panama where he received the Army Achievement Medal for his involvement in a successful search, rescue and medical evacuation of a Soldier who was lost in the Panamanian jungle. He completed active duty in August of 1992, but elected to enlist in the Texas National Guard in 1996, during which time he traveled to the Czech Republic as a member of a squad that represented the United States Army in a exhibition of military task skills. His tour of service with the Texas National Guard concluded in January of 1996, but Specialist Hanus reenlisted in the Texas Guard in 2007, and has since participated in emergency activations for hurricanes Dolly, Gustav and Ike, as well as tropical storm Edouard in 2008.

He is currently employed by the University of Texas at the Health and Science Center in Houston as a Senior Digital Controls Technician. For his service, he has been awarded the Army Superior Unit Award, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters, the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon and the Adjutant General's Individual Award.

Specialist Hanus will be honored by National Guard officials, Panther team owner John Barnes and Wheldon prior to Saturday night's race in the team's infield training unit. He will also sit and sign autographs alongside Wheldon during Friday's IndyCar Series autograph session, where he will sign a "Hero Card" made with his picture and biographical information. A copy of the Hero Card is framed and placed inside the team's hospitality area for the rest of the year.

His wife Brandy is currently enrolled in the University of Texas School of Nursing and the couple has three children -- Megan, Michael and James.

The Bombardier Learjet 550 will be broadcast live on Versus at 9:00 p.m. (EST) with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio network and Sirius/XM Channel 211.

Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda

"Texas is a great track, and we are excited to work on our 1.5-mile oval program there. Panther has won a lot of races at the track and hopefully we'll roll off the truck this week very strong. Texas is one of those places where I've not been fortunate enough to win, so hopefully we'll make that right this weekend. I was leading there by several seconds in 2006, but we had a little problem on our last green flag pit stop and I believe we finished third. We all feel like this is a place where we could have a really good weekend."
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:07 am

Wheldon Posts Fastest Lap Time During Texas Friday Practice

National Guard Driver Hopes to Join Goodyear, Hornish and Scheckter as Panther Texas Winners

FORT WORTH, Texas (June 4, 2009) -- National Guard Panther Racing driver Dan Wheldon posted the fastest overall lap speed during practice Friday at the Texas Motor Speedway in preparations for Saturday night's Bombardier Learjet 550. Wheldon is looking to become the fourth Panther driver to win a race on the thrilling 1.5-mile TMS oval, which would give Panther its sixth career win at the track.

Wheldon posted a quick lap of 215.783 mph, 24.2744 seconds, well ahead of the time posted by Danica Patrick, who was second on the chart with an overall speed of 214.884 mph.

The Bombardier Learjet 550 will be broadcast live on Versus at 9:00 p.m. (EST) with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio network and Sirius/XM Channel 211.

Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda

"Obviously Panther has won a lot of races around here and certainly with the times changing in IndyCar racing it's become harder and harder to win in the IndyCar Series. We've rolled off the truck pretty strong, but when you look at that time it was in a pretty big draft, but the car is also very quick on its own. This is probably, in terms of speed, the most competitive we've been and that's a very good sign for the weekend. It's still the first practice session, so it's still not too much to read into. Texas is always one of those tracks where I want to win. You always see the picture in the newspaper on Sunday morning of the guy who won the race shooting the two guns, and I've yet to do that. We don't have guns in England, but to shoot them over here for fun would be pretty cool."
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:36 am

Wheldon Secures Seventh Position for Texas Bombardier Learjet 550

National Guard Driver Starts Inside Fourth Row in Panther's No. 4 Car, Looks for Victory Saturday

FORT WORTH, Texas (June 5, 2009) -- Dan Wheldon qualified in the seventh position during IndyCar Series qualifications for tomorrow night's Bombardier Learjet 550 from Texas Motor Speedway. The starting position is the best of the season for the National Guard team, and Wheldon will now look to capture the team's first victory of the season on the exciting 1.5-mile oval.

Wheldon's four-lap average speed of 213.596 mph, came from laps of 213.669, 213.655, 213.554 and 213.505 mph. He will be joined on the fourth row by Andretti Green Racing driver Marco Andretti.

Ganassi Racing driver Dario Franchitti captured the pole position with Team Penske driver Ryan Briscoe starting on the outside of the front row.

Wheldon will be making his 10th start at TMS, and has a best finish of third position (2006 and 2004). He has led a total of 246 laps around the high-banked 1.5-mile oval in his career.

Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda

"When you look at qualifying we did the same time that we did on our own earlier in the day in practice. We're still not quite where we need to be, but we're looking for areas where we can improve. You can see where the big teams were able to make a big jump from what they ran in practice, and over time we'll figure those things out. The National Guard Panther Racing car is certainly good for the race, we've rolled off the truck here very competitive and that's what we need to do. We still don't have our first win of the season and we're trying desperately for that. This is going to be a very, very competitive race, and we're in pretty reasonable shape."
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:12 am

Wheldon Battles to Seventh Place Finish at Texas Motor Speedway

National Guard Driver Runs as High As Fifth, Settles for Sixth Top Ten of Season

FORT WORTH, Texas (June 6, 2009) -- Dan Wheldon battled to a seventh place finish in Saturday night's Bombardier Learjet 550 at Texas Motor Speedway, securing the team's fifth consecutive Top Ten finish this season. With the finish, Wheldon remains in sixth position in the IndyCar Series championship standings, 47 points behind current points leader Ryan Briscoe.

After qualifying seventh for the race, Wheldon quickly moved within the Top Five by Lap 21 as he battled with the Andretti Green Racing duo of Marco Andretti and Danica Patrick. Those three drivers continued to battle throughout the night, into the final restart of the race on Lap 181, where Wheldon was able to move past Patrick for the fifth position, but then she took the position back on Lap 192 when she was able to get her nose below the No. 4 car on the backstretch. Wheldon slipped one more position as Andretti charged up through the field, but Wheldon held off championship rival Tony Kanaan for the seventh-place result.

Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe finished first and second, respectively, giving the team two of the three podium positions. Scott Dixon was third.

The IndyCar Series will be off next weekend before traveling to Iowa Speedway on Sunday June 21st, with live television coverage on ABC at 1 p.m. (EST) and additional coverage provided by IMS Radio Network and XM Sirius Channel 211.

Wheldon is the defending winner of the Iowa Speedway event, after winning there with Ganassi Racing in 2008. It was one of two races he won in 2008 after finishing fourth in the IndyCar Series championship in the No. 10 car. Panther finished 15th there last season with Vitor Meira, after two incidents in pit lane ended what appeared to be at Top Five result. In 2007, Meira led 71 laps before finishing ninth after a suspension failure.

Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda

"For whatever reason, we just lacked a little bit of speed compared to what we had in practice and we geared the National Guard Panther Racing car to be quicker. Again, the Panther guys worked really hard and got us to the end, but we seem to make it difficult for ourselves sometimes. As time goes on, we're going to continue to improve."
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:20 am

Iowa: Panther Racing preview


Panther Looks to Lead Wheldon to Repeat Victory at Iowa Speedway; Wheldon is Defending Iowa Race Winner, Panther's Indy Lights Program Captured 2008 Win Too

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 16, 2009) -- Panther Racing enters this weekend at Iowa Speedway with the defending winner of the IndyCar Series event, and as the defending race-winning team of the Firestone Indy Lights race. Dan Wheldon, who won at the bullring a year ago, will pilot the team's No. 4 National Guard entry, and with Firestone Indy Lights drivers Martin Plowman and Pippa Mann looking to repeat the team's victory at the 7/8-mile track in 2008.

Wheldon, whose last victory with Ganassi Racing came last year at Iowa, enters this weekend in sixth position in the IndyCar Series championship standings. Last season was a rebound victory for the Brit, who had crashed on the first lap of the inaugural Iowa Speedway event in 2007. Wheldon's team made repairs to his car following that crash two years ago, and he rebounded to finish 11th in the race.

After the win last season, Wheldon and then-teammate Scott Dixon donated all of their winnings to recovery efforts for a flood that devastated the area just days prior to the IndyCar Series race.

Panther and former driver Vitor Meira had a strong showing at the first IndyCar race held in Iowa. Meira was dominant during the race, and led a race-high 71 laps before a suspension failure with just 34 laps remaining, which ended what appeared to be a strong shot at victory for the No. 4 team. Last year, a pair of pit-lane incidents relegated the team to a 15th-place finishing position.

The National Guard team is currently riding a streak of five consecutive Top Ten finishes, including a runner-up finish in the 93rd Indianapolis 500. In the two races since the '500', Panther finished 10th at Milwaukee and seventh a week ago at Texas Motor Speedway. The only race this season the team has finished outside the Top Ten was the season opening event in St. Petersburg.

In Indy Lights, Panther has made three starts at Iowa with all resulting in Top Five finishes. Last season, Dillon Battistini won the race with a late-race pass of Arie Luyendyk Jr. as teammate Brent Sherman finished in fourth position. In 2007, team rookie Hideki Mutoh finished on the podium with a third-place result. The team's current driver duo hopes to have similar success this weekend; Pippa is coming off her best career finish (ninth at Milwaukee) and Plowman is looking to duplicate his Top Five performance at Kansas Speedway earlier in the season.

Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda

"It's always a nice feeling going back to a track were you've won, and Iowa is going to be a very competitive race. They key here is having a car that works well through turns one and two, and if you're good through there then Iowa is a fun place to race. I figured I had to win the race last year after crashing on the first lap two years ago. Last year I was actually quicker with old tires if that makes sense. I was a lot slower after our pit stops so we decided to not stop late in the race and leave the old tires on. The Panther Racing guys have been working very hard on the National Guard car and we're continuing to get better. The key for us is if we've got a chance to win a race, we have to take advantage."

Martin Plowman, No. 15 Firestone Indy Lights

"I'm looking forward for the race in Iowa. Looking at last year's results I know Panther has a good setup there and this gives me the confidence I need going into a track that is new for me. It's another short oval but not like Milwaukee, this one is similar to the speedways that I'm more used to. I really want to use this race as a spring board to get back in the championship fight. So far we had a bit of bad luck but I know that Panther Racing is a good team and that we have speed and what it takes to get a big result."

Pippa Mann, No. 16 Firestone Indy Lights

"Milwaukee was my first short track experience and that turned out pretty well with a Top Ten finish, so I'm confident going into Iowa that we will have a good weekend. Panther raced exceptionally well there winning the race last season with one car and finishing in fourth position with the other. Having a good base setup helps a lot when you go to a track that you never raced before, so I'm looking forward into this race to bring the car home with a good result and help us build our points in the championship."
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:25 pm

Wheldon Starts Sixth on Sunday after Weeper Cancels Iowa Qualifications

NEWTON, Iowa. (June 21, 2009) -- Persistent weepers at Iowa Speedway on Saturday afternoon cancelled IndyCar Series qualifications for the Iowa Corn Indy 250, setting the field for tomorrow's race by entrant points, which puts Panther Racing driver Dan Wheldon in the sixth starting position.

It will be the National Guard team's best starting position of the year, one position better than their qualification effort two weeks ago at Texas Motor Speedway. Wheldon is the defending winner of the Iowa Speedway event, having collected a win here in 2009 with Ganassi Racing. Panther led 71 laps in the inaugural IndyCar Series race here in 2007 prior to a suspension failure.

The Iowa Corn Indy 225 will be broadcast live on ABC at 1 p.m. (EST), with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network, www.indycar.com and Sirius/XM Channel 211.

Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda

"It's a shame that we didn't have the chance to qualify. In the last couple of races we had strong practice sessions so I think we would've started better than sixth. But it's a reasonable starting position, so I can't complain. We have a good race car and that's the most promising thing for me. The guys continued to work hard and I'm excited for the race."
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:25 pm

Wheldon Leads Race at Iowa Speedway, Finishes Fourth for Panther
National Guard Driver Leads First Laps of Season, Battles for Another Top Five Finish

NEWTON, Iowa. (June 21, 2009) -- Panther Racing driver Dan Wheldon put the No. 4 National Guard car at the lead of the IndyCar Series field for the first time this season Sunday in the Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway, and eventually battled for a fourth-place finish. The result was Panther's third Top Five finish of the year and its sixth consecutive Top Ten result as the IndyCar Series travels to another short track next weekend at Richmond International Raceway -- a bullring where both Panther (2002) and Wheldon (2005) have collected victories in the past.

The team remains in sixth position in the IndyCar Series championship race, but gained valuable points on fifth-place Danica Patrick, and is now just five points behind the Andretti Green Racing star. Now Wheldon also has a bigger gap between himself and seventh-place Tony Kanaan, who currently trails Panther by 22 points in the championship after a crash on Sunday.

Wheldon started the race in sixth position, after the field was set by entrant points following the cancellation of qualifications on Saturday afternoon. He climbed to fourth by the 20th lap of the race, as cars in the field elected to run varying fuel strategies at the outset of the 250-lap race. The team pitted for the first time on Lap 36, but Wheldon was able to climb back up the field, quickly passing Ryan Briscoe and Scott Dixon on-track prior to another caution flag on Lap 55 for contact between Mario Moraes and Raphael Matos. Panther did not pit during the caution period and restarted the race in the second position.

Following the restart on Lap 65 former Panther driver Tomas Scheckter was able to pass Wheldon, but the team's new leader was able to move past the No. 23 quickly just nine laps later to regain the runner-up spot. Kanaan had to pit on Lap 106 and Wheldon assumed the lead of the race -- the first time the No. 4 National Guard car has paced the field in 2009. Another yellow flag six laps later sent all competitors to pit lane and equalized the multiple fuel strategies.

Having to fill the car full of fuel, Wheldon returned to the field in third position and was overtaken by another former Panther pilot -- Hideki Mutoh -- after a restart on Lap 124, which put the No. 4 car in the fourth position -- where it effectively remained for the rest of the race. A final green flag pit stop and a host of lapped traffic made the final stages of the race exciting, but Wheldon was unable to reel-in Mutoh while fighting off his former teammate Scott Dixon.

The IndyCar Series will travel next weekend to Richmond International Raceway for the SunTrust Indy Challenge, and the race will be broadcast live on Saturday, June 27th on Versus at 8 p.m. (ET) with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network, IndyCar.com and XM Sirius Channel 211.

Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda

"It's a good result for Panther Racing and the National Guard; to finish fourth here with this level of competition is something we can build on. There's a bunch of good guys on this Panther team and they're all working very hard and I know we all want to get back to victory lane together. I always tended to lose a few places on starts and restarts but once the car came in it was as good as anybody out there. Towards the end of the race I should have made some more aggressive changes with the front wing because I had some understeer. My race was relatively low key, I was loose at the start of each stint, but once the car settled down it was as good. I'll take a Top Five and it's some good momentum to build upon. This is a good track, as it starts to lose even more grip it's going to become even more fun. I know a lot of people say that Iowa is in the middle of nowhere, but you know what, we get such a great crowd and they're so enthusiastic. As a driver you could put me in paradise, but if there's nobody in the grandstands then it's not good racing."
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Sun Jun 28, 2009 8:32 am

Wheldon Qualifies 13th for Saturday Night Showdown at Richmond
National Guard Driver Runs Quick in First Session, Battles Loose Car in Qualifications

RICHMOND, Va. (June 26, 2009) -- Panther Racing National Guard driver Dan Wheldon qualified 13th for Saturday night's SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway. Wheldon, who captured victory at the tight bullring in 2004 will be competing in his first event here with Panther Racing, who was also victorious at the ¾-mile track in 2002 with Sam Hornish Jr.

Panther's driver posted a four-lap average speed of 163.843 mph, after running lap speeds of 162.452, 162.738, 164.858 and 165.356 mph.

Wheldon started in 20th place in 2004, the year he won the Richmond race while driving for Andretti Green Racing. In his six career starts at the track, he has never finished outside of the Top Ten and has collected a total of four Top Five results. The team is currently in sixth position in the IndyCar Series points standings and only five points away from fifth-place Danica Patrick.

Panther has had similar success at the shortest track on the IndyCar calendar -- Hornish finished second in 2001 before a victory here in 2002 which included a last-lap pass of Team Penske driver Gil de Ferran for the win. Hornish collected another Top Five in 2003 when he finished fourth and in 2005 team driver Tomas Scheckter was able to collect a fourth-place finish as well in the No. 4 car. Most recently, former driver Vitor Meira finished second-place at RIR in 2006 and ninth the following season in the Delphi car.

Meira was running well last season before he was hit from behind by John Andretti, forcing the team into a 20th-place finish.

Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda

"In practice this morning the National Guard car was quite quick and we made some changes prior to qualifying and fixed one of our problems, but actually made another one worse. I'm not sure if it's the different track conditions or the changes we made, but the car was just loose. It's a bit unfortunate, but that's just the way it goes sometimes. We're working very hard together as a team and I have no doubt the No. 4 car will be moving up pretty quickly in the race. We're work our way towards the front."
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:05 am

Wheldon Captures Seventh Consecutive Top Ten in Richmond

Untimely Caution Flag Puts National Guard Panther Racing Team Lap Down Early

RICHMOND, Va. (June 27, 2009) -- Panther Racing driver Dan Wheldon captured the National Guard team's seventh consecutive Top Ten finish Saturday during an uneventful race at Richmond International Raceway. Wheldon, who started 13th, overcame two untimely caution flags to finish in 10th position.

The result leaves the team in the sixth position in the IndyCar Series points standings, as the IndyCar Series will hit the road next weekend at Watkins Glen International Raceway -- the first in a string of non-oval events.

Wheldon was running in 11th position as the race approached its mid-point, when he pitted for the second time on Lap 131. A caution flag just seven laps later when Mike Conway crashed proved costly for the team, as it put the No. 4 car a lap down to the field. Dan was able to climb as high as seventh before pitting again on Lap 239, but again the team was struck by an untimely yellow when the caution came out just nine laps after the pit stop when Helio Castroneves hit the wall on the exit of turn two.

Scott Dixon was the race winner with his teammate Dario Franchitti second and Graham Rahal third. Next weekend's 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.

Panther's No. 4 National Guard car will return to the camo paint scheme for this event, in honor of the Fourth of July weekend holiday.

Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda

"It's one of those days, we were a little unlucky here and there with the caution flags. The National Guard Panther Racing car was really good on a green racetrack, but once the rubber was down on the track we didn't have the balance that we needed. Obviously it's a Top Ten and we can roll the car back on the truck, and that's good, and now we'll start working towards Watkins Glen."
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:39 am

Wheldon's IndyCar Turns Camo for Watkins Glen, Fourth of July eekend
National Guard to Celebrate Holiday with Panther Racing at Upstate NY Road Course

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 1, 2009) -- In celebration of Fourth of July during this weekend's Camping World GP at the Glen, Dan Wheldon's National Guard Panther Racing No. 4 IndyCar will be returning to its camouflage paint scheme, but for this weekend in will be in the Air National Guard's ABU (Airmen Battle Uniform) camo.

The unique "tiger stripe" camo pattern is much different from the Army's digital ACU camo livery the team utilized last month at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Another adjustment is that the logos on the car will now all be in color, after all logos where in black and white on the car for Indianapolis. The livery is an intricate vinyl wrap that is sprayed with clear coat. The camo pattern is also worn by the United States Air Force.

Wheldon and his Panther team have posted seven consecutive Top 10 finishes , but both driver and team have their sights set much higher. In addition to his streak of Top Ten finishes, Wheldon has also posted three Top Five finishes and currently ranks sixth in the IndyCar Series point standings. The team's first Top Five of the season came on the Streets of Long Beach and Wheldon is looking for similar success this weekend in Watkins Glen.

In four starts at the scenic upstate New York track, Wheldon has never started outside the top ten and recorded a best finish of fifth in his first start there in 2005. Panther recorded its best finish at Watkins in 2006 when former driver Vitor Meira finished second. Meira led four laps there last year before being taken out of the race by E.J. Viso, who was penalized for "avoidable contact" after his incident with the National Guard car.

The weekend will also feature Saturday's Firestone Indy Lights event, where Panther drivers Martin Plowman and Pippa Mann will return to the track after last competing at Iowa Speedway two weeks ago. Like the IndyCar Series, this will be the first Indy Lights race on a non-oval track since Long Beach in April. In 2007, Panther collected a second place and a sixth place result at Watkins Glen with former developmental driver Hideki Mutoh, who is currently driving for Andretti Green Racing.

Plowman currently ranks 15th in the Indy Lights championship chase and Pippa is in the 17th position in the standings.

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

"I'm excited about returning to the road courses. The Panther car's setup on road courses is much more suited to my style than perhaps some of the teams I've driven for in the past. We've featured very strongly at both St. Pete and Long Beach, so I'm excited to get back into that road course mindset. It's going to be a real challenge at Watkins Glen, we just have one hour of practice before qualifying, so we'll hope to roll off the truck strong and contend for that win this weekend."

Wheldon on the Camo Car:

"I'm honored to carry that camo paint scheme again this weekend in Watkins Glen. The National Guard is very passionate about their racing programs, rather it be IndyCar or NASCAR and this Fourth of July weekend is a big one for us. Everybody knows the Indianapolis 500 is a race a love very much, but it was honestly different this year being in the camo colors. But the car I'm racing this weekend is a bit different, but I really like the way the Air Guard camo looks on the No. 4 car."

Martin Plowman, No. 15 Firestone Indy Lights

"I can't wait to get out on track at the Glen this weekend. It looks like quite a fast, challenging circuit and similar to my favorite European tracks like Spa and Mugello. With only 45mins of free practice before qualifying we will have to work hard and efficiently on getting up to speed, learning the track and on our car setup to be ready against the more experienced drivers and teams. We've had a few races not go our way this year when we have been running in the top 6, so it's time for a strong weekend!"

Pippa Mann, No. 16 Firestone Indy Lights

"After the string of oval course races that we had in the Lights series I'm excited about going to Watkins Glen. Everyone says that it's a very "European" track with all kinds of elevation changes, so I'm looking forward to our first practice session. I've been playing it on iRace to kind of get a hand of it and I can say that it looks like a very demanding and interesting circuit. Although we've been fast over the past oval races, we didn't exactly finish the races the way we expected, so going to a more European style of race might be the fresh start that we are looking for."
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:08 pm

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."
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:09 pm

Wheldon Battles for Tenth Place in Camping World GP at the Glen
National Guard Driver Climbs Up to Fourth Place, Collects Eighth Straight Top Ten Finish

WATKINS GLEN, NY. (July 5, 2009) -- The National Guard Panther Racing team and driver Dan Wheldon captured their eighth-consecutive Top Ten finish Sunday in the Camping World GP at the Glen with a tenth-place finish. Wheldon, who started 11th, ran as high as fourth during the race and remains in the sixth position in the IndyCar Series point standings.

The team's current streak of consecutive Top Ten finishes is the longest in the series and Wheldon has now completed more laps (1,632 of a possible 1,648) than any other driver in the series.

At the start of the race, Wheldon passed Danica Patrick to take tenth position on the first lap. Then after pitting for the first time on Lap 17, the team benefited from the first caution of the race two laps later when Richard Antinucci spun. Several competitors had yet to pit and the bonus elevated Wheldon to fifth place. After a restart on Lap 25, Wheldon passed Helio Castroneves as the two drivers entered the bus stop chicane and put the No. 4 car into the fourth position.

An issue on the team's final pit stop on Lap 41 cost the team a few places, but Wheldon re-entered the field in ninth and after the race's final restart (Lap 54) Robert Doornbos, who was on red tires, passed Wheldon, giving the team its final position of tenth.

Dale Coyne Racing driver Justin Wilson captured the team's first career win and he was followed to the finish line by Team Penske driver Ryan Briscoe and Ganassi's Racing's Scott Dixon.

Panther will now travel to Toronto for the IndyCar Series first event on the downtown streets, the Honda Indy Toronto race will be broadcast live in ABC at 1 p.m. (EST), with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network, www.indycar.com and Sirius XM channel 211.

Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda

"The car was very competitive, we just had a little bit of a slower pit stop on the last stop. But that happens. Unfortunately it might have just been one of those days for the National Guard Panther Racing team. With our tire choice today we just got unlucky; when our red tires were on there were some sporadic yellows and when we had the blacks on it stayed green. It was just one of those days, but everybody at Panther continues to work very hard and did a good job this weekend, we just need to bounce back in Toronto."
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:19 am

Panther Completes First Practice Day on Streets of Toronto

TORONTO - (July 10, 2009) -- Panther Racing completed its first day of competition the on Streets of Toronto, where fans were treated to two IndyCar Series practice sessions. National Guard driver Dan Wheldon posted the 20th-overall time in IndyCar practice.

Wheldon posted a quick lap of 1:03.4514 seconds, which amounted for a top average speed of 99.572 mph.

Wheldon will have another practice session in the morning tomorrow prior to qualifications. He currently ranks sixth in the IndyCar Series standings and has recorded three Top Five and eight Top Ten results this season. This will be his first race at Toronto in an IndyCar, after only having raced here in an Atlantic car previously.

The Honda Indy Toronto will be broadcast live in ABC at 1 p.m. (EST), with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network, www.indycar.com and Sirius XM channel 211.

Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda

"It was a difficult day for myself and the Panther Racing National Guard team, but we're going to continue to work hard and I'm sure we'll turn it around like we always do. We would have liked to have started off this first day better, but as a group we're used to challenges and we like challenges and whenever we're faced with a challenge we normally beat it. So I expect to be strong tomorrow and continue to work towards a good race."
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:19 am

Panther Qualifies 21st at Toronto in Wheldon's National Guard Car

TORONTO - (July 11, 2009) -- Panther Racing driver Dan Wheldon will make his first IndyCar start in Toronto starting from the 21st position after qualifications at the downtown street course on Saturday afternoon.

Wheldon will start between Andretti Green Racing drivers Tony Kanaan and Hideki Mutoh for tomorrow's 85-lap even on the 11-turn, 1.755-mile street circuit. He was eliminated during the first round of qualifications after posting a quick lap of 1:8411, 100.539 mph.

The Honda Indy Toronto will be broadcast live in ABC at 1 p.m. (EST), with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network, www.indycar.com and Sirius XM channel 211.

Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda

"We're a ways off, and obviously we're missing something fundamentally that we're going to continue to work hard to find. As you could see at Watkins Glen, Marco (Andretti) and (E.J.) Viso came back from basically a lap down to score a good result. We'll stay positive and look at the data and try to work and get a good result for the National Guard Panther Racing No. 4 car tomorrow."
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:52 pm

Wheldon Comes Home 14th in Accident-Riddled Honda Indy Toronto
Early Incident with Antinucci Causes Rear Wing Damage, Panther to Lose a Lap

TORONTO - (July 12, 2009) -- Panther Racing driver Dan Wheldon was nearly taken out in the first of what turned out to be a plethora of accidents Sunday in the Honda Indy Toronto but rebounded to finish 14th on the 11-turn, 1.755-mile downtown street circuit. Panther remains in sixth position in the IndyCar Series championship as the series will take a week off before traveling back to Canada for a race on the airport circuit in Edmonton.

Wheldon moved up to 17th quickly from his starting position of 21st when -- on Lap 8 - Richard Antinucci attempted to get inside the No. 4 in the third turn of the course and contacted the No. 4 car. He continued, and the National Guard car needed to be restarted after making light contact with the outside wall. The incident caused minor damage to the rear wing and forced the team to lose a lap, but Wheldon was still able to complete the race clean while many other competitors were knocked out in crashes.

Ganassi Racing driver Dario Franchitti was the eventual winner, with Team Penske teammates Ryan Briscoe and Will Power finishing out the podium.

Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda

"I must say it was a difficult weekend for all of us on the National Guard Panther Racing team. We all worked extremely hard, especially during the race, but we all know that we can do better. Some of the best cars I've driven this year have been on the road and street courses, so we're all looking forward to a break next weekend and then we'll all bounce back in Edmonton. It's times like these that you grow stronger as a group, and in the long run we'll learn from experiences like this."
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest