“Shocking” is the word many would pick to describe this situation, but maybe not so much when you look at how Dan finished at Kentucky last year and how well both Panther Racing cars did last weekend at Chicago. Ed has been a stalwart finisher at Indy and no slouch on the ovals for the last few seasons, but the downgrading of Vision Racing from full season team to occasional sponsor has certainly not helped his cause.
Ed’s fight with Briscoe at Kentucky has to go down as one of the best IndyCar races I have seen. But even with that under his belt last year during a full season effort with Vision, it was an outlier on a somewhat mid+ pack career.
Panther though appears to have made great strides in their abilities on the 1.5 mile tracks. Wheldon finished 2nd last week at Chicago and Ed was contending at the sharp end all night, until the last pitstop when a pit error caused the car to not take fuel, putting a disappointing cap on an otherwise stellar night.
Will Power took the #2 spot in qualifying, just 0.2 mph off of Carpenter’s pole time. Dan Wheldon took 3rd on the grid, in another fantastic result for the scrappy and resurgent Panther.
Dario Franchitti slotted in at a distant 1tth quick. Tony Kanaan qualified 26th (behind Milka) while Ryan Hunter-Reay crashed on his qualifying attempt and will start dead last in 27th.