Tell us how you really feel

Posted by Iannucci | 4/08/2008 | 9 comments »
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Panther Racing and their driver Vitor Meira were pleased with their race on Sunday, that is until the Mirror Man was attacked by a questionable pass attempt from Fronkensteen.

This post-race press release from Panther varies a bit from the usual helping of positively-spun politically correctness.

Vitor Meira, No. 4 Delphi National Guard Dallara Honda:

(On crash with Franck Perera) "What an absolutely stupid rookie mistake. (Franck) Perera was totally wrong. It was a dumb rookie move and something you'd expect out of somebody that doesn't know what they're doing on a street course. To pass here, you have to be side-by-side, at least, and you can't pass where he crashed me with just your nose inside. He didn't have one-fifth of his car in a position to pass me. He ruined a great run in the Delphi National Guard car and our decision to go with slick tires early in the race, which put us in a position to finish top five or six in the No. 4 car."

John Barnes, Panther Racing co-owner and CEO:

"Maybe next year Conquest will hire drivers who can see."

(MORE from the Panther race report)
Scratch Perera off their Christmas Card list.


  1. Jennifer of Dog.Yarn.Knit. // April 08, 2008 10:08 AM  

    i had never seen vitor that mad and it kind of scared me.

  2. John in Speedway // April 08, 2008 10:18 AM  

    Go Vitor! Hit 'em with the left!!

  3. meeshbeer // April 08, 2008 12:02 PM  

    Ha! I'll give Vitor the "rookie mistake" comment, but it's a bit of a stretch saying he doesn't know his way around a street/road course considering his entire career has been contested on them save for his one oval race so far this year.

    Racing incident. Get over it.

    He should be more pissed at T-Bell's banzai move while he was a sitting duck, than Perera's pass attempt IMO.

    Wonder if Barnes had any classy comments for him too?

  4. John Edward // April 08, 2008 3:04 PM  

    Perfect graphic from

    I can relate so much...

    Is that bad? haha

  5. Anonymous // April 08, 2008 7:15 PM  

    just read the panther site and conquest site. Panther seems pretty peeved have the article and a photo of the collision prominently displayed and designated a decent amount of Q&A to it. Conquest on the other hand are sticking to the Vitor was slow argument. Fronk even mentioned how he hated being stuck behind slow traffic. hmmmm love the under story

  6. Dale Nixon // April 08, 2008 7:27 PM  

    And the question remains, who will win first - Danica or Vitor?

  7. John in Speedway // April 08, 2008 7:47 PM  

    Dale Nixon: A year ago I would have said Danica. I think she has superior equipment. The crews of each I would say are equal. Don't forget Panther won 11 races and 2championships w/ Sam (if my calculations are correct). I think they have the financial backing too (Delphi & Nat'l Guard). Danica, however, has 3 teammates from which her team can draw information. They are both racing against the same competition. I think if either one of them wins a race this year, he/she will have to gamble and win due to strategy, similar to Rahal's win on Sunday ( feels so good to say the words "Rahal" and "win"). They are two of my favorite drivers, and believe it or not, I think Indy is one of their better chances of getting a victory.

  8. Dale Nixon // April 09, 2008 5:23 AM  

    Well, I'm inclined to agree with your analysis, John, but I'm not sure either of them will ever win a race (although this season is probably the best shot in years for either...)

    Vitor's a decent driver but it seems to me that his forte is squeezing Top-5 finishes from a Top-10 car. I don't really recall a dominant race in the last couple seasons where I thought "boy, was Vitor great, he really should have won". Yes, he leads laps occasionally and squeezes onto the podium a few times, but I don't even recall Vitor being on top of even a practice timesheet.

    I'm not sure Panther's two championships really factor into the equation at this point; AJ won the I500 with Kenny Brack, but nobody is picking his team as a favorite.

    John Barnes keeps playing this "we're the little guys, we get no respect" Rodney Dangerfield card and frankly I'm sick of it.

    He's a big blowhard who takes every opportunity to scapegoat other drivers who aren't really in a position to defend themselves. When you are driving around in positions 6-18 in this field things are going to happen because there isn't always enough real estate.

    Yelling about it until your jowls quiver isn't exactly showing a steady veteran leadership from atop the pit box.

  9. The American Mutt // April 09, 2008 11:15 AM  


    MIS in 06. Last time Vitor had a stellar dominate race. Still didn't have enough to beat a Penske car though, and never will most likely. I also don't see Panther as getting a season as good as 06 again.