National Guard Panther Team Captures Best Finish Since Top Five Result at Long Beach in April

NEWTON, Iowa - (June 23, 2013) – National Guard Panther Racing driver Oriol Servia captured the team’s best finish since April with a spirited seventh-place drive Sunday in the Iowa Corn Indy 250. Servia, making just his second start in the team’s No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet, gave Panther its best finish since a fifth-place result in Long Beach earlier this season.

“The National Guard Chevy was great all day,” Servia said. “This is the first time I can remember that I didn’t ask for a single change to the car for an entire race. It was the restarts today that cost us; the best restart I had the No. 55 car almost spun in front of me and I had to check up. But I felt like we were faster than a lot of the guys around us all day today.”

Servia started in the seventh position and quickly jumped to sixth position, where he ran for his entire first stint before pitting on Lap 40 after a caution came out for debris on the track. The Panther crew had a great pit stop and Servia took the Lap 52 restart in the fifth position. The second stint Servia fluctuated between fifth and eighth position as the on-track battle between several drivers continued to heighten. Servia made a green-flag pit stop on Lap 118 from the fifth position and he returned there until another caution came out on Lap 138 after a crash involving Alex Tagliani.

On the restart on Lap 148 Servia had to avoid the lapped car of Tristian Vautier, who was ahead of Panther’s driver and nearly spun on the restart. Servia fell back two positions and continued to fight with Scott Dixon, Ed Carpenter and Marco Andretti until the team made its final stop on Lap 196. Servia was able to get past Castroneves and Andretti on his final stint but was caught up trying to pass several lap cars as the race reached its conclusion with the Spaniard in seventh position.

“To be honest, seeing that I was seventh at the end was a surprise because I felt like we were much higher than that,” Oriol admitted. “But a big thanks to the team and the National Guard for such a great car today.”

The Panther team is traveling directly to Pocono Raceway where it will test on Tuesday with Ryan Briscoe, who has made three starts with the team this year and is returning from the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.

Race Broadcast Info:
The IndyCar Series will have a weekend off before traveling to Pocono Raceway for the Pocono IndyCar 400, which will be broadcast on July 7th at 12 pm (ET), with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network, XM/Sirius Channel 211. Practice, qualifying and race coverage is also available on the IndyCar Mobile app from Verizon. -