Meira Mile Pole Winner
July 24, 2004 | 3:24 A.M. EST
Meira, second in the qualifying line in the No. 17 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Centrix Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone, made his lap of 169.338 mph stand up and will start on the pole in the July 25 Menards AJ Foyt Indy 225.
Meira led 113 laps last week before two problems in the pits dropped him to a 12th-place finish. He was coming off consecutive runner-up finishes.
“You don’t want to count anything before it happens,” said Meira, who recorded his second IRL IndyCar Series pole. “A lot of right things (in the race) have to happen to break through (to win). So far, so good.”
He will be joined on the front row by IndyCar Series points leader Tony Kanaan, who posted a qualifying lap of 168.597 mph in the No. 11 Team 7 Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone. Kanaan, 19th in the qualifying line, bumped Meira’s teammate, Buddy Rice, off the front row. Rice will start third with a lap of 168.272 mph.
Marlboro Team Penske teammates Sam Hornish Jr. (168.258 mph) and Helio Castroneves (168.093) will start fourth and fifth. They were 1-2 on the speed chart in the one-day Open Test at The Milwaukee Mile in mid-June.