IRL: Chicagoland: Panther Racing qualifying report

Tomas Scheckter Leads Panther from Third Lazier Starts Seventh; Enge Eighth JOLIET, Ill. -- Pennzoil Panther driver Tomas Scheckter will be the first of the team's three drivers to take the green flag tomorrow in the Peak Antifreeze Indy 300...

Tomas Scheckter Leads Panther from Third
Lazier Starts Seventh; Enge Eighth

JOLIET, Ill. -- Pennzoil Panther driver Tomas Scheckter will be the first of the team's three drivers to take the green flag tomorrow in the Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 presented by Mr. Clean. Scheckter, who has already won three pole awards this season, will start third. IndyCar Series veteran Buddy Lazier will start seventh with league rookie Tomas Enge in eighth.

Scheckter has started inside the Top Five a total of eight times this year, and has one victory, which came earlier in the season at Texas Motor Speedway. Scheckter has five Top Five finishes this season, after having only one in 2004.

Scheckter's top lap was 215.731 mph, 25.3649 seconds.

All of Lazier's starts this season have come within the Top Ten, and he ran a quick lap today at 215.424 mph, 25.4011 seconds. He will start seventh tomorrow.

This will be Lazier's final start with Panther, after making his debut -- a fifth place finish, Panther's career best -- in the Indianapolis 500 last May. After originally planning to run only one race with Lazier in Indianapolis, the funding was put together for an additional four races. Buddy will have made a total of six starts with the team, including the Milwaukee event as a replacement for the injured Tomas Enge.

The traditional Pennzoil livery on the No. 95 has been replaced this race by American Red Cross, in honor of the tragedy in the Gulf Cost region.

Enge is coming off his two best IndyCar Series results, his highest finish coming two weeks ago in Sonoma, when he finished fifth. Tomas' top lap speed in qualifying was 215.113 mph, 25.4378 seconds, which earned him the eighth starting spot.

Tomorrow will be Enge's his 29th birthday, and all overpriced gifts can be sent to the Panther Racing shop in Indianapolis. Tomas enjoys fast cars, video games and beachfront property -- all of which can be purchased and later transferred into his name. (Except the video games, which can simply be purchased, wrapped and given to him). For those unsure what to buy the former Formula One driver, large sums of cash will suffice.

The Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 presented by Mr. Clean will be held on Sept. 11 at 1:30 p.m. (EDT) and broadcast live on ABC.

Tomas Enge:

"The car was O.K., I think that was the maximum we could have got out of our RockStar Chevy. It's always nice to be in the front, but at a track like Chicago it's easy to overtake and make passes. It's hard work, but I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I know that we will be better in the race than we were today in qualifying. I would have liked to run with even less downforce, but that was the best we could do because of the rules. This can be a challenging track, but I'm very excited about the race."

Tomas Scheckter:

"We're not sure what happened. We'll see how it goes with the rest of the session to see where we end up. I had a decent first lap, but I think going into the second lap, we maybe ran out of fuel. Well go back and have a look at the data. I'm sure it won't affect us too much for tomorrow in the race for sure. This is a good track, and the package we have in our Pennzoil Chevy should show well here, so we'll see."

Buddy Lazier:

"I didn't get low on my first lap and I probably should have gone even lower on my second. But the Pennzoil car is good and it's very fast. It's important here to run as low as you can and take the shortest way around the track. I'm sure everybody was rolling the dice with their gears and the times are really close out there. Sometimes it's just a tick between being on pole and starting in the middle of the pack."

-pr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Tomas Enge , Buddy Lazier
Teams Panther Racing