IRL: Chicagoland: Panther Racing race report

Tomas Scheckter Finishes Fourth at Chicagoland Lazier Gets Another Top Ten; Enge 20th JOLIET, Ill. -- Pennzoil Panther driver Tomas Scheckter fought his way though traffic Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway on the way to a fourth-place finish,...

Tomas Scheckter Finishes Fourth at Chicagoland
Lazier Gets Another Top Ten; Enge 20th

JOLIET, Ill. -- Pennzoil Panther driver Tomas Scheckter fought his way though traffic Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway on the way to a fourth-place finish, yet another Top Five result for the series veteran. Fellow Panther driver Buddy Lazier fought through some difficult conditions en route to a tenth-place result, while Tomas Enge experienced a suspension failure and finished 20th.

Scheckter qualified in third for the Peak Antifreeze Indy 300, and stormed past pole sitter Danica Patrick and into the lead by just the second lap of the race. Tomas held onto the top spot for the next 35 laps, including an awesome pit stop by the Pennzoil crew. Scheckter hung with the leaders for the rest of the contest, and passed Tony Kanaan for fourth place with two laps to go to secure the fourth spot.

Lazier grabbed another Top Ten finish in his last start with Panther Racing, despite losing two of his gears. Buddy started seventh and fell back to the rear of the field after losing second gear, which hurt the No. 95 team on restarts. Then, shortly after, Lazier lost sixth gear, preventing him from making several passes late in the race.

Enge struggled with grip during his first stint in the RockStar Chevy, but after several minor adjustments, the IndyCar Series rookie had climbed all the way into fifth by Lap 109. It was on Lap 140 when a piece of the rear-right suspension broke, forcing him to finish the race.

Enge was credited with leading three laps in the race, the second consecutive event where he has paced the field.

The race was Scheckter's 31st start with the team, passing Scott Goodyear and putting him into second place on Panther's all-time list. Only Sam Hornish, Jr. -- with 44 starts -- has taken the green flag on more occasions in a Panther car.

The IndyCar Series will be off next weekend before traveling to the road course of Watkins Glen International Raceway, for an event on Sept. 25th. This will be the first time the IndyCar Series has competed at the historic raceway.

Tomas Scheckter:

"For sure it was a pretty good day for the Pennzoil Panther crew. The car was fast and we had great restarts all day. There were some crazy moments out there today. I was almost involved in a massive, massive wreck right there at the end. Luckily, we came out all right, and I can't complain about a Top Five. I just have to thank the Pennzoil crew and Chevrolet for a great effort this weekend."

Buddy Lazier:

"Well, we had an awesome Pennzoil racecar out there today. We lost second gear early in the race and had a wheel nut lock up later during one of our pit stops, and that cost us at least 15 seconds. Not having second killed us on the restarts, and then about 15 laps later I shifted from fifth to sixth and we lost sixth. I really felt like we could have won this race, but we were banging on the rev limiter for a lot of the time.

Tomas Enge:

"What a brilliant day for my RockStar crew, I really have to thank those guys for their work today. We struggled in our first stint with grip and picking up speed, but after a few stops the car was great. After that we could get by people and were on our way to the front. Suddenly when we were going into (turn) one the right rear toe link broke and I don't know how I saved it. I was so lucky today but it was still a shame that this was our result."

-pr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Tomas Enge , Buddy Lazier , Tony Kanaan , Danica Patrick , Sam Hornis
Teams Panther Racing