IRL: Fontana: Fernandez Racing race report

Scott Sharp battled amongst the leaders throughout today's Toyota Indy^Ù 400 en route to a fourth-place finish, his career-best at California Speedway. Sharp entered the race weekend six points out of the top-five in the championship, and his ...

Scott Sharp battled amongst the leaders throughout today's Toyota Indy^Ù 400 en route to a fourth-place finish, his career-best at California Speedway. Sharp entered the race weekend six points out of the top-five in the championship, and his strong run today secured a fifth-place ranking in the final standings. He ended the season with six top-five and 13 top-10 finishes including a win in Kentucky.

Scott Sharp, #8 Delphi Panoz/Honda/Firestone: "We came into this race shooting for a top five in the points and we had a great day and accomplished that. The guys gave me some great pit stops today like they have all year. That has been a real strength for us. Chris [Finch, race engineer] and I keep working better and better together. I think we maximized everything we had on our car. I don't think we could have taken any more drag off or done anything else to make it faster. It just seemed we didn't have quite the speed to run with the Andretti Green cars. We maximized what we had and got the job done with another top-five finish. It was a really great year for the entire team. These guys just don't stop. My hat's off to JD [John Dick, Technical Director], Chris and the entire engineering staff for working their tails off the past two weeks to come here with a new setup. This is the best we have run on a big track. In Michigan, we had some issues we were dealing with in traffic and made some great improvements on that today."

SCOTT SHARP FAST FACTS: This was his 115th IndyCar Series career start and 107th consecutive start-- is in his 10th season of IndyCar Series competition, and is the only driver to have contested every season of IndyCar Series competition since the inception of the IRL 10 years ago-- career record includes nine wins, five pole positions and 32 top-five finishes-- was the 1996 IndyCar Series co-champion and the 2001 Indianapolis 500 MBNA Pole winner-- is a former two-time SCCA Trans-Am Champion and three-time SCCA National Champion-- 37 years old from Norwalk, Connecticut-- currently resides in Jupiter, Florida.

Tom Anderson, Owner/Managing Director: "It was a very good day for the Delphi Fernandez racing team. Scott did everything he could with the car we were able to give him today and with all of the strong runners finishing the race on the lead lap, I think that is a very credible result. I am really pleased for Scott and the whole Delphi team to end up fifth in the championship this year, duplicating our result with Adrian last year. A big congratulations to Honda on their fantastic year and all their wins -- Motegi, the Indianapolis 500, the championship and Rookie of the Year. It has been a sensational season for them. A great thank you to Firestone as well who have given us great rubber all year long. Here at Fontana, the tires were beautiful today."

Chris Finch, Race Engineer: "It was a fantastic race and a fantastic year with a fourth-place finish today and fifth in the championship. We just didn't have enough for the AGR cars there at the end. The guys, again, did a great job on their pit stops and Scott did a wonderful job in the cockpit as usual. I just can't say enough. We hung in there all year through the ups and downs and just had a really good first season with Scott. I'm looking forward to next year. A big thanks to all the guys. We will go into the off season and see if we can't make it a little faster."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp , Tom Anderson