Scheckter Finishes 11th; Enge 21st HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Tomas Scheckter had another great run spoiled Sunday in the Toyota Indy 300 when Kosuke Matsuura spun into the ...
Scheckter Finishes 11th; Enge 21st
HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Tomas Scheckter had another great run spoiled Sunday in the Toyota Indy 300 when Kosuke Matsuura spun into the #4 Pennzoil Panther Chevrolet, which ruined another terrific race and handed Scheckter an 11th-place finish. Tomas Enge experienced problems with his gearbox early, and was unable to climb higher than 21st on the grid.
Scheckter, who earned his sixth career pole Saturday in qualifications, stormed out to an early lead and was the frontrunner for the first 13 laps. For the rest of the race, he battled - never regaining the top spot - but he never slipped out of the Top Five, and spent a majority of the race in second and third place. Just following a restart on Lap 158 Scheckter was preparing to crank up his fuel mixture and make a run for the victory, when Matsuura spun in front of him and crashed a total of eight racecars.
Enge was the top rookie qualifier -- starting in 3rd -- and finished 21st as he experienced gearbox problems from the drop of the green flag. On lap 34 he pulled his car into the pits so the ROCKSTAR crew could work on the car, and after getting back on the track on lap 54 the team
Scheckter's first place start was his first pole position with Panther Racing. It was the first pole for Panther since 2003 at Kentucky Speedway, where Panther dominated en route to victory.
Last season Scheckter finished 5th at Homestead, his best result of the 2004 season.
"This is absolutely ridiculous. The 55 car tried to make it three-wide on the restart, lost control and cut directly in front of me. I'm sick of this, one guy acts like an idiot and takes out half the field and that endangers a lot of people's lives. Myself and every other driver out here are risking our lives on that racetrack going 200 mph, and we just can't have people out here that aren't using their heads. We had a perfect weekend; everybody from Pennzoil and Chevrolet worked as hard as they possibly could to get us in winners circle. I was taking it easy on the track all day and just getting ready to make a run for the win."
"I had to stay in fifth (gear) all the time at one point, and I was losing so much speed on the backstretch. We had a great day in the ROCKSTAR car on Friday and again yesterday, and Chevy has improved so much that I know we will run up front very often this year. In racing, sometimes you have days like this, and I know that Panther will be back."