IRL: Homestead: Scott Sharp preview

Sharp Ready to Challenge in IndyCar Series Season Opener Scott Sharp will begin his 11th year of IndyCar Series competition this weekend when the Toyota Indy 300 kicks off the start of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Sharp is looking to...

Sharp Ready to Challenge in IndyCar Series Season Opener

Scott Sharp will begin his 11th year of IndyCar Series competition this weekend when the Toyota Indy 300 kicks off the start of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Sharp is looking to build on a solid 2005 campaign in his second season with Delphi Fernandez Racing. The Jupiter, Fla. , resident finished fifth in the series' championship -- his best result since 2001 -- capturing his ninth career victory with a win at Kentucky, and producing six top-five and 13 top-10 drives. He also claimed his career-best result in the Indianapolis 500, finishing seventh after securing a front-row qualifying spot of third.

As the only driver to have competed on a full-time basis in every season since the series' inception -- making 115 of a possible 120 starts -- Sharp holds numerous records in IndyCar Series competition including most seasons with a win and consecutive seasons with a win. In addition to being the 1996 series' co-champion, Sharp owns championship titles in SCCA Trans-Am (1991, 1993) and SCCA National (1986 - 1988) competition.

The first weekend of competition on the 2006 calendar will mark the debut of several changes within the Delphi Fernandez Racing team. On the track, Sharp will return in the familiar #8 Delphi red, black and yellow IndyCar Series car but the team has chosen to campaign a Dallara chassis for the season opener. Other changes include the repositioning of several key personnel including John Dick, team technical director, as race engineer, Simon Hodgson as team manager and Don Lambert as chief mechanic. Delphi Fernandez Racing also welcomes the addition of new team partners Patron Tequila and Sharp Copiers.

Scott Sharp - #8 Delphi Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"I am so excited for the start of the new season. We reached a great stride in the latter half of 2005 and continued that progress in off-season testing, and I am looking forward to picking up where we left off. I can't think of a better place to kick-off the start of the season than Homestead, which I consider to be my hometown race. The competition is going to be the most intense we have seen with Honda moving to be the universal engine supplier and the series as a whole becoming more equal. Our goal is to be a championship contender this year, and I'm extremely optimistic that this is going to a great year for us."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp