IRL: Kansas: Panther Racing preview

Panther Looks to Continue Momentum in Kansas KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Panther Racing drivers Tomas Scheckter and Tomas Enge look to continue Panther's strong performance at Texas and Richmond this weekend at Kansas Speedway. Scheckter finished...

Panther Looks to Continue Momentum in Kansas

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Panther Racing drivers Tomas Scheckter and Tomas Enge look to continue Panther's strong performance at Texas and Richmond this weekend at Kansas Speedway. Scheckter finished 4th last weekend at Richmond International Raceway and Enge was just behind his teammate in 7th as the two combined for Panther's best two-car finish in team history.

Scheckter's 4th place finish last weekend came following his second career IndyCar Series victory, which took place at Texas Motor Speedway in June. His last two starts have represented his two best finishes as a member of Panther Racing. Scheckter started from the pole in his first start at Kansas Speedway in 2002 and qualified on the front row in 2003.

He currently ranks 9th in the race for the IndyCar Series Championship.

This will be Tomas Enge's first career start at Kansas, and his 7th-place finish at Richmond was his career best. The IndyCar rookie has started in the Top Ten at every event he's participated in this season. Enge has set the fastest race lap in the last two races at Texas and Richmond, and is tied for first in the Argent Mortgage Fastest Lap award, which rewards the driver with the most fastest race laps with a $25,000 prize at the end of the season.

Panther recorded second-place finishes in its first two starts with Sam Hornish, Jr. at Kansas Speedway -- during both championship seasons of 2001 and 2002.

Last year both Tomas Scheckter and Townsend Bell -- who was making his first career IndyCar Series start -- qualified well, 5th and 7th, respectively, before a pair of problems ended their chances at a solid finish. Bell was running well in his first start for Panther before the fire bottle in his #2 Chevrolet malfunctioned, causing it to go off in his face. He finished 17th with teammate Scheckter just ahead in 15th position.

Tomas Scheckter:

"Kansas is another track I really enjoy on this schedule, and everybody at Panther is pretty excited about the success we've had the last two weeks. The Pennzoil team was strong here last year until we ran out of fuel while running up front. I think Chevrolet has brought us another strong engine, and the last time we were in the Pennzoil Platinum car we ended up in victory lane. So, for sure, we're trying to ride that momentum into another race weekend."

Tomas Enge:

"I am going to another new track for me but I have heard that it is similar to Chicago where I did my rookie test last year. Richmond was also a new one for me and I would say it is more difficult from the driving point of view. However, every oval is unique because you have different radius or banking of the corners. I definitely want to build on our performances from the recent races where we were among the quickest. It is much easier for me to adapt to the oval right know because I have got more experience and also there is better understanding within the team, so we are able to tune the car quicker. Both the RockStar crew and Chevy have been doing a great job and I do not see a reason why we should not fight in front at Kansas Speedway."

Panther Tracks: Panther Racing has been involved in seven of the Top Ten closest finishes in IndyCar Series history -- winning six .... Tomas Scheckter has led laps in three of the six races so far in the 2005 season ... Pennzoil Panther Race Engineer David Cripps has engineered three drivers to Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year awards: Lyn St. James (1992), Christian Fittipaldi (1995), Tora Takagi (2003), and Cripps now works with the 2002 co-Rookie of the Year Tomas Scheckter ..... Tomas Scheckter was named Indianapolis 500 co-Rookie of the Year in 2002, and scored his first IndyCar Series victory in the same year at Michigan International Raceway ... Panther has a total of 15 IndyCar Series victories .... Panther Racing won back-to-back IRL Championships in 2001 & 2002 and the Menards Infiniti Pro Series Championship in 2003 ... A total of eleven drivers have started a race for Panther: Sam Hornish Jr. (44), Scott Goodyear (30), Tomas Scheckter (23), Townsend Bell (10), Tomas Enge (6), Mark Taylor (6), Dave Steele (2), Dan Wheldon (2), Buddy Lazier (1), Billy Boat (1) and Robby McGehee (1).

www.rockstar69.com - www.pantherracing.com -- www.pennzoil.com

-pr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Mark Taylor , Tomas Enge , Robby McGehee , Buddy Lazier , Billy Boat , Scott Goodyear , Christian Fittipaldi , Tora Takagi , Townsend Bell , Dan Wheldon , Dave Steele
Teams Panther Racing