IRL: Kentucky: Panther Racing race report

Buddy Lazier Takes Sixth at Kentucky Speedway Enge 11th; Fuel Injection Problem Lands Scheckter in 21st SPARTA, Ken. -- Buddy Lazier and Tomas Enge worked their way through the field Sunday in the AMBER Alert Portal Indy 300 and pulled out ...

Buddy Lazier Takes Sixth at Kentucky Speedway
Enge 11th; Fuel Injection Problem Lands Scheckter in 21st

SPARTA, Ken. -- Buddy Lazier and Tomas Enge worked their way through the field Sunday in the AMBER Alert Portal Indy 300 and pulled out sixth and 11th-place finishes, respectively. The two Panther drivers would have been joined by fellow teammate Tomas Scheckter, but the IndyCar Series veteran encountered a mechanical problem and finished 21st.

Lazier had the best starting position of all three Panther drivers (eighth) and gradually fell back towards the rear of the 23-car field. With Lazier, it didn't matter. Following his pattern of laying back in the middle of the race and turning it on late in the event, the former Indy 500 champion picked his way back to the front. After battling for fifth with Helio Castroneves, the Pennzoil team settled on a sixth-place result.

Enge made an impressive return from a back injury that has held him out of the last two IndyCar Series races. Enge started 23rd after the RockStar team elected to change engines prior to qualifications on Saturday. Tomas remained patient throughout the day and dealt with a loose car at times during the race. Still, he hung around inside the Top Five and battled strong during the last ten-lap shootout. His 11th-place finish matches his result at Kansas and equals his second-best effort of the season.

The Pennzoil team also made an engine change yesterday, but it didn't matter to Scheckter. A 22nd-place starting spot didn't hold for long and Tomas had climbed into third by just the 45th lap of the race. Scheckter hung in the Top Three with Dan Wheldon and Tony Kanaan until the team encountered a problem with the fuel system not feeding the engine properly with fuel. He finished in 21st position.

The IndyCar Series travels to Pikes Peak International Raceway next Sunday for another shootout on the one-mile oval. In that race Panther will feature both Enge and Scheckter, while Lazier will wait until Sept. 11th at Chicagoland Speedway to rejoin his Pennzoil team.

Tomas Scheckter:
"For sure, it's a shame what happened. It seemed like we had some sort of failure, but I'm not quite sure what yet. We'll go back to the shop and have a look at the data and see what happened. I have to thank the people at Pennzoil and Chevrolet. They've worked a massive, massive amount of effort into this weekend. I thought we were going to be in contention there at the end, but unfortunately, today wasn't our day. We'll just try again in Colorado."

Buddy Lazier:
"We had a really good racecar at the end of the race. If I just could have got by them at the end I think we would have walked away with it. The problem was I was having trouble passing people a few times during the day. But it was a major improvement over where we were early. The car was always strong today, but the late stages were the strongest. That was a fast Pennzoil car today, and we were really good late in the race."

Tomas Enge:
"Well, I'm very happy that I finished the race and that our RockStar car is in one piece. It was a great car. In the first half of the race I was very cautious, and I wanted to see what the car was capable of in traffic. Once I figured it out I was able to get by people and move towards the front. This is a great start coming back from the back injury and I made sure to thank my guys for today's car. I can't wait for Pikes Peak and especially Sonoma."

- www.pantherracing.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Tomas Enge , Buddy Lazier , Helio Castroneves , Dan Wheldon
Teams Panther Racing