IRL: Kentucky: Panther Racing Saturday report

Buddy Lazier to Lead Panther Team From Eighth Engine Change Sends Scheckter & Enge to the Back SPARTA, Ken. -- Rain washed away qualifications Saturday at Kentucky Speedway and along with it any chance of Buddy Lazier starting on the front row.

Buddy Lazier to Lead Panther Team From Eighth
Engine Change Sends Scheckter & Enge to the Back

SPARTA, Ken. -- Rain washed away qualifications Saturday at Kentucky Speedway and along with it any chance of Buddy Lazier starting on the front row. The starting field for the AMBER Alert Portal Indy 300 was set by combined practice times from sessions earlier in the day, putting Lazier in the eighth position.

Both the Pennzoil and RockStar teams decided to make an engine change, which put Tomas Scheckter and Tomas Enge in the 22nd and 23rd positions, respectively.

Lazier was the only Panther driver to make an official qualification attempt, and turned a quick lap of 217.300 mph. It looked as though Buddy's time could hold near the top after Sam Hornish, Jr., Tony Kanaan and Bryan Herta all ran significantly slower times, but rain fell shortly after Herta's run, ending any shot at a Panther front row.

Instead, Buddy will stick with his best lap from practice, 216.922 mph. Lazier has qualified inside the Top Ten in all of his starts for Panther this season.

Scheckter would have started third if the field was set by practice times, but instead will be at the rear of the field in 22nd. This is nothing new to the IndyCar Series veteran, who was forced to start at the back on a few occasions in 2004.

Enge will start at the back of the 23-car field tomorrow, but remains confident about his chances in the race. This will be Enge's first race since suffering two broken vertebra in an accident at Nashville Superspeedway last month.

The AMBER Alert Portal Indy 300 will be held tomorrow at Kentucky Speedway. The live television broadcast will start at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) on ABC, and additional coverage will be provided by the IMS Radio Network, check IndyCar.com for a list of network affiliates.

Tomas Scheckter:
"We've got our work cut out for us tomorrow. It's funny, because nobody on this Pennzoil team seems too worried about it. We've been here before, and we know our Chevrolet power will get us too the front. I'm just going to be careful as I make my move forward and make sure we're there at the end."

Buddy Lazier:
"A good racecar driver always thinks he left a little out there on the track. I should have run a little lower on the racetrack. The track seems really bumpy, but it always has been. It really hasn't changed too much since the first time the IRL came here. It's a really fast Pennzoil racecar, and that's what matters. I know that we'll be strong tomorrow and I've always enjoying competing at this racetrack."

Tomas Enge:
"Unfortunately we had to make an engine change today and didn't make a qualification run. But these things sometimes happen. I'm hoping that because the race is so long that anything can happen. You can easily win from last place here and I hope that this is the last bad luck that we experience this weekend. I feel very comfortable in my RockStar Chevy and I think tomorrow is going to be a very interesting day for us."

-www.pantherracing.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Tomas Enge , Buddy Lazier , Bryan Herta , Sam Hornis
Teams Panther Racing