IRL: Michigan: Panoz race report

Sharp carries the load for Panoz in Michigan BROOKLYN, MI - Scott Sharp again carried the load for Team Panoz, earning seventh place in the Firestone Indy 400 with his ...

Sharp carries the load for Panoz in Michigan

BROOKLYN, MI - Scott Sharp again carried the load for Team Panoz, earning seventh place in the Firestone Indy 400 with his #8 Delphi/Fernandez Panoz/Honda/Firestone racer. The veteran started in fifth place and achieved his seventh top-seven result of the 11-race 2005 season.

"It was a pretty good day for our team," Sharp said. "Like a lot of other cars out here running in the big pack, we kept having to work on our Panoz to make it better. The best we really had the car was at the end, when it matters."

"We ran most of our best string of laps toward the end and I was able to get Dario [Franchitti] on the last lap. We leave with good points, and now we just have to go on to Kentucky" in two weeks. Sharp lies seventh in the season-long point standings."

Rookie Ryan Briscoe overcame a pit stop miscue that forced him to run one lap in his #33 Target/Pioneer Panoz/Toyota without a left rear wheel. The Australian finished tenth this afternoon. Briscoe struggled at the start of the race but his team "made changes every time I came into the pits. By altering my line on the track, the Panoz really started to come together near the end. I almost wish there were another 100 miles to this race."

This contest was a typical Michigan brawl that was hard on equipment, yet was slowed for an on-track collision only once late in the going. In fact the first 120 laps ran under green flag conditions.

That final caution collected two Panoz drivers who had been in the hunt, Jaques Lazier in his first drive of the #10 Target Panoz/Toyota and Kosuke Matsuura's #55 Panasonic/ARTA Panoz/Honda. Rookie Danica Patrick had a mechanical problem that ended her day early.

The Indy Racing League's IndyCar Series' next race takes place August 14th on the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway oval with the running of the Amber Alert Portal Indy 300.

-elanmotorsports

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp , Ryan Briscoe , Kosuke Matsuura , Danica Patrick , Jaques Lazier