IRL: Milwaukee: Panoz race report

Tough Milwaukee race for Panoz troops WEST ALLIS, WI - The Milwaukee Mile is a tough track, no matter the conditions but today the Indy cars battled relentless heat of 95-97 degrees, track temperatures around 125 degrees and winds that railed ...

Tough Milwaukee race for Panoz troops

WEST ALLIS, WI - The Milwaukee Mile is a tough track, no matter the conditions but today the Indy cars battled relentless heat of 95-97 degrees, track temperatures around 125 degrees and winds that railed in the 15-20mph area, changing direction seemingly at will.

The ABC Supply Co/AJ Foyt 225 was a difficult event for the Panoz family. Only two of our eight drivers completed the contest in the top ten, one never even started (Ryan Briscoe) and two crashed out in single-car incidents.

Vitor Meira placed ninth in the #17 Menards/Johns Manville Panoz/Honda/Firestone entry and acknowledged, "Man that was a long day for us." In the hottest race ever held on the venerable Mile Meira's Panoz was "sliding all over and I was just trying to hang on. We had some pretty good racing in the middle of the field and actually we could stay ahead of some of the leaders on long runs," he admitted. "Overall we got some points out of here," as he retains seventh place in the point chase."

Veteran Scott Sharp, making his 100th consecutive and 107th career IndyCar Series start finished tenth in the #8 Delphi/Fernandez Panoz/Honda. Following a difficult warmup, his engineers "made a lot of changes going into the race."

"Obviously we were not right where we wanted to be and you just have to hold on, not take too many chances and try to get as many points as you can. The fact that we finished in the top 10 is a real positive, but we came to Milwaukee with great expectations and just seemed to chase the car all weekend."

Sophomore Kosuke Matsuura finished 11th in the #55 Panasonic/ARTA Panoz/Honda and veteran Scott Dixon took 13th with his #9 Target Panoz/Toyota. Both Danica Patrick and Buddy Rice impacted the hard Milwaukee Mile walls in single-car incidents.

The IndyCar Series now travels to the Michigan International Speedway's two-mile banked oval where Rice is the defending winner. The Firestone Indy 400 takes the green flags on July 31st at 3PM.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp , Scott Dixon , Buddy Rice , Ryan Briscoe , Kosuke Matsuura , Danica Patrick , Vitor Meira