Tomas Scheckter Lands On Podium in Milwaukee Pit Accident Ends Lazier's Run in 18th MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- Pennzoil Panther driver Tomas Scheckter made a late charge to the front en route to an impressive third-place finish in the ABC Supply Co./A.J.
Tomas Scheckter Lands On Podium in Milwaukee
Pit Accident Ends Lazier's Run in 18th
MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- Pennzoil Panther driver Tomas Scheckter made a late charge to the front en route to an impressive third-place finish in the ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt 225 at the Milwaukee Mile Sunday. Scheckter, who started 3rd, made several late race passes to move from sixth to third in the final 30 laps of the race. Buddy Lazier, making his third start for the team, was involved in an accident on pit road and finished 18th.
Scheckter recorded his fourth Top Five finish in the last five starts with his result today on the one-mile oval. A failure of the weight jacker in the No. 4 Pennzoil Chevrolet made the car very loose, and the first stint was a handful for the IndyCar Series veteran. The Panther team made adjustments on every stop during the race and by the end, Tomas was on the move. With 40 laps remaining he was in sixth-place, and moved past Bryan Herta, Dan Wheldon and Tony Kanaan by Lap 219 on his way to the podium.
Scheckter set the fastest lap of the entire race, at 157.898 mph, on Lap 199. With the finish he has moved into eighth-place in the race for the 2005 IndyCar Series Championship.
Lazier started 5th and slipped back at the start after fighting with a loose car. But, after the RockStar Panther crew made adjustments to the car during a Lap 60 pit stop, Buddy was running as quick as the leaders. After Lazier made his next stop on Lap 129 he was exiting in the high lane, running next to Ed Carpenter, when Vitor Meira was launched out of his pit box. Carpenter reacted very quickly to Meira exiting his pit, and turned directly into Lazier, who was unable to continue and finished 18th.
The IndyCar Series will travel to Michigan International Speedway next weekend for the Firestone Indy 400, which will be broadcast on ABC, at 3 p.m. (EDT). Additional coverage is available through the IMS Radio Network, and fans can check IndyCar.com for complete listing of network affiliates. Panther will run Scheckter, Lazier -- in the No. 95 Pennzoil Chevrolet -- and the No. 2 RockStar Chevrolet at Michigan. If Tomas Enge is unable to compete next weekend, a replacement will be named later this week.
"We had an amazing car at the end. It was really rough for us at the beginning, but by the last stint the car really came to us. We had a weight jacker failure that caused a massive amount of oversteer. We played a little bit with the traction control, but in the first stint I really thought I was going to lose it every time I touched the throttle. The Pennzoil guys -- they just worked and worked and worked. We were changing the pressures, front wing, everything. We narrowly missed Danica and her incident. In fact, there were several times today where I thought it was going to be over for us. We had a great car at the end though, and Chevrolet gave us a great engine that lasted us the whole race. If we had another 10-15 laps, the results could have been a little different. It seems that lately we've just clicked. The engineers, the mechanics, we've all just clicked. I have to thank my engineer David Cripps and the entire Pennzoil crew for the hard, hard effort they had to give today."
"Our car was awesome by the time the accident happened. The track conditions changed so much from the morning session. I really wanted to get a Top Five out of the car today because this RockStar team has worked so hard and they've had so much bad luck this year. In the first stint my timing was a little off, but by the second pit stop I was good. (On the accident) I'm not sure what happened, there was a car that just pulled over into me in the pits. I don't know if (Ed) Carpenter was pulling over to move out of (Vitor) Meira's way or what, but I had absolutely no where to go. It was physical out there, and it took me awhile this weekend to get used to the short ovals again, but I just knew we were going to have a good finish today."