PENNZOIL PANTHER has got to be ecstatic as their young driver Sam Hornish dominated the Copper World Indy 200 Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway. Hornish received lots of challenges all day but each time he rose to the occasion and put the...
PENNZOIL PANTHER has got to be ecstatic as their young driver Sam Hornish dominated the Copper World Indy 200 Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway.
Hornish received lots of challenges all day but each time he rose to the occasion and put the yellow No. 4 back at the front. "This is great!", he said at the finish line, "What more can you ask for?" Hornish was stalked in the later laps by [b]Eliseo Salazar[/b] in the Foyt Harrah's 14, but the Chilean had nothing for the Pennzoil driver. Salazare had his hands full with the approaching [b]Buddy Lazier[/b]. Buddy was ready to pounce but he ran out of laps to make a run so he settled for the podium. "I had to run in 4th gear because 5th and 6th were gone". I can't really complain because I should have blown the motor running so long in 4th gear.
Roger Penske chose to pit his drivers late as he apparently was waiting for a yellow as Gil de Ferran was leading after the other leaders stopped. He got his yellow, but it was for No. 66 de Ferran who did a quick dart to the pits without adequate warning to others behind him and was punted by Jeret Schoeder in the PDM Summit No. 9. In the mele Tom Kelley's No. 28 driven by Mark Dismore became collected with the other two against the turn 4 wall.
Said Schroeder, "I'd been following DeFerran for a few laps. KHe went to the inside and I thought he was just blocking or something. We got into three together, and I backed out of it and got in behind him, trying to stay out of trouble. Going under the bridge in four all of a sudden he got on the binders and was headed into the pits. It didn't look to me like he was trying to get to the pits before that. I ran into the back of him, I was drafting him."
Paul Diatlovich, owner of the PDM car countered criticisim of Schroeder, saying "Jeret drove a flawless race, had already moved up ten positions when this unfortunate incident occurred. The IRL officials made it very clear in this morning's driver's meeting that no driver entering the pits should leave any doubt as to their intentions. Jeret was not aware that Gil was entering the pits."
The unofficial finish is as follows. Check in later for the official finish and other information as posted in the News & Info section. <TB> 1.. Sam Hornish 2.. Eliseo Salazare 3.. Buddy Lazier 4.. Scott Sharp 5.. Billy Boat 6.. Felipe Giaffone 7.. Jeff Ward 8.. Robbie McGeehee 9.. Buzz Calkins 10.. Airton Dare (last car running) 11.. Robbie Buhl 12.. Davey Hamilton 13.. Shigeaki Hattori ® 14.. Brandon Irwin ® Tyce Carlson