Sharp Perseveres to Finish Ninth in Honda Indy 225

It wasn't the finish Scott Sharp was hoping for following his first win of the 2005 season last weekend as he crossed the finish line ninth this afternoon in the Honda Indy 225. Sharp battled with the handling of the #8 Delphi machine throughout the 225-lap race. He also caught a bit of bad luck during the only caution of the day [Lap 80], which followed his pit stop and put him a lap down to the leader as well as shuffling his position to his closest challengers running mid-pack.

Sharp's result today was his 10th top-10 finish of the season. He maintains his fifth-place standing in the championship. Today's win by Dan Wheldon clinches Honda's second consecutive IndyCar Series Manufacturer's Championship.

Scott Sharp, #8 Delphi Panoz/Honda/Firestone:
"It was not quite the day the Delphi Fernandez team expected. After being fastest this morning, we were fearful that track conditions would change a lot but really didn't expect it to catch us out quite to this degree. We were pretty unlucky with the yellow. We pitted and the leader was just in front of us and the yellow came out, and we ended up going a lap down. It seemed like we could probably run with the fifth, sixth and seventh-place cars and maybe could have finished in that vicinity had that not happened to us. Once we got queued up behind the leader to go back to green, everyone else I was racing with circled around back behind me so that put us almost a lap behind everybody. We just fought through and got the best finish we could, basically just fighting with a low grip-type car all day long. Congratulations to Honda on the manufacturer's championship."

SCOTT SHARP FAST FACTS: This was his 10th IndyCar Series start at Pikes Peak-- recorded best finish at Pikes Peak of third in 2000-- claimed his first win of the season last weekend in Kentucky-- currently sits fifth in the championship standings-- season-to-date record includes five top-five and 10 top-10 finishes-- this was his 111th IndyCar Series start and record 103rd consecutive start-- is in his 10th season of IndyCar Series competition, and is the only driver to have contested every season of IndyCar Series competition since the inception of the IRL 10 years ago-- career record includes nine wins, five pole positions and 32 top-five finishes-- was the 1996 IndyCar Series co-champion and the 2001 Indianapolis 500 MBNA Pole winner-- is a former two-time SCCA Trans-Am Champion and three-time SCCA National Champion-- 37 years old from Norwalk, Connecticut-- currently resides in Jupiter, Florida.

Tom Anderson, Co-Owner/Managing Director:
"Basically, it was a very difficult weekend here in the Colorado Rockies. The weather does change here quickly and it did throughout all of our sessions this weekend. There were times when we were able to hit it just right and times, as it proved in the race, when we didn't get it quite right. It was a struggle for Scott today. That's all the car that we could give him and it wasn't enough. We live and we learn and we'll move on. Congratulations to Honda on their manufacturer's championship, and we look forward to seeing everyone next weekend in Infineon."

-fr-