IRL: Scott Sharp race report

Sharp Perseveres Through Difficult Day in St. Petersburg Scott Sharp managed to bring home a 10th-place result in the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this afternoon. It wasn't the finish the ...

Sharp Perseveres Through Difficult Day in St. Petersburg

Scott Sharp managed to bring home a 10th-place result in the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this afternoon. It wasn't the finish the #8 Delphi Panoz/Honda/Firestone driver was hoping for entering the second event on the 2006 IndyCar Series schedule, but Sharp was happy to salvage valuable championship points.

Sharp entered the weekend behind schedule, losing precious track time on Friday with a mechanical problem. He qualified 15th for the 100-lap race on the challenging 1.8-mile street course, and felt he was a practice session behind the rest of the grid.

For Sharp, the race was one of endurance with the series veteran battling both understeer and oversteer at different stages. He hung on to finish 10th , and currently sits eighth in the championship standings.

Next up for Sharp and the Delphi Fernandez Racing team is the Indy Japan 300 on April 22. Sharp is a past winner on the Twin Ring Motegi circuit, and finished second last year.

Scott Sharp - #8 Delphi Panoz/Honda/Firestone:

"It was a tough day for us in St. Pete. We fought the car a lot, but the guys gave me some great pit stops and we made some improvements. On new tires, we were really strong and ran our best laps. The last stint, it just seems like we were sliding around a lot which brought our laps times down. We needed to come out of here with points and stay out of trouble, and we were able to do both of those things. We are in a lot better points shape than we were at this point last year. I think we will find our stride with the new car and, hopefully, these points will come back to benefit us at the end of the season."

Tom Anderson, Team Owner/Managing Director:

"It was a rough day for the #8 Delphi car. Thankfully, Scott hung on to it all day. We were struggling with the setup when we came in on Friday and lost pretty much all of Friday with a mechanical problem. We cut short Scott and J.D.'s (John Dick, race engineer) learning curve which is actually irreplaceable so we paid the penalty the rest of the weekend. Scott made a comment in the race that it was 'like riding a bucking bronco', but he was able to hold on and I am sure he is going to be very sore tomorrow. We just have not been able to come to grips with this St. Petersburg circuit. Even though Firestone has a fantastic tire here and other teams have been able to make their softest street tire compound work, we haven't been able to get a handle on that tire. Unfortunately, having the two drivers in different chassis this weekend does not give a direct correlation between the two so you are fighting other problems as well. I think Scott did an outstanding job to hang on and get a top 10 finish. On St. Petersburg, this is a beautiful place to race, a fantastic venue and outstanding crowd and we love coming here. We'll be better next year."

-fr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp , Tom Anderson