IRL: St. Pete: FR, Sharp race report

Sharp's Day Cut Short by Accident After suffering a penalty in qualifying, Scott Sharp's visit to the inaugural Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg did not improve on race day. The team was focusing on race strategy to move the ...

Sharp's Day Cut Short by Accident

After suffering a penalty in qualifying, Scott Sharp's visit to the inaugural Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg did not improve on race day. The team was focusing on race strategy to move the #8 Delphi machine to the front after starting from the back of the grid in 20th place. Sharp was running in sixth position just shy of the one-quarter mark of the 100-lap race, when he incurred contact from Dario Franchitti in Turn One [Lap 42]. The contact spun Sharp and sent him into the wall.

Sharp will be looking for a change of luck on April 30 when the IRL IndyCar® Series returns to competition with the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi -- an event Sharp won in 2003.

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

"It is a real shame. We started the weekend off very strong in the first session, and it seemed we were chasing the car a little bit after that. The guys did a great job putting a good, solid car underneath me today. I made a mistake in qualifying which put us starting at the back. At that point you really need to rely on strategy, especially on a street circuit, either with pit stops or just really being patient and working your way to the highest finishing position you can get. That is what we were doing. Jeff [McComb], my spotter, radioed that Dario [Franchitti] was diving down underneath me. I gave him room. I think the video clip showed I gave him more than enough room. I'm not sure if he hit the curb or what happened to him but all of a sudden he just slammed into my right rear tire as we were coming off the corner. That turned me around and put us in the wall."

John Ward, Race Engineer:

"It was a tough weekend for the Delphi team. Scott did a great job. We need to do a little bit better with our road/street course setup. In the race, we were okay on the first run. We made a couple of adjustments on our first stop and he was running pretty good and some pit strategy helped to get us up there. Unfortunately, there was an incident between him and Dario and that ended our day. It is disappointing because I thought we were heading for something in the top 10 which would have been pretty good after starting 20th."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp , Dario Franchitti