Hornish and Chevy finish in top 10 in Texas FORT WORTH, Texas, June 7, 2003 - Sam Hornish Jr. drove his Pennzoil Panther Racing Chevrolet Dallara to his third top-10 finish of the season tonight in the Bombardier 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Hornish and Chevy finish in top 10 in Texas
FORT WORTH, Texas, June 7, 2003 - Sam Hornish Jr. drove his Pennzoil Panther Racing Chevrolet Dallara to his third top-10 finish of the season tonight in the Bombardier 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Hornish completed 199 of the 200 laps on the high-banked speedway. The race was won by Al Unser Jr. driving Kelley Racing's Toyota Dallara.
Five of the six Chevy-powered drivers were running at the finish: Vitor Meira, 12th in Team Menard's Johns Manville Dallara, Buddy Lazier 13th in Hemelgarn Racing's Delta/Life Fitness Dallara, Buddy Rice 14th for Red Bull Cheever Racing and Sarah Fisher 15th in Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's GMAC Dallara. Robbie Buhl suffered a gearbox problem in Dreyer & Reinbold's Purex/Aventis Dallara and was classified 22nd.
"My goal for the race was to finish on the lead lap, but we didn't do that," said Hornish. "We came pretty close and we did the best that we could do. These races are long and tough, and you never know what it's going to be like until the end. We will keep working away at it until we can get a little bit better."
Meira, who won the pole and finished third at Texas Motor Speedway last September, was pleased with his first race following the announcement that he would drive for Team Menard for the remainder of the season.
"The balance of the car was perfect and Team Menard/Johns Manville did a perfect job with the setup," he said. "We did the best we could. We finished the race and learned a lot tonight. We finished the way we started, with the car in one piece."
Buddy Rice battled back from a penalty for inadvertently exceeding the pit lane speed limit to finish 17th in the Red Bull Cheever Racing entry.
"Basically it was just good that we finished," Rice noted. "We just have to take that for what it's worth right now. It's another finish for Red Bull Cheever Racing, and some more points for the team."
Sarah Fisher was set back when she was summoned into the pits by officials to check for a reported spray. No problem was found, and she drove to the checkered flag.
"This was our race to hang in there and still smile and show them that we can get through this," said Fisher. "It was another good job by the guys to make everything happen."
Robbie Buhl's day ended on the 14th lap when he radioed the crew from the backstretch that he had a serious problem. The crew studied the telemetry data as he pulled into the pits, and then directed the car behind the wall to see if repairs were possible. After pulling apart the gearbox to see the extent of the problem, Buhl's race was over.
"I heard something popping in the back and it felt like something just broke," he said. "It looks like we lost oil pressure to the gearbox and it seized. Our goal was to be around at the end and it just didn't happen."
Next Sunday's IRL race on the flat 1-mile oval at Pikes Peak International Raceway in mile-high Fountain, Colo., will be a sharp contrast to the high-banked turns of Texas Motor Speedway. The Pikes Peak Indy 225, the sixth round of the 16-race IndyCar Series, will be televised on ABC at 4:00 p.m. EDT.
10. Sam Hornish Jr./Chevrolet, 199
12. Vitor Meira/Chevrolet, 197
13. Buddy Lazier/Chevrolet, 196
14. Buddy Rice/Chevrolet, 195
15. Sarah Fisher/Chevrolet, 194
22. Robbie Buhl/Chevrolet, 14
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (after 5 of 16 events)
Manufacturer/Points (victories in parentheses)
1. Toyota, 47 (4)
2. Honda, 38 (1)
3. Chevrolet, 25