IRL: Texas: Panoz race report

Sharp takes fourth with Panoz in Texas tangle FT WORTH - Two-time Texas winner Scott Sharp provided the best finish for Team Panoz tonight in the Indy Racing League's IndyCar Series Bombardier Learjet 500. In a 200-lap contest that saw green...

Sharp takes fourth with Panoz in Texas tangle

FT WORTH - Two-time Texas winner Scott Sharp provided the best finish for Team Panoz tonight in the Indy Racing League's IndyCar Series Bombardier Learjet 500.

In a 200-lap contest that saw green flag running from the 71st lap until the close, the veteran brought his #8 Delphi Panoz/Honda/Firestone racer to the checkered flags in fourth place, hounding the leaders to the end and finishing 0.5958 seconds behind winner Tomas Scheckter.

Improving a car that was "pretty loose early in the race, my team did an awesome job in the pits and that catapulted us forward," Sharp contended. "My engineers Chris [Finch] and John [Ward] made some great changes on the Panoz and really dialed us in. It was a great finish for us and I am really ecstatic," he said.

Using a high line that no one else seemed capable of taking tonight on the Texas Motor Speedway's 1.5-mile 24-degree banked oval Kosuke Matsuura earned seventh in the #55 Panasonic/ARTA Panoz/Honda at the close.

"It was an outstanding race for us as our strategy, our Panoz, our setup was just perfect. The car was really good for the last stint and I think we did a great race," the Japanese star explained.

Vitor Meira's #17 Menards/Johns Manville Panoz/Honda was the final team member in the top ten, taking ninth with "a good car tonight. We lost contact with the lead pack in the middle of the race and couldn't get back in touch. My Panoz felt very good all race and, in fact I ran flat for one and a half stints," he acknowledged. "Actually, my right foot was getting sore from stomping on the throttle all night!"

Rookie sensation Danica Patrick finished the race in 13th place and "learned a lot in traffic. It was a tough day but we finished and I gained a lot of experience" with her #16 Argent Mortgage/Pioneer Panoz/Honda.

The Indy Racing League IndyCar Series stars have next weekend off but reconvene on the 3/4-mile Richmond International Raceway oval for the SunTrust Indy Challenge on June 25th.

-emt/panoz-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Scott Sharp , Kosuke Matsuura , Danica Patrick , Vitor Meira