Texas Motor Speedway played host to another thrilling wheel-to-wheel race, with Scott Sharp collecting his second straight June win here - both on Firestone tires. In the process, Sharp earned his sixth career IRL victory to place him alone as the...
Texas Motor Speedway played host to another thrilling wheel-to-wheel race, with Scott Sharp collecting his second straight June win here - both on Firestone tires. In the process, Sharp earned his sixth career IRL victory to place him alone as the series' all-time leader.
Sharp was locked in a duel with Greg Ray and Eddie Cheever until the latter two were caught up in an accident with Robby McGehee on the 196th of 200 laps. The race finished under yellow, but that couldn't diminish Sharp's excitement over the win and the role his Firestone tires played in it.
"Congratulations to Scott Sharp and Kelley Racing for a well-earned victory at Texas tonight, coming on the heels of teammate Mark Dismore's pole-winning effort Thursday," said Al Speyer, Bridgestone/Firestone Motorsports Director. "It was a really tough race. Unfortunately, several accidents took out some very competitive cars. The racing was intense as it has been many times at Texas, and the fans saw a lot of excitement. We hope that none of the injuries sustained in the accidents are too severe. We'll follow the series to the next event at Pikes Peak."
Scott Sharp, Kelley Racing Dallara/Olds/Firestone: "The Firestone tires were awesome all night long. They were so smooth; they really let me place the car wherever I wanted. The consistency was amazing! They stayed lap after lap, and I got faster the longer I ran. They were a big key to our success."
"We were three abreast so much of the race and were like inches apart. I kept waiting for the hit because we were so close to each other. Greg made a great move (to pass Sharp for first on lap 190); he caught me watching Eddie too much and got underneath me. Then he got tied up in traffic and it took second and third out. This track is one of the best we race on for promoting close, side-by-side racing and every year we deliver."
Jim Freudenberg, general manager, Kelley Racing: "That was unbelievable. It was the comeback we needed after (crashing on the first lap at) Indy. We knew he could do it. Twenty-five laps there at the end, wheel to wheel with Greg Ray, that was every bit as good if not better than the battle with McGehee last year. June in Texas is our month. The Firestone tires were awesome. Scott said the last set of tires were the best. They're what took us to the finish line."
Race temperatures ranged from 96 to 112 degrees track and 84 to 90 degrees ambient . (All temperatures were taken in the shade as the sun set behind the grandstands.)