IRL: Goodyear and Pennzoil Panther "Pack" End Orlando Testing

Pennzoil Panther "Pack" has Successful Test at WDW Orlando -- Scott Goodyear and the Pennzoil Panther "Pack" rolled of the track at Walt Disney World Speedway today and headed back home for final preparations going into next weeks Pep Boys IRL...

Pennzoil Panther "Pack" has Successful Test at WDW

Orlando -- Scott Goodyear and the Pennzoil Panther "Pack" rolled of the track at Walt Disney World Speedway today and headed back home for final preparations going into next weeks Pep Boys IRL season opener at Walt Disney World Speedway. Goodyear tested three of the last four days, recording a top time of 21.030 seconds (171.184 mph) during today's testing session.

Goodyear's top time during the test ranks as one of fastest times recorded during testing at Walt Disney World Speedway. Besides Goodyear and the Panther "Pack", only two other drivers (Scott Sharp and Jason Leffler) have been in the 21.0 second bracket.

"We learned a lot about the 1999 G Force during the test and we were able to experiment with several different set-ups in a variety of weather conditions," Goodyear said. "We are looking forward to coming back here in 10 days and starting the 1999 season."

Harbaugh Returns to Fold

Panther Racing co-owner Jim Harbaugh was back in pit lane for the first time since the Atlanta race in August, 1998. Harbaugh, the quarterback for the NFL Baltimore Ravens, was at the track each day of the test and was actively involved in the test itself.

Harbaugh, who lives in Orlando during the off-season, spent much of the time driving the pit cart and towing the car that bears his jersey number (4) back and forth from the paddock to the pit area. He could also be found watching NFL playoff games via satellite in the engineering room of the Pennzoil Panther transporter.

"It's great to have him back and who better to keep us informed on the status of the games while we were working on the car?" said crew chief Kevin Blanch of Harbaugh, who mans the pit stop sign during all pit stops. "I'll be anxious to work with him in pit lane again during the races. He's a great leader and he really increases the confidence level of everyone on the team."

New Paint Scheme and Other Changes

The Pennzoil Panther G Force will have a subtle change to the 1999 paint scheme. The black that encapsuled Scott Goodyear in the 1998 G Force will now only extend to directly behind the driver and not back onto the roll hoop or engine cover. The air box inlet will be offset in black as well.

Another noticeable change will be associate sponsor Nortel's new logo. Last year the car carried NORTEL, Northern Telecom logos throughout. This year the car will carry the new corporate logo NORTEL Networks.

Panther Racing's Rock 'n Roll Home

Panther Racing was excited to visit the new corporate headquarters of sponsor Hard Rock Cafe while in Orlando for the test. Hard Rock Cafe held an open house on Friday night which several members of Panther Racing, including Scott Goodyear, attended. The highlight of the evening for the team was taking the tour of Hard Rock memorabilia warehouse.

On Saturday and Sunday Panther Racing returned the favor by hosting several Hard Rock employees at the Walt Disney World Speedway. On Sunday, Scott Goodyear gave pace car rides around the 1 mile speedway to the Hard Rock personnel before the weather prohibited the Panther "Pack" from testing.

Pennzoil Panther Racing WDW Testing Recap

Friday, January 8 -- 21.199 Seconds -- 169.819 mph Saturday, January 9 -- 21.158 Seconds -- 170.148 mph Sunday, January 10 -- No running due to weather Monday, January 11 -- 21.030 Seconds -- 171.184 mph

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jason Leffler , Scott Sharp , Scott Goodyear
Teams Panther Racing