IRL: Michigan: Panther Racing preview

Panther Sets Sites on Michigan This Weekend INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Panther's three-headed Chevrolet arsenal has set its sites on Michigan International Speedway this weekend and Sunday's Firestone Indy 400. Drivers Tomas Scheckter, Buddy...

Panther Sets Sites on Michigan This Weekend

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Panther's three-headed Chevrolet arsenal has set its sites on Michigan International Speedway this weekend and Sunday's Firestone Indy 400. Drivers Tomas Scheckter, Buddy Lazier and newcomer Townsend Bell will each look to put their Chevrolet-Dallaras in Victory Lane.

Tomas Scheckter was victorious at MIS during his rookie season in 2002, which was the first IndyCar Series event at the thrilling two-mile oval. Scheckter was the pole-sitter in each of his first two starts, and had taken the lead last season before contact in the pits ruined his chances at a victory. He finished 19th.

Buddy Lazier will make his third start at Michigan on Sunday, and his career best finish at the track came in 2003, when he finished 12th. He has not made a start at the track since then. This will be his fourth start with Panther Racing this season.

Townsend Bell started seventh at Michigan and finished eighth. He is starting this weekend in the No. 2 RockStar Chevrolet as a substitute for injured Tomas Enge. Enge is expected to return to the cockpit at the Aug. 14th race at Kentucky Speedway.

Panther's best finish at MIS came in 2003, when Sam Hornish, Jr. came within inches of taking victory from Alex Barron, who was the winner of that event. Mark Taylor won the Infiniti Pro Series race at MIS in 2003 in a Panther car.

The Firestone Indy 400 will be broadcast on ABC, at 3 p.m. (EDT). Additional coverage is available through the IMS Radio Network, and fans can check IndyCar.com for complete listing of network affiliates.

Tomas Scheckter:

"Michigan is one of my favorite tracks. I always come here with a lot of confidence. It's a high-speed oval and you can run flat all the way around and in packs that go two- and three-wide. We really want to put on a show here because we're in Chevrolet's backyard and everybody knows how much power we have under our engine covers. I'm excited to have Townsend (Bell) back for the weekend. Buddy Lazier and I have worked very well together since he joined the team. This is a race I really want to win."

Buddy Lazier:

"I'm great to get going again in our Pennzoil Chevy. The Milwaukee race was a bit of a challenge for me because I hadn't been on a short oval in so long. But Michigan is going to be a great weekend for us. It's a stunning job how well Chevrolet has done for us this season, it truly is. I strongly believe they are the best motor in the series -- and I think that has surprised a lot of people. I think just about any team out there would love to have our motors. But this weekend we need to put it together, get a great setup, and go out and win this thing."

Townsend Bell:

"It's great to be back. I knew all the Panther boys would welcome me back here, and it's been a seamless transition. It may take a minute to knock off the rust tomorrow, but luckily Michigan is a track I ran last year and we should be comfortable very quickly. I told Tommy (Scheckter) to pad down the high-lane for me, he seems to like it up there. I really want to do some good things in Chevrolet's backyard, and with Panther I know we've got all the resources to do very well."

- www.pantherracing.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Mark Taylor , Tomas Enge , Buddy Lazier , Alex Barron , Townsend Bell , Sam Hornis
Teams Panther Racing