IRL: Milwaukee: Panoz G Force race report

Rice Records Second-Place Finish for Panoz G Force at Milwaukee West Allis, WI, 25 July 2004 - Buddy Rice, the 2004 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner recorded another strong run in the ...

Rice Records Second-Place Finish for Panoz G Force at Milwaukee

West Allis, WI, 25 July 2004 - Buddy Rice, the 2004 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner recorded another strong run in the #15 Argent Mortgage/Pioneer Panoz G Force/Honda, earning second place in Race #9 of the 16-event Indy Racing League IndyCar Series season. Without leading a lap, the Arizonan still hounded first-time victor Dario Franchitti to the checkered flags of today's Menards A.J. Foyt Indy 225, falling just .6590 seconds in arrears at the close.

"I didn't want to see that final yellow (the fifth on the day at lap 212) because our Panoz G Force was much better on the longer runs," Rice admitted. "We've really come a long way with our short track setups since the start of the year but we're still learning about the car and the chemistry on this team is huge." Even on this very short track, Rice had "no problems with traffic." With his consistent, second place finish, Rice moves into second place in the point standings with 293, 64 behind leader Tony Kanaan.

Teammate Vitor Meira, the polesitter for this event finished fifth in his #17 Team Centrix Panoz G Force/Honda. "I had a big push at the start when I was by myself," Meira explained as he noted "the first set of tires didn't work as well as we wanted. Then in traffic the car went loose; I had a handful today. We'll take fifth and go to Michigan and Kentucky and I know we'll be fast there. We're moving up in points (he's seventh)."

This was a day for teammates to succeed as Adrian Fernandez finished eighth in his #5 Quaker State/Telmex Panoz G Force/Honda, while rookie Kosuke Matsuura bounced back from a 20th place start to take tenth at the checkered flags in his #55 Panasonic/ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda. Fernandez was "not good in traffic and I was just trying to hang on." Matsuura thought "we did a pretty good race. It was a good result for us."

Despite having one of the fastest cars on the track, Darren Manning failed to finish with his #10 Team Target Panoz G Force/Toyota, crashing in Turn 2 on lap 144 after moving up through the pack into the top five before his incident. "I don't know what happened. The car was working fantastically." Teammate Scott Dixon was not cleared to drive the #1 Team Target Panoz G Force/Toyota after two separate accidents in practice and qualifying yesterday.

The IndyCar Series now heads to the 2-mile Michigan Speedway next weekend for the Michigan Indy 400, the third race in a row for the IRL's premier series.

-pgf-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Buddy Rice , A.J. Foyt , Vitor Meira