IRL: Nashville: Scott Sharp race report

Sharp Finishes Fourth in Firestone Indy 200 It was another strong run for Scott Sharp in the ...

Sharp Finishes Fourth in Firestone Indy 200

It was another strong run for Scott Sharp in the #8 Delphi machine as he claimed his career-best finish at Nashville Superspeedway with a fourth-place run in the Firestone Indy 200 this evening and set the fastest lap of the race. The result is Sharp's fourth top-five finish of the season and sixth top-seven finish. He has moved up to sixth in the championship standings.

Sharp started eighth for the 200-lap race. He fell back a few positions in the early stages battling a car that was sliding around quite a bit but the team continued to make improvements during pit stops. By the midpoint of the race, Sharp was solidly running in the top six. A late race caution while Sharp was running third resulted in a 10-lap sprint to the checkered as the threat of rain loomed. Sharp mounted a late-race charge but was unable to move to the front.

Scott Sharp, #8 Delphi Panoz/Honda/Firestone: "I am really pleased. This is a tough track -- really slippery and hard to pass. The Delphi team just persevered all day. The guys gave me some great pit stops. We didn't have a lot of grip in the car early on, but we made some tire pressure adjustments that got us going. We got real racy there but we just had to wait, wait and be very patient and pick the moments to get our passes done. It was fun passing Helio [Castroneves] and passing a few other cars, and just to be as competitive as we were. Coming off the last restart, I had a good restart -- which I am finally correcting a little bit -- and had to go for it. There was an opening. I was surprised Dario [Franchitti] left an opening going in. I drove it in there and saw him start to turn. If I kept it in there, we would have both been in the fence. I had to back out of it. I am a little annoyed about that. It threw my momentum and allowed Sam [Hornish Jr.] to get by otherwise we would have had a podium. I would probably have done the same thing if I was Dario."

SCOTT SHARP FAST FACTS: This was his fifth IndyCar Series appearance at Nashville Superspeedway, his 107th IndyCar Series career start and record 99th consecutive start-- is in his 10th season of IndyCar Series competition, and is the only driver to have contested every season of IndyCar Series competition since the inception of the IRL 10 years ago-- career record includes eight wins, five pole positions and 31 top-five finishes-- was the 1996 IndyCar Series co-champion and the 2001 Indianapolis 500 MBNA Pole winner-- is a former two-time SCCA Trans-Am Champion and three-time SCCA National Champion-- 37 years old from Norwalk, Connecticut-- currently resides in Jupiter, Florida.

Chris Finch, Race Engineer: "This was a good result and a good job by Scott and the entire team. The car on the whole was a really good race car. We just had to tweak it a little bit throughout the night to get it up to where we were. Scott did really well on his [pit] ins and outs and just overall, it was a great race for our team. We just need to keep working on it and make the car a little bit better so we can go win one of these things."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp