IRL: Pennzoil Panther Pack Atlanta Race Report

Atlanta, GA-The Pennzoil Panther Pack and Driver Scott Goodyear came into tonight's Kobalt Mechanics Tools 500 as a favorite after posting the fastest speed of the weekend during the last practice session at 215.707 miles per hour. A faulty...

Atlanta, GA-The Pennzoil Panther Pack and Driver Scott Goodyear came into tonight's Kobalt Mechanics Tools 500 as a favorite after posting the fastest speed of the weekend during the last practice session at 215.707 miles per hour.

A faulty alternator took them out of the victory hunt tonight but not out of the points chase. At the completion of the race, Goodyear and the Pennzoil Panther "Pack" had extended their points lead to 21 over their closer competitor. Excellent repair work by the Pennzoil Panther "Pack" and steady driving by Goodyear helped the team finish the race in 16th position and remain atop the Pep Boys Indy Racing League points standings.

Goodyear dominated much of the race, leading for 52 laps but a victory was not meant to be for the team.  On lap 164 Goodyear lost the dash systems in his Pennzoil Panther #4 and immediately came into the pits. The "Pack" removed the sidepod cover from the car and replaced a battery and Goodyear went back out. Left rear tire changer, Chris Welch was injured during the pit stop when the starter "kicked" and struck him in the right forearm. Welch was examined in the infield medical center and released. The original problem appeared to be a battery failure but by lap 174 as the car lost voltage for the second time, it was determined that a faulty alternator was causing the problems. Team Co-owner and Manger John Barnes worked his crew flawlessly through the repairs, keeping the team in the race.

"We had a great car all weekend and it's so disappointing when something like this happens. You just can't predict a problem like this but I've got to hand it to the "Pack" and Scott, they stayed with it and we were able to complete the race with the points lead intact." The crew brought Goodyear in for a third and final time on lap 189 and installed a large cell battery that kept Goodyear on the track through the checkered flag and a 16th place finish.

Goodyear started the race from the 5th position and quickly worked his way through the field to take the lead at lap 32. Goodyear said, "We were fine in the beginning. We made some minor changes in the pit stops and the car was really working well when I realized we were losing voltage. I think we had a great race car tonight but unfortunately it wasn't meant to be."

Goodyear retained the points lead by earning 16 points tonight from his 16th place finish and the lap leader award.  Goodyear is leading the Pep Boys Indy Racing League with 180 points followed by tonight's winner, Scott Sharp at 159 points.

The Pennzoil Panther "Pack" and Goodyear return to racing action on July 29th in Dover, Delaware at the "monster mile".

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp , Scott Goodyear , John Barnes