Panther Lands 4th and 7th Spots on Phoenix Grid Avondale, Ariz. -- Panther Racing will start the XM Satellite Radio Indy 200 from the fourth and seventh spots on the grid Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway. Tomas Scheckter will lead the...
Panther Lands 4th and 7th Spots on Phoenix Grid
Avondale, Ariz. -- Panther Racing will start the XM Satellite Radio Indy 200 from the fourth and seventh spots on the grid Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway. Tomas Scheckter will lead the Panther charge from the second row, with a fast lap of 176.068 mph, 20.4456 seconds. IndyCar Series rookie Tomas Enge was the top rookie qualifier, and will start from seventh. Enge's best lap was 175.641 mph, 20.4964 seconds.
Enge has been the top rookie qualifier in both IndyCar Series events so far this season. Scheckter, after starting from the pole in Homestead, landed his second Top Five qualification effort this year. Scheckter started eighth and finished 16th at PIR in 2004, after an accident with Dario Franchitti while running in third place. This will be Enge's first start at Phoenix.
Two weekends ago at Homestead, Scheckter finished 11th after an accident with Kosuke Matsuura. There were a total of eight cars involved in that accident. Enge, after starting third, finished in 21st because of a problem with his gearbox.
Panther Racing has two victories at PIR, including the team's first career win back in 1999 with Scott Goodyear behind the wheel of the Pennzoil Panther #4. Sam Hornish, Jr. won his first start with Panther at Phoenix in 2001 en route to the IndyCar Series championship.
"That's all we had for them today. There wasn't much else that we could have done, but we're happy starting from fourth. Our Pennzoil Panther Chevy is working great in race trim, for sure. My guys have been working very hard and have been doing a great job all weekend. We'll just get our race car ready in our last practice session, double-check everything, and get ready for the race."
"I'm very happy and we're still going to be OK for tomorrow. This is a challenging track, more so than those high-speed ovals like Homestead. For me and the RockStar team, it's going to be important to get the mileage tomorrow. I hope tomorrow it doesn't rain. I've run a lot of miles here and I want to run some more, our Chevy is very drivable in traffic and that makes it exciting for the race."