IRL: Pikes Peak: Panther Racing race report

Tomas Enge Records Career-Best Finish at Pikes Peak Handling Issues Stick Scheckter with 14th-place Result FOUNTAIN, Colo. -- RockStar Panther driver Tomas Enge recorded his career-best IndyCar Series result Sunday in the Honda Indy 225 with...

Tomas Enge Records Career-Best Finish at Pikes Peak
Handling Issues Stick Scheckter with 14th-place Result

FOUNTAIN, Colo. -- RockStar Panther driver Tomas Enge recorded his career-best IndyCar Series result Sunday in the Honda Indy 225 with a sixth-place finish. Enge, who started seventh, topped his seventh-place finish from Richmond during the 225-lap event today. Tomas Scheckter started just behind his teammate in eighth, but was hampered by a late-race pit stop and finished 14th.

Enge ran strong during the start of the race and never fell below the Top Ten. After a pit stop on Lap 150, Tomas climbed his way into sixth -- the highest he had been all day -- and never let go of the position. Even while saving fuel, the RockStar Chevy remained quick, but there was not enough time to pass Vitor Meira for fifth.

For Enge and the RockStar team it was an encouraging result heading to Infineon Raceway, where Enge has a great deal of experience. Several times during the season the 28-year-old has been running in the Top Five when problems out of his control have led to poor results.

Scheckter spent a majority of the race near his teammate, as the two Panther pilots traded positions several times on the one-mile oval. Tomas was running seventh on Lap 184 when his Pennzoil Chevy started to get extremely loose. The difficult conditions forced the Panther team to pit on Lap 198 for tires and adjustments, just over 25 laps from the finish. The late stop caused the Pennzoil team to lose another lap, and Scheckter was never able to climb higher than 14th on the grid.

The next stop on the IndyCar Series schedule is the Argent Mortgage Indy Grand Prix on the 2.3-mile, 12-turn road course at Infineon Raceway. Coverage will be provided live on ESPN at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) with addition coverage provided by the IMS Radio network.

Bob Lazier Honored

Bob Lazier, father of 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner and Panther driver Buddy Lazier, was inducted into the Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame before the race. Bob started 13th in the 1981 Indianapolis 500 and finished 19th. Buddy has already been inducted into the prestigious Colorado club.

"They put me in there a few years ago," Buddy said with a smile. "So I give him a hard time about it."

Lazier -- who resides in nearby Vail, Colorado - visited with his team this weekend, although it pained the former IndyCar Series Champion to be outside of the car for the first time since the Kansas Speedway event in early July. What did Lazier do to cheer himself up? He drove the Dodge Viper pace car he was awarded after winning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1996.

"I've hardly driven this since they gave it to me in 1996," Lazier said. "But I figured I'd bring it out here to cheer myself up because I'm not racing this weekend."

Lazier will return to the cockpit of the No. 95 Pennzoil Chevrolet at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 11th -- which is also teammate Tomas Enge's birthday.

Tomas Enge:

"This was a great result that we've all been waiting for this season. We were not completely sure about today because we hadn't been the fastest in practice or qualification. We kept on it and the car came to me during the race and we were very strong. At the end we had to keep saving fuel, and we were still very fast, but I think we would have been able to get into the fifth position. I think a lot of people were saving fuel. We are very happy because this is the best finish for us all year. Still, we know our RockStar Chevy can do much better and we want to do that next week at Infineon."

Tomas Scheckter:

"For sure, we're a bit disappointed with our run today. I think it started in the warm-up. In the first stint, we did a long run, and everything seemed to be all right. We did some pit stop practice, and after that, we did another long run with the same set of tires we started the warm-up with. Something felt a little wrong, but we just figured it was because of the old tires. Unfortunately, something else seemed to plague us and we're still a bit confused as to what happened. We'll have a look at the data and try to sort out what happened. I have to say thanks to the Pennzoil and Chevy guys for working very hard this weekend and apologize for not bringing home the results we were all hoping for."

-pr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Tomas Enge , Buddy Lazier , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing