Pennzoil Panther Racing Enters Two Drivers for Las Vegas 500K Rookie Sensation Dave Steele to Again Join Veteran Scott Goodyear Indianapolis -- For the second time this year, Pennzoil Panther Racing will enter two drivers in a Pep Boys Indy ...
Pennzoil Panther Racing Enters Two Drivers for Las Vegas 500K Rookie Sensation Dave Steele to Again Join Veteran Scott Goodyear
Indianapolis -- For the second time this year, Pennzoil Panther Racing will enter two drivers in a Pep Boys Indy Racing League Event. Scott Goodyear will again be joined by rookie sensation Dave Steele for the season finale Las Vegas 500K October 9 -11.
Team manager John Barnes is excited about the teams' prospects heading into the final race of the season.
"We have been extremely close to a victory with Scott all year and I think we have a really good opportunity to accomplish this goal at Vegas," Barnes said. "Throughout the year we have approached each race as just one in 11 events toward a championship. Now that the championship has come down to the last race, we can approach this as a one race championship and do everything we can to win -- not just score points."
In 1998, Goodyear has finished in the top five more than all but three Pep Boys IRL drivers. Goodyear has finished second at Loudon, third at Charlotte and fourth at Texas and Atlanta. His six top ten finishes trails only Davey Hamilton and Kenny Brack this year. It is only the first place finish that has eluded Goodyear and his first-year team.
"We have shown we are a contender for the championship and for victory every time we roll this Pennzoil Panther G Force off the trailer," Goodyear said. "But at Vegas, you will see a new approach to our race weekends. We will come off the trailer fast, run up front all weekend and do everything we can to bring home the win that has escaped the Panther 'Pack' throughout 1998." And Vegas may just be the right track for Goodyear to break into the Pep Boys IRL win column. Last year Goodyear started eighth and finished second at Las Vegas. Earlier this year, Goodyear and the Panther "Pack" tested at Las Vegas Motor Speedway significantly faster than the existing track record.
"I enjoy running Vegas. It has some superspeedway characteristics, but it isn't your typical high-banked, foot-on-the-floor race track. It can be particularly tricky and takes quite a bit of concentration to run the perfect lap," Goodyear said. "We tested well in Vegas and I ran well in Vegas last year. It should be a fun track for the Panther 'Pack' . I'm really looking forward to it."
And rookie Dave Steele is looking forward to debuting at Vegas as well. After running third fastest in the first practice session last Saturday at Texas, qualifying 11th and running seventh during the race before a mechanical problem forced Steele out of the race, Steele brings a lot of promise with him to the Las Vegas 500K.
"I really hit it off with Scott and the Panther "Pack," Steele said. "The equipment was top notch and I knew from the moment I sat in the car that this was the best opportunity for me to learn and to show my skills. I'm sorry Texas didn't last any longer than it did. But, we showed that this team is capable and I am capable of running in this series. I can't wait to get back in the Pennzoil car."
Las Vegas will be the third Pep Boys IRL attempt for Steele. Along with the Lone Star 500 last weekend, Steele competed in the Phoenix 200 for the now defunct rsmMarko team.
"One advantage I had at Texas that I won't have at Las Vegas is the opportunity to test prior to race weekend," Steele said. "But I am fortunate to have Scott as a mentor and I found that he is a great teacher and is willing to spend the time explaining the differences between Texas and Las Vegas so we can flatten out the learning curve as much as possible. He and John Barnes have been a tremendous benefit to me over these last few weeks."
Goodyear will again drive the number 4 Pennzoil Panther G Force/Oldsmobile/Goodyear with Northern Telecom (Nortel), Hard Rock Beer and Contour Hardening sponsorship. Steele will be in the number 43 Pennzoil Panther G Force/Oldsmobile/Goodyear with Manheim Auctions sponsorship.