IRL: St. Pete: FR, Scott Sharp preview

Sharp Excited About Series' First-Ever Street Race The IRL IndyCar® Series opens a new chapter this weekend as competitors prepare to "turn right" for the first time in the series history with the inaugural Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg....

Sharp Excited About Series' First-Ever Street Race

The IRL IndyCar® Series opens a new chapter this weekend as competitors prepare to "turn right" for the first time in the series history with the inaugural Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The first-ever IndyCar Series street race will be held on a 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary circuit in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, incorporating the runways of Albert Whitted Municipal Airport and the picturesque waterfront setting of Tampa Bay.

Scott Sharp carries a wave of momentum to the streets of St. Petersburg after a fifth-place finish two weeks ago in Phoenix and a strong showing in the season-opener at Homestead. A two-time Trans-Am champion and former 24 Hours of Daytona winner, Sharp has extensive road racing experience, but it has been over 10 years since he last competed behind the wheel of an open-wheel car in a street/road course event.

Sharp began dusting off the cobwebs in January, setting the 11th fastest time overall in an IndyCar Series Open Test on the road course at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He will get his second run on a road course in the #8 Delphi machine tomorrow as Delphi Fernandez Racing heads to Florida, for a one-day manufacturer's test at Sebring International Raceway.

Sharp is a Florida resident, making his home in the city of Jupiter.

* Last competed in an open-wheel street course race 10 years ago (Vancouver 1994)

* Currently sits eighth in the championship standings, only five points outside the top five

* Finished fifth at the last race in Phoenix

* Posted best qualifying effort to date this season of sixth at Homestead

Scott Sharp, #8 Delphi Panoz/Honda/Firestone:

"This weekend is going to be fun. It is certainly all new territory for everyone, and it will even the field a lot. I have had a lot of success on road courses in the past but it has been about 10 years since I've run them, so I have to get with the program pretty quick. I think the team and I are really coming together well, and we are going to have some great races this year."

SCOTT SHARP FAST FACTS: Enters his 10th season of IndyCar Series competition-- is the series' most experienced driver with 100 career starts and a record 92 consecutive starts-- ranked second in IndyCar Series career wins-- career record includes eight wins, five pole positions and 28 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.

-fr-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp