IRL: Texas: Panther Racing qualifying report

FORT WORTH, Tex. -- Panther Racing put both its Chevrolets in the Top Ten during qualifications Thursday for the Bombardier 500. Pennzoil Panther driver Tomas Scheckter led the team, putting his Chevrolet in the eighth spot with a qualification ...

FORT WORTH, Tex. -- Panther Racing put both its Chevrolets in the Top Ten during qualifications Thursday for the Bombardier 500. Pennzoil Panther driver Tomas Scheckter led the team, putting his Chevrolet in the eighth spot with a qualification speed of 207.725 mph. Scheckter's rookie teammate, Mark Taylor, will be just two spots behind in tenth. Taylor, the 2003 Menards Infiniti Pro Series Champion, had a top lap speed of 207.420 mph. This is Taylor's best qualifying effort since starting in sixth place in the season opener in Homestead.

Scheckter has led 252 laps in his three starts at Texas Motor Speedway, and Panther Racing has recorded four victories at the 1.5-mile oval. Scheckter has also started from the pole in two of his three previous races here. Taylor raced at Texas in the Menards Pro Series last season, where he started fourth and finished 14th. Taylor also had his first IndyCar test at TMS. Panther Racing recorded a victory at TMS in each season from 1999-2002.

Tomas Scheckter:

"I was very happy with our day, and the progress of the Pennzoil Panther team. We're all continuing to work as hard as we can to improve and I feel very good about that. We hope to have a great race on Saturday night. I love running here under the lights. The Chevrolet guys have been working very hard and I can feel the progress. The car feels great. I wasn't scrubbing off any speed and I was able to hold it down low all the way around. I've got myself another very good Panther racecar."

Mark Taylor:

"It was a good qualification run. We probably could have been a touch quicker, but Panther Racing has both its cars in a good starting spot. The car feels really stable, and while it was good in qualifications, I know it's going to feel great on Saturday. We've had some back luck so far this season, but I really feel like that's going to turn down here. Texas has got such a great facility, and I can't wait to race here. I experienced this track last year in the Menards Pro cars, but I'm really looking forward to my first run here in an IndyCar."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Mark Taylor
Teams Panther Racing