IRL: Texas: Scheckter, Taylor preview

Panther Racing looks to continue Texas fortune Fort Worth, Tex. - After a long and unsatisfying month of May, Panther Racing is looking forward to a return to Texas Motor Speedway, which has been the host to some of Panther's most memorable ...

Panther Racing looks to continue Texas fortune

Fort Worth, Tex. - After a long and unsatisfying month of May, Panther Racing is looking forward to a return to Texas Motor Speedway, which has been the host to some of Panther's most memorable moments. None of which was more exciting than the thrilling finale to the 2002 season, when the Panther Pack defeated Helio Castroneves in a wheel-to-wheel duel that went down as arguably the best race in the history of the Indy Racing League. That victory sealed the second consecutive IRL Championship for Panther Racing, and was the fourth victory by the team at Texas. All told, Panther recorded one win at Texas Motor Speedway in each season from 1999-2002.

Scott Goodyear drove the team to its first victory at TMS back in 1999, when he started eighth, led 43 laps and took the checkered flag. Goodyear came right back in 2000, when he started from the pole and led 115 laps en route to his second consecutive victory in the final race of the IRL season. A driver change the following year in 2001 did nothing to hamper Panther's attack, as Sam Hornish Jr. picked up right where Goodyear left off -- scoring a third place finish in the June Texas event, and then ending the season with a race victory and the first of Panther's IRL Championships.

Now, in 2004, new Panther pilots Tomas Scheckter and Mark Taylor look to continue the team's long history of success in the Lone Star State. In its history, Panther has led 378 laps at TMS, and Scheckter has led 252 laps alone in his three Texas starts, making the Pennzoil Panther team one of the strongest on the course. Taylor was involved in an accident last season in the Menards Pro Series Texas race, but the IPS series Championship was well in hand, and Panther left the 1.5-mile oval with another championship at season's end.

Tomas Scheckter:

"The Texas race is always some of the best racing you'll see during the season. I've led a lot of laps there, but never managed to come away with a victory. Panther has experienced a great deal of success there, and now I hope we can experience some good times there together."

Mark Taylor:

"I couldn't be more excited about racing at Texas. I had such a great car at Indianapolis, it's just unfortunate we were taken out the way we were. But everybody here as moved on and we're ready to get the Menards/Johns Manville car up towards the front of the pack for the entire race."

-pr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Mark Taylor , Scott Goodyear , Helio Castroneves , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Panther Racing