Panther Racing announced today it has reached an agreement with veteran driver Scott Sharp and the Patrón Spirits Company to enter a car in next month’s Indianapolis 500. Sharp last competed in the IndyCar Series in 2007 with Rahal Letterman Racing, after which he and his sponsor switched to the American Le Mans Series. Last weekend, Sharp teamed with David Brabham to win the ALMS round at St. Petersburg with the Patrón Highcroft Racing Acura. Scott Sharp Q&A
Sharp’s Patrón Tequila Dallara-Honda will carry No. 16. He will team with former Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon, driver of the No. 4 National Guard Panther entry.
“We’ve been having conversations about having Scott drive for us for the last four years,” Panther owner John Barnes said. “As a team, we’re excited to get this program finalized early so we can be prepared to make a strong run at the Indianapolis 500 this year with the support of Scott and Patrón. We certainly feel like Scott is a very capable and experienced driver, and he and Dan Wheldon will really be a force during the month.”
“I can’t express how excited I am to be back at the Indianapolis 500, especially with the chance to team with Tequila Patrón and Panther Racing,” Sharp said. “I want to thank Tequila Patrón for all of their support and I am excited to showcase the world’s No. 1 premium Tequila in the world’s biggest race. John Barnes and the entire Panther team are relentless in pushing their cars to the top and that has shown in their results. We will be a great combination.”
Sharp has started a total of 146 IndyCar Series events, more than any other driver in the series’ history. He amassed a total of nine victories, six pole positions and 38 Top Five and 82 Top Ten finishes during his career. The Jupiter, Fla., resident has led a total of 1,032 laps in his IndyCar career.