Scott Sharp couldn't make it two wins in a row on Sunday at the Pikes Peak International Raceway but he was able to persevere throughout what was a very tough afternoon to claim a top ten finish.

The one-mile, high altitude oval played havoc with the handling of the majority of cars competing in Sunday's Honda Indy 225, not least Sharp who spent the entire afternoon battling with his Fernandez Racing Panoz-Honda.

He also caught a bit of bad luck during the only caution of the day [Lap 80], which followed his pit stop and put him a lap down to the leader as well as shuffling his position to his closest challengers running mid-pack.

With only two of the 21 starters failing to finish and only nine of the 225 laps running under caution, Sharp's #5 Delphi crew didn't have any time to adjust the set-up of his car, depending on Sharp's veteran ability to get it to the finish in one piece, which he did.

Although Sharp was lapped a total of three times by eventual Honda Indy 225 winner Dan Wheldon he was running in ninth place at the finish, his tenth top ten finish of the season.

"It was not quite the day the Delphi Fernandez team expected," said Sharp, who remains in a tie for fifth place in the 2005 championship with four races remaining. "After being fastest this morning, we were fearful that track conditions would change a lot but really didn't expect it to catch us out quite to this degree.

"We were pretty unlucky with the yellow. We pitted and the leader was just in front of us and the yellow came out, and we ended up going a lap down. It seemed like we could probably run with the fifth, sixth and seventh-place cars and maybe could have finished in that vicinity had that not happened to us.

"Once we got queued up behind the leader to go back to green, everyone else I was racing with circled around back behind me so that put us almost a lap behind everybody. We just fought through and got the best finish we could, basically just fighting with a low grip-type car all day long."

 

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