After the first two unstable seasons, in 1998 the Indy Racing League achieved regularity with a familiar annual schedule and a stable lineup of teams and drivers. One of the new teams formed to compete in IRL was Panther Racing. The team was founded in late 1997 by six owners: open-wheel racing team manager John Barnes, Indianapolis car dealer Gary Pedigo, former radio personality Mike Griffin, television production executive Terry Lingner, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jim Harbaugh and Indianapolis director of corporate government affairs Doug Boles. For their first season in 1998, the team entered the #4 Pennzoil G-Force GF01B powered by Oldsmobile Aurora L47 V8 for Scott Goodyear. G-Force Technologies was an American racing car manufacturer originally formed by Americans Chip Ganassi and Ken Anderson in 1991. G-Force began constructing chassis for the Indy Racing League as one of their original chassis fabricators beginning with the 1997 season. G-Force chassis (GF01) won the Indianapolis 500 in its first attempt in 1997 with Arie Luyendyk. In 1998 G-Force modified its first generation chassis to ‘B’ specification which competed in IRL series in 1998-99. Both GF01 and GF01B were mated to the Oldsmobile Indy Aurora V-8 powerplant. The car featured Emco 6-speed manual transmission, AP Racing brakes and OZ Racing wheels. Canadian Scott Goodyear, who drove in CART since 1978 and switched to IRL since 1996-97 season, was regular point finisher. He took 2nd place in 1998 New England 200 at New Hampshire speedway, and was 3rd in 1998 VisionAire 500K at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In the final IRL standings Goodyear was 7th. Panther Racing got sponsorship from Pennzoil, but instead of traditional Pennzoil all-yellow livery Panther used unusual yellow and black paint scheme designed by Sam Bass, a well-known race car motorsport livery designer. The scale model was manufactured by Ertl in their American Muscle series.
|1998||Indy Racing League|
|Scott Goodyear||4||Panther Racing|