Birmingham: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

Two Races to Go with CompUSA Looking to Extend Their Lead in the Championship Race Close Battle Expected As Rolex Series Heads to Alabama Birmingham, Alabama, October 7th, 2004 ---- After ten races, nine pole positions, three wins and a...

Two Races to Go with CompUSA
Looking to Extend Their Lead in the Championship Race

Close Battle Expected As Rolex Series Heads to Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama, October 7th, 2004 ---- After ten races, nine pole positions, three wins and a first place standing in the championship, all that separates CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates No. 01 Lexus Riley drivers Scott Pruett and Max Papis from their second place rivals, the No.10 car of Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli, are 5 points (297 to 292) heading into this weekend's Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant at Barber Motorsports Park.

In just their first season of competition in the Rolex Grand American Sportscar Series, the CompUSA team can certainly say that their rookie year has already been a good one, but this is not a team that rests on its' laurels. As a part of the successful Chip Ganassi Racing family, which includes a two car team in the IRL's IndyCar Series and three cars in the NASCAR's Nextel Cup, the CompUSA team immediately set their expectations very high but it is always quite an accomplishment to be able to vie for the championship in your first year in the competitive Rolex Series.

Pruett and Papis took over the top position following their win in the 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant earlier this year and later built to a season-high 22 point lead following Round 7, the EMCO Gears Mid-Ohio Road Racing Classic in August. That lead dwindled slowly over the course of the last few races as the competition has gotten even more intense. In fact, half the races this season have been won by less than three seconds. Just last week at Virginia International Speedway, the No.01 CompUSA Lexus Riley finished second to the no.10 car by the slimmest (0.87-seconds) of margins, marking the closest 1-2 finish in the Series' five year history. All these factors combine to make this weekend's race at Barber a critical round of the championship as one of just two races remaining this season.

"We're going for the win on every lap, pit stop, restart, you name it, "said Scott Pruett of the team's drive for the title. "We'll have to be smart and patient but it isn't just about the points anymore. We have to go for the win. The Lexus-Riley is well suited to the Barber Motorsports Park track and we should do very well this weekend. As exciting as last weekend's race was in Virginia, this one could prove to be the closest and most important. Fans might like to see it go down to the wire in California, but we wouldn't mind giving ourselves a little breathing room."

As for the no.02 CompUSA Lexus Riley duo of Jimmy Morales and Luis Diaz, they too are looking to battle hard at Barber in order to score their first win.

Every time we go out on track," says Mexican driver Luis Diaz, "the no.02 CompUSA Lexus Riley feels better and better even when the competition is getting tougher and tougher, and I feel we are ready for even more success in these final two races, especially with a track like Barber Motorsports Park where we think we can excel on."

Fans of CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates can catch the second to last race of the 2004 at Barber Motorsports Park season LIVE on SPEED Channel, beginning at 1:00 PM (ET) on Sunday, October 10th. Fans are also welcome to follow the team's progress throughout race weekends by logging on to the GrandAmerican.com website for free Zippo live timing results and are invited to keep up with the team's successes by logging onto their official website at chipganassiracing.com for news, features, photos and much more.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Max Papis , Scott Pruett , Wayne Taylor , Luis Diaz , Max Angelelli , Jimmy Morales , Chip Ganassi , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing