Birmingham: Chip Ganassi Racing race report

TELMEX Team Rallies Through Heat and War of Attrition to Win at Barber Motorsports Park BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (July 20, 2008)-Scott Pruett navigated the No.01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) car into first place and led the...

TELMEX Team Rallies Through Heat and War of Attrition to Win at Barber Motorsports Park

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (July 20, 2008)-Scott Pruett navigated the No.01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) car into first place and led the final 13 laps to win the timed two hour-45 minute event at Barber Motorsports Park (BMP). Pruett used the final three cautions from lap 78 through 100 to cool the car's engine in the intense 90-degree heat to outlast the field to the checkered flag. The No.01 Daytona Prototype consistently ran in the top-three positions throughout the entire race. With the leading No.99 and No.61 cars suffering from mechanical ailments during the final quarter of the race, Pruett was able capitalize on the situation to share in the TELMEX team's first victory at BMP.

Rojas' front row starting position (second) catapulted the team's consistent weekend. During the first 24 laps of the race Rojas maneuvered the car safely through traffic and maintained a top-four position as he handed the car over to Pruett in second place. Pruett continued Rojas' consistency and relied on man and machine to overcome the heat.

Sunday's win marked Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc.'s 101st career win and 21st victory for CGRFS' Rolex Series team, increasing CGRFS' reign as the winningest team in Rolex Series history. Pruett continues to extend his record Rolex Series career victories (20); Rojas tallied his seventh career Rolex Series win in two seasons with CGRFS. The team's breakthrough win in Birmingham marks their sixth win in the first nine races of Rolex series competition in 2008.

Pruett and Rojas currently lead the Rolex series driver and team championship race with their largest margin of the season with 295 points, 60 points over the No.99 Fogarty/Gurney car (235).

Scott Pruett: "I can't say enough about the TELMEX team and Lexus today. The engine was great today. Even with all this heat, our water temps pegged, our oil temps were pegged -- everything was overheated -- including the driver -- and the engine never let up. Memo did a great job today and the whole team did a great job. If we go on to win this championship, it's going to be because of the consistency of this team. We never seem to have a major problem with the car. We never have a problem with the engine. Every week they give us a good car and every race our pit stops are flawless. It's a total team effort."

Memo Rojas: "It was a little crazy at the start. People were making some wild moves, but with the points race in the back of my mind, I made the decision just to let them go, thinking that we could get them back later. The car was running well, other than a little bit of a push. I was surprised that it really wasn't that hot in the car (during my stint). But we knew it was going to be a long race and a race of attrition. I felt that a couple of the other cars could have been there competing for the win with us at the end. Yet, it's still an endurance race and the TELMEX team gave us a car that could run to the finish today."

-credit: cgr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Scott Pruett , Memo Rojas , Chip Ganassi , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing