Birmingham: Chip Ganassi Racing Saturday report

A Record Tenth Pole Position for CompUSA Birmingham, Alabama, October 9th, 2004 ---- Setting a new Rolex Grand Am Series record for most poles in a single season, Max Papis qualified the no.01 CompUSA Lexus Riley on pole for a tenth time ...

A Record Tenth Pole Position for CompUSA

Birmingham, Alabama, October 9th, 2004 ---- Setting a new Rolex Grand Am Series record for most poles in a single season, Max Papis qualified the no.01 CompUSA Lexus Riley on pole for a tenth time this year at this race weekend's Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant at Barber Motorsports Park.

In fact, the CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team driver eclipsed two records in today's qualifying session; In addition to beating the 2001 record of nine pole positions in a single season set by Dyson Racing Team co-drivers Butch Leitzinger and James Weaver, Italian driver Max Papis shattered the track record with a best qualifying lap at 1:20.613 (102.713 mph). Papis' lap was nearly four seconds quicker than David Donohue's previous track record of 1:24.313 (98.205 mph). Papis has broken track qualifying time records in his last two attempts, last week in Virginia and again this weekend at Barber.

"Ten poles is a single season is a very nice record to have and it's a credit to all the CompUSA crew guys here and at the shop for the job they do every day that has made us this successful in our first season in the Rolex Grand AM Series," said Max Papis who has started from the pole six times in 2004 while co-driver Scott Pruett took the team's other four pole positions. "We'll start P1 and we'll try to stay P1 the whole race. Qualifying was difficult today because the track is so very different than it was in practice so I really had to change my driving style because the 01 Lexus Riley behaved so differently as well. The 01 car was very loose but I today loose was fast and that's what we were."

The no.01 CompUSA Lexus Riley will start from the pole for a fifth consecutive race and the team looking to extend their lead in the championship with two races to go and just 5 points separating co-driver Scott Pruett and Max Papis from their second place rivals, the No.10 car of Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli, (297 to 292) heading into Sunday's race.

"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 in the race. 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, from their fifth place starting position, on the grid, they too are looking to battle hard at Barber in order to score their first win of the season.

"The no.02 CompUSA Lexus Riley was pretty tight and I was battling understeer under power and up the hills the rear was moving alot but fifth spot on the grid isn't too bad and the CompUSA team has put together a very good car for the race," said Mexican driver Jimmy Morales." I'm really enjoying the layout and atmosphere of this beautful Barber Motorsports Park. It reminds me of some of the european tracks. It's very technical with two blind, very fast corners where you almost need to brake and turn in early on entry or you're just not going to make the turn. That should make thing interesting."

Every time we go out on track," says 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 the Riley chassis 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 Butch Leitzinger , James Weaver , Max Papis , Scott Pruett , Wayne Taylor , Luis Diaz , David Donohue , Max Angelelli , Jimmy Morales , Chip Ganassi , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Dyson Racing