Birmingham: Toyota Lexus preview

LEXUS LOOKS TO GET BACK ON TRACK AT BARBER TORRANCE, Calif. (July 25, 2005) -- Following a program record three races without a victory, Lexus looks to get back on the winning track as the Rolex Sports Car Series heads to the Barber Motorsports...

LEXUS LOOKS TO GET BACK ON TRACK AT BARBER

TORRANCE, Calif. (July 25, 2005) -- Following a program record three races without a victory, Lexus looks to get back on the winning track as the Rolex Sports Car Series heads to the Barber Motorsports Park 250, in Birmingham, Alabama Sunday, July 31.

After moving into a tie for the series points lead after Watkins Glen, Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz slipped back to second after a sixth-place finish at Daytona. The Ganassi Racing pair will look for their third win of the season this weekend in their #01 CompUSA Lexus. They previously won at Fontana and Laguna Seca.

For the season, Pruett and Diaz have finished seventh or better in each of the seven races run to date, including four podium finishes (thirds at Mont-Tremblant and Watkins Glen along with the victories). They also have a fifth-place showing at Homestead to their credit.

While Pruett and Diaz have a couple of wins to their credit this year, their teammates Stefan Johansson and Cort Wagner in the #02 New Century Mortgage Lexus seem to have done everything but win. The first-year duo has qualified up front -- sitting on the front row at Daytona as one of five top-four qualifying efforts, led laps and finished second at Mont-Tremblant, but they have yet to corral that break-through first victory.Overall, Johansson and Wagner have three top-five finishes and five top-seven showings to place them fifth overall in the championship hunt.

A new full-time addition to the Lexus camp will join the series after the Barber event as Michael Shank Racing will field a Lexus-powered Riley for Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson for the remainder of the season beginning at Mid-Ohio. The team ran the same combination earlier this year at Laguna Seca with Negri capturing his first Daytona Prototype pole position.

Lexus-powered Daytona Prototypes have won seven races and registered 14 pole positions in 19 Rolex Series events to date.

Qualifying for the Barber 250 is scheduled for 1:50 p.m. EDT Saturday, July 30. Sunday's race will get the green flag at 1:00 p.m. with SPEED providing live flag-to-flag coverage. The Rolex Sports Car Series event is planned for 250 miles or 109 laps on the 2.3-mile natural terrain road course with a time limit of two hours, 45 minutes.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Stefan Johansson , Scott Pruett , Luis Diaz , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Mark Patterson , Michael Shank , Cort Wagner
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Michael Shank Racing