BUSCH: Montreal: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

Scott Pruett and the No. 41 Wrigley's Juicy Fruit Dodge Team Facts: * Double-Duty Weekend: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) Grand American Rolex Sports Car driver Scott Pruett will compete in both the Rolex Series and NBS ...

Scott Pruett and the No. 41 Wrigley's Juicy Fruit Dodge Team Facts:

* Double-Duty Weekend: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) Grand American Rolex Sports Car driver Scott Pruett will compete in both the Rolex Series and NBS races this weekend at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec. Pruett, who is the full-time driver of the No. 01 TELMEX Lexus-Riley with teammate Memo Rojas, will race the No. 41 Wrigley's Juicy Fruit Dodge in Saturday's NAPA Auto Parts 200. Pruett raced for the bright yellow CGRFS Busch team this past March at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico, where he grabbed his career-second NBS pole position and then topped the weekend off with a fifth-place finish. This upcoming weekend's run will mark Pruett's second NBS start for CGRFS.

* Meet Scott Pruett: This season marks Pruett's fourth year of racing in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series for CGRFS. The two-time Rolex Series Champion (2004, 2006) has competed in almost every form of motorsports. Throughout his driving career, the 47-year-old California native has tallied nine major championships and multiple Daytona Prototype records for wins (14), poles (9) and podiums (30). The 2007 Rolex 24 At Daytona Champion recently became the all-time winningest driver in Rolex Series history with his second win of the season at Iowa.

* Not Too Shabby: Both Pruett and CGRFS teammate Valiante have been running competitive efforts in the Rolex Sports Car Series this year. With just four races remaining in the 2007 schedule, Pruett continues to maintain a strong lead in the driver and team points championship. Most recently, the CGRFS Grand American Rolex Sports Car teams brought home a one-two finish at Iowa Speedway on July 13, which was the first in the team's Rolex history. Pruett and Rojas brought home the win, with their fellow teammates Valiante and Finlay, just behind them in second place. Altogether, the CGRFS Rolex Sports Car teams have amassed two wins, nine top-five and 14 top-10 finishes this year, and are home to the most winning driver (Pruett) and team (No. 01) with 14 and 15 career wins respectively.

* Up Close and Personal: Pruett will be doing more than driving the No. 41 NBS entry this weekend, as he also hosts the "Wrigley's Foot Cam" in the cockpit throughout Saturday's race to give fans more insight into the technicalities of racing a stock car. Furthermore, Pruett will be the designated In-Race-Broadcaster for ESPN. To view the race from Pruett's point of view, tune into ESPN2 at 3 p.m. EST on Saturday, August 4.

* Did you know? From June 24 through July 24, Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) Teams, Inc. recorded a total of six wins in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch, IndyCar and Rolex Sports Car Series competition. It started with Juan Pablo Montoya's historic NEXTEL Cup win at Infineon Raceway and included a Grand-Am victory with Pruett at Iowa Speedway, which resulted in the organization's best winning streak since its inception (1990-2007). Although NBS Mexico City pole sitter Pruett and race winner Montoya will not compete as teammates again on the road course this weekend, did you know the two were tied for second on the CGR all-time driver win list with 14? They are only one win behind two-time CART champion Alex Zanardi (1997-98) who has more trips to victory lane for CGR--15 total--than any other driver.

* Canadian On Board: Timmy Mckichan, the No. 41 Wrigley's Juicy Fruit spotter for this weekend's NAPA Auto Parts 200, hails from London, Ontario. Mckichan has been in NASCAR for more than 15 years. He has been with CGRFS since the team was formed back in 2000. In addition to his part-time spotting duties, Mckichan oversees the CGRFS paint and body shop and also turns a wrench or two when needed.

* Chassis: Crew chief Brad Parrott and the No. 41 Wrigley's Juicy Fruit team are taking chassis #559 to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve this weekend. It is the same car Juan Pablo Montoya raced to his career first NASCAR victory at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez this past March in Mexico City, Mexico (started third).

* Standings Update: The No. 41 Wrigley's Juicy Fruit team is 18th in the NASCAR Busch Series standings, where Parrott and crew are 143 points outside the top 10.

* When to Watch: The NAPA Auto Parts 200 is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday, August 4, and will broadcast live on ESPN2, MRN radio and Sirius Satellite Radio channel 128. Qualifying for the 74-lap competition is scheduled to start at 12:10 p.m. ET Saturday and will be broadcast live on ESPN2.

Michael Valiante and the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Busch Series Dodge Team Facts:

* Home Sweet Home: Valiante returns to his home-country for this weekend's NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) race in Canada where he will make his NBS debut. He currently resides in Vancouver, B.C., where he still lends a helping hand as a driver, team manager, tech supporter, driver coach and chassis tuner to his family's karting business, Italian Motors.

* Meet Michael: Go-kart racing was the catalyst that jumpstarted Michael Valiante's racing career. After winning numerous titles, Valiante graduated to the Skip Barber Dodge Pro Series ranks where he won 13 of the 14 races in the 1998 season. After tests with Lynx Racing, Valiante secured a full-time ride with the team in 2002 and finished second in the Toyota Atlantic Championship. In 2006, he joined forces with Rob Finlay of Finlay Motorsports to compete in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series. In April 2007, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) added the No.19 Z-Line Designs/Mission Residential Finlay Motorsports entry to its winning Rolex stable.

* Experience - A Competitive Advantage: The 27-year-old Vancouver-native is no stranger to Montreal. In 2001 through 2003, he raced in the Toyota Atlantic series, which visited the Montreal venue each year. In 2001, Valiante qualified and finished second, and to his tutelage posted the fastest lap time in the race. His performance in 2003 scored a top-10, seventh-place finish out of 29 young competitors, two of whom are current contenders in the Grand American Series, John Fogarty and Alex Gurney. His fourth-place finish in 2003 further added to his strong record at Gilles Villeneuve, when he competed against current NASCAR contemporary A.J. Allmendinger.

* In Michael's Words: "The Montreal race weekend will be tough for me because I'll be racing two cars (Rolex Daytona Prototype and NBS) that are completely different. I plan to get a lot of rest before the weekend; I figure I'll be in the Rolex car for about an hour and a half on Friday and then another couple hours in the Busch car on Saturday. I feel like I'm ready for the physical demands of the weekend. The biggest difference I noticed between the two cars is the braking. You really have to make sure you don't overcharge the Busch car's brakes. The other main difference is that the Busch car is so much heavier than the Daytona Prototype. Overall, switching between the cars feels natural to me. The Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team is great and has been very helpful and supportive in getting me ready for Montreal. I'm looking forward to a successful weekend in both cars."

* Owner Points Update: The No. 42 Texaco/Havoline team's second-consecutive top-10 finish this past weekend lifted the team up another position in the NBS owner standings, where the crew chief Brian Pattie and team are now 12th. The No. 42 CGRFS Busch team is just 46 points outside the top 10.

* Chassis: Pattie and his Texaco/Havoline crew are pulling out chassis #553 to race this Saturday at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The car hasn't seen any on-track action this 2007 season, but last year it carried Reed Sorenson to a 36th-place finish at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in March and a 28th-place finish at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International in August.

-credit: cgr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing