Daytona II: Chip Ganassi Racing race report

PRUETT RETAINS ROLEX DRIVER AND TEAM POINTS LEAD WITH TOP 10 FINISH AT DAYTONA DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 5, 2007)-Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) driver Scott Pruett maintained his Rolex Sports Car Series driver's points lead with...

PRUETT RETAINS ROLEX DRIVER AND TEAM POINTS LEAD WITH TOP 10 FINISH AT DAYTONA

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 5, 2007)-Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) driver Scott Pruett maintained his Rolex Sports Car Series driver's points lead with a sixth place finish under the lights at Daytona International Speedway. The threat of rain and humid track conditions, compounded with practice, qualification, and the race in the same day added to the complexity of CGRFS' strategy. Memo Rojas began behind the wheel for the No.01 TELMEX Lexus-Riley from eighth on the grid. Pruett stepped in at Lap 36 and ran consistently as he progressed from 11th to sixth place. With a lack of favorable cautions (only one full course yellow) through the entire 70-lap race, the TELMEX car secured their eighth top-10 in as many races on the 2007 season.

Starting next to their CGRFS teammates in ninth, the no.19 Z-Line Design/Mission Residential/ Make-A-Wish Lexus-Riley piloted by Rob Finlay and Michael Valiante proved that an early spin in the back straightway chicane would not deter their performance. Valiante steadily charged up the scoreboard from 16th to a race-high third by Lap 44. After the team's second pit stop on Lap 45, the car maintained its top-10 run and was the eighth DP to cross the finish line under the lights at DIS.

With the result, Pruett remains the Rolex Series point leader in the driver championship with 237 markers, four more than his nearest competition (No.10 Max Angelelli) as the series enters Round 9 of the 14-race schedule. Pruett and Rojas also maintained their lead in the team championship with 237 points.

Up next for the No.01 and No.19 teams is the inaugural event at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa, July 13th at 8 p.m. Television coverage airs on SPEED Channel at 10:00 p.m. ET on July 14th (taped delay).

CGRFS Driver Quoteboard

SCOTT PRUETT "When I got in the car and we were running 11th, I got set up and settled in and was in a position of straggling in 11th. The Ganassi crew was great though because they were able to take the car up to sixth. I'm glad we are able to maintain our points lead. Certainly, we had to change our strategy because of our qualifying results. But, at the end of the evening, it seemed that our game plan worked well. I feel that we really got the most that we could from the car tonight."

MEMO ROJAS "My goal for this race was to drive clean and keep the car on the road and to run a mistake-free race. We went as fast as we could. We struggled to get into the 46's with the leaders. I felt that I had the most confidence in the infield portion of the track and enjoyed that part. I am looking forward to Iowa, because we tested well there earlier in the year."

MICHAEL VALIANTE "The race was tough for us. We had a few car problems that we struggled with throughout the race. It was disappointing because going into the race I felt like we had a shot at the podium. I am looking forward to Iowa because we had a great car during testing."

-credit: cgr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Scott Pruett , Michael Valiante , Max Angelelli , Memo Rojas , Chip Ganassi , Rob Finlay , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing