Pruett Maintains Perfect Rolex Sports Car Series Qualifying Record; Takes Paul Revere 250 Pole DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 30, 2004) - Every time Scott Pruett has qualified the No. 01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley, he has come away ...
Pruett Maintains Perfect Rolex Sports Car Series Qualifying Record; Takes Paul Revere 250 Pole
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 30, 2004) - Every time Scott Pruett has qualified the No. 01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley, he has come away with the pole position.
That was the case again at Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday as he turned in a best lap of 119.881 mph (1:46.906) to take the inside of the front row for Thursday's Paul Revere 250 presented by Brumos Porsche (SPEED Channel, July 4, Noon ET). It was Pruett's fourth consecutive Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series pole (others were at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Miami and Mont-Tremblant), and is the fifth time in six 2004 races in which the No. 01 has taken the top starting spot. Pruett's co-driver Max Papis also claimed the pole at Phoenix in April.
"We got our momentum going," Pruett said. "The car is working good, and the Ganassi guys are doing a fabulous job. The Lexus engine isn't missing a beat. All those things together let us focus on the car, trying to get the most out of it. It's going to be a challenge here because we have one more session from 8 to 9 tonight, but it's going to be significantly different than when we go to take the green flag. I'm not sure what to expect, but we'll have enough adjustability in the car so we can make changes during the race if we need to."
Pruett shares the front row with David Donohue after the second-generation racer gave the No. 58 Red Bull-Brumos Racing Porsche Fabcar its best qualifying ride of the season with a best lap of 119.131 mph (1:47.579) to earn the second starting position. The No. 58's previous best start was third at Mont-Tremblant in May, and Donohue and co-driver Darren Law enter the Paul Revere 250 still looking for their first win of the season.
"Our practices were horrible, quite frankly," Donohue said. "We really struggled for grip, and it wasn't really fun to drive at all. We made some changes toward the late end of practice. We really made a lot of improvements but still, I was surprised we were second in that session. If you told me this afternoon we would be second on the grid, I would've laughed you out of town. To end up second on the pole, we're delighted."
Pruett's CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Jimmy Morales, made it two Lexus Rileys in the top three starting spots, as the Mexican posted a best lap of 119.016 mph (1:47.683) in the No. 02 machine to secure the inside of the second row. Sylvain Tremblay joins Morales on Row 2 after turning the fourth-quickest qualifying lap at 118.593 mph (1:48.067) in the No. 9 Mears Motorcoach/SpeedSource Pontiac Riley. It was also the No. 9's best qualifying performance of the season to date.
Oswaldo Negri Jr. filled out the top five in the No. 6 Lexus Doran following a top lap of 118.259 mph (1:48.372) and will share the third row with NASCAR NEXTEL Cup star Tony Stewart, who put the No. 20 CITGO-Howard-Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford sixth in the field at 118.149 (1:48.473).
"I didn't think that I could pick up that much time, but it shows what the team's capable of more so than what the driver's capable of," Stewart said. "That was my first qualifying session in a sports car, so I'm pretty happy with it. I went probably a second faster than what I thought I would run, and I'm happy with that."
The Paul Revere 250 presented by Brumos Porsche gets underway approximately 10 minutes after NASCAR NEXTEL Cup qualifying on Thursday night.
BUCKLER HALTS BMW's GT POLE STREAK
With a best lap at 111.103 mph (1:55.352), owner/driver Kevin Buckler put the No. 67 The Racer's Group Porsche GT3 RS on the GT pole position for the Paul Revere 250, bringing the No. 21 Prototype Technology Group BMW M3's GT pole streak to an end after four consecutive class poles. For Buckler, an overall winner in the 2003 Rolex 24 At Daytona, it was his fifth class pole in Rolex Series competition.
"Everything was ready when I got here this morning," Buckler said. "The guys were well prepared, and I was feeling really good. I got a good night sleep. I always like this track, and I always feel pretty good here. We put a real good setup on the car and that's important because this track is tricky. This track is slippery and it's hot out and tires change a lot throughout the session."
Mike Fitzgerald will start second in GT after turning a best lap at 110.808 mph (1:55.659) in the No. 44 Orbit Racing Porsche GT3 RS, and Joey Hand put the No. 21 third on the GT grid at 110.304 (1:56.188).
NONNAMAKER TAKES FIRST-EVER ROLEX SERIES SGS POLE
Wayne Nonnamaker posted a best lap of 106.567 mph (2:00.282) in the No. 41 ORISON-Planet Earth Motorsports Porsche GT3 Cup en route to his first-ever Super Grand Sport (SGS) pole position in Rolex Series competition.
"Anytime you can come to Daytona and sit on the pole position, it's great," Nonnamaker said. "We're here with NASCAR and it's so exciting. It's a great track and I really love it. This is our first pole ever in the Rolex, so we're very excited. We've had some success in Grand-Am Cup in the past so things are coming together."
Nonnamaker topped SGS co-points leader Marc Bunting, who qualified the No. 38 TPC Racing Porsche GT3 Cup second on the class grid at 115.738 mph (2:01.205). Michael Levitas had a best lap at 105.517 mph (2:-01.459) in the No. 36 TPC Racing Porsche GT3 Cup and will start third in SGS.
ON TAP The Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series will host a pair of press conferences Thursday at 4:30 p.m. ET in the Daytona International Speedway Infield Media Center. The first press conference will be a sponsorship announcement about an upcoming 2004 Rolex Series race while the second session will focus on the 2005 GT class specifications and the debut of No. 23 Horizon Motorsports Pontiac GTO in Thursday's Paul Revere 250. The No. 23 GTO is the first race car in the Rolex Series built to these new specifications.