Daytona24: Lexus Thursday report

LEXUS-POWERED PROTOTYPES QUALIFY IN TOP-10 FOR ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 22, 2009) -- Two-time defending race champion Scott Pruett qualified sixth in the ...

LEXUS-POWERED PROTOTYPES QUALIFY IN TOP-10 FOR ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 22, 2009) -- Two-time defending race champion Scott Pruett qualified sixth in the #01 TELMEX/Target Lexus, while Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon placed eighth in the #02 Target/TELMEX Lexus as the team prepared for its attempt at a record fourth consecutive Rolex 24 at Daytona team victory.

Pruett also qualified sixth a year ago on the way to his seventh Rolex 24 victory. The northern California native qualified 12th two years year ago on the way to the team's second Rolex victory.

"We're in a pretty good position for the race," said Pruett. "It's pretty obvious that the Lexus and Pontiacs are at a little bit of a rules disadvantage right now -- and hopefully Grand-Am will level the playing field down the road, but it shouldn't affect us in a 24-hour race. We'll run the night practice tonight and then the crew will pretty much change out everything on the car afterward to get ready for the race. A lot of things can happen in a 24-hour race, but the Lexus guys and the whole Ganassi team are doing a great job and we feel good heading into Saturday."

Dixon's thoughts were similar.

"We were actually a little bit quicker than we thought we'd be," said Dixon, the reigning Indianapolis 500 champion. "I don't think it really matters in regard to the race. In winning the race the last three years, we've haven't won from the pole. As long as we stay out of the traffic it shouldn't be too bad."

Pruett will co-drive with Juan Montoya and Memo Rojas, while Dixon will team with Dario Franchitti and Alex Lloyd.

Lexus Rolex 24 Notes

- Lexus will be looking to become the first manufacturer to win four overall Rolex 24 races since 1987. To date, only Lexus and Porsche have won as many as three in a row.

- Five of the six Lexus-powered drivers scheduled to run this weekend are previous Rolex 24 winners -- Scott Pruett, uan Montoya, Memo Rojas, Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti.

- Scott Pruett is the all-time leader in Rolex 24 wins with seven, three of those being overall wins. He has won the Rolex 24 in Daytona Prototypes, IMSA GTP, IMSA GTS and IMSA GTO competition.

- All six of this weekend's Lexus drivers have won at least one major auto racing championship. Scott Pruett has eight championships to his credit, including last year's Daytona Prototype crown. Scott Dixon has won two IRL championships, Dario Franchitti won the 2007 IRL title, uan Montoya was the 1999 CART champion. Memo Rojas teamed with Pruett on the way to the 2008 Grand-Am championship and Alex Lloyd was the 2007 Indy Lights champ.

- Five of the six Lexus-powered drivers have earned at least one major open-wheel victory with Pruett, Montoya, Franchitti and Dixon winning in CART; Montoya, Dixon and Franchitti have won in IRL, while Alex Lloyd won in Indy Lights competition.

- Three of this weekend's Lexus drivers have won the Indianapolis 500 -- Dixon (2008), Montoya (2000) and Franchitti (2007).

-credit: lexus

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