SunTrust Racing Qualifies Fifth on the Grid for Fontana Grand American Finale Race
Fontana, California (October 30, 2004) - The SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley Mk.11 will start from the fifth position in Sunday's Lexus Grand American Champions Weekend at California Speedway in Fontana. This is only the fifth time in twelve races that the immensely popular machine has not started from the front row. The tight Grand American competition is proven again with a gap of only 1.5 seconds between the top seven cars.
Series point leaders Max Papis and Scott Pruett, in the No. 01 CompUSA Lexus Riley, will start from the pole position. Papis' time was 1:30.962 at 111.607 mph. Taylor clocked a 1:32.486 109.768 mph. The SunTrust Racing No. 10 team trails the No. 01 CompUSA team by just three points in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series championship.
Driver Quotes: Wayne Taylor (starting driver) - "I'm a little disappointed with the starting position, but it only counts at the end. We've got our set-up dialed in now and we're ready for tomorrow's race. To start on the inside of row three may not be a bad place to start tomorrow's race going into turn one. From a pressure standpoint, they (the No. 01 CompUSA team) have everything to lose. We have everything to gain." Max Angelelli - "It is going to be a tough race. The No. 01 car was very strong in qualifying. For sure, it will not be easy with three cars at the same speed (the three CompUSA/Ganassi cars). It will be three times more difficult. I hope to be happy tomorrow evening." Bill Riley, Team Owner - "We have a real solid car for the race. It should be easy on tires. That has been our strength this season...after 20 laps, we come to life and off we go. Our strategy is the same to have things unfold at the beginning, then put Max in to finish up. We are not getting caught up in the championship battle but are focusing on winning the race. There is nothing to worry about with where they (the No. 01 car) are versus where we are."
Friday Practice Session #1: The SunTrust Racing team, with Max Angelelli at the wheel, posted the fastest time for Friday practice for the eighth time this season with a 1:30.976 at 111.590 mph. Friday Practice Session #2: Angelelli clocked a 1:31.753 at 110.645 mph, third fastest in the afternoon session. Saturday Practice Session #3: The SunTrust Racing team, with Angelelli again driving, clocked a time of 1:31.364 at 111.116 mph.
The Lexus Grand American Champions Weekend is a 400 kilometer/189-lap or two-hour and 45-minute time limit race and will be televised live at 1:00 p.m. PT (4:00 p.m. ET) on Speed Channel.