Homestead: Lexus preview

LEXUS LOOKS TO BREAK HOMESTEAD HEX -- A manufacturer's championship, two team titles and a pair of Rolex 24 victories proves that Lexus-powered Daytona Prototypes can win every time the green flag flies. Yet, despite winning 16 of 42 races that...

LEXUS LOOKS TO BREAK HOMESTEAD HEX -- A manufacturer's championship, two team titles and a pair of Rolex 24 victories proves that Lexus-powered Daytona Prototypes can win every time the green flag flies. Yet, despite winning 16 of 42 races that the manufacturer has entered, the checkered flag has eluded Lexus at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.

To date, the manufacturer's top Homestead finishes were a pair of thirds - by Oswaldo Negri and Burt Frisselle in 2004, and Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz last season. The 2004 race looked to be Lexus' best shot at a Homestead win to-date when the manufacturer was running 1-2-3 heading into the final 15 minutes. Unfortunately, Diaz (#02 Ganassi) went off at the first turn while leading on a re-start and then Max Papis (#01 Lexus) and Jan Magnussen (#77 Lexus) staged one of the most memorable battles in Grand-Am history while running first and second. The two repeatedly banged doors while fighting for the lead, but the duel eventually took its toll -- as both drivers went off track, losing any hope for victory.

PRUETT BRINGS POINTS LEAD TO HOMESTEAD -- It's no surprise when Scott Pruett (#01 Telmex Lexus-Riley) leads a series points race as he's won six major sports car titles in eight full seasons since 1986. Yet, this weekend he'll do something he's never done -- take sole possession of the Rolex Series points lead into a race. For the first time, Ganassi Racing split its full-time drivers at the Rolex 24, with Pruett remaining in the #01, while teammate Memo Rojas moved to the #02 entry. Pruett then teamed with Juan Montoya and Salvador Duran to win the race to separate his point total from his teammate.

TAKING AIM -- No Rolex Series team has been a bigger surprise this season than the upstart AIM Autosport squad. After participating in just one Grand-Am event prior to this season, the Toronto-based team currently sits fifth in the team championship after registering a fifth at Daytona and a seventh in Mexico. The strong finish south of the border was even more impressive when the team was forced to start from the back of the field after an electrical problem resulted in no qualifying time. Full-time driver Mark Wilkins will team with Burt Frisselle this weekend after co-driving with Brian Frisselle at Mexico. The Frisselle brothers will alternate as Wilkins teammate for the remainder of the season.

-credit: lexus

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Jan Magnussen , Max Papis , Scott Pruett , Luis Diaz , Memo Rojas , Burt Frisselle , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Mark Wilkins , Salvador Duran , Brian Frisselle
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing