Iowa: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

TEAMS: Back to back Rolex 24 At Daytona Champions TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas in the No.01 TELMEX Lexus-Riley, Rob Finlay and Michael Valiante in the No.19 Z-Line Designs/Mission ...

TEAMS: Back to back Rolex 24 At Daytona Champions TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas in the No.01 TELMEX Lexus-Riley, Rob Finlay and Michael Valiante in the No.19 Z-Line Designs/Mission Residential/Make-A-Wish Foundation Lexus-Riley.

VENUE: Iowa Speedway this Friday, July 13th (8:00 p.m. CT) on the 1.3 mile road course in Newton, Iowa. Round 9 of 14 in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series season.

AIR DATE: July 14th, 10:00 p.m. ET, Tape Delay, on SPEED Channel

LAST RACE: Brumos Porsche 250, Daytona Beach, Fla. No.01, St. 9 Fn. 6, No.19, St. 10 Fn. 8

NEXT RACE: July 22nd, Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Ala.

TEAM POINTS: No.01 TELMEX Lexus-Riley, 237 points (1st, + 9); No. 19 CGRFS Lexus-Riley, 98 points (18th, -139)

DRIVER POINTS: Scott Pruett, 237 points (1st, +4); Memo Rojas, 212 points (4th, -25); Rob Finlay, 158 points (11th, -79); Michael Valiante, 146 points (14th, -91)

EXHAUST NOTES: Pruett and Rojas missed a podium finish last week at Daytona, after breaking a 3-race streak of 2nd place finishes...Pruett anticipates increasing his too-close-for-comfort four point lead in the drivers championship after Iowa...Valiante significantly increased his position in the driver's point standing by jumping from 18th to 14th position after Daytona.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT: An early May two-day test at Iowa Speedway gave CGRFS crews and drivers the needed insight into this week's inaugural event. The team anticipates the short and tight road course to be strenuous on the driver and will certainly test their physical fitness. Additionally, g-forces from the flat banking will put pressure on the drivers' upper extremities. Mild summer weather should positively affect the car's setup and handling, and offer the chassis and drivers some relief. Both cars ran at the top of the pack during the test and hope to have a repeat story on Friday.

STILL GOING STRONG: After a top-10 finish at Daytona, the TELMEX no.01 team enters the Hawkeye state with a nine point lead over the no.10 car. Pruett and Rojas also enter the race with a strong hold on the top-5 in Drivers Points Standings. Friday night's performance under the lights will be critical in maintaining the drivers and crews' full-steam-ahead approach into the last five races of the season.

Look for the no.19 Z-Line Design machine to provide additional motivation for their no.01 teammates. The Finlay/Valiante partnership has shown vast improvement in their last three races, having earned top-8 finishes and also advancing from their starting position. Valiante added more fuel to their enthusiasm by running a race-high 3rd position during the night action at Daytona last week. The no.19's sights are high on a podium finish at the midwest city of Newton, Iowa.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, MEMO: No.01 co-pilot, Memo Rojas, will have two special guests this weekend: cameramen from Speed TV-Latin America. The final product will be a documentary segment titled, "A Day with Memo Rojas." Cameras followed Rojas to his homeland in Mexico and even got clips of him racing go-karts. At the Indianapolis team facility, Rojas played host to the cameras as he gave a personalized tour, showed his morning workout routine, and attended team meetings. The taping will continue at Iowa Speedway, as the Latin America Speed TV cameras document the main focus of Rojas' life: traveling and racing.

-credit: cgr

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