Mid-Ohio: Lexus preview

HOME TEAMS -- Three of the four Lexus-powered teams have strong ties to Mid-Ohio and the Columbus area. Both Michael Shank Racing and Southard Motorsports are located in the Columbus suburbs. In addition, Southard team driver Randy Ruhlman is an...

HOME TEAMS -- Three of the four Lexus-powered teams have strong ties to Mid-Ohio and the Columbus area. Both Michael Shank Racing and Southard Motorsports are located in the Columbus suburbs. In addition, Southard team driver Randy Ruhlman is an Ohio native, while the Shank team recently tested 18-year-old Graham Rahal at Mid-Ohio with thoughts of potentially running him later in the season. Rahal, the son of long-time TrueSports Indy car star Bobby Rahal, is a resident of nearby Dublin.

Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Pruett also has strong ties to Mid-Ohio. Pruett's first full-time Indy car ride came with the Truesports team founded by the late Jim Trueman, who's family still owns and operates Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course today. Pruett earned both CART Rookie of the Year and Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year honors with the TrueSports team.

PRUETT'S SEEN GOOD AND BAD AT MID-OHIO -- Scott Pruett has three career victories at Mid-Ohio in three different series, but has also seen his share of disappointment. The northern California native won on the Lexington road course in Daytona Prototypes in 2004, as well as in Trans-Am in 1987 and IMSA GTO in 1986. Yet, it was last year's Mid-Ohio race that likely cost Pruett a second Daytona Prototype Driver's Championship in three years when he was caught up in another driver's crash while running comfortably in the top-10 with just 14 laps remaining. The incident forced Pruett to retire in 21st place and the loss in points proved to be the difference in the championship race.J

SPEAKING OF POINTS - Scott Pruett continues to lead the Daytona Prototype Driver's Championship by seven points heading into Saturday's race, while his #01 Chip Ganassi Racing team sits on top of the Team Championship. Pruett was the series' 2004 champion, while CGR has a pair of team titles (2004, 2006).

Three other Lexus-powered teams enter this weekend's action in the top-10, including two from Michael Shank Racing. The #6 Shank entry driven by Ian James and John Pew has been one of the hottest teams in the paddock with top-seven finishes in each of the last three races to propel the team into eighth-place overall. Immediately following in the points chase is the #60 Michael Shank Racing Lexus driven by Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson in ninth, and the #61 AIM Autosports Lexus-Riley in 10th with drivers Mark Wilkins, Burt Frisselle and Brian Frisselle.

GANASSI DUO BRING TOP-TEN STREAK TO MID-OHIO -- The #01 Telmex Chip Ganassi Racing entry is the only Daytona Prototype team to finish in the top-10 in each race this season and brings an overall streak of 11 consecutive top-10 finishes into this weekend's action. Over the course of the 11-race streak, the #01 Lexus has three wins, seven top-three finishes and nine top-fives.

-credit: lexus

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Scott Pruett , Graham Rahal , Randy Ruhlman , Ian James , Burt Frisselle , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Chip Ganassi , Mark Wilkins , John Pew , Mark Patterson , Brian Frisselle , Michael Shank
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing , Michael Shank Racing