Mid-Ohio: Lexus race report

PRUETT/DIAZ LEAD LEXUS AT MID-OHIO TORRANCE, Calif. (Aug. 27, 2005) -- Scott Pruett took the lead in his ...

PRUETT/DIAZ LEAD LEXUS AT MID-OHIO

TORRANCE, Calif. (Aug. 27, 2005) -- Scott Pruett took the lead in his #01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley on Lap 76 and held the point position until a late re-start saw him surrender the top spot with just seven laps remaining on the way to a second-place finish to lead the Lexus-powered cars in Saturday's EMCO Gears Classic at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The second-place finish by Pruett and co-driver Luis Diaz marks their eighth top-five finish of the season and moves the pair to within 19 points of the series points lead with four races remaining.

"Butch (Leitzinger) had just a little bit more than we did there at the end," Pruett said. "It's just the same situation we had in Laguna Seca, but the roles were reversed. On the restart I gave him enough room to challenge, but the racing was clean. It was a good door-to-door duel that I'm sure the fans appreciated. Our CompUSA pit stops were perfect all day, but we had to save a lot of fuel in the middle of the race which held us back."

The #02 New Century Mortgage Lexus-Riley driven by Cort Wagner and Stefan Johansson also appeared to be headed toward a top-three podium finish when an unscheduled pit stop with just five laps remaining dropped the team from third to a 13th-place finish.

The return of Michael Shank Racing to Lexus power had a promising start, but ended in a difficult weekend. After placing fourth and second in the first two practice sessions, their run to a strong starting position in Friday's qualifying run ended when the 15-minute qualifying session was halted with just eight minutes elapsed. The team's struggles continued on race day with an early spin dropping the #60 Flight Options Lexus-Riley three laps down and into 44th place. Despite the early problems, Oswaldo Negri climbed in the car and gained 27 positions for an eventual 17th-place showing.

Next up for the Daytona Prototypes is the Phoenix 250, Saturday, Sept. 10 at Phoenix International Raceway in Round 11 of the Rolex Sports Car Series. The race will be televised on a tape-delayed basis on SPEED the following day at 4:00 pm ET.

-lexus/toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Scott Pruett , Luis Diaz , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Michael Shank , Cort Wagner
Teams Michael Shank Racing