Papis Takes Lexus Sixth Pole In Seven Rolex Series Races LEXINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 6, 2004) - With co-driver Scott Pruett absent while qualifying for Sunday's Brickyard 400, teammate Max Papis didn't skip a beat as he gave Lexus and the CompUSA ...
Papis Takes Lexus Sixth Pole In Seven Rolex Series Races
LEXINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 6, 2004) - With co-driver Scott Pruett absent while qualifying for Sunday's Brickyard 400, teammate Max Papis didn't skip a beat as he gave Lexus and the CompUSA Ganassi Racing team its sixth pole in seven Grand American Rolex Series races this season in preparation for Saturday's EMCO Gears Mid-Ohio Road Racing Classic.
The pole marks the second time Papis has earned the top spot in qualifying this year as he set a new track record in the process. Papis and Pruett own an 11-point lead in the championship race heading into this weekend's action.
"We are very, very pleased with the balance in our race car," Papis said. "We worked very hard on race setup, but we didn't work that hard with getting the best out of the car. We are pleased with how well we did in qualifying. We are pleased with both cars. With the (team's) No. 02 (car), Jimmy (Morales) is making a lot of progress. As usual, I think it's going to be a very close battle."
Among those making up that close battle will be local favorites, Michael Shank Racing (MSR). Competing an hour from the team's shop in Columbus, Oswaldo Negri registered the fourth-fastest lap to qualify on the outside of Row 2. The #6 MSR Lexus also was second in Friday's first practice session.
Rounding out the top five was the #02 CompUSA Lexus of Jimmy Morales and Luis Diaz - the Ganassi team car to the Papis/Pruett entry. The fifth-place qualifying effort marked the fifth time this season that the #02 has qualified in the top five.
Another other Ohio-based Lexus team, Doran-Lista Racing, registered an eighth today to make it four Lexus-powered entries in the first eight cars. Veteran road racing champion Didier Theys qualified the car and will team with 22-year-old Swiss driver Benjamin Leuenberger. Both regular team driver Fredy Lienhard and the team's third driver, Jan Magnussen, had other commitments, but Magnussen will return to drive next weekend at Watkins Glen.
The EMCO Gears Mid-Ohio Road Racing Classic is tentatively scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. start on Saturday, with SPEED's tape-delayed coverage beginning while the event is still in progress at 8:00 p.m.