Millville: Lexus preview

LEXUS DRIVERS CLOSE IN ON TITLE -- Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas can clinch the Rolex Sports Car Series driver's championship in New Jersey this weekend by finishing fourth or better, or by simply finishing ahead of the ...

LEXUS DRIVERS CLOSE IN ON TITLE -- Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas can clinch the Rolex Sports Car Series driver's championship in New Jersey this weekend by finishing fourth or better, or by simply finishing ahead of the #99 car, the only other car still mathematically eligible. If the Lexus duo is not able to wrap up the title this weekend, they will need to place 17th or better in each of the season's final two races to secure the championship. With a track record of placing their #01 Telmex Lexus in the top-10 in 30 of its last 31 races, the odds would appear to be on their side. For the season, they've earned six victories and nine top-three podium finishes in 12 events.

In addition to the driver's championship, Chip Ganassi Racing also holds a 42-point advantage in the team championship. The Lexus-powered team won previous Daytona Prototype championships in 2004 and 2006.

PRUETT CLOSES IN ON ALL-TIME RECORD -- As Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas inch closer to the Rolex Series title, a championship would give Pruett an American record eight major sports car championships, breaking a record he currently holds along with the late Peter Gregg. Amazingly enough, Pruett could eclipse the record despite having spent eight full seasons in Indy cars and one in NASCAR, as well as missing a full season due to injury (1991). Pruett's titles include one Daytona Prototype championship (2004), two IMSA GTO titles (1986 and 1988), one IMSA GT Endurance (1986) and three Trans-Am championships (1987, 1994 and 2003). In 10 full seasons of sports car racing since 1986, Pruett has never finished below second in a championship race. He had seven titles and three runner-up finishes heading into this season.

VIVA LA MEXICO -- Memo Rojas is on pace to become the first Mexican driver ever to win a major racing championship in the United States. The second-year Grand-Am driver has eight victories in 26 races since joining the Ganassi operation last season after racing exclusively in open-wheel cars prior to 2007. Rojas placed fourth in the driver's championship last season as a rookie.

NEW JERSEY CONNECTIONS -- This weekend's race will be the first major event held at the New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, but it won't be the first trek for Lexus driver Scott Pruett into the Garden State. Pruett raced in the now defunct Meadowlands Grand Prix twice in the late 1980s. He finished third in the 1989 CART event behind Bobby Rahal and Emerson Fittipaldi in a top-five that also included Rick Mears and Al Unser Jr.

BROKEN RECORDS -- With each passing victory, long-time Lexus driver Scott Pruett continues his record-breaking season. Pruett earned a record seventh "Rolex 24 at Daytona" triumph to start the season and has added five more 2008 victories since then for a GA career total of 20. On the team side, Chip Ganassi Racing has extended its win total to 21 -- also a Rolex Series record.

-credit: lexus

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Scott Pruett , Rick Mears , Memo Rojas , Emerson Fittipaldi , Chip Ganassi , Peter Gregg
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing