Phoenix: Chip Ganassi Racing qualifying report

Phoenix, Arizona, April 9th, 2004 -- The CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team claimed the pole position for the third straight race in a row, this time securing the top two starting positions. Max Papis, driver of the ...

Phoenix, Arizona, April 9th, 2004 -- The CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team claimed the pole position for the third straight race in a row, this time securing the top two starting positions. Max Papis, driver of the #01 Lexus-Riley, set a new track record with a time of 56.005 seconds, besting the previous track record by 1.083 seconds.

"Qualifying on the pole for the third straight time is a big accomplishment for CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing team. Winning the pole is a great reward for the hard work. All of the guys on the CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team make a great family," said pole winner Papis. "It is fantastic to get my first Rolex Daytona Prototype pole position. Now, the most important thing is to focus on the race tomorrow and bringing home the first victory for Lexus and CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing."

Rookie driver, Luis Diaz, claimed the front-row outside starting position with a lap time of 56.452 seconds. "It has really been a great beginning (of the season) for me. All of the hard work from our guys makes our jobs a lot easier. After what happened in Homestead, everyone supported me and helped me to get my confidence back," said Diaz who will compete with his teammate and fellow Mexican driver, Jimmy Morales. This was Diaz's first time to handle the qualifying duties, in only his second start for the team.

All of the CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing drivers know that the real challenge will come on Saturday night. Pole winner Max Papis said, "Tomorrow is going to be really, really physical, and you need to be very, very focused. We are going to be passing cars right and left. The most important thing to do is to be patient and bring the car home. That will lead to a good result."

Race traffic will be more hectic than ever with 41 cars on the 1.51-mile track. "I don't think anyone here has ever had experience with so many cars on the track at the same time. This race is going to be very exciting," said #02 driver Luis Diaz. "My goal now is to set a good pace tomorrow, be conservative, and give Jimmy (Morales) the car in good shape. Then I will let him bring the car home with a good strong finish."

Team co-owner, Chip Ganassi, is keeping the team focused on the main goal for the weekend. "As happy as we are to qualify first and second, our focus is still on finishing first and second at the end of the race tomorrow," said Ganassi

Rolex Grand American Sports Car Series racing fans can follow the CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team's progress at Phoenix International Raceway's Food City 250 by logging on to the GrandAmerican.com website for free Zippo live timing results. Fans can also watch the race LIVE on SPEED this Saturday, April 10th at 9 p.m. (EST).

-cgr-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Max Papis , Luis Diaz , Jimmy Morales , Chip Ganassi , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing