Phoenix: Lexus race report

DIAZ, PRUETT PUT LEXUS IN PHOENIX WINNER'S CIRCLE PHOENIX, Ariz. (May 13, 2006) -- Luis Diaz and Scott Pruett combined to lead more than 100 laps in earning Lexus its fourth Rolex Sports Car Series victory of the season in Saturday night's...

DIAZ, PRUETT PUT LEXUS IN PHOENIX WINNER'S CIRCLE

PHOENIX, Ariz. (May 13, 2006) -- Luis Diaz and Scott Pruett combined to lead more than 100 laps in earning Lexus its fourth Rolex Sports Car Series victory of the season in Saturday night's Gainsco Grand Prix at Phoenix International Raceway.

Diaz moved his #01 CompUSA Lexus Riley into the lead on Lap 8 and other than relinquishing the top spot while pitting, they gave up the lead for only 18 laps over the remainder of the 149-lap event in notching their third victory of the season. The triumph moved Diaz and Pruett back into the series points lead and made Pruett the first driver in Daytona Prototype history to register 10 wins.

Things didn't go  nearly as well for Michael Shank Racing (MSR) after a
promising start to the  weekend.  A crash during Friday's  qualifying race resulted
in a one-race suspension for Oswaldo Negri, the lead  driver on the #60
Flight Options Lexus-Riley.  The team was forced to recruit a  replacement driver
to join Mark Patterson with less than 24 hours notice and  tabbed Scotsman Rod
MacLeod to fill the role.  The end result was a  16th-place finish.
The second MSR entry  with Mike Borkowski and Antoine Bessett appeared to be
a contender for top  honors as Bessette ran in the top-five early.
Unfortunately, the strong effort from  the Canadian went for naught when Bessette was
knocked off-track by one of the  GT entries while running in sixth, forcing the
#6 Mears Motor Coach Lexus-Riley  to retire early in 23rd-place.  After
finishing an impressive fifth in Friday's qualifying race,  Borkowski wasn't even
able to climb into the car due to the early  retirement.
Tonight's victory is  the 12th for Lexus in three years of Grand Am
competition and,  combined with the second in yesterday's qualifying race, gives the
luxury  automaker a commanding lead over Porsche in the Manufacturer's
Championship  race.
The  Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series returns to action on June 3 at
Watkins  Glen International for the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen.   The race
will be shown live and in its  entirety on SPEED beginning at 2:30 p.m. (ET).

SCOTT PRUETT, #01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley: "Luis did a great job team. Really the whole team did. Our pit stops were strong, Lexus gave us a good engine and the tires were good throughout. This might be the toughest track we go to all year.

LUIS DIAZ, #01 CompUSA  Lexus-Riley: "This is a great win  for us.  We came
here without  testing, while four or five of the other teams came here for at
least a day, so  we really didn't expect this type of result.  The Lexus power
helped us a bunch and it  really made a difference today.  We  really have to
give a lot of the credit to the entire team.  They did a great job  today."

-lexus-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Luis Diaz , Mike Borkowski , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Mark Patterson , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing