Sears Point: Lexus preview

ROLEX SERIES TITLE COMES DOWN TO TWO-RACE SHOOT-OUT FOR LEXUS TORRANCE, Calif. (Aug. 21, 2006) -- After 12 regulation races, three qualifying events and almost 2,000 laps, Lexus' Rolex Sports Car Series Manufacturer's Championship hopes all come...

ROLEX SERIES TITLE COMES DOWN TO TWO-RACE SHOOT-OUT FOR LEXUS

TORRANCE, Calif. (Aug. 21, 2006) -- After 12 regulation races, three qualifying events and almost 2,000 laps, Lexus' Rolex Sports Car Series Manufacturer's Championship hopes all come down to the season's final two races. The series travels to Sonoma, Calif. this weekend before closing out the 2006 campaign in Salt Lake City on Labor Day the following week.

This season's championship race has been hotly contested between Lexus, Porsche, Pontiac, Ford and BMW. Despite leading the series in wins (five) and laps led (867), Lexus heads to Sonoma one point out of the championship lead.

Fresh off a victory at Watkins Glen with the new Lexus 5.0-liter engine, Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz will lead the Lexus contingent at Sonoma in their #01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley. The duo lead the series in wins (4) and laps led (436 - more than 100 higher than the next team). They are currently third in points behind the leader.

Michael Shank Racing provides two more Lexus-powered entries that have consistently run upfront. Both of the team's two cars have finished in the top-10 in each of the last four races.

Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson are coming off an impressive fourth-place showing at Watkins Glen and have registered five top-five finishes this season in their #60 Flight Options Lexus-Riley. Patterson is currently ninth in points and has a commanding lead in the series Jim Trueman Award standings.

Mike Borkowski just keeps logging top-10 finishes in his #6 Playboy Racing/Mears Lexus-Riley regardless of his co-driver. After placing 10th along with Burt Frisselle at Watkins Glen, Borkowski will join Burt's brother, Brian Frisselle, in the car this weekend. The two Frisselle brothers mark the third and fourth different co-drivers Borkowski has driven with in the last four races, yet the Cornell grad has notched a top-10 finish with each.

LEXUS' PRUETT SET FOR A HOME-COMING

Along with the rest of the Rolex Sports Car Series, Scott Pruett will make his first Daytona Prototype appearance at the Infineon Raceway, but is certainly no novice when it comes to the Sonoma, Calif., road course.

In fact, Pruett made his first appearance at Infineon (then known as Sears Point) some 30-odd years ago in a go-kart event early in his teens. Since that inauspicious beginning, Pruett has earned a top-three podium finish in every category that he's raced on the circuit -- including two wins and a pair of third-place finishes in Trans-Am competition, a third-place finish in IMSA GTO action and most recently, a third-place showing in the NASCAR Nextel Cup contest in 2004.

"I think we should be great at Sonoma," said Pruett, who will drive the #01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley. "It's my home-track and I love the place. With our car and our Lexus engine package, we should be really good. It's certainly one of my most favorite tracks. It's so close to home and so many of my friends and family are coming down who supported me for long. I'm really looking forward to it."

Pruett not only leads the series in wins this season, but he's also led almost 50% more laps than any of his competition. Along with his four wins, Pruett and co-driver Luis Diaz have teamed for a series-high seven top-three finishes. In addition, he also is the Daytona Prototype all-time leader in wins, poles and top-three podium finishes -- and is showing no signs of slowing down.

-credit: lexus motorsports

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