Utah: Lexus preview

LEXUS MEANS ENDURANCE -- Lexus enters this weekend's Sunchaser 1000 having won each of the last three Rolex Sports Car Series races run of 1000 kilometers or more. Earlier this year, Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Pruett, Salvador Duran and Juan ...

LEXUS MEANS ENDURANCE -- Lexus enters this weekend's Sunchaser 1000 having won each of the last three Rolex Sports Car Series races run of 1000 kilometers or more. Earlier this year, Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Pruett, Salvador Duran and Juan Montoya teamed to dominate the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson won in last year's nine-hour event and Scott Dixon, Dan Wheldon and Casey Mears won the 2006 Rolex 24 for the Ganassi team with Lexus power.

SHANK DUO RETURN AS DEFENDING CHAMPS -- Michael Shank Racing and drivers Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson return to Utah as the defending champions at Miller Motorsports. The duo earned the team's first Grand-Am victory on the track a year ago and clinched the manufacturer's championship for Lexus at the same time. They will be joined by Champ Car star Justin Wilson behind the wheel. Wilson, who co-drove with the team to a second-place finish in the 2006 Rolex 24, is coming off a victory in the most recent Champ Car event.

WILD WEST SHOOT-OUT - If there's a championship to be won, Scott Pruett can't be far off. This weekend's Grand-Am finale is destined to be a reminiscent of a wild west shoot-out as four drivers enter the event within three points of one another. Pruett, who will be aiming for his eighth sports car title, enters this weekend's action trailing by just one point and will win the championship by winning the race. In fact, if any of the top three entries wins the event, they will be guaranteed at least a share of the title.

In addition to the Driver's Championship, Lexus will be looking to secure a third Team Championship in the last four years with Chip Ganassi Racing. Similar to Pruett's situation, Ganassi is one point down and simply needs to win Saturday's 1000k to lock up another title.

LEXUS TITLES... - Since entering Grand-Am Daytona Prototype competition in 2004, Lexus has been a part of four championships -- two team titles with Ganassi Racing (2004, 2006), one driver's (Scott Pruett and Max Papis in 2004) and one manufacturer's championship (2006) with two more on the line this weekend.

...AND PRUETT'S TITLES -- As he looks to add an eighth championship in 10 full seasons of sports car competition since 1986, here's a look at Scott Pruett's championship runs to date:

1986 -- IMSA GTO; 1986 -- IMSA GT Endurance; 1987 -- Trans-Am; 1988 -- IMSA GTO; 1994 -- Trans-Am; 2003 -- Trans-Am; 2004 -- Grand American Daytona Prototypes.

-credit: lexus motorsports

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Justin Wilson , Max Papis , Scott Dixon , Scott Pruett , Dan Wheldon , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Chip Ganassi , Salvador Duran , Mark Patterson , Michael Shank
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Michael Shank Racing