VIR: Chip Ganassi Racing Saturday report

Papis Breaks Track Record en Route to VIR 400 Pole Position Danville, VA., Saturday, October 2nd, 2004 --CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates No. 01 Lexus Riley driver Max Papis set a Virginia International Raceway track record with a...

Papis Breaks Track Record en Route to VIR 400 Pole Position

Danville, VA., Saturday, October 2nd, 2004 --CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates No. 01 Lexus Riley driver Max Papis set a Virginia International Raceway track record with a best lap at 1:45.447 (111.639 mph) on his way to the pole position for Sunday's VIR 400 presented by SunTrust.

It is the fourth-consecutive race that Papis will start from the pole position, the last two of which came based on championship points as a result of qualifying cancellations due to weather. Overall, Papis and co-driver Scott Pruett have had the pole in nine out of ten Rolex Grand American Sports Car Series races, tying Dyson Racing Team's 2001 record of poles in a single season.

Papis and Pruett are looking to return their No. 01 CompUSA Lexus Riley to the podium following a 10th place finish in the Miami 250. While running second to the No. 10 car of Max Angelelli in the closing stages of that race, Pruett spun entering the first turn. The mishap cost Pruett and the venerable Ganassi team three laps and several championship points and saw their points lead reduced from 19 points going into the race to eight after the Miami 250. Papis feels that he and the CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing team have served noticed that they remain the team to beat after today's pole-winning effort.

"We start from now," Papis said. "Miami was a hiccup and unfortunately it cost us a lot (in the points race). It made the championship more interesting, but we are fighters. We are going to prove that in the next three races. We want to win this championship badly for Lexus, for Chip Ganassi, and you saw that today in qualifying.

"Today was mainly a great team effort. We came over here with one focus, and that was getting a very fast race car with a race pace. We didn't focus much on qualifying, and still qualifying was awesome. It's an attitude. Here at Lexus and CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing we are all here for one goal, winning. It's always a psychological advantage to start on the pole position, and I'm glad all the field knows where we stand."

CompUSA's no.02 Lexus Riley will start from the 8th spot on the grid of the historic 3.27-mile, 17-turn circuit at Virginia International Raceway for the VIR 400 after the qualifying efforts of Mexican driver, Jimmy Morales.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Max Papis , Scott Pruett , Max Angelelli , Jimmy Morales , Chip Ganassi , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing , Dyson Racing