Watkins Glen II: Chip Ganassi Racing race report

J WEATHER CATCHES UP TO GANASSI; RECORD STREAK HALTED AT 29 WATKINS GLEN, NY (Aug. 8, 2008) -- Changing weather conditions caught up to the ...

J WEATHER CATCHES UP TO GANASSI; RECORD STREAK HALTED AT 29

WATKINS GLEN, NY (Aug. 8, 2008) -- Changing weather conditions caught up to the #01 Ganassi Lexus and the result was a 13th place finish in Friday's Crown Royal 200 at Watkins Glen and the end of the team's record top-10 streak at 29 consecutive races.

After qualifying fifth on Friday, Memo Rojas quickly moved up to third on the first lap and then claimed the second position for a short stint early as the race started in wet conditions. Unfortunately, as the track began to dry, Rojas fell back quickly. He eventually stopped to change to slick tires, losing a lap and falling back to 18th-place. Things took an even greater turn for the worse at that point, as the rain began to resume on the first lap after the team exited the pits. Rojas regained a number of positions up to 14th, but eventually spun, losing a second lap. Shortly afterward, Rojas pitted just past the 30-minute mark of the race with teammate Scott Pruett assuming the driving duties in 18th-place now three laps down. The veteran eventually made up one lap, but could gain just five positions through the remainder of the event to place 13th -- the team's worst showing in more than two years.

Despite the disappointing finish, Pruett and Rojas continue to hold a commanding point lead -- now at 49. They need only to place 12th or better in each of their last three races to win the 2008 Rolex Sports Car Series driver and team championships -- one spot better than the 11th they needed prior to Friday's race.

The rainy conditions were no more favorable for the #3 Southard Motorsports Lexus driven by Shane Lewis and Bill Lester. The team fell back early, losing a lap and never were able to fight back, eventually placing 15th.

The Rolex Sports Car Series will be off next weekend before resuming at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., on Aug. 23, for Round 12 of 14.

-credit: cgr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Shane Lewis , Scott Pruett , Memo Rojas , Bill Lester , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing