Watkins Glen II: Chip Ganassi Racing race report

CRITICAL PODIUM FINISH AT THE GLEN FOR TELMEX TEAM WATKINS GLEN, New York (Aug. 10, 2007)- After a third place finish at Watkins Glen International, Pruett and the No.01 TELMEX team are able to hold on to their claim as the forerunners in the...

CRITICAL PODIUM FINISH AT THE GLEN FOR TELMEX TEAM

WATKINS GLEN, New York (Aug. 10, 2007)- After a third place finish at Watkins Glen International, Pruett and the No.01 TELMEX team are able to hold on to their claim as the forerunners in the driver and team championship. The championship battle intensifies with Angelelli and the No.10 team as the two are now tied with the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) team for first in driver and team points.

Starting from 14th on the grid, the No.01 TELMEX's strategy was to do the opposite of the leaders to make up ground quickly. On lap 31 of 82, Rojas handed the car to Pruett in eighth position. Pruett consistently ran fourth behind the No.75 of Colin Braun until the final stages of the race when Braun and Angelelli made contact on the final lap, enabling Pruett to advance to third place.

Finlay moved to a race-high seventh from his 10th place starting position early in his driving stint. Valiante's story focused on working through traffic; he spun and regained control after avoiding contact with the 11th place No.61 car on lap 57. Valiante piloted the Lexus-powered machine to a top-10 finish (10th), the team's fourth since joining the CGRFS stable in April.

This year's Rolex Grand Am driver and team championship battle is the closest in its history as the series enters its final two races in the 2007 schedule. Pruett and the No.01TELMEX team are tied with Angelelli and the No.10 car for first place (354 and 349 points). Trailing only four points behind in third is the No.99 duo of Fogarty and Gurney.

Up next for the No.01 and No.19 CGRFS team is Round 13 of 14 races at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California on Saturday, August 25th at 2:45 p.m. Television coverage airs on SPEED Channel at 7:00 p.m. ET on August 25th (Tape Delay).

CGRFS Driver Quoteboard

SCOTT PRUETT: "Our strategy is to just do whatever we can. The TELMEX Ganassi team had a flawless pit stop, we got in and right out. I drove the car like we were qualifying every lap. The car was handling well; we only struggled a bit off of the turns. These guys (No.10 and No.99) set a tough pace. This is a great group of drivers in the Rolex series; it's fun and intense, there's good depth in the field and quality drivers. This championship will come down to a situation when the music stops, who'll be the luckiest guy at the end. Chip's good at digging down and pulling out good things, so I'm looking forward to the final two races in Sonoma and Salt Lake -- it will certainly be intense."

MEMO ROJAS: (About early race incident)" I think I experienced the same as Memo (Gidley); when the other lapped car spun, it was Memo, the Gold (No.61) car, and myself and since I was the last guy, I couldn't see and did everything to avoid t-boning the lapped car (No.31). We did have problems with qualifying, but I knew I'd have to work from the back and I just kept thinking: use pressure, go quick, pass, and don't crash. It worked! The No.01 TELMEX crew did a great job in giving us a podium finishing car."

MICHAEL VALIANTE: "We just got stuck in the middle of the pack tonight. Rob did well in the first part of his stint with moving up from 10th. When I got in, I was able to run well, but just couldn't make as many passes I had wanted. The No.19 CGRFS crew worked hard through practice, qualifying, and the race to give us the best car possible. I'm looking forward to the final two races and putting together strong efforts in Sonoma and Salt Lake City."

-credit: cgr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Colin Braun , Chip Ganassi , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing