Watkins Glen: Lexus preview

LEXUS HEADS TO THE GLEN LEADING AT THE GRAND-AM MIDWAY POINT TORRANCE, Calif. (May 30, 2006) -- With four victories in the first seven races this season, the Lexus Daytona Prototype begins the second-half of the Rolex Sports Car Series in ...

LEXUS HEADS TO THE GLEN LEADING AT THE GRAND-AM MIDWAY POINT

TORRANCE, Calif. (May 30, 2006) -- With four victories in the first seven races this season, the Lexus Daytona Prototype begins the second-half of the Rolex Sports Car Series in first-place with hopes of maintaining that status quo at this weekend's Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen at Watkins Glen International.

Lexus currently holds a 17-point lead in the Manufacturer's Championship as Pontiac, Porsche and BMW are in the fight for second following the most recent Lexus victory at Phoenix International Raceway, May 13.

Leading the way for the manufacturer is the duo of Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz in their #01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley. The pair has registered three wins and five top-three finishes while moving into the Driver's Championship points lead by seven points. In addition, their Ganassi Racing team also was triumphant in the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona in a Lexus-powered entry led by open-wheel star Scott Dixon.

Few drivers, if any, have more experience at Watkins Glen than Pruett. In addition to five previous Daytona Prototype starts at the track, he has raced at the track in no less than seven other major racing series -- NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Busch, IROC, IMSA GTP, IMSA GTO, IMSA GTU and Trans-Am. Amazingly enough, he's had at least one top-five finish at Watkins Glen in every one of those series, except Busch, where he placed eighth in 2001 after setting the track record in qualifying. Pruett teamed with Max Papis to win the 2004 Sahlen's Six Hours on his way to the Daytona Prototype championship. Pruett and Diaz teamed to finish second at the Glen in September after a third-place finish in last year's six-hour event.

Also on the victory podium last September was the combination of Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson with a third-place finish. They'll return in their #60 Flight Options Lexus-Riley for Michael Shank Racing. Patterson currently sits ninth in points, while Negri fell to 17th after missing the Phoenix race. The pair has endured a rollercoaster-type season with a pair of seconds among three top-five finishes, and a number of DNFs.J Michael Shank Racing also will enter the #6 Mears Motor Coach Lexus-Riley for drivers Mike Borkowski and Paul Mears. The race will feature a homecoming of sorts for Borkowski, who attended Cornell University in upstate New York. He notched a season-best third at Mexico.

With four victories this season, Lexus-powered entries have won 12 races and 18 pole positions in 33 Rolex Series events since entering the series in 2004.

Saturday's Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen will be televised live on SPEED in its entirety at 2:30 p.m. with qualifying scheduled for Friday at 4:15 p.m. (all times Eastern).

-Lexus/Toyota Motorsports

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Max Papis , Scott Dixon , Scott Pruett , Mike Borkowski , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Mark Patterson , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing