Denver: Sunday morning warm-up report

DENVER -- Scott Pruett continued his climb up the Denver speed charts for the MotoRock Mile High 100 during Sunday's morning warm-up. Pruett, driver of the No. 7 MotoRock Jaguar XKR, set a 1:12.329-minute lap on the 1.647-mile temporary street ...

DENVER -- Scott Pruett continued his climb up the Denver speed charts for the MotoRock Mile High 100 during Sunday's morning warm-up. Pruett, driver of the No. 7 MotoRock Jaguar XKR, set a 1:12.329-minute lap on the 1.647-mile temporary street course, the fastest lap of the weekend. Interestingly, the lap was the third this weekend that was under last year's qualifying record (1:13.612) set by Stu Hayner.

The warm-up session was extended by 10 minutes due to the lost time in qualifying yesterday. The move was made to allow teams to further dial in their cars for this afternoon's race.

"The track is a little green," said Pruett. "I'm glad we were able to get a few more minutes in this morning. That helped after we didn't have qualifying. Overall, the car is good. It's always tough to make a decision. You're taking a gamble because the track will change from this morning after the Atlantic and Champ Car race. We're going to go back, think about it a little bit, and make the best change we can for the race."

Johnny Miller (No. 64 Eaton Cutler-Hammer Jaguar XKR) was second fastest, ahead of Hayner (No. 2 GMAC Commercial Finance Chevrolet Corvette), Boris Said (No. 33 ACS/GE Access/Sun Microsystems Ford Mustang) and Michael Lewis (No. 12 Westward Tools/The Crank Jaguar XKR).

"It was really frustrating yesterday not being able to qualify," said Miller. "We didn't think we were able to find a benchmark this weekend because of the shortened sessions. We went out this morning, set our benchmark, and then scuffed in our race tires. Yesterday is over, and I am ready for a good race." "We made some changes on the car, and they seem to be going in the right direction," said Hayner. "I think we're faster than we were last year, and we were on the pole. We're making gains as far as our preparation and our program as a whole. All in all, I think we're improving."

The MotoRock Mile High 100, Round 9 of the 2003 MotoRock Trans-Am Tour for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup, will take the green flag today at approximately 4 p.m., following the Champ Car World Series race.

Notebook: * Scott Pruett's chances to clinch his third Trans-Am championship evaporated yesterday when qualifying was canceled. Pruett, driver of the No. 7 MotoRock Jaguar XKR, had to earn maximum points this weekend (36=2 points for the pole, 1 point for leading the most laps, 2 points for leading a lap, 1 point for the Fast Five bonus, and 30 points for winning the race), while his closest pursuer, Johnny Miller (No. 64 Eaton Cutler-Hammer Jaguar XKR) would have to finish last and earn no bonus points. As no qualifying points were awarded, Pruett will have to carry his championship hopes to Round 10, the MotoRock Miami 100, part of the Grand Prix Americas, on the Miami street course.

* Today's Trans-Am autograph session will feature a Denver street magician named, interestingly enough, Stuart E. Hayner. The magician is planning to saw Trans-Am driver Stu Hayner in half, and will do other magic tricks for all in attendance. The autograph session is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. today.

* Bobby Sak, driver of the No. 10 Revolution Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette, proposed to his girlfriend Jenny Boyd this weekend at Denver. Word is that Jenny gave Bobby the "green flag," although a date hasn't been announced.

* The fastest laps set in this weekend's three practice sessions were all under the track qualifying record (1:13.612) set by Stu Hayner last year. Trans-Am spec tires supplier BFGoodrich Tires Engineer Gary Blalock said the grinding out of bumps on the course allowed it to "rubber in" earlier than last season. Interestingly, the fastest race lap (1:12.261) also set by Hayner last year, was faster than the qualifying lap.

-trans am-

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