Road America: Rocketsports race notes, quotes

Scott Pruett, driver of the No. 7 Jaguar Performance XKR, won today's Trans-Am race after starting second...took the lead in turn 1 on lap 1 and lead until the checkered flag...second Trans-Am win at Road America...sixth win in eight starts this...

Scott Pruett, driver of the No. 7 Jaguar Performance XKR, won today's Trans-Am race after starting second...took the lead in turn 1 on lap 1 and lead until the checkered flag...second Trans-Am win at Road America...sixth win in eight starts this season.

Note 1 -- Pruett's win today clinched the manufacturers' championship for Jaguar...Jaguar previously won the title in 2001.

Note 2 -- Pruett also won the BFGoodrich tires "take control" award, his seventh this season.

On his race... "I hate for the fans that the race had to end under yellow, but we know that's a part of racing. But they did the right thing to go yellow because the track was a mess.

"Choosing to run the hard compound on the left rear, was it the right choice? (Laughs) I don't know, I have to look at Johnny's tires and then I let you know. I do know I had to drive a lot harder than Johnny; I was sliding out there. I had to work the car significantly harder. But it was a choice we made; we knew if it went green the whole way with no cautions, we'd be in great shape.

But it worked out in the end for us. I had a great race going with Johnny. He was better in some places and I was faster in some spots. I was able to make my pass in Turn 1. You can tiptoe around there side by side, and in turn 3, too...if you trust the guy next to you. You just need to be a little ahead of the guy. We've done it successfully in CART and we did it today, too.

On his run for a third Trans-Am Championship... "It's been awesome. I've come full circle. When I raced in the Series before, I was using it as a stepping stone. Now, I'm here because I love to drive and it's where I want to be. It's been a lot of fun and I'm with a great program at Rocketsports.

Johnny Miller, driver of the No. 64 Eaton Cutler-Hammer Jaguar XKR, finished second after starting on the pole in today's Trans-Am race...third consecutive podium finish at Road America...sixth podium finish this season.

On his race today..."We opted to run on the medium compound tires, so I was a little cautious with my tires at the start. All those cautions hurt our racing strategy. Taking care of the left rear tire doesn't work if you run out of race.

"It's too bad we ended under yellow. I think we'd have had something left for Scott with a couple more green laps. We had both picked it up before that last caution. I was really boogying; there was barely a car length between us. You have to be careful and decisive. You got one shot and you want to make the best of it. But we had a good race between us. We each knew where the other guy was better. I was better in Turn 1, but Scott was really fast in the Carousel. That last restart we were running identical times.

"You need to be looking past the car in front of you. The scenery stays the same, but I'm always looking at the track. We just ran out of time today. Is it frustrating? Yes, but finishing second isn't a bad thing. We don't want to take chances because we're still in the championship hunt.

Paul Menard, driver of the No. 3 Johns Manville/Menards Jaguar XKR, tentatively finished 11TH after running as high as foruth in today's Trans-Am race...started ninth.

NOTE 1 -- ROAD AMERICA STATS...Menard has only one Trans-Am start here, in 2002 when he finished seventh...Won the 2001 NASCAR RE/MAX Series race here...A Wisconsin native, Menard considers this to be his home track.

NOTE 2 -- BACKGROUND STATS...Has six career Trans-Am starts and has five top-ten finishes...Has one Trans-Am start this season at St. Petersburg, finishing 10th...In 2003, has joined Andy Petree Racing and will compete in an 18-race schedule including NASCAR Truck, Busch, ARCA, and Winston Cup Series...Finished 29th at the Winston Cup race at Watkins Glen...Finished 21st in this week's Truck Series at Bristol Motor Speedway.

On his race..."The car was performing really well, just as I had expected. We were making our way forward after picking our way through traffic. I was trying to protect my tires for a run at the end. I was racing with the 59 car for position and then I got blasted by him in Turn 12 and had all four wheels of course. We were able to get back on track, but our hopes of podium finish were over."

-rsr-

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Scott Pruett , Johnny Miller , Andy Petree , Paul Menard