Birmingham: Toyota Lexus preview

And Then There Were Two: Lexus Drivers Take Championship Lead into Barber 250 TORRANCE, Calif. (Oct. 5, 2004) - Lexus-powered drivers Scott Pruett and Max Papis will take a slim five-point championship lead into this weekend's Grand American...

And Then There Were Two:
Lexus Drivers Take Championship Lead into Barber 250

TORRANCE, Calif. (Oct. 5, 2004) - Lexus-powered drivers Scott Pruett and Max Papis will take a slim five-point championship lead into this weekend's Grand American Rolex Series Barber 250 at the Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, with just two races remaining on the schedule.

Coming off a second-place finish last weekend at the Virginia International Raceway, Pruett and Papis have now registered three victories and three second-place finishes, to go along with nine pole positions in 10 races this season in their #01 CompUSA Lexus. A win and a second-place in the final two races will clinch the duo's Driver's Championship in Lexus' first season of Daytona Prototype competition.

While Pruett and Papis have been a force throughout the season, their Ganassi Racing CompUSA teammates Jimmy Morales and Luis Diaz have used a strong late-season push to propel Morales into sixth-place overall in the championship hunt. Over the past six races, the pair have four top-five finishes, including a fourth at Homestead and a fifth at Virginia in the two most recent events.

Michael Shank Racing is coming off its most disappointing finish of the season (14th) after a late-race incident at VIR while the team was running in sixth place. The small Ohio-based team still ranks fourth overall in team points heading into the final two races of the 2004 campaign. Burt Frisselle and Oswaldo Negri will continue behind the wheel as they have for all but one race this season for the first-year sports car team.

Doran-Lista Racing is the third Lexus-powered team in the top five in team points. Former Formula 1 and Champ Car driver Andrea Montermini will join lead driver Didier Theys behind the wheel of the team's #27 Lexus for the second consecutive race. The team was forced to retire early due to mechanical problems last weekend at Virginia. Jan Magnussen, who co-drove with Theys to victory at Watkins Glen, is expected to return for the season-ending Lexus Grand American 400, October 29-31 at the California Speedway.

For the season, Lexus-powered cars have won four races and nine pole positions and secured nine additional top-three finishes.

Qualifying will take place Saturday, October 9, at 1:15 p.m. EDT, while Sunday's Barber 250 Presented by Bradley Arant can be seen live on SPEED beginning at 12 noon. The Grand-Am Cup race, featuring Team Lexus and its Lexus IS 300s will take place Saturday immediately following Rolex Series qualifying.

-toyota-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Didier Theys , Max Papis , Scott Pruett , Luis Diaz , Andrea Montermini , Burt Frisselle , Jimmy Morales , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Michael Shank
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Michael Shank Racing