Daytona II: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

VENUE: Daytona International Speedway this Thursday, June 29th (7:00pm ET), on the 3.56-mile infield road course in Daytona Beach, Fla. Round 10 of 14 on the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series season. ONCE A WINNER, ALWAYS A WINNER? With...

VENUE: Daytona International Speedway this Thursday, June 29th (7:00pm ET), on the 3.56-mile infield road course in Daytona Beach, Fla. Round 10 of 14 on the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series season.

ONCE A WINNER, ALWAYS A WINNER? With the damage sustained to the no.01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley in Mid-Ohio, the team will once again reunite with an old friend. The chassis of the 2006 Rolex 24 At Daytona-winning no.02 Target Lexus-Riley will make its return to Grand American competition after a four-month layoff. Having turned its last lap at Daytona in February at the hands of Casey Mears, Dan Wheldon and Scott Dixon, the no.02 machine went into Victory Lane and directly into the team's lobby as the ultimate showpiece displaying the team's 24-hour dominance. Upon return from Ohio, both the no.01 (chassis #004) and the no.02 (chassis #002) were stripped down to the frame, with the no.02 taking on the no.01's armor and livery in preparation for its return to Rolex Series combat at the venue it last came to life.

EXHAUST NOTES: Pruett currently leads the Rolex Series in the Laps Led category with 177, followed by Diaz in third with 125...CGRFS engine supplier Lexus leads the Manufacturer Standings 362-360 over Pontiac...CGRFS constructor Riley leads Crawford (402-360) in the Chassis Standings...on the strength of four team wins through nine rounds in 2006 (no.01 and no.02 cars), CGRFS has led 644 of 1839 total laps, or 35%.

ROUND 9 RECAP: CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates clawed their way back from the 26th starting position Saturday night at the EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, but Scott Pruett was taken out of competition on Lap 85 when he had contact with the spinning no.8 Porsche-Doran in Turn 9, ending the team's night 14 laps shy of the checkered flag in the 99-lap sprint race. While an alternate strategy was playing out for the no.01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley, Pruett was holding his ground in the sixth position, but two slower GT machines went side-to-side on the backstretch as the no.08 and no.39 Daytona Prototypes quickly closed in. The situation resulted in big coming-together on the 2.258-mile circuit, leaving Pruett no room to avoid the spinning no.8 machine. The incident left Pruett with a heavily damaged car, and a 21st place finish as the team now faces a quick turn around with the Brumos Porsche 250 looming just around the corner in Daytona.

CGRFS QUOTEBOARD

SCOTT PRUETT

"Again, it's a difficult situation for the team after the crash in Mid-Ohio. The CompUSA guys have worked their tails off this past week. But overall, I think we're fairly optimistic with the no.02 car chassis. It's obviously a proven winner here at Daytona. We'll have a lot to go through and evaluate in a one-day format for sure, but if anyone can do it, it's this CompUSA team. We have a pretty good track record here with the Ganassi cars as well, so we'll have to wait and see how it all shakes out."

LUIS DIAZ

"I think what happened in Ohio last weekend was unfortunate for sure, but we have to stay focused on the championship and get the car up front and win. It doesn't matter to me if it's the no.01 car or the no.02 chassis. Scott and I have to work with [engineer] Mike [O'Gara] and [team manager] Tim [Keene] to make the car fast from the first lap forward. We'll have a lot of work to do in setting up the car in a very short time frame."

-cgr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Casey Mears , Scott Dixon , Scott Pruett , Dan Wheldon , Chip Ganassi , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing