Homestead II: Toyota Lexus preview

Lexus Looks To Extend Grand-Am Lead At Homestead TORRANCE, Calif. (Sept. 13, 2004) - On the strength of four wins in the last five races, Lexus will take a two-point lead into this weekend's Miami 250 Grand-American Rolex Series Daytona ...

Lexus Looks To Extend Grand-Am Lead At Homestead

TORRANCE, Calif. (Sept. 13, 2004) - On the strength of four wins in the last five races, Lexus will take a two-point lead into this weekend's Miami 250 Grand-American Rolex Series Daytona Prototype race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.

"The car and the engine have evolved a lot since we were at Homestead early in the year," said Max Papis, co-driver of the series leading #01 CompUSA Lexus. "I'm very excited to see all of the improvement. We should definitely be better, but the others have not been standing still, so as usual, it will be close competition."

With three wins and a pair of seconds in their last six races, Papis and teammate Scott Pruett have opened up a 19-point lead in the driver's championship with four races remaining. In addition to both leading in points (244), the Lexus-powered duo also have started seven of eight races from the pole and have led almost 150 more laps than their next closest competitor. Don't expect any changes in strategy from the Ganassi teammates.

"The race in Homestead will be the same as all our other races," said Papis. "We have one goal and that is winning."

After a win in the most recent Rolex Series round at Watkins Glen, Didier Theys and the Doran-Lista #27 Lexus team plan to keep fighting toward the championship as well. Theys has moved up to fourth-place in the driver's title fight and is just 21 points out of second. He's expected to team with Jan Magnussen at Homestead. Magnussen has a win, two seconds and a fifth in five races this season.

Another Lexus-powered championship contender comes from Michael Shank Racing (MSR). The "little team that can" currently sits fourth overall in the team championship after a team-best second-place finish at Watkins Glen. Young drivers Burt Frisselle and Oswaldo Negri, who finished third at Homestead in February, remain behind the wheel for the first-year sports car team. MSR has registered seven top-eight finishes in eight races this season.

Rounding out the Lexus-powered entrants are Jimmy Morales and Luis Diaz in the second Ganassi entry, the #02 CompUSA Lexus. With three top-four finishes this season, they've shown the speed to be competitive for the victory on any given weekend.

The two-day event will feature practice and qualifying on Saturday with Sunday's Miami 250 to be televised live on SPEED beginning at 11:30 a.m. (EDT).

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Jan Magnussen , Max Papis , Scott Pruett , Luis Diaz , Burt Frisselle , Jimmy Morales , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Michael Shank