Homestead: Lexus Motorsports race report

Pruett/Rojas Second At Homestead, Fall Just Short Of Series Title HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Oct. 10, 2009) -- Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas climbed through the field to place second in today's Rolex Sports Car Series race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway,...

Pruett/Rojas Second At Homestead, Fall Just Short Of Series Title

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Oct. 10, 2009) -- Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas climbed through the field to place second in today's Rolex Sports Car Series race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, but fell just short of a second straight series championship.

After starting seventh, the team took an aggressive strategy, maximizing tires in the scorching 92 degree south Florida heat. Rojas began moving up the field and eventually took over the race lead for a lap before coming in to pit on Lap 26.

Pruett took over the car at that point and emerged from the pits at the back of the field under caution, in the 15th position. The two-time series champion then started a valiant drive through the field. By Lap 52, he had moved up to fourth-place and then climbed into second on Lap 55. After pitting and coming out in fifth place, Pruett had moved back into second by Lap 66.

Eventually, he charged by then-leader Max Angelelli to take over the top spot on Lap 81. Unfortunately, Pruett's tires started to go away soon after and he relinquished the top spot on Lap 84. Shortly thereafter, the first of two late-race full-course caution flags came out on Lap 85 with the second waving on Lap 96, with the race ending under yellow. With the second-place finish, the #01 Lexus and drivers Pruett and Rojas concluded the 2009 season in second-place, the sixth consecutive season that the team has placed no worse than second.

Notes:

- With today's second-place finish, Scott Pruett extends his Grand-Am record for podium finishes to 48. It's also the eighth for Pruett and co-driver Memo Rojas in 12 races this season.

- After placing second today, the #01 Telmex/Lexus and drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas placed second overall in the Rolex Sports Car Series team and driver's championships. The #01 team has never finished below second in six years of Daytona Prototype competition.

- With this year's runner-up finish, Scott Pruett has now finished second or better in every sports car championship he's competed in full-time since 1986. - Today's second marks the fourth podium finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the #01 Telmex Lexus in six races on the speedway road course. The team won last year's race and also placed third in 2006 and 2007.

- In leading four laps today, the #01 Lexus led 10 of the 12 races on this year's schedule -- one of only two teams to accomplish that feat and led more laps than any other team in the series this season with 410. Individually, Scott Pruett led more laps than any other driver this season with 194.

- Today's result marked the 11th top-10 finish for the #01 Lexus in 12 races this season..

Memo Rojas, #01 Telmex Lexus: "We certainly didn't have the best car in practice and qualifying, so we went back to our set-up here from last year. Luckily it worked. It was good on long runs. We were very aggressive on strategy here in trying to win this championship. It proved to be the right move as we worked our way into the lead late in the race. My hat's off to everyone on the Chip Ganassi Racing team. They did a great job this year."

Scott Pruett, #01 Telmex Lexus: "We just fought all day long. We were on a little bit different strategy and made one more pit stop. We gave it all we had. It was just brutal out there. At the end, we were just holding on trying to get the car home. Basically, you were as good as your tires today. I feel bad for the fans in having the race finish under yellow, but truthfully, I don't think we had anything for the #59 car. Second in the championship is better than third, but it's sure not first."

-credit: lexus motorsports

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Scott Pruett , Max Angelelli , Memo Rojas , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing