Iowa: Lexus race report

NEWTON, Iowa (July 13, 2007) -- Scott Pruett took over the lead on Lap 88 and went on to lead the final 105 laps in pacing a one-two Lexus finish with teammate Michael Valiante in Friday night's Iowa 400k at the Iowa Speedway. Pruett, who...

NEWTON, Iowa (July 13, 2007) -- Scott Pruett took over the lead on Lap 88 and went on to lead the final 105 laps in pacing a one-two Lexus finish with teammate Michael Valiante in Friday night's Iowa 400k at the Iowa Speedway.

Pruett, who co-drove the #01 Telmex Lexus-Riley with Memo Rojas, earned a Rolex Series record 14th victory. In addition, the win also marked a record 15th Rolex Series triumph for Chip Ganassi Racing. For Rojas, it was his first-ever Daytona Prototype win.

The night also marked a career-best finish for the duo of Rob Finlay and Valiante, who hounded Pruett throughout the final laps on the way to giving the Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus team its' first-ever one-two finish in the #19 Z-Line Designs Make-A-Wish Lexus-Riley.

It also was fruitful night for three other Lexus-powered teams. Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson teamed to finish fifth in the #60 Michael Shank Racing Lexus, while the Southard Motorsports #3 PLP Lexus placed a season-best eighth with Mark Martin, Shane Lewis and Randy Ruhlman. The #6 Michael Shank Racing Lexus also placed in the top-10 with a ninth-place showing with drivers John Pew and Ian James. Rounding out the Lexus contingent were Mark Wilkins and Brian Frisselle in the #61 Exchange Traded Gold Lexus-Riley in 15th.

The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series continues next weekend with the Porsche 250 at the Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.

NOTES:

- Scott Pruett's victory was his 14th in Daytona Prototype competition, giving him a new Rolex Series record. The win also marked the fourth time in the last five races that Pruett and Memo Rojas placed in the top two -- and was the team's 14th consecutive top-10 showing.

- Mark Martin made his Daytona Prototype debut in the #3 PLP tonight. Due to a late Nextel Cup qualifying run, Martin missed qualifying and was forced to start last. He and co-drivers Randy Ruhlman and Shane Lewis eventually placed a season-best eighth.

- Michael Valiante and Rob Finlay's second-place finish was their best-ever Grand-Am result and the pair have now placed eighth or better in their last four starts.

- Chip Ganassi Racing has had both of its team cars finish in the top-10 in each of the last four races, while Michael Shank Racing has placed two cars in the top-10 in four of the last five.

- Four Lexus-powered teams remain in the top-10 in the point standings. The #01 Chip Ganassi Racing team is first, followed by the #6 Michael Shank Racing team in seventh, their teammates in the #60 Michael Shank Racing moved up to eighth and AIM Autosport sits in 10th.

Credit: lexus

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Shane Lewis , Scott Pruett , Michael Valiante , Randy Ruhlman , Ian James , Memo Rojas , Chip Ganassi , Mark Wilkins , John Pew , Mark Patterson , Brian Frisselle , Rob Finlay , Michael Shank , Mark Martin
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Michael Shank Racing