COMPUSA TEAM ROLLS AT MAZDA RACEWAY FOR BACK-TO-BACK WINS MONTEREY, Calif. (May 1, 2005) -- CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates moved one step-- actually seven steps closer to taking over the points lead with their...
COMPUSA TEAM ROLLS AT MAZDA RACEWAY FOR BACK-TO-BACK WINS
MONTEREY, Calif. (May 1, 2005) -- CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates moved one step-- actually seven steps closer to taking over the points lead with their second-consecutive Rolex Sports Car Series victory at the inaugural Road & Track 250 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Native Californian Scott Pruett put the finishing touches on the timed 97-lap stick-and-move style race, picking his spots and dodging Daytona Prototypes to finish first among the record 54 entered machines. Pruett and co-driver Luis Diaz narrowed SunTrust Racing's championship lead from 17 to 10 as they continue their defense of the Grand American title.
After qualifying in the top three for the second straight race (Fontana, pole), Diaz was able to deal with right-front dive plane difficulties and a tremendous amount of traffic to successfully deliver Pruett the no.01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley in one piece during the first pit stop on Lap 26. Diaz was showing second on the scoring pylon as the team made the driver change, and Laguna's local favorite was able to sustain the Mexican's momentum, keeping the car in the top five for the Monterey drive.
Pruett caught and overtook Butch Leitzinger's Daytona Prototype for the lead on Lap 69 of the scheduled 112-lap duel, and went on to survive three late-race restarts-- the last of which ended the event under caution-- to secure victory for the CompUSA team.
"It was just an awesome day for the CompUSA team and Chip Ganassi Racing," said Pruett, who scored back-to-back wins for the second time in team history (Mont Tremblant/Watkins Glen, 2004). "To get two straight wins in this series is an accomplishment in itself. I just hate it for the fans though. I was hoping for a green-white-checkered for all the people that showed up to see a great race today. This one had it all. A little bit of everything. Hopefully it was as fun to watch as it was to drive in. Luis did a fantastic job again today, getting the car to me in one piece and working his way through traffic. You had to be aggressive out there, but also be aware of going three and four-wide at times. I guess the cream of the crop rises to the top, and that's how it unfolded."
Diaz leaves California with fond memories after seeing his two-race swing result in the first two wins (Fontana) of his young Rolex Series career. Once again, the second-year CompUSA pilot displayed confidence and turned the car over to the veteran Pruett in fine fashion.
"The entire team put together a great race," said Diaz, whose second win comes in just his 15th Rolex Series start. "Chip Ganassi Racing was awesome, and this is just another great performance for these guys. Scott fought hard all day and we were able to do it again in California. It's my job to get things going and turn the car over to Scott to close it out, and I think we combined to do that today."
With the win, Pruett also moved into a tie for sixth overall with Mauro Baldi for Most Overall Driver Victories in Rolex Series history.
Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Cort Wagner and Stefan Johansson finished 17th in the Daytona Prototype class in the no.02 New Century Mortgage Lexus-Riley.
Fans of CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates can follow the no.01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley all season long by logging onto the Rolex Sports Car Series website at www.grandamerican.com for free live timing, and keep up with the team's successes throughout the 2005 season by logging onto the official website at www.chipganassiracing.com for news, features, photos and much more. Next up for the team is the 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant on Saturday, May 21 (LIVE, SPEED Channel, 11:00 am ET) in Mont Tremblant, Quebec Canada for Round 5 of the Rolex Sports Car Series.