Long Beach: Lexus qualifying report

DIAZ EARNS LEXUS SECOND POLE OF '06 GRAND AM CAMPAIGN LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 7, 2006) -- Previous time at the beach proved to be well-spent, as Luis Diaz (CompUSA Lexus-Riley) used the experience of four previous Long Beach events to help...

DIAZ EARNS LEXUS SECOND POLE OF '06 GRAND AM CAMPAIGN

LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 7, 2006) -- Previous time at the beach proved to be well-spent, as Luis Diaz (CompUSA Lexus-Riley) used the experience of four previous Long Beach events to help him register the quick time in qualifying to give Lexus its second pole position of the 2006 Grand American Rolex Sports Car season at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Friday.

In earning Ganassi Racing's second pole of the season, Diaz gave Lexus its 18th pole position in 30 Rolex Series events. The team also earned the top spot at Mexico City last month.

The pole position could be crucial in preparation for the shortest race in series history (90 minutes), as well as the first street-course race ever for the Daytona Prototypes.

"I think it helped that both Scott (co-driver Pruett) and I have run here in Long Beach in the past," said Diaz. "It's very important to qualify up front here because you need to stay out of the trouble that can happen in the first turn. It's going to be a very tough race tomorrow and I think strategy will play a big role in the race. Everyone involved did a great job today."

In addition to the pole from the Ganassi team, Michael Shank Racing (MSR) qualified two cars for Saturday's first-ever Grand Am run in Long Beach. Mark Patterson qualified 15th in the #60 Flight Options Lexus-Riley and he will team with Oswaldo Negri in Saturday's race, while Cort Wagner placed the #6 Graydon Elliott Fusion Racing Lexus-Riley 17th. Wagner, who is making his first start with the MSR squad, will co-drive with Mike Borkowski.

-toyota

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Luis Diaz , Mike Borkowski , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Mark Patterson , Michael Shank , Cort Wagner
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Michael Shank Racing