Lexus Dominates Mid-Ohio Grand-Am LEXINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 7, 2004) 0x2022 In a dominating performance, the ...
Lexus Dominates Mid-Ohio Grand-Am
LEXINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 7, 2004) 0x2022 In a dominating performance, the #01 CompUSA Lexus driven by Max Papis and Scott Pruett led all but a handful of the 95 race laps to win from the pole in Saturday's Grand American Rolex Series' EMCO Gears Road Racing Classic at Mid-Ohio on Saturday.
After winning the pole on Friday, Papis led the first 33 laps around the Ohio road course before giving up the lead shortly before the first round of pit stops. The Lexus-powered machine didn't stay in second long, though, as five laps later, the CompUSA Ganassi Racing team won the race out of the pits. Included in the stop was a driver change and once Pruett emerged from the pit-lane with the lead, he would never relinquish the top spot again in winning the duo's series-high third race of the season. The triumph marked the team's fifth consecutive top-two finish.
The Pruett/Papis effort wasn't the only highlight of the day for the CompUSA team. The Ganassi team car of Jimmy Morales and Luis Diaz placed third to give the squad and Lexus two cars on the post-race victory podium. The third matches the best finish of the season for Morales and Diaz.
The Lebanon, Ohio-based Doran-Lista Racing team made it three Lexus' in the top-10 with a seventh-place finish by drivers Didier Theys and Ben Leuenberger.
Things didn't go quite as well for Michael Shank Racing, the other Ohio-based Lexus squad. After running in the top three in the early going, the #6 Lexus went off track on Lap 44 and lost a number of laps. The team soldiered on and returned to finish 12th in class.
With the victory, Pruett and Papis have opened up a 23-point lead in the driver's championship with just five races remaining. In addition, Lexus pulls within three points of the Manufacturer's Championship lead in its first season of Daytona Prototype competition.
The Rolex Series returns to action next Friday at Watkins Glen International with The Glen 200. SPEED will provide same-day coverage beginning at 10 p.m.