Drivers with Rolex Series Experience Sweep Top-Five Positions in NEXTEL Cup Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 15, 2005) -- If the results of Sunday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen are...
Drivers with Rolex Series Experience Sweep Top-Five Positions in NEXTEL Cup Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 15, 2005) -- If the results of Sunday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen are any indication, drivers looking to improve their position in next year's Chase for the NEXTEL Cup may find it beneficial to get some seat time in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series.
Drivers with Rolex Series experience swept the top-five finishing positions in Sunday's race at Watkins Glen International. Included in the top five were reigning Rolex Series Daytona Prototype co-champion Scott Pruett, multi-time Rolex Series GT race-winner Boris Said, and three NEXTEL Cup Series regulars--Tony Stewart, Robby Gordon and Jimmie Johnson--with Rolex Series podium results on their resumes.
Leading the way--as he has more often than not since winning June's Dodge/Save Mart 350 on the Infineon Raceway road course in Sonoma, Calif.--was points leader Stewart in the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing. Stewart started from the pole position and claimed his second-consecutive NEXTEL Cup victory on a weekend in which he also drove in the Rolex Series CompUSA 200 at The Glen on Friday night and Saturday's Zippo 200 for the NASCAR Busch Series.
The 2002 NEXTEL Cup champion owns three Daytona Prototype podium results from six Rolex Series starts since the beginning of 2004, and equaled his Rolex Series career-best performance with a third-place run alongside No. 20 CITGO Howard-Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford co-drivers Andy Wallace and Jan Lammers in the 2005 season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona. He and Wallace finished 21st in the CompUSA 200 owing to suspension problems after Stewart had worked his way into the top 10 from 23rd on the starting grid.
Finishing second on Sunday was owner/driver Gordon in the No. 7 Jim Beam Chevrolet. Gordon has finished inside his class top-10 in each of his three career Rolex Series starts, with a best overall performance of second in the 2002 Rolex 24 At Daytona with Jim Matthews Racing.
Occupying the third and fourth positions on Sunday's results sheet were a pair of drivers with full-time Rolex Series experience. Said, who finished second in the 2004 Rolex Series GT championship and has six career GT class victories, finished third in the Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen driving the No. 36 CENTRIX Financial Chevrolet for MB Sutton Motorsports. Said has also finished on the podium twice in four Grand-Am Cup Series starts in 2005 and claimed a Grand-Am Cup win last year at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Defending Daytona Prototype co-champion Pruett finished fourth in the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Pruett--who also finished fourth in Friday's CompUSA 200 co-driving his regular No. 01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley with Luis Diaz and finished 14th in the Zippo 200 Busch Series race on Saturday driving the No. 4 GEICO Dodge for the Biagi Brothers--stood-in for Sterling Marlin in Sunday's race. Marlin was at his home in Tennessee on Sunday following the death of his father, Coo-Coo Marlin.
The performances of Gordon, Said and Pruett were all the more impressive considering that all three drivers came from deep in the field due to a rainout of Saturday's qualifying session. Gordon started 39th, Said rolled off from the 41st position and Pruett charged from 25th on the tricky, 2.45-mile circuit.
Johnson rounded out the top five in the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports after starting second. Johnson has competed in the Rolex 24 At Daytona in each of the past two years and finished second in the 2005 rendition alongside co-drivers Elliott Forbes-Robinson and Butch Leitzinger in the No. 4 The Boss Snowplow Pontiac Crawford for Howard-Boss Motorsports.
Five other drivers with Rolex Series experience also finished inside the top 20 in the Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who finished on his class podium in both of his previous Rolex Series starts, finished 10th in the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt Inc. Jamie McMurray, who co-drove the No. 02 New Century Mortgage Lexus Riley to a fourth-place finish in the 2005 Rolex 24 At Daytona with Stefan Johansson and Cort Wagner, finished 13th in the No. 42 Home 123 Dodge for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.
Kevin Harvick, who finished eighth in the AGT class with Flis Motorsports in the 2002 Rolex 24 At Daytona, finished 15th on Sunday aboard Richard Childress Racing's No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet. Matt Kenseth finished 18th in the No. 17 DeWalt Power Tools Ford for Roush Racing on Sunday, and finished 15th in the Daytona Prototype class in the 2005 Rolex 24 At Daytona. Kenseth shared the No. 49 Crown Royal Ford Multimatic with Roush Racing NEXTEL Cup teammates Kurt Busch and Greg Biffle and sports car ace Scott Maxwell in February's twice-around-the-clock event.
Kyle Petty completed the top 20 in the No. 45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge for Petty Enterprises. Petty is the NEXTEL Cup Series regular with the most experience in Rolex Series competition, as he made his 10th series start on Friday night co-driving the No. 7 Tuttle Team Racing/SAMAX Pontiac Riley with car owner Brian Tuttle and finished 19th in the Daytona Prototype class. Petty has finished on his class podium four times in the Rolex Series, including a GT class victory with Orbit Racing at Watkins Glen in 2001.
Next up for the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series is the EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday, August 27. Tickets are available by visiting www.midohio.com or by calling 1-800-MID-OHIO. SPEED Channel will televise the EMCO Gears Classic at 12:00 Noon ET on Sunday, August 28.
The Grand American Road Racing Association, which operates and sanctions the Rolex Sports Car Series and the Grand-Am Cup Series, is the premier road racing organization in North America. The 14-race 2005 Rolex Series schedule and the 11-race Grand-Am Cup calendar deliver professional sports car racing to key markets throughout North America in addition to being televised in the United States and Canada on SPEED Channel and distributed globally through ESPN International. With title sponsorship support from Rolex Watch USA, the Rolex Sports Car Series showcases emerging and legendary drivers from around the globe and thoroughbred racing machines from the industry's leading constructors and the world's top automobile manufacturers. Learn more about Grand American at www.grandamerican.com.