VIR: Lexus preview

LEXUS TAKES MOMENTUM TO VIR 400 TORRANCE, Calif. (Oct. 5, 2005) -- After sweeping the front row in qualifying and then capturing two of the three podium positions at the Crown Royal 250, the Lexus Grand-Am program takes a great deal of momentum...

LEXUS TAKES MOMENTUM TO VIR 400 TORRANCE, Calif. (Oct. 5, 2005) --

After sweeping the front row in qualifying and then capturing two of the three podium positions at the Crown Royal 250, the Lexus Grand-Am program takes a great deal of momentum into this weekend' s VIR 400 at the Virginia International Raceway. Luis Diaz won the pole at Watkins Glen, with he and co-driver Scott Pruett following that up with a strong second-place finish. The duo has enjoyed an impressive 2005 campaign with two victories among nine top-five finishes. Their Ganassi Racing #01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley currently second overall in points.

Joining Pruett and Diaz on the podium at Watkins Glen were the Michael Shank Racing (MSR) combination of Luis Diaz and Mark Patterson. In just their third race of the season together for MSR, they logged their best finish of the year with a third. Negri was particularly impressive as he took over in 16th-place and sliced through the field up to the third spot -- just a few hundred yards behind the leaders at the race's conclusion. The pairing also captured the pole earlier this year at Laguna Seca and will be attempting to earn the team's first-ever Daytona Prototype victory in the #60 Flight Options Lexus-Riley.

With a front-row starting spot at the Glen, the #02 New Century Mortgage Lexus-Riley of Stefan Johansson and Cort Wagner were in a position to join their Ganassi Racing teammates on the podium. Unfortunately, Johansson was knocked into the fence in a wild mid-race crash that involved at least a quarter of the field. They recovered to finish sixth, but are left with unfinished business to handle in Virginia. Despite nine top-10 finishes including a second at Mont Tremblant, they're still looking for their first victory of the year.

They stand fifth overall in points heading into the season's final two races. Lexus-powered Daytona Prototypes have won seven races and registered 15 pole positions in 24 Rolex Series events to date.

-ltm-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Stefan Johansson , Scott Pruett , Luis Diaz , Mark Patterson , Cort Wagner
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing