Watkins Glen: Ganassi Racing race report

CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Makes It Two in a Row with Win At the Glen Watkins Glen, New York, June 20th, 2004-- Following the team's very first win at Mont Tremblant last month, the CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team made it...

CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Makes It Two in a Row with Win At the Glen

Watkins Glen, New York, June 20th, 2004-- Following the team's very first win at Mont Tremblant last month, the CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team made it back-to-back winning race weekends with Scott Pruett and Max Papis taking the checkered flag in first place with the no.01 Lexus-Riley at the "Six Hours of the Glen". Also contributing to the celebration was the team's first double podium in the Rolex Grand American Sports Car Series with the addition of a solid third place finish for the no.02 Lexus-Riley drivers, Luis Diaz and Jimmy Morales.

While the team's first win of the season capped off a perfect weekend at the "Six Hours of Mont Tremblant", the victory at the Glen, in comparison, certainly did not come easy with the streak of four consecutive poles coming to an end on Saturday with a broken drive shaft in qualifying putting the no.01 Daytona Prototype back in eleventh place for the start. Pruett and Papis had another set back early in the six hour race with a throttle problem that put the no.01 Lexus-Riley two laps down, but persistence and hard work both on the track and in the pits paid off, making them the first repeat winners of the Rolex Grand American Sports Car 2004 season.

"We had a great finish, just purely through hard work," said Scott Pruett of their battle to come from behind for the win. "We were two laps down, but just kept at it and we were just hoping for a top-five. I still can't believe we finished in first place. Leading up to the race it was a train wreck. I thought we had things behind us by the time the green flag fell unfortunately there was one more bad thing that happened to us because we broke a half-shaft, we had a stuck throttle, we just weren't happy with it. Literally I thought this was going to be a terrible weekend right up until the end but the CompUSA team just never gave up."

"It was very special to be able to come from the back and win the race," said teammate Max Papis of their second straight victory. "I think believing in yourself makes all the difference. Everyone on the CompUSA team has the great belief that we can be champions."

"It starts with Chip Ganassi," added Pruett who extends the lead he shares with Papis atop the leader standings with this second straight victory. They now enjoy a 14 point advantage (151-137) over Max Angelelli and Wayne Taylor after five of 12 races. "Everything that Chip does is first-class. When he had talked about doing this (Daytona Prototypes) you knew it would be first-class, whether it is Cup, IRL or Grand-Am. He is dedicated and wants to win -- Period."

Not to be forgotten were the efforts of the no.02 Lexus Riley drivers Luis Diaz and Jimmy Morales who had their best finish of the season to date (following a 4th place in Phoenix). Starting third, the no.02 CompUSA Lexus-Riley took the overall lead early in the race and looked like they might be the ones to beat. Diaz and Morales fought off their opponents valiantly for much of the race, never dropping out of the top five, but once again the Mexican duo dealt with adversity as it sustained a minor set back in the form of a flat tire and a drive through penalty assessed for speeding in the pits.

"We kept on digging all day long to get closer to the race for the lead." said Morales of their efforts. "If it wasn't for the penalty, I think we would've been closer to first-place - but next time."

"It wasn't too bad and the no.02 CompUSA car is very good so it turned out really well and we're happy with our podium," says Diaz of their third place finish. "It was a very exciting race with lots of passing and interesting moments. It is a bit disappointing because we were right there on top for a while then I had a flat tire and then a penalty, but considering all that, it turned out for the best."

The CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team will try to extend their winning streak next month as the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series will make its second stop at Daytona International Speedway, June 30-July 1, for the Paul Revere 250.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Max Papis , Scott Pruett , Wayne Taylor , Luis Diaz , Jimmy Morales , Chip Ganassi , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing