DIAZ' DRIVE DIMINISHED AFTER DAYLIGHT DWINDLES AT THE GLEN WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 12, 2005) -- Luis Diaz of CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates rocketed from his second-row starting position for the 77-lap CompUSA 200 at...
DIAZ' DRIVE DIMINISHED AFTER DAYLIGHT DWINDLES AT THE GLEN
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 12, 2005) -- Luis Diaz of CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates rocketed from his second-row starting position for the 77-lap CompUSA 200 at Watkins Glen and wrangled his way up to second at the driver change on Lap 40, but as the daylight hours declined co-driver Scott Pruett was unable to put the finishing touches on what looked to be the team's third win of the season as the Daytona Prototype duo finished fourth for the second-straight round of the Rolex Sports Car Series.
The team's confidence was building with each tour of the challenging 2.45-mile circuit at the mid-way point of the two hour timed event, and when Diaz rolled down pit lane to hand the driving duties over, the CompUSA squad screamed out of their pit box atop the scoring pylon after some stellar pit work. Defending Rolex Series champion Pruett went on to pace the Daytona Prototype contingent for the following 14 laps, but the team had to abandon all hopes for victory on Lap 56 when the no.99 DP machine made a daring inside move in Turn 1. Pruett was forced to go door-to-door in a gaggle of cars, which shuffled the no.01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley off the preferred racing line and out of contention for the win.
Although the car remained the fastest machine on the tarmac throughout the remainder of the sprint race, Pruett fought diligently and finished a respectable fourth.
"It was a tough day because we were competitive even after not really being sure of what we had for everyone coming into race day," said Pruett, who with Diaz stand second in points to SunTrust Racing (282-261) after Round 9 of 14 in the chase for the Grand American title. "We were in a great position near the end after Luis' awesome stint, but we just needed a little bit more power to get up front and mix it up with the top three."
Diaz stayed focused and drove what was arguably his best stint of the season. The second-year Ganassi pilot again proved his worth, running with the top dogs in the series and posting the fastest lap of the race.
"Of course it's disappointing because we all put a lot of effort into this race," said Diaz, while remaining positive about the team's aspirations for back-to-back championships. "But the thing I come away with today is our position in the championship. We keep fighting hard each round, and with the points so close, each and every position will make a difference in the end."
Fans of CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates can follow the no.01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley all season long by logging onto the Rolex Sports Car Series website at www.grandamerican.com for free live timing, and keep up with the team's successes throughout the 2005 season by logging onto the official website at www.chipganassiracing.com for news, features, photos and much more. Next up for the team is the EMCO Gears Classic, Saturday, August 27th (Tape Delay, SPEED Channel, 12:00 pm ET August 28th) at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for Round 10 of the Rolex Sports Car Series.