Watkins Glen II: Lexcus race report

Pruett/Rojas Second At Watkins Glen; Take Points Lead WATKINS GLEN, NY (August 7, 2009) -- Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas combined for a second-place finish in tonight's Crown Royal 200 at Watkins Glen International, allowing the duo to move back...

Pruett/Rojas Second At Watkins Glen; Take Points Lead

WATKINS GLEN, NY (August 7, 2009) -- Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas combined for a second-place finish in tonight's Crown Royal 200 at Watkins Glen International, allowing the duo to move back into sole possession of the Rolex Sports Car Series points lead.

Starting from the outside of the front row, Rojas moved the #01 Telmex Lexus into the lead on Lap 6 and secured a firm hold on the top spot until pitting on Lap 24. After falling back while pitting, Rojas once again moved into the lead on Lap 29, but at that point, caution flags, traffic and a variety of race strategies would rule the day. Rojas pitted once again on Lap 33, giving up the lead and turning the car over to Pruett, who would resume in eighth-place.

Pruett steadily moved up the grid and after a furious battle with the #12 Porsche, he moved into third-place with approximately 30 minutes remaining. Shortly afterward, a full-course caution came out and the Lexus-powered driver moved into second-place for a last run at the victory. Pruett hounded former Toyota F1 driver Ricardo Zonta the rest of the way, even pulling up next to the Brazilian where the two made side-to-side contact, but he was unable to squeeze by. With the championship in mind, discretion became the better part of valor and he would eventually settle for a hard-fought second.

The Rolex Sports Car Series resumes on Saturday, August 29 Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Notes:

- In finishing second today, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, as well as the Chip Ganassi Racing team, move back into sole possession of first place with 248 points -- four points ahead of their closest competitor with just three races remaining.

- The #01 Lexus has now finished in the top-two in six of the nine races run this season with two wins and four second-place showings. Overall, the team has totaled eight top-10 finishes in nine 2009 races.

Watkins Glen was awfully good to the Lexus-powered Ganassi team this season. In two races, the #01 Telmex Lexus finished first and second and qualified on the front row for each race.

- Today's second-place finish marks the 46th podium finish for Scott Pruett -- a Rolex Series record.

- By leading 22 laps today, the #01 Lexus has now led each of the nine races this season -- the only car in the series to lead every race. The Ganassi team has led more laps than any other team in the series with 406 -- 123 more than second. Individually, Scott Pruett leads the series with 191 laps, followed by Memo Rojas in second with 162.

Memo Rojas, #01 Telmex Lexus: "It really became a race of pit strategy. There were so many different pit strategies being used today that it was hard to tell exactly who was doing what. Teams could be very aggressive with their strategy to go for the win, but with the championship being so close, we couldn't afford to be overly aggressive, especially when we were already in front of our two rivals for the championship."

Scott Pruett, #01 Telmex Lexus: "We had to be a little bit conservative there at the end, but I had a little run on Ricardo (Zonta) in traffic and was able to pull up side-by-side with him and we had a little bit of banging going on. That's one of the great things about Grand-Am racing, it's just so close and so hard. But we also had to remember where we were in the championship and right now, and how much every point counts. We can't afford to give anything away. It takes a total team effort to win a championship and we had that tonight. Lexus gave us a great engine, the Ganassi guys did a great job in the pits and we couldn't do any of it without the support of TELMEX."

-credit: lexus

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ricardo Zonta , Scott Pruett , Memo Rojas , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing