Watkins Glen II: Lexus preview

PRUETT HOLDS ON TO SLIM CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD -- Scott Pruett continues to hold on to a slim two-point lead heading into Round 12 at Watkins Glen this weekend with just three races remaining. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver won the season-opening Rolex...

PRUETT HOLDS ON TO SLIM CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD -- Scott Pruett continues to hold on to a slim two-point lead heading into Round 12 at Watkins Glen this weekend with just three races remaining. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver won the season-opening Rolex 24 and has led the championship after all but one event this year. Pruett, the winningest driver in series history, is attempting to secure his seventh title in nine full seasons of sports car racing since 1986. He finished second in each of the other two seasons.

In addition, Chip Ganassi Racing also holds a two-point lead in the team standings -- the first of four Lexus-powered teams in the top-10, along with both Michael Shank Racing entries, as well as AIM Autosport.

ON THE CLIMB - After a third straight top-six finish at Montreal, the #60 Michael Shank Racing Lexus-Riley driven by Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson has climbed into sixth-place overall in the Rolex Sports Car Series standings. The duo was ninth heading into the mid-July race at Iowa and has gained three spots over the last three races. The current stretch marks the second consecutive year that the team has made a late-season charge up the point standings. In 2006, six top-10 finishes in the last seven races, culminated by a win in the season-finale helped Patterson to sixth overall in the championship and the Jim Trueman Award.

RETURNING TO THE GLEN -- This weekend's Royal Crown 200 marks the second trip to Watkins Glen this year for the Rolex Sports Car Series. Lexus placed two cars in the top-five in June's six-hour event. Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas placed second, while Ian James and John Pew were fourth.

Lexus-powered Daytona Prototypes have three victories at Watkins Glen with Pruett involved in two of the three triumphs. He and Max Papis co-drove to victory in the 2004 six hours, as well as last year's Crown Royal 200 with Luis Diaz. In addition, Jan Magnussen and Didier Theys drove to victory in the 2004 '200' with Doran Racing.

DOUBLE-DUTY -- For the second weekend in a row, Scott Pruett will be pulling double-duty on the race track. On Friday, Pruett will campaign the Rolex Series event and on Saturday, he'll take to the track in the NASCAR Busch Series race. Pruett also campaigned a Ganassi Busch car at Montreal and was running in the top-five late in the event before being knocked off track by eventual race-winner Kevin Harvick.J

Pruett's Ganassi team has a rare opportunity to achieve a "quadruple" at Watkins Glen. After previously winning this year's IndyCar event with Scott Dixon, the 2006 Rolex 24 winner with Lexus, the team has entries in all three series running this weekend with a legitimate chance for victory. Along with Pruett's entries in the Grand-Am and Busch Series, former Toyota Champ Car driver Juan Montoya will race in both the Busch and Nextel Cup Series -- with Montoya having won both road course events he's campaigned with the team this year. Montoya, of course, co-drove with Pruett in earning Lexus' second consecutive Rolex 24 victory at Daytona earlier this year.

-credit: lexus

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Jan Magnussen , Kevin Harvick , Max Papis , Scott Dixon , Scott Pruett , Luis Diaz , Ian James , Memo Rojas , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Chip Ganassi , John Pew , Michael Shank
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Doran Racing , Michael Shank Racing