Watkins Glen II: Thursday practice/grid report

Papis Starts on Pole for Sahlen's 200 at The Glen Based on Points After Qualifying Rainout WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 12, 2004) -- For the second time in six days, Max Papis will start from the pole position in the No. 01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi ...

Papis Starts on Pole for Sahlen's 200 at The Glen Based on Points After Qualifying Rainout

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 12, 2004) -- For the second time in six days, Max Papis will start from the pole position in the No. 01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley as he claimed the inside of the front row for Friday's Sahlen's 200 at The Glen (SPEED Channel, 10 p.m. ET) based on Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series team points when Thursday's qualifying session was rained out.

Papis and co-driver Scott Pruett will be going for their second consecutive win following last weekend's triumph in the EMCO Gears Mid-Ohio Road Racing Classic, and will be looking for their fourth overall victory of 2004. They also won the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen earlier this year on the 3.4-mile long course at Watkins Glen International. This weekend's races at The Glen will use the 2.45-mile short course.

"We had a drive shaft problem (during qualifying) last time here," Papis said. "We could only do one lap. Overall, we made a lot of improvements. We have to because all the competition is getting very, very close. I think in practice, the top one, two, three and four were only a couple of seconds different. It was a good decision from the Grand American personnel not to qualify. It's difficult to control a track like that when it's wet. We'll race tomorrow and keep fighting for the championship."

In addition to his Rolex Series efforts, Pruett will also be looking for his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series victory this weekend at Watkins Glen, as he will also drive the No. 39 Target Dodge for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in Sunday's Sirius at The Glen. He is still nursing sore ribs from a crash during practice for the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis last Friday, but he still managed to join Papis for the Rolex Series triumph the next day.

"My ribs are better than last week," Pruett said. "They take a while to get better. The No. 01 is set, we're happy with the balance and the set up. The championship is ours to lose. We have to go out there and be conservative and be smart."

Starting from the outside of the front row will be Wayne Taylor in the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley. It will also be Taylor's second straight front row appearance and the fifth time this season in which the No. 10 has started from the front row.

"Yes, it's a little disappointing not to qualify, but at least we're guaranteed to start on the front row," Taylor said. "I think everyone should be sensible going into Turn 1. If everyone makes it through, it will be a great race."

Taylor is joined once again by his regular co-driver Max Angelelli, who missed last weekend's race at Mid-Ohio due to other commitments.

"What can I say? We start with points," Angelelli said. "It's good; we start on the front row. Wayne is going to start, and I know he will put it in first place, so we will have an easy race. I'm absolutely looking forward to getting into the car (after missing the race at Mid-Ohio). It was very difficult. I didn't watch the race, I waited until Monday, and I asked the guys about the final results. I was very disappointed for Wayne."

Milka Duno--who shares the No. 2 CITGO Howard-Boss Motorsports this weekend with Jan Lammers--starts third on the grid alongside Brazilian Oswaldo Negri Jr. in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Lexus Doran that he shares with Burt Frisselle. Belgian Didier Theys fills out the top five in the No. 27 Doran-Lista Racing Lexus Doran. Theys welcomes Jan Magnussen back to the car for the first time since the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen in June.

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup star Tony Stewart will start the No. 20 CITGO Howard-Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford--which is only making its second start of the season in the Sahlen's 200--from the 15th spot on the grid. He will be joined once again in the car by Andy Wallace, who is looking to build upon his third-place position in the Daytona Prototype driver standings.

Record-setting driver Bill Auberlen will start first on the GT grid in the No. 21 Prototype Technology Group BMW M3, which was also set based on points. Auberlen will be looking to extend his lead in the driver point standings and will also be looking to extend his Rolex Series record with a seventh straight GT class victory. He shares the ride with rookie Justin Marks.

The No. 66 The Racer's Group Porsche GT3 RS of Chris Gleason, RJ Valentine and Ian James starts second in GT, followed by the No. 44 Orbit Racing Porsche GT3 RS of Jay and Joe Policastro and Mike Fitzgerald. Gleason and Jay Policastro will start the race in their respective cars.

Super Grand Sport (SGS) co-points leader Marc Bunting will roll off first from the SGS grid in the No. 38 TPC Racing Porsche GT3 Cup he shares with Andy Lally. Michael Levitas will start second in SGS co-driving the No. 36 TPC Racing Porsche GT3 Cup with Randy Pobst, and Craig Stanton will start the No. 41 ORISON-Planet Earth Motorsports Porsche GT3 Cup third in his first appearance in the car. He will share the No. 41 with Wayne Nonnamaker, who heads into the race looking to extend his class win streak to three straight races.

The Sahlen's 200 at The Glen takes the green flag shortly after NASCAR NEXTEL Cup qualifying concludes on Friday. The race will air on SPEED Channel beginning later the same day at 10 p.m. ET.

-garra-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Andy Wallace , Milka Duno , Jan Lammers , Tony Stewart , Didier Theys , Max Papis , Scott Pruett , Wayne Taylor , Bill Auberlen , Randy Pobst , Ian James , Andy Lally , Max Angelelli , Justin Marks , Burt Frisselle , Chris Gleason , Michael Levitas , Craig Stanton , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Marc Bunting , Chip Ganassi , Jay Policastro , Michael Shank
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing , Michael Shank Racing