PRUETT/DIAZ UNABLE TO HOLD ON FOR VICTORY AT THE GLEN TORRANCE, Calif. (Aug. 13, 2005) -- Luis Diaz and Scott Pruett combined to put their CompUSA Lexus-Riley into the lead at the midway point at Friday night's CompUSA 200, but just couldn't...
PRUETT/DIAZ UNABLE TO HOLD ON FOR VICTORY AT THE GLEN
TORRANCE, Calif. (Aug. 13, 2005) -- Luis Diaz and Scott Pruett combined to put their CompUSA Lexus-Riley into the lead at the midway point at Friday night's CompUSA 200, but just couldn't hold on for the victory on the way to a fourth-place finish in the ninth round of the Rolex Sports Car Series at Watkins Glen.
After starting fourth, Diaz had moved up into second-place on Lap 40 when the team made its driver change and Pruett took over the driving duties. The defending Daytona Prototype champion left the pit lane in first place and maintained the lead for the next 14 circuits. Unfortunately, Pruett was caught up in traffic on Lap 56 and pushed off the racing line, resulting in him giving up the lead and falling to fourth-place overall.
The fourth-place result marks the seventh top-five finish of the season for Pruett and Diaz. They continue to hold down second place overall in the points chase, 21 points down with five races remaining.
"Of course it's disappointing because we all put a lot of effort into this race," said Diaz, after losing a shot at the victory. "But the (positive) 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."
Their Ganassi Racing teammates Stefan Johansson and Cort Wagner had a much more difficult run Friday evening as they battled electrical problems. After climbing into the top-five at the midway point, Johansson battled power steering problems the rest of the way, but was able to hold on for a solid seventh-place showing. The performance was strong enough to move the duo into fourth-place overall in the championship.
"We didn't have a bad race car by any means, it's just that the power steering issue made for an interesting race" said Johansson, "Every time I entered a turn I was guessing whether I'd have power or not. It basically held us at bay for the final laps due to the fact that I never knew when the steering would surge back on and jolt the car around."
Next up for the Daytona Prototypes is the EMCO Gears Classic, Saturday, Aug. 27 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, where Pruett co-drove the #01 CompUSA Lexus to victory a year ago, in Round 10 of the Rolex Sports Car Series The race will be televised on a tape-delayed basis on SPEED the following day at 12:00 pm ET.