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Repeating their amazing feat in Quebec almost a month ago, the <B>No. 01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley</B> driven by <B>Scott Pruett</B> and <B>Max Papis</B> won the <B>Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series' Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen</B> at Watkins Glen International Speedway in upstate New York.<P>

To further sweeten this victory, another Ganassi/Lexus Riley team entry, the <B>No. 02</B> car driven by Mexican rookies <B>Luis Diaz</B> and <B>Jimmy Morales</B> took third place, the first time in the 2004 Grand Am Rolex Series race season that a team places two cars on the podium.<P>

Here's a story on the race by Lauren McCrystal of <I>Speed Channel</I>:<P>

No. 01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley co-drivers Scott Pruett and Max Papis overcame a sticking throttle that dropped Papis two laps behind the leaders in the first hour and benefited from outstanding service from their crew to score their second consecutive Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series victory today in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International.

With Pruett behind the wheel, the No. 01 Daytona Prototype claimed the lead from No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley driver Max Angelelli when the polesitter made a Lap 133 pit stop. Pruett retained the lead following his final pit stop of the 164-lap race on Lap 139 to win by 27.016 seconds over Angelelli.

“We had a great finish, just purely through hard work,” Pruett said. “We were two laps down and we were just hoping for a top-five. I still can’t believe we finished up here. (The weekend) was a train wreck. I thought we had things behind us by the time the green flag fell. Unfortunately, there was one more bad thing that happened to us because we broke a half-shaft, we had a stuck throttle, we just weren’t happy with it. Literally, I thought this was going to be a terrible weekend right up until the end.”

The No. 01 teammates became the first drivers to score multiple overall victories in Rolex Series competition this season, snapping a streak of four consecutive races in which a different team took the overall victory. Nevertheless, the streak tied the previous record of four different winners in-a-row from 2000 and 2001. With the victory, Pruett and Papis extended the lead they share in the driver standings to 14 points (151-137) over Angelelli and Taylor after five of 12 races.

“It was very special to be able to come from the back and win the race,” Papis said. “I think believing in yourself makes all the difference. Everyone on the team has great belief that we can be champions.”

Angelelli and Taylor combined to lead six times for a race-high total of 63 laps, and appeared to have the strongest car in the field through the first five hours of the race. In the final hour, however, the No. 10 made two scheduled pit stops for fuel that proved to be the difference in the race.

“They had called me in because we were getting low on fuel,” said Angelelli, “so we lost the race.”

“I think we had the fastest car, but it didn’t matter when it counted,” Taylor added. “I think pulling everyone together will give us what we want to attempt quickly. The guys all did a good job and I am disappointed.”<P>

Filling out the podium were Mexican rookies Luis Diaz and Jimmy Morales in the No. 02 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley, who shared a career-best third-place result. It was the first time CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing has ever had two cars finish on the podium in Rolex Series competition. It was also the first time that two cars from the same team finished on the podium since the No. 58 and 59 Brumos Racing Porsche Fabcars finished 1-2 at Mont-Tremblant in 2003.

“It wasn’t too bad and the car is very good, so it turned out really well,” Diaz said. “I had a flat tire and then a penalty, but it turned out for the best.”

“We kept on digging all day long to get closer to the race,” contributed Morales. “If it wasn’t for the penalty, I think we would have been closer to first place – but next time.”

The No. 4 Howard-Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford with co-drivers Elliott Forbes-Robinson and Butch Leitzinger—who led twice for 14 laps—finished fourth, and Jan Magnussen and Didier Theys co-piloted the No. 27 Doran-Lista Racing Lexus Doran to a fifth place result.

The race featured 16 lead changes among six cars, and eight different drivers took a turn at the head of the field. There were 10 full-course caution periods for a total of 32 laps, but no drivers were injured in any of the day’s incidents.<P>

As to the <B>Grand Am Sport Touring (ST) class race at Watkins Glen</B>, the <B>Team Lexus IS300 No.2</B> car driven by <B>Chuck Goldsborough</B> and <B>Ian James</B> finished in <B>2nd Place</B>.Here's race commentary from a Team Lexus press release by Melissa Lockhart:<P>

By lap 29 the No. 2 Lexus took the ST lead after the No. 95 BMW went to the pit for fuel. The lead was lost but then regained in lap 55 just prior to a full course caution, which was unfortunately issued due to a small fire in the No. 3 Lexus.<P>

When the checkered flag was waved the No. 2 car had the lead and finished the race in first place, however victory was short lived. An opposing team contested the results of the race due to a pass during a yellow flag earlier in the day. After officials reviewed race footage the No. 2 Lexus was dropped into second place giving the win to the number two spot.<P>

“It was a great weekend for the No. 2 Lexus car”, commented driver Ian James. “Unfortunately, due to a timing issue we lost the race. We look forward to the next race at Mid-Ohio.”<P>

Congratulations to all the Lexus racers for another podium-filled racing day!
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