Sonoma, CA – August 25, 2007 – Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas led 36 laps on the way to a third-place finish in Saturday’s Armed Forces 250 at Infineon Raceway, setting the stage for a three-way showdown for the series championship in the season finale at Salt Lake City on Sept. 15.
Rojas started the race in fourth and maintained the position throughout his stint before handing the car over to Pruett on Lap 22. The Northern California native ran a series of fast laps on his adopted “home track” and took over the lead on Lap 30 after the other leaders made their first pit stops. Pruett stayed in the top spot until giving up the lead while pitting on Lap 66. He resumed in third-place and held the position for the remainder of the 97-lap event.
In addition to the #01, three more Lexus-powered teams also placed in the top-10, including a pair of Michael Shank Racing entries. The #60 Michael Shank Racing Lexus-Riley of Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson placed eighth, while teammates Ian James and John Pew were 10th in the #6 Playboy Lexus. Right in between the Shank cars was the #61 Exchange Traded Gold Lexus-Riley driven by Mark Wilkins and Brian Frisselle for AIM Autosport.
The remaining two Lexus-powered entries were each set to contend for a top-10 spot before they made contact with one another late in the race. The #19 Z-Line Design/Make-A-Wish Lexus Riley was running fifth with Michael Valiante teaming with Alex Lloyd before the car made contact with the #3 PLP Lexus-Riley of Shane Lewis and Randy Ruhlman, which also was running in the top-10. The #3 recovered to finish 12th, while the #19 retired in 15th.
The Rolex Sports Car Series season finale will take place with the Sunchaser 1000 at the Miller Motorsports Park just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah, on Sept. 15, where the Michael Shank Racing duo of Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson were victorious a year ago.
Team Championship Standings after Sonoma Driver’s Championship
1. Gainsco/Bob Stallings Racing 380 1. Alex Gurney/Jon Fogarty 385
2. Telmex/Chip Ganassi Racing 378 2. Scott Pruett 383
3. SunTrust Racing 376 3. Max Angelelli 381
– Today’s third-place finish marked the eighth top-three podium finish of the season for the #01 Telmex Lexus. The effort also marked the 18th consecutive top-10 finish for the #01 Lexus.
– With an eighth today, Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson now have registered seven consecutive top-10 finishes.
– Four Lexus-powered teams remain in the top-10 in the point standings. The #01 Chip Ganassi Racing team is second, followed by the two Michael Shank Racing efforts, with the #60 in sixth and the #6 in eighth. AIM Autosport is tenth.
Credit: Lexus Motorsports
Photos: Grand American
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