Pruett Shatters WGI Record, Wins 12th Career Pole in Qualifying for Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen
By: WGI Staff on 6/5/2009
Scott Pruett bettered the Watkins Glen International track record by two seconds Saturday, winning his 12th career pole position for Saturday's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen.
The event, Round 5 of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16, takes the green flag at 2:15 p.m. Saturday. The race will be televised live on SPEED from 2-4 p.m. and resuming from 6-8:30 p.m.
Pruett ran a lap of 1:40.744 (121.496 mph) in the No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley he co-drives with Memo Rojas. It was the team's third pole of the season, with Rojas leading qualifying at Virginia International Raceway and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Pruett and Rojas won six races en route to capturing the Daytona Prototype title in 2008, but are winless this season.
"Hopefully, we can start turning poles into victories," Pruett said. "I've always liked this track, and the Ganassi guys have done well here. It's nice to have the TELMEX car up front. But six hours is a long race."
Pruett will be joined on the front row by Alex Gurney, who ran a lap of 1:41.442 (120.660 mph) in the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley co-driven by Jon Fogarty. The pair enter Saturday's race with an eight-point lead (119-111) in the Daytona Prototype point standings over David Donohue and Darren Law.
"The No. 01 got in a really good lap," Gurney said. "They put a good car out there, and Scott did a real good job. It's nice for us to be on the front row. It's going to be a long, tough day tomorrow. Hopefully, we can keep it clean."
The top 11 drivers broke Max Angelelli's existing track record, set in qualifying for last year's race. Angelelli qualified third in the No. 10 SunTrust Ford Dallara, running a lap of 1:41.488 (120.605 mph), after the team missed most of Friday's practice due to a broken oil line.
"I felt I had to do it for the guys," Angelelli said. "There was no other option. I had to deliver - that's it."
Rounding out the top five in qualifying were the two Michael Shank Racing Ford Rileys. Michael Valiante was fourth in the No. 6, 1:41.520 (120.567 mph), followed by Ozz Negri in the No. 60, 1:41.587 (120.488 mph).
Timo Bernhard in the No. 12 Penske Racing Verizon Porsche Riley, Mark Wilkins in the No. 61 AIM Autosport Ford Riley, Ricardo Zonta in the No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Riley, Ricky Taylor in the No. 13 Beyer Racing Pontiac Riley and Christophe Bouchut in the No. 55 Supercar Life Racing BMW Riley completed the top 10 qualifiers. Also under the track record was Law in the No. 58 Brumos Racing Porsche Riley.
Pruett's pole extended his record in the Daytona Prototypes, and pulled to within one of all-time Rolex Series leader James Weaver, who recorded 13 overall poles.