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Penalty restricts Ganassi pair to sixth.


A controversial drive-through penalty dropped Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas from podium contention in the Armed Forces 250 at Infineon Raceway, but the pair continue to inch closer to the 2008 Rolex Sports Car Series title.

Pruett was passing the #58 Porsche-powered Brumos DP entry for fourth position on a late restart when the two cars appeared to make slight door-to-door contact. Pruett then quickly closed on the third-place car, but was quickly issued the drive-through penalty by Grand-Am officials for 'avoidable contact' and fell back to tenth.

"We received a stop-and-go penalty that I wouldn't necessarily agree with, but Grand-Am decided they wanted to do that, and that's that," veteran Pruett admitted, "There's nothing we can do about that, so we'll just go to New Jersey next week and keep doing what we're doing. I thought we might have had a shot for the podium before the penalty, but it was so difficult to pass here.”

Pruett was prepared to settle for tenth, however, and used the remaining laps to pick off four of the cars ahead of him to eventually finish sixth.

“Obviously, we're disappointed with the outcome but, at the same time, we're still fighting for the championship," he added, "We only lost a few points to the #99 car, which is important."

The Lexus-powered duo maintain a 42-point championship lead with just two races remaining, and need only 17th place finishes at each of season's final two events to clinch the title. Indeed, the season could be wrapped up next weekend should they finish ahead of the #99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing car or by placing fourth or better. Success would be an American record eighth major sportscar title for Pruett, while Rojas would become the first Mexican driver ever to win a major US championship.

The Rolex Sports Car Series will now make the long trek from northern California to the east coast for the inaugural race at the New Jersey Motorsports Park next Sunday [31 August].

"If we can't get the win, we'll just run for the most points we can get," Rojas admitted, "But, with our lead in the points, the most important thing is that we need to finish.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Max Angelelli / Jordan Taylor. GRAND-AM Championship Weekend Presented by BMW at Lime Rock Park. 2013 Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series
Starworks Motorsport BMW/Riley duo Brendon Hartley and Scott Mayer celebrate their first Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series victory at Road America [Pic credit: Grand AM]
Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor drive the #10 Velocity Worldwide Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the third race of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor drive the #10 Velocity Worldwide Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype (left) to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the third race of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Alex Gurney and Jo Fogarty, drivers of the #99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP (right) finish in second place. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
John Edwards and Robin Liddell, drivers of the # 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R., race to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the Grand Touring (GT) class of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
Juan Pablo Montoya, Memo Rojas, Scott Pruett and Charlie Kimball, co-drivers of the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates TELMEX/Target Ford BMW Riley celebrate their win in victory lane at the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 27, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Rolex Series action [Pic credit: Grand-Am]
Alex Popow and Sebastian Bourdais, drivers of the #2 Ford Riley, celebrate in Victory Lane after wininng the Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Alex Popow and Sebastien Bourdais, drivers of the #2 Soloson Ford Riley, celebrate after winning the Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Alex Gurney/Jon Fogarty - GAINSCO Bob Stallings Racing Riley-Pontiac   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Henri Richard/Rene Villeneuve - Polizei 144 TRG Porsche GT3   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Romain Dumas/Timo Bernhard - Verizon Wireless Team Penske Riley-Porsche   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas - TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Lexus   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas - TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Lexus   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Michael Valiante/Joh Pew - Michael Shank Racing Riley-Ford   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Oswaldo Negri/Mark Patterson - Michael Shank Racing Riley-Ford   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Ricardo Zonta/Nic Jonsson - Krohn Racing Lola-Ford   [pic credit: Grand-Am]

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