Role Series points leader Scott Pruett has escaped unharmed from a crash during testing at the New Jersey Motorsports Park while testing for Sunday's Supercar Life 250.
Pruett was exiting the final turn on the new 2.22-mile Thunderbolt Raceway when a GT car spun in front of him. As he took evasive action, the veteran's Riley-Lexus snapped sideways and hit the end of the barrier separating pit-road from the circuit. The impact tore the car in half but, crucially, the cockpit area remained intact, with Pruett coming to a stop on pit-road.
The Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates stalwart was taken to South Jersey HealthCare Regional Medical Centre, where he was evaluated and later released.
"All I remember was that there was a white Porsche in front of me, and he checked up," Pruett said of the incident, "When he swerved over in front of me, I swerved to miss him, and that's it. I'm a little sore, but good - they wanted to take me to the hospital to take all the precautions."
The Ganassi team will now switch to a back-up #01 car for Pruett to share with co-driver Memo Rojas this weekend, the machine - an original-style Riley chassis with bodywork approved by Grand-Am - having last competed in the 2008 Rolex 24 at Daytona. Several crew members are flying to the team's shop in Indianapolis to work on the car while the team's transporter returns from New Jersey. The return trip is scheduled to get the replacement car to the track before final practice at 8am.
"The TELMEX Ganassi guys stepped up, and we're coming up with a gameplan and getting on with it," Pruett commented, happy not to have seen his title challenge derailed, "They're hauling to get up to Indianapolis and get our spare car together, and get it turned around to be here for Sunday."
Pruett and Rojas currently hold a 42-point advantage in the Daytona Prototype standings with only two events remaining in the season. The pair have won six races so far in 2008 and, with a maximum of 35 points available at each event, are guaranteed to enter the final round - September's Sunchaser 1000 at Miller Motorsports Park - at the head of the championship.