25 April 2010
Memo Rojas and Scott Pruett secure success in Virginia
Scott Pruett survived a pair of late-race restarts and a strong challenge by Burt Frisselle to win Saturday's Bosch Engineering 250 before a record crowd at Virginia International Raceway.
The victory gave the #01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW Riley started by Memo Rojas its third consecutive GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask #16 victory.
Andy Lally, making his 100th career start, had contact with Bill Auberlen with two laps remaining but held on to win in GT, driving TRG's #66 AXA Porsche GT3 started by Ted Ballou.
Pruett and Rojas led all but nine of the 84 laps in the two-hour, 45-minute event. Entering the final half hour, though, Pruett brushed a GT car and half of his rear spoiler began flapping. It finally broke off on lap 73, bringing out the second caution of the event. Several Daytona Prototypes tangled on the lap 77 restart, including the #99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Chevrolet Riley of Alex Gurney, the #9 Action Express Racing Porsche Riley of Joao Barbosa and the #90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Porsche Coyote of Antonio Garcia, bringing out the final caution.
Action resumed for a five-lap dash to the chequered flag, with Pruett holding off Frisselle by 0.293 seconds. Frisselle matched his career-best finish, sharing the #61 AIM Autosport Ford Riley with Mark Wilkins.
"It was sideways everywhere, because we lost a lot of downforce," said Pruett after scoring his 26th career victory - 25 of them in a Ganassi Daytona Prototype. "The only advantage was straight-line speed, so I knew if I could get off the turns well, I'd be very difficult to pass - because the straightaways are the best place to pass here."
Rojas started from the pole and led the opening 22 circuits before pitting under the green flag near the 45-minute mark, turning the car over to Pruett.
"The balance of the car changed from qualifying to the race and the car became pretty loose," Rojas said. "It made it more difficult to drive, but it was still fast. In the end, that's all that matters."
It was Wilkins' best finish since 2008, when he and Brian Frisselle won two races. Burt Frisselle - Brian's older brother - had two podium finishes in 2004, including a second at Watkins Glen International.
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