Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz kept their slim Rolex Sports Car Series title hopes alive with a third win of the season in the #01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Lexus at Sunday's VIR 400 at Virginia International Raceway.
Pruett took over from Diaz – who led the race and survived an off-course spin in his opening stint – on lap 31 of the 74-lap race and went on to pass the #77 Crown Royal Doran-Ford of Matteo Bobbi for the lead on lap 63.
“I can't tell you how happy I am with this result today,” Diaz said, “We have a championship battle heading into the season finale, and that's all I could have hoped for.
"It's great for CompUSA, Telmex and our sponsors to be a part of the Mexico City race, and having a shot at the championship will bring that much more excitement to the race. You can expect about half a million people for the weekend, so be prepared for a great show if you've never seen a race in my country.”
Diaz, for 18 laps, and Pruett, for twelve more, kept the #01 car out in front for a race-high 30 laps and, with the points-leading SunTrust Racing entry finishing only fourth, will go the season finale in Mexico City with a chance of snatching the title.
"The CompUSA car was just really awesome today,” Pruett reported, “I had great pit-stops from my guys, and that's what got it done for us.
"We were able to pick our spots on the track and make our moves in a very calculating fashion. We felt we had all of our bases covered coming into the race, and it paid off this afternoon. Luis did a fabulous job again, and I can't wait to get to Mexico City to what I think will be a great event for the Rolex Sports Car Series.”
Pruett crossed the finish line 2.181secs ahead of the #2 CITGO Howard-Boss Motorsports Crawford-Pontiac of Andy Wallace and Milka Duno, while Bobbi and team-mate Fabrizio Gollin eventually finished third.
“I had to pass a lot of cars today, and the # 01 car was the only one between me and first place,” Wallace sighed, “Scott knew that, and I knew that, but he was really pedalling there at the end.