Pruett and Rojas come from lap back to win Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas overcame three early pit stops and falling a lap down in their #01 Telmex Lexus to win today’s EMCO Gears Classic at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Starting from the second position, Rojas came into the pits under caution on Lap 2 to satisfy the mandatory pit-stop rule requiring a stop within the first 45 minutes of the race. During his stop, the team took on fuel, but it was determined by Grand-Am officials that the race had yet to complete a green flag lap. The ruling resulted in a stop-and-go penalty with the team being held in the pits for an additional 10 seconds with Rojas falling to the back of the field.
Yet, the reigning series co-champion charged back into the top-10 before having contact with another prototype while overtaking him for position. The contact would send Rojas’ #01 Lexus back into the pits for a tire change and dropped him a lap down and into 15th position. Once again, the resilient Mexican driver came back through the field and into the top-10 before handing off to Pruett under a full-course caution on Lap 38. The Chip Ganassi Racing team’s quick pit stop put Pruett back on track in seventh-place.
From there, the most-decorated sports car racer in American history quickly moved into the top-five by Lap 45 and eventually assumed the lead under caution on Lap 67.
Pruett then stretched out as much as a three-second lead over second place and more than a 10-second lead over third place before a full-course caution with just over 30 minutes remaining bunched up the field. Despite repeated runs at him by former Toyota F1 driver Ricardo Zonta, Pruett led the final 45 laps for the team’s second consecutive victory.
The Rolex Sports Car Series returns Saturday, July 4 with the Brumos 250 as the preliminary show for the Sprint Cup at the Daytona International Speedway. The one-day event will be televised live on SPEED beginning at 2 p.m. EDT.
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