Watkins Glen: Ganassi Takes Pole Position with Lap Record

Ganassi was back on top after a difficult Lime Rock race

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. - Bouncing back from his team's worst showing of the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season, Scott Pruett shattered the Watkins Glen International track record Friday to capture the pole position for Saturday's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen.

Pruett ran a lap of 1:40.562 (121.716 mph) in the No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley, and will join Jon Fogarty on the front row when the green flag waves at 2 p.m. (SPEED live 2-4 and 6-8:30 p.m.)

Fogarty ran a lap of 1:41.242 (120.898 mph) in the No. 99 GAINSCO Chevrolet/Riley that he will co-drive with Alex Gurney and four-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson. Fogarty and Memo Rojas - Pruett's co-driver - were involved in an incident in the first turn of the first lap in Monday's Memorial Day Classic at Lime Rock Park. The Chip Ganassi-owned team finished last in that event, seeing their Daytona Prototype championship point lead shrink from 21 to seven points over Ryan Dalziel.

"We were very disappointed with the race at Lime Rock, and we wanted to shake it off," said Pruett, who joined Rojas in winning the 2008 and 2009 Watkins Glen events. "Starting next to Fogarty is no big deal. We've been racing together for a long time. That's all in our rear-view mirrors. Now we're focused on the race."

Johnson participated in Friday morning's practice session, running five laps in his first experience on WGI's 3.4-mile "long" circuit. Johnson improved on each lap and was running fifth overall in the session after his final lap - 1:45.683 (115.818 mph). He then rushed to a waiting helicopter for a 50-minute ride to Long Pond, Pa., to practice and qualify for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway.

The Glen's 3.4-mile course contrasts to the 2.45-mile layout used when NASCAR comes to the track. The reason for the difference: a one-mile, four-turn segment known as "the boot."

Magnus Racing took their first pole position

"It's a whole different challenge," Johnson said of running the Glen's long course. "I feel like I've actually finally experienced this track right for the first time."

Burt Frisselle qualified third in the No. 61 AIM Autosport Ford/Riley, 1:41.317 (120.809 mph), and will be joined on the second row by Buddy Rice, 1:41.678 (120.380 mph) in the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Porsche/Coyote.

Ozz Negri was fifth in the No. 60 Crown Royal XR Ford/Riley, 1:41.763 (120.279), followed by Max Angelelli - who joined Ricky Taylor in winning Monday's race at Lime Rock -in the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Ford/Dallara, 1:41.771 (120.270 mph).

Craig Stanton won the GT pole, running a track record lap of 1:50.213 (111.058 mph). That was his first Rolex Series GT pole, and first for Magnus Racing and the No. 44 Porsche GT3.

"It was pretty spectacular," Stanton said. "My run was a bit ragged, but it was good enough to win the pole. It shows where we are in our progression as a brand-new team."

Jordan Taylor scored his fifth consecutive front-row start with a lap of 1:50.493 (110.776 mph), ending his streak of two consecutive pole positions in the No. 30 Racers Edge Motorsports Mazda RX-8.

Saturday's schedule begins with a 30-minute Rolex Series practice session. The Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen will be preceded by the Continental Tire 150 for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge at 10:15 a.m.