in New Jersey Motorsports Park Testing Accident
Championship leading TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team goes to backup for Supercar Life 250
Scott Pruett was involved in a practice crash Thursday at New Jersey Motorsports Park while testing for Sunday's Supercar Life 250. The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 championship leader was taken to South Jersey HealthCare Regional Medical Center, where he was evaluated and released.
As a result of the incident, the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team will go to a backup No. 01 Lexus Riley for Pruett and Memo Rojas. The backup car, an original-style Riley chassis with bodywork approved by Grand-Am, last competed in the 2008 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Currently, Pruett and Rojas hold a 42-point lead in the Daytona Prototype standings with only two events remaining in the season. The pair won six races this season - including the team's third consecutive triumph in the Rolex 24 - in addition to a second and third.
Pruett was exiting the final turn on the 2.22-mile Thunderbolt Raceway when a GT car spun in front of him. When he took evasive action, Pruett's car snapped sideways and impacted the end of the barrier separating pit road from the racing circuit. The impact tore the car in half. The cockpit of the car remained intact, with Pruett coming to a stop on pit road.
"I'm a little sore, but good," Pruett said. "They wanted to take me to the hospital to take all the precautions. The TELMEX Ganassi guys stepped up, and we're coming up with a game plan and getting on with it. They're hauling to get up to Indianapolis and get our spare car together, and get it turned around to be here for Sunday.
"All I remember was 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."
Several crew members are flying to the team's shop in Indianapolis to work on the car while the team's transporter returns. Once it arrives, the spare car will be loaded on the hauler, which will return to the New Jersey circuit, where they hope to arrive before final practice at 8 a.m.
Pruett and Rojas currently lead GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing teammates Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty. With a maximum of 35 points available at each Grand-Am Rolex Series event, the Ganassi duo is assured of holding the championship lead entering the Sept. 21 season-ending Sunchaser 1000 at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City, Utah.