In Brief: Ganassi racing quartet rocks around the clock

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Chip Ganassi's guys are making this look easy.

The quartet of Juan Pablo Montoya, Dario Franchitti, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas encountered no serious problems, giving Ganassi an unprecedented third consecutive victory in America's premier sports car race -- the Rolex 24-Hour at Daytona International Speedway.

Other than a minor handling problem for Pruett at the start of the race Saturday afternoon, the team's No. 01 Lexus Riley Daytona Prototype was nearly perfect, racing at or near the lead in an event that was the most competitive in the 46-year history until the waning hours.

At dawn Sunday, with about six hours to go, there were five other prototypes on the lead lap. But, as often happens in endurance events, attrition suddenly took its toll.

The Ganassi car had been swapping leads with the Ford Riley shared by NASCAR's A.J. Allmendinger, Ian James, Burt Frisselle and John Pew. That car, driven by Frisselle, was just seconds behind the leader when a tire blew, damaging the suspension midway through the 21st hour and knocking it out of contention.

Montoya, who had taken the wheel of the Ganassi car near the end of the 18th hour, had a comfortable five-lap lead on the 3.56-mile road circuit and his team was able to cruise the rest of the way. ...

Four-time world champion Sebastien Loeb won the Monte Carlo (Monaco) Rally for a record fifth time. The Frenchman completed the four-day race in 3 hours, 39 minutes, 17 seconds. "It's always nice to start the season with a win, but I have no intention of getting carried away because there are some very difficult rallies to come," the Citroen driver said.


Nationals catcher Paul Lo Duca will see a team doctor today "for further testing" on what his agent called a minor meniscus tear in his left knee, general manager Jim Bowden wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press. If arthroscopic surgery is needed, Lo Duca could miss 4-6 weeks, Bowden wrote.

Horce Racing

Santa Anita Park in Arcadia canceled horse racing Sunday for the sixth day this month because of heavy rain.