Patrick Long Qualifies Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche Crawford Third At Laguna Seca

May 17, 2007

MONTEREY, Calif. — Patrick Long almost put the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Porsche Crawford on the Grand-Am Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve pole for Sunday’s U.S. Sports Car Invitational delivered by Luggage Express at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Long just missed the top spot by 0.069-second behind the pole-winning No. 99 Pontiac Riley and, as a result, will start on the inside of row two.

Under overcast skies, rolling fog and temperatures near 50-degrees, Long used most of the qualifying session before setting his fast lap of 1:20.856 (99.644 mph) in the Alex Job Racing-prepared Porsche Crawford. At the time Long set his fast lap, he was second quickest in the session. But, just as the session ended, a late flier by the No. 10 Pontiac Riley bumped the Ruby Tuesday team from the front row.

“We thought we might have had a shot at the front row,” Long said of his qualifying run. “Unfortunately, we got held up with a few bits of adversity. We ran out of fuel on the last flier, which [the lap time] was looking pretty good. But, that is all behind us now and it is on to the race. This is one of the most difficult championships I have ever been in and it’s is only getting stronger.”

“We knew that we had to make a run against the number 99 car for the pole,” team owner Alex Job said of his team’s qualifying effort. “We were right there until the very last lap. We cut it close on fuel and unfortunately Patrick had to go to the reserve. So, on the last lap the [number] 10 car got us for second. It [the times] is so close, it’s incredible. It was a good run. We had hoped for a front row start. We qualified third, so we are right up front which is really important here. It was good qualifying run. Patrick did a great job. We should have a good race.”

Long will share driving duties with the defending Grand-Am Rolex Series Daytona Prototype Drivers’ Champion Jörg Bergmeister. Long will start the two-hour and thirty minute race and then turn the car over to Bergmeister, who will look to put the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Porsche Crawford in victory circle for the first time this season.

With one top-five and three top-10 finishes this season, Bergmeister and Long both sit in seventh place with 89 points (38 points behind the leaders) in the Grand-Am Rolex Series Daytona Prototype Driver Point standings. Similarly, the Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing team is also in seventh place in the Grand-Am Rolex Series Team Point standings with 89 points.

Grand-Am Rolex Series Daytona Prototype race fans can catch all of the exciting race action from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca live on SPEED Channel beginning at 4 p.m. (E4DT) Sunday, May 20.

Ruby Tuesday is one of the nation’s leading casual-dining restaurant companies, with more than 800 restaurants worldwide. It was founded in 1972 by Sandy Beall, who serves as Chairman & CEO today. The company is committed to having uncompromising freshness and quality with passionate employees who take pride in delighting guests with an excellent dining experience. The burger-centric menu features an assortment of handcrafted burgers, its fresh garden bar, premium baby back ribs and a variety of other signature entrees. Ruby Tuesday, Inc. is traded on the NY Stock Exchange (symbol:RI). To find out more about Ruby Tuesday, visit

For more information regarding the Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team, visit or contact Adam Horn at or (660) 864-8927.