DC's Daytona in July post script

DC's ROLEX SERIES POST SCRIPTS BRUMOS PORSCHE 250 Jon Fogarty (No. 99 Gainsco Pontiac-Riley), Jorg Bergmeister (No. 23 Ruby Tuesday) and Memo Rojas (No. 01 Telmex Lexus-Riley) briefly tangled between Daytona International Speedway's second and...


DC's ROLEX SERIES POST SCRIPTS

BRUMOS PORSCHE 250

Jon Fogarty (No. 99 Gainsco Pontiac-Riley), Jorg Bergmeister (No. 23 Ruby Tuesday) and Memo Rojas (No. 01 Telmex Lexus-Riley) briefly tangled between Daytona International Speedway's second and third road course turns during the Brumos Porsche 250. Someone went off into the grass while someone else's front end hit someone else's rear end and the three cars thus proceeded in the same direction along the race course.

In short: Among a bunch of testosterone-filled and adrenaline-pumping humans, someone got a little excited.

Me.

Speaking of getting excited: would recently arrived Daytona Prototype racing fans even believe an "old-timer's" description of DP drivers' on-track shenanigans from the 2003 and 2004 seasons? Action which included things like cars getting their doors knocked open and still other cars having doors knocked off -- and a lot of scrapping of all sorts between.

Remember that dust-up between J.C. France and Chris Bingham during the 2006 Mexico City race? Not their doin' it in the dirt but the little "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" incident beforehand, the resultant "discussion" giving us one of the year's favorite video-tape replays?

That Mexico City fender-bender wasn't anything close to what happened during the 2004 Paul Revere 250 when then-reigning Daytona Prototype champion Terry Borcheller, driving Forest Barber's No. 54 Kodak Pontiac-Doran, and Cort Wagner in Cole Scrogham's G&W (now "Synergy") No. 81 Rx.com BMW-Doran, did a disjointed, 180-mph dance coming through the west side of Daytona International's Tri-oval. We're talking clouds from smoking tires, sparks galore in the nighttime race and two tore-up cars grinding to a rest in the asphalt and grass area separating road-course Turns One and Six.

If memory serves, the incident was ruled "one of them racing deals."

The results of Thursday's Fogarty, Bergmeister and Rojas touchy-feely experience weren't anywhere close to the above -- or the many other jaw-dropping battles seen on the Rolex Series circuit in the Daytona Prototype's early days.

Nonetheless being very tame by comparison, Rolex Series officials handed Fogarty and team a "stop and go (sic) penalty on lap 13 for avoidable contact," which the team thought capricious and arbitrary even though officials reportedly beforehand reviewed the incident's video tape footage.

From feedback I've since received, most fans also thought the ruling was capricious and arbitrary, one writing that "after the accident the three cars were still going in the same direction as they were when the thing began!"

To some, the penalty appeared a desperate act to derail the apparently "all-too-powerful" Gainsco Express that had secured a front-row start for yet another record-setting time (its eighth consecutive) and, as far as all the rest of the world knew, were heading for the team's third-consecutive and fourth-overall 2007 win -- which is exactly what the team did, anyway.

Though hardly proposing that Grand Am officials establish a process requiring a "trial by a jury comprised of one's peers," there surely must be a middle ground somewhere between preventing the carnage of a way-serious confrontation, like the 2004 Borcheller/Wagner incident, and those resulting in little more than grass stains, like the more recent Fogarty/Bergmeister/Rojas incident.

After all, going door-handle-to-door-handle is what put the DP on a bunch of sports-news highlight reels -- at least according to some folks who were hanging around back then.

ABOVE AND BEYOND

Reigning Nextel Cup champ Jimmie Johnson showed he's got "heart" at last week's Brumos Porsche 250.

After starting his No. 91 Lowe's Pontiac-Riley on the outside pole, Johnson suffered a double-whammy when malfunctioning in-car electronics forced him onto pit road. The faulty components additionally affected the car's pit-road rev limiter - used to keep the car under the pit-road speed limit - and without it Johnson subsequently exceeded the limit for which Rolex Series officials handed Johnson a stop-and-go penalty.

In "man-on-a-mission" style and despite suffering big-time dehydration during his stint, Johnson pushed back into the top-10 before turning the wheel over to co-driver Marc Goossens, who actually drove the shorter portion of the two-drivers' combined time in the driver's seat (Johnson drove 1:16; the race lasted 2:12).

SLOW-TO-COME 2008 APPROVALS

With some teams already building their 2008 cars and many more set to begin over the next few weeks, some owners say they're facing a major scramble in order to be ready by Daytona International Speedway's early January test.

Citing officials as being too slow in finalizing the 2008 rules - especially in DP - the owners aren't sure what they can do outside of being frustrated.

ANGELELLI'S NOT FRUSTRATED (NOW)

Prior to the Brumos Porsche 250, Max Angelelli expressed some frustration over his No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac-Riley team's inability to run smoothly on all eight-cylinders.

"As we begin the second half of the season it is time to start turning things around because I cannot hide the fact that we have been struggling to get the results we really need to keep pace in the championship . . .," Angelelli said.

"It's been tough. We need to try and regroup and try to understand what the problems are. As soon as we figure that out, I'm sure we can attack the problem and solve it and be competitive again."

With the SunTrust's right-rear bodywork nearly gone, Angelelli still scored a second-place finish to the No. 99 Gainsco Pontiac-Riley of Alex Gurney and John Fogarty.

Kinda sounds like the only remaining problem for the team is keeping the bodywork intact.

POINTS TIGHTEN

Rolex Series Daytona Prototype points leader Scott Pruett and co-driver Memo Rojas, the latter starting the Brumos Porsche 250 third in points, finished sixth in the race in their Ganassi/Sabates No. 01 Telmex Lexus-Riley.

With Max Angelelli finishing four places ahead in his No. 10 SunTrust car, Pruett's lead over Angelelli slipped to just four points while Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, fourth in points before the race, leapfrogged over Rojas into third in points, only 17 points away from Pruett.

With seven races to go and though needing some help, a fifth-place in points Colin Braun and Max Papis are 32 points out of first and can't be counted out. For sure, Braun and Papis are thinking their No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac-Riley is going to take them there.

DURAN TO RUN SLC

Rolex 24 At Daytona winner and unsung driver Salvador Duran will be the third driver in the No. 01 Ganassi/Sabates Telmex car for the Rolex Series' season-ending September 7-9 Sunchaser 1000 at Miller Motorsports Park in Toole, Utah.

According to Duran's manager and former Ganassi/Sabates DP driver Jimmy Morales, Duran continues to hone his racing skills in the World Series Formula Renault 3.5 open-wheel cars in Europe. Duran, seventh in points there, has thus far captured a pole, one win and one third-place finish.

Later.
    Exclusively for Motorsport.com by DC Williams

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About this article
Series General , Grand-Am
Drivers Chris Bingham , Alex Gurney , Max Papis , Jon Fogarty , Scott Pruett , Marc Goossens , Colin Braun , Jimmie Johnson , Terry Borcheller , Jörg Bergmeister , Max Angelelli , Memo Rojas , Jimmy Morales , Forest Barber , Salvador Duran , J.C. Fra , Cole Scrogham , Cort Wagner
Teams Williams , Krohn Racing