INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and Jon Fogarty qualified seventh Thursday for tomorrow’s 2nd Annual Brickyard Grand Prix, starting on the inside of row four in a tight field that saw the top-eight qualifiers separated by just over 4/10ths of a second on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS).
After turning the fastest practice time of the day in this morning’s opening session, the No. 99 GAINSCO “Red Dragon” also came out strong in the opening laps of the 15-minute qualifying session with Fogarty at the wheel. He had the No. 99 at the top of the time charts when the session was stopped at the halfway point for a disabled competitor but the “Red Dragon” didn’t stay there when the session resumed.
“The black flag really didn’t hurt us, it is all the same for everybody,” said Fogarty, who turned a top lap time of 1:22.674 (110.342 mph). “It is pretty close, qualifying always is, but today we just didn’t have it. We made some changes that we thought were going to be better and I think they were wrong. That happens.”
Fogarty will start the No. 99 in tomorrow’s race and hand-off to longtime teammate and co-driver Alex Gurney who will fill his usual “closer” roll and bring the “Red Dragon” to the finish.
“We are OK, we had something that worked before, so we can always go back,” Gurney said. “We are just experimenting, the track is just super slick in the infield, so it is really hard to put the power down. I think a lot of people are having trouble putting the power down, but we will get it.”
While the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing crew plans on some overnight changes to the No. 99, the team and drivers will not have an opportunity to test them before the race. The Brickyard Grand Prix is one of the few races on this year’s schedule that doesn’t have a final practice warm-up on the schedule.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have a warm-up so we are going to have to do our best guesstimate as to what is best for the race,” Fogarty said. “We had a better car in the earlier practice so we have something to fall back on, which is good. We are going to look toward having a good race and not worry too much about qualifying.”
A solid result in Friday’s race will go a long way in keeping the BobStallingsCars.com No. 99 GAINSCO “Red Dragon,” and Gurney and Fogarty, in the mix for this year’s Daytona Prototype team and driver championships.
Both the No. 99 team, and co-drivers Gurney and Fogarty, have 189 points to rank fourth in points in both championships. GAINSCO’s 189 points are just one behind third place, two points from second and only five points shy of the lead in both the team and driver championships heading into tomorrow’s race.
Bob Stallings Racing