LEXINGTON, Ohio (June 15, 2013) – GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, moved to within one point of the 2013 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Championships lead Saturday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with a fifth-place finish in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance® Corvette Daytona Prototype at the Diamond Cellar Classic.
GAINSCO came into Mid-Ohio looking for its third career win on the Buckeye road course but instead left with the satisfaction of having closed some critical ground in both the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype Team and Driver Championships.
After starting driver Fogarty raced in the lead pack throughout the race’s opening hour, Gurney took over and held off championship leaders Max Angelelli and the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype to the finish. Gurney’s steady performance under pressure – and on a slightly rain-slick track – put GAINSCO and its drivers in their best championship position of the season, just one point shy, 173 – 172, of the No. 10, Angelelli and his co-driver Jordan Taylor.
Fogarty qualified the BobStallingsCars.com No. 99 fourth on Friday and quickly jumped to third after a great start in the timed 2-3/4-hour race. He raced in the top five throughout his opening run.
“I thought early on we had a car that might be able to win,” Fogarty said. “Early on in my stint I was able to run with the four of us or so up front and I was keeping pace with the car that won the race without having to over extend myself. Alex had a great first stint but then it seemed after the last pit stop either the track changed or – I don’t know – we just seemed to lose a little something at the end there.”
Gurney ran a pair of stints with very in his over 90-minute long closing session to the checkered flag.
“It was definitely better in my first stint,” Gurney said. “It seemed like we could hang with the leaders but then I had a moment where it just fell off, huge, and it was a tough day from then on. I was just hanging on.”
At the halfway point of the 12-race GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season, GAINSCO, Gurney and Fogarty are in the midst of their first championship battle in four years. GAINSCO and its drivers captured the 2007 and 2009 series championships.
“All in all, it looks like we didn’t do it today but it tightened up the points and it is so close up front,” Fogarty said. “We ran clean, the car is clean and a lot of cars aren’t after this one. Good racing, good scrap there in the beginning with the Taylor Brothers and Christian Fittipaldi, and we will go on to the next one and make up even more ground on the leaders.”
Next up for GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series is the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, June 28 – 30.
“Looking forward to Watkins Glen, we almost won it last year, so we feel good about that but everyone in the field has stepped it up,” Gurney said. “Everyone has a fast car so we need to find a little bit of speed.”
Bob Stallings Racing