Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty in first title fight in four years as mid-season GRAND-AM Rolex sports car series race hits Mid-Ohio sports car course this weekend
LEXINGTON, Ohio (June 13, 2013) – GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, head to one of their favorite and most successful tracks this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course locked in their first championship title fight in four years as the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series reaches the halfway point of the 2013 season, June 14 – 15, at the Diamond Cellar Classic.
GAINSCO, Gurney and Fogarty scored back-to-back race wins at Mid-Ohio in 2007 and 2008 and the “Red Dragon” team has a series-leading five Daytona Prototype poles on the Buckeye road course. Gurney won the pole with GAINSCO at Mid-Ohio in 2005 while Fogarty has top qualifying efforts the last two years and in 2007 and 2009.
“Mid-Ohio is one of my absolute favorite race tracks and I just love the flow of it,” Gurney said. “I feel like Jon and I keep studying it in finer and finer detail each year and it seems like we always find something that we could do just slightly better just through technique. That makes it very fun from a driver's point of view.”
“We love coming to Mid-Ohio,” Stallings said. “This track and Watkins Glen have been good to me personally as far as wins and podiums and particularly good for Alex and Jon in our Daytona Prototype program. Now we want to win here for GM with our Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype.”
A win at Mid-Ohio would be a major boost in GAINSCO’s bid for a third set of GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Championships to go along with the 2007 and 2009 team and driver titles. A victory would also make up for some disappointments in last year’s race here and two weeks ago in Detroit.
At Mid-Ohio last year, GAINSCO had the fastest car and Fogarty was leading early in the race from the pole when an ECU (Electronic Control Unit) issue knocked the “Red Dragon” off of its winning pace. The team rebounded to finish seventh as closing driver Gurney repeatedly set fastest race laps, including the top lap of the race of 1:18.529 (103.513 mph) that was nearly a second quicker than the closest competitor.
Two weeks ago in Detroit, GAINSCO was running in the top three halfway through the race but dropped to sixth at the finish after a blend-line penalty and lengthy pit stop combined to end any chance at victory.
“Well, like Detroit, I have high expectations for Mid-Ohio,” Fogarty said. “Those expectations were not met at Detroit, so if all goes right, Mid-Ohio will be the perfect antidote. The points race is close, and as much as I would like to blow it up and come away with a big gap to the competition, I just don't think that's the reality. The competition is just too tough, we are in a fight and it goes on much longer than this one event. We need to land some solid punches in this round and play it smart.”
Gurney and Fogarty head into this weekend’s race second in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Championships, trailing leaders Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli by just two points, 148 – 146. The BobStallingsCars.com No. 99 GAINSCO “Red Dragon” also has 146 points in the team standings to rank third behind the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 01 entry’s 147 and Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 entry of Taylor and Angelelli that leads with 148 points.
“We had an extremely good car at Detroit but unfortunately we had a few mistakes and just didn't capitalize on it,” Gurney said. “Sixth place on an off day is not the end of the world and luckily we are still right in the thick of the championship. Detroit was a big letdown for all of us though so we are very motivated to get back on track at Mid-Ohio. I think we definitely had the car to win at Mid-Ohio last year so hopefully we can hit on the same magic setup.”
Bob Stallings Racing