DAYTONA BEACH – GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing has started this year’s Rolex 24 At Daytona with a steady run from eighth on the grid to the top five in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette.
Gurney climbed as high as fifth in his first stint before handing off to Gidley on his second pit stop. He had a great race start, made passes on two cars in his opening run with another going off the road before his first pit stop.
“I think it started off reasonably well,” Gurney said. “I made up a position on the start. I got around (Ryan) Dalziel on the outside of the first horseshoe and just tried to settle into a pace. After the first pit stop I got caught for speeding. I just went a little early. I know they extended the pit lane speed limit area, but that was a shame because I didn’t get to try it in practice. I just went too early. That didn’t help our cause, we fell back to 10th, but it looks like the guys did a really good pit stop. After the pit stop we got up to sixth.”
The GAINSCO/BobStallingsCars.com No. 99 is in the middle of rotating between both of its Daytona extra drivers, Gidley and Law. Gidley, who advanced as high as fourth, said the Corvette handled better once the sun set at Daytona International Speedway and the ambient and track temperatures began to fall.
“Inside the car you don’t feel a whole lot different when the temperature drops because the DPs are pretty warm inside,” Gidley said. “It makes a big difference in the amount of grip and I noticed in the first stint the car was sliding around a fair amount, wasn’t too hooked up. I had to work a little bit harder. As the sun went down the track cooled off, and it’s almost like the rubber that is on the surface gets a little bit more stable and the car hooks up, rolls around the corner better, puts the power down. Other than the visibility being a little tougher, I really enjoy driving in the night when it’s cool just because the car seems to just hook up a little bit more.”
With the five-hour mark approaching, and Law in fifth place in the No. 99 “Red Dragon,” the race now heads into darkness for more than 10 hours until sunrise on Sunday morning.
Bob Stallings Racing