GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing qualifies on outside front row at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) for Sunday’s Global Barter 250
Second-place effort No. 99’s fourth-consecutive top-three qualifying run at NJMP
MILLVILLE, N.J. (May 12, 2012) — GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and starting driver Jon Fogarty will grid on the outside of the front row for tomorrow’s Global Barter 250 presented by Susan G. Komen for the Cure at New Jersey Motorsports Park where the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette Daytona Prototype qualified second fastest on Saturday.
Fogarty, who turned his fast time of 1:15.279 (107.600 mph) on his second flying lap of the session, has qualified no lower than third in the last four races at NJMP, including a pole-winning effort in 2010 that he and teammate Alex Gurney backed up with GAINSCO’s only race victory at Thunderbolt Raceway. The No. 99 GAINSCO “Red Dragon” started third at NJMP last year and in 2009.
“I wanted the pole obviously, and I think we have a great race car, but I also thought we had a car capable of taking the pole,” Fogarty said. “We made some changes; I just don’t think we attacked qualifying aggressively enough. We misjudged how quickly we thought the tires were going to be there for us and thought the times might come a little bit later in the run. The track temps have come up a little bit, the car was ready and the time was really there on Lap 1 and Lap 2, but we weren’t quite ready on those laps.”
In addition to the 2010 victory, Gurney and Fogarty finished third last year at NJMP after contending for the win. The team’s best finish so far this year has been a second-place result at Barber Motorsports Park two races ago. A win tomorrow would be GAINSCO’s first in its new No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette Daytona Prototype in the team’s fourth race with the car.
“It was a good qualifying run for sure,” Gurney said. “I think we knew from the earlier practice sessions that we weren’t necessarily getting the most out of the tires for one quick lap, but longevity wise they are really good. We are confident about the race and will try to stay trouble free.”
GAINSCO is hoping to match up its strategy with a caution-free race tomorrow.
“We have a great race car and we are looking forward to a good race,” Fogarty said. “It is warmer today and it will be about the same tomorrow, which is warmer than the previous two days test sessions. So it might change tire longevity a little bit but I still think it is to our advantage if we have long, green-flag runs tomorrow. We have a good long-run car.”
Picture-perfect weather continued for a third-straight day in Southern New Jersey on Saturday and more of the same is expected for race day. After two years of races run in excruciatingly hot conditions at NJMP, temperatures are not expected to get out of the 70s on Sunday, no rain is in the forecast, and humidity has been non-existent all weekend.
“It’s certainly nicer than year’s past,” Gurney said. “But I always prefer about maybe 58 degrees! Temperatures around 80 are still pretty hot and it is always hot in the car.”
Regardless of the weather conditions, Thunderbolt Raceway has some built-in challenges.
“It’s a tough place to pass, and we are probably going to be running around in traffic, so we are just going to have to play it smart,” Fogarty said. “We will go fast when we have the opportunity, have good pit stops, and get out in front. If we can get out in front we are in good shape.”