KANSAS CITY, Kan. (August 14, 2013) – GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing’s title fight for a third GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Championship comes to Kansas Speedway this weekend where team drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty will drive the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance® Corvette Daytona Prototype in Saturday night’s inaugural SFP Grand Prix.
GAINSCO, Gurney and Fogarty, the 2007 and 2009 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Team and Driver Champions, have been in the hunt for a third set of Daytona Prototype titles since winning the second race of the year at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in early March.
The No. 99 GAINSCO drivers come to the first-ever major sports car race on Kansas Speedway’s 2.370-mile “roval” road course just four points shy of the driver championship lead. Gurney and Fogarty trail leaders Ryan Dalziel and Alex Popow, 246 – 242, while the same 242 points total has the No. 99 GAINSCO “Red Dragon” third in the team standings, just nine points out of first.
GAINSCO ran competitively but finished eighth most recently at Road America last Saturday but still closed on the championship lead when Dalziel and Popow were slowed by a mechanical issue.
“The team performed very well at Road America,” Gurney said. “We can take a lot of positives from the weekend. Toward the end of the race, apart from the first three cars that got a little lucky with the timing of that yellow flag, we were at the front and in a great position to win the race. We had good strategy, pit stops and pace and that bodes well for these last three races.”
Kansas kicks off a stretch run of races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in California and Lime Rock Park in Connecticut that will wrap up the 2013 season. While Laguna and Lime Rock are well familiar to the Rolex Series contingent, Kansas as a new circuit may serve as somewhat of a “wild card” event in the championship chase.
“The configuration of the track, unfortunately, doesn’t lend itself to our usual strong suit, but I am confident in the team,” Fogarty said. “I think we can perform and I think we can win. It is a bit of an unknown. I have never seen the place, but we will get it sorted and hopefully come out of there with a firm grasp on some points.”
The BobStallingsCars.com No. 99 GAINSCO “Red Dragon” team tends to prefer courses with many corners and a minimum of high-speed straights. Depending on who is counting, the Kansas road course has only about six or seven corners and one long oval-track section expected to produce top speeds rivaling the massive 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course used for the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.
“I am looking forward to going to a new circuit,” Gurney said. “I've seen a few laps of in-car video and done some iRacing there so I am familiar with the layout already. I have a feeling the Kansas ‘roval’ is not like the Nürburgring, but I’m hopeful we'll enjoy it nonetheless. If we can perform like we did at Elkhart, we should be able to get on the podium.”
A two-day twilight-into-evening event, the SFP Grand Prix schedule gets underway Thursday with unofficial testing that afternoon. Official practice commences Friday afternoon with Daytona Prototype qualifying scheduled that evening at 9:45 p.m. CDT. Race day Saturday begins with a 30-minute final practice warm-up session at 11:30 a.m. CDT with the featured SFP Grand Prix scheduled to start at 7 p.m. CDT that evening.
“There’s not a whole lot of ‘rovals’ that a true road racer can fall in love with,” Fogarty said. “But it is what it is, GRAND-AM always does a good job adding a new track or two it seems like every season, it is a race and I am always happy to go racing. We are going to go there and make the most of it.”
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing