Thrifty driving by GAINSCO duo secures third-straight top-5 finish for surging GAINSCO/Blackhawk team DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 29, 2006) -- A light touch on the throttle helped Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty bring the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance...
Thrifty driving by GAINSCO duo secures third-straight top-5 finish for surging GAINSCO/Blackhawk team
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 29, 2006) -- A light touch on the throttle helped Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty bring the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley home in fifth place under the lights at tonight's Rolex Sports Car Series Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway, as the team completed the full 70-lap distance on just one pit stop. The stellar fuel economy run, which moved GAINSCO/Blackhawk Racing into the top-5 in team points for the first time in its history, was the team's third-straight top-5 result and fifth in the last six races.
Coming into the superspeedway road course, the GAINSCO team expected to have difficulty, as the Pontiac engine is handicapped by the rules and is at a horsepower disadvantage to the Porsche and Lexus powerplants that shows clearly on the Daytona high banks. Still, Jon and Alex knew that if the team wanted to move up in the points, they'd have to come away with a solid top-5 finish. They delivered, on the strength of a solid opening stint by Fogarty, a lightning-fast pit stop from the GAINSCO Boys on Lap 35 and Gurney's outstanding feather-footed mileage run that took the 99 car under the checkered flags on fumes.
"Kyle (Brannan, team engineer) told me to get better mileage from our Pontiac, and I kept going slower and slower and he just kept telling me, 'That's not good enough, you've got to save way more than that' -- so I did," Gurney said with a grin. "We got a top-5 finish and for this track, that's what we set out to do because we knew it was going to be a challenge for us given the horsepower disadvantage we have against the Porsche. Now we get to move on to four tracks where we think we'll be tough to beat and we think we can win at any of them."
Fogarty said, "This track just doesn't suit our particular package because it's so much about top-end horsepower. We were hoping to come out with a top-5 and we did -- we ran smart and kept the GAINSCO Auto Insurance car clean and got a good result. I had some good battles with Colin in the 76 car, I could take advantage of mistakes or traffic but we just didn't have the horsepower to keep up with the guys at the very front. This weekend, we were just destined to finish fifth."
For team owner Bob Stallings, the solid performance despite the challenges again showed the strength of the No. 99, from the cockpit to the pit box.
"We sure cut it close, and Kyle did a great job talking Alex through the process of saving fuel during the last stint," Stallings said. "The GAINSCO Boys gave us a great pit stop and got us out ahead of the 76 car. This team has gone through a tremendous amount of adversity this season but we're showing that we can run with anyone, anywhere -- that's a testament to our drivers, our engineer and our crew. There are four races left where we think we have the package to beat."
The GAINSCO team now has a month between races -- but they'll head first to the new Miller Motorsports Park for testing in early July. Racing action for the Rolex Series resumes July 27-30 at the Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Testing is set for the 27th, with practice on the 28th and Daytona Prototype qualifying on the 29th. The Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant will go green at 2 p.m. Eastern on July 30, and will be televised live on SPEED Channel. Race weekend updates from the team are available on the From the Pit blog at http://GAINSCOracing.blogspot.com, and Internet radio coverage and live timing and scoring are available at http://www.Grand-Am.com.