FOGARTY QUALIFIES SECOND FOR THIRD TIME THIS SEASON IN NO. 99 GAINSCO AUTO INSURANCE CHEVY DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 2, 2010) -- Jon Fogarty will start the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet Riley from the outside of the front row in ...
FOGARTY QUALIFIES SECOND FOR THIRD TIME THIS SEASON IN NO. 99 GAINSCO AUTO INSURANCE CHEVY
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 2, 2010) -- Jon Fogarty will start the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet Riley from the outside of the front row in Saturday's Brumos Porsche 250 At Daytona after his top lap of 1:42.454 (125.090 mph) was just off the pole time in Friday morning's qualifying session on the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course. It's the third time this year that Fogarty and GAINSCO will start on the front row after also qualifying second for last month's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen and at March's Grand Prix of Miami.
Fogarty will start alongside the pole-winning No. 10 SunTrust Ford Dallara of Ricky Taylor, and both drivers battled a partially wet and drying track and each other for the top time throughout the 15-minute qualifying session. Both repeatedly improved their lap times before Taylor turned a lap time of 1:42.341 (125.228 mph) to just edge Fogarty and GAINSCO for the pole.
"All in all it was a good run for the No. 99 GAINSCO Chevrolet," Fogarty said. "They were keeping me informed of Ricky's times and when he first did his times in the one-minute-42 range I really thought that was going to be difficult to beat. Then the times just kept coming down as we ran. We had no dry running up until this qualifying session and I think we were a little bit conservative and basically ran too much downforce in qualifying not knowing the condition of the track, just to be safe. I think we could have gotten away with a little bit less, which may have given us that extra little bit to get the pole. We are definitely very close and competitive up front with the 10 car but I think we achieved our times a little bit differently. We are going to think about what's best for the race but we are certainly happy to be on the front row with the No. 99 car."
Despite a light rain, the qualifying session was actually the driest the Daytona road course was all day after morning practice was run in a steady downpour. Even in practice in the wet, however, GAINSCO was pleased with the performance of its No. 99 "Red Dragon" Daytona Prototype.
"I think we are in a good position for the race even though I haven't driven in the dry yet," said Gurney, who turned GAINSCO's fastest laps in the rain. "That will be a little bit of an unknown, but we have a lot of laps around here so we kind of know what's going on."
In last year's Brumos Porsche 250, Gurney battled for the lead with Taylor's teammate Max Angelelli for the majority of the latter stages of the race. The GAINSCO and SunTrust race cars repeatedly swapped positions before Angelelli out-horsepowered the No. 99 for the win on the last lap. In 2008, Scott Pruett used the power of his Lexus Riley to also beat GAINSCO to the line in a last lap thriller.
"We hated to give away those last two years on the last lap and hopefully we can go one better this year," Gurney said.
Although the rain cooled things down a little on Friday, drivers still had to endure typically hot and humid Florida summer conditions. Pre-race preparation and training will be the key to surviving tomorrow's race. "I like to drink Margaritas all day by the pool for three days prior to the race, just so I am relaxed," Fogarty said. "I am just kidding, of course, but trying to recreate the in-car environment would be a bad idea, because you simply cannot get acclimated to that sort of heat. I do, however, try to train during the hottest part of they day, and make sure my body's cooling system is operated top notch. I just try to get a really good sweat going on a daily basis and, of course, stay hydrated. I know I am doing well when the sweat pouring off my head and through my eyes doesn't sting from salts, because it is bound to happen in the race car and that sort of pain can be pretty irritating when you are at the limit in Turn 1 at Daytona."