GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing finishes seventh at Brumos Porsche 250 At Daytona after early-race issues DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 3, 2010) -- GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, endured another tough ...
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing finishes seventh at Brumos Porsche 250 At Daytona after early-race issues
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 3, 2010) -- GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, endured another tough GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race and overcame a string of early-race incidents - including contact while racing in the lead pack, two related penalties and first gear failure - to finish seventh in Saturday's Brumos Porsche 250 At Daytona.
Fogarty started the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet Riley on the outside of the front row and was battling the pole-winning No. 10 SunTrust Ford Dallara of Ricky Taylor for second place just over 30 minutes into the 2.5-hour timed race when the two cars came together. Fogarty accidentally ran into the back of Taylor's Dallara while racing in the infield section of the course, which sent the SunTrust machine spinning off course and GAINSCO's race into a downward spiral.
"I feel bad," Fogarty said. "We had a great car, the team, our engineer Kyle Brannan and our motor guys gave us a car that should have won today. I just was probably racing too hard but I was feeling it and we haven't been up there too much this year. The car was fast and wanted to go to the front, I wanted to get it there and I probably was a little too eager to do that. I made a small mistake and the end result was that it screwed up our race and the 10 car's race, and obviously that was not my intent. Ricky is a good driver, and a good kid and we were having a good battle, but we touched and he went off pretty big. It was just a racing incident really, but in hindsight, some patience would have paid off."
Fogarty was assessed a stop-and-go penalty for "avoidable contact" and ran further afoul with GRAND-AM officials when the No. 99 exceed the maximum 45 mph pit speed limit during the penalty pit stop. Fogarty had to bring the No. 99 back to the pits a second time for a drive-through penalty, but that wasn't the end of GAINSCO's issues.
"I had an issue getting back out of the pits on our penalty stop and I lunched our first gear and destroyed it," Fogarty said. "So we were down to a four-speed gearbox from that point on. We made a few errors that you just can't have and you feel horrible when that happens. You never want to make a mistake but when you have a car that is capable of winning, it stings even more. I will try not to dwell on it and will take the positive that we still had a good car this weekend. There are still four races to go and still opportunities to win."
Gurney took over for Fogarty at the race's one-hour mark and turned some competitive lap times despite running the final 90 minutes without first gear.
"We definitely lost a couple of seconds a lap, at least, but I think the car was quite good," Gurney said. "We use first gear on all but one corner of the track so that made for a long day. I had to use second gear there which is already pretty tall. It was still interesting for me, trying to learn how to drive it with a totally different approach, so that was kind of how I treated the rest of the day."
It was the fifth-straight race this season, dating back to April's Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway (VIR), in which Gurney had to charge to the finish when the No. 99 GAINSCO "Red Dragon" was either damaged from contact or hampered by mechanical woes.
"It was a tough day," Gurney said. "We haven't managed to put together a good race this year. Today's car was a winning car, I think, but we just didn't capitalize on it. This weekend was the best our car has been all year and Mid-Ohio would have been quite good also. We have been gaining speed the last couple of races and should be good the rest of the year if we can put together some solid, mistake-free races."
The No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet Riley is still fifth in the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Series Daytona Prototype team championship with 196 points. Next up for GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series is the New Jersey Motorsports Park 250 presented by Crown Royal on NJMP's Thunderbolt Raceway, July 16 - 18.
The majority of GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing's personnel bolted for the airport at the end of the race in order to travel home in time for tomorrow's Fourth of July holiday. Gurney in particular has a big family day planned with his wife Colleen and their young daughters Natalie and Savannah back home in Irvine, California. "They are doing a little Fourth of July bike ride and parade in our neighborhood with all of the kids and they all decorate their bikes with American flags and everything. We even have an American flag baby stroller for Savannah."