All Pontiac Front Row At Daytona Jon Fogarty Pole, Jimmie Johnson Second Jon Fogarty put the No. 99 GAINSCO Pontiac Daytona Prototype (DP) car on the pole for this evening's running of the Brumos Porsche 250 and round eight of the Grand-Am ...
All Pontiac Front Row At Daytona
Jon Fogarty Pole, Jimmie Johnson Second
Jon Fogarty put the No. 99 GAINSCO Pontiac Daytona Prototype (DP) car on the pole for this evening's running of the Brumos Porsche 250 and round eight of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve. In GT, Kelly Collins drove the No. 07 Banner GXP.R to a front row starting spot, qualifying second for tonight's two-hour-and-thirty-minute race.
The DP session was interrupted with a black flag within the first five minutes. That left the competitors with just an additional five-minutes to put in their fast time. The No. 91 LOWE'S Riley-Mathews Motorsports Pontiac DP, driven by NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, will start on the front row along side the GAINSCO car. The Pontiac pole streak on the Rolex Series' season is a perfect eight-for-eight.
Fogarty's time of 1:44.043 and 123 mph eclipsed the field by more than a second in his Pontiac Riley. This pole gives the GAINSCO team three in a row and four on the season, the team's second at Daytona this year. Fogarty will hand over to teammate Alex Gurney.
"Kyle (Brannan, team engineer) did a really good job of getting me into a position where I could get two quick laps at speed without traffic," Fogarty said. "When I was out there on the fast lap, there were quite a few sketchy moments coming into the corners but when I got to the apexes the GAINSCO car would settle down and things would sort themselves out. I really wasn't certain what everyone else was doing so I just laid it all out and did what I could to get the pole. As a team, we've really built our confidence up. It's always a bit nerve-wracking to come into a schedule like today, with everything squeezed into just a few hours and the rain didn't help either. "
Reigning NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson put in an early fast lap before the session was halted. Johnson was able to gather more speed and improve his time to stay on the front row with a lap of 1:45.078. Johnson shares the seat this weekend with Marc Goosens.
"It is hot in that DP car," Johnson said. "The Riley guys have really improved the car all the way around since I drove it at the 24 Hour. It handles better and even seems faster on the straight. I had a good lap early and was able to improve my time when we went back out after the black flag. It will be great to start from the front tonight!"
Starting fourth on the grid will be Max Papis in the No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley. Papis put in a time of 1:45.654 to crowd the front two rows with Pontiac power.
"We did the best we could with a limited number of qualifying laps," Papis said. "That was really my first flyer of the weekend. In the early practice session I was bedding brakes and really working on the setup. With the black flag in qualifying I just had to go for it and we did O.K. I think it was a great effort by the team and we have a lot of friendly Pontiac guys up at the front for the start."
Kris Szekeres, running his second race in the No. 11 CITGO Pontiac, will go away from the start in sixth place. Szekeres shares the ride with Canadian Patrick Carpentier.
"That was a good result considering the struggles we had at the last race at Mid-Ohio," Szekeres said. "I was a little worried in practice that we did not quite have the speed. The team did a good job with the setup and we worked on it in practice and we have a good starting position."
Kelly Collins, the pole sitter in GT from Mid-Ohio, was able to bring his No. 07 Pontiac GXP.R to the front in qualifying with a time of 1:53.503. The Californian shares the GXP.R with Paul Edwards.
"The car is really good," Collinsn said. "I thought that the Porsche cars would be a little stronger, that Mazda was flying. In practice, the car was jumping out of gear, so I just had to hold my hand on it qualifying and we made it through. We are really fast here in the infield and we just loose too much to the lighter German and Japanese cars on the banking."
The No. 06 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R, qualified by Tim Lewis Jr., ran a time of 1:54.846 good for a sixth place starting position in GT. Lewis is teamed with Banner Racing owner Leighton Reese and the duo are looking for their second win on the season.
"I am happy with sixth," Lewis Jr. said. "I had a great lap going and then caught a slower car in the Bus Stop and that added a few tenths. Leighton and I are on the same page as far as the setup goes and that really makes a difference. I was able to carry good speed into the corner and through the braking zone. I think we look really good for the race."
Shawn Price and Drew Staveley in the No. 30 Pontiac Racers Edge Motorsports GXP.R sustained some damage in the first session. The crew from nearby De Land was able to get it back out for qualifying and the red car will start from the seventh row in GT.
The race from Daytona International Speedway will be televised live tonight on the SPEED Channel starting at 8:00 p.m.
-credit: gm racing