ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin (August 7, 2013) – GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing’s pursuit of a third GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Championship heads to Road America this weekend where drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty will be looking for their second win of the season in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance® Corvette Daytona Prototype in the VisitFlorida.com Sports Car 250, August 8 – 10.
GAINSCO, Gurney and Fogarty won the 2007 and 2009 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype Team and Driver Championships and are in the mix for another set of titles this season.
“Obviously, to win the championship, we just need to keep finishing well, no big mistakes,” Gurney said. “This has been one of the most competitive Rolex seasons I've seen so we are proud that we are in the thick of the championship at this stage.”
GAINSCO and its drivers most recently solidified their place in the standings with a third-place finish two weeks ago in the Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The top-three showing was GAINSCO’s best finish in three months and renewed their title bid after opening the season with a race win and two more podiums in a row at Circuit of the Americas (1st), Barber Motorsports Park (2nd) and Road Atlanta (3rd) earlier this year.
Gurney and Fogarty come to Road America second in the driver standings with 229 points, 10 behind championship leaders and Indy race winners Ryan Dalziel and Alex Popow in the No. 2 Starworks BMW Riley. The same 229 points has the BobStallingsCars.com No. 99 GAINSCO “Red Dragon” ranked third in the team standings.
“Compared to years past, 10 points seems quite small,” Fogarty said. “A strong string of finishes to close out the year will be required, and we need to solidly finish ahead of the Starworks car in at least a few of these races. Wins give us the biggest points spread so that will be an objective, but we will be paying close attention to the race that the No. 2 car is running in each event.”
GAINSCO’s Indy finish made up for a three-race string of disappointing results earlier this summer that produced a top finish of fifth at Mid-Ohio. The “Red Dragon” Corvette Daytona Prototype also held its own at the Brickyard against a field of BMW-powered cars that used an obvious speed advantage to finish first, second and fourth.
“The series made a tiny adjustment to the BMWs so we'll see how that plays out,” Gurney said. “There are some long straights at Elkhart so it will be interesting to see. We are focused on our own car and being on the podium in each of these last four races. We believe we can make that happen.”
GAINSCO has traditionally ended its racing season with a strong closing quarter. The final stretch of four races in this year’s 12 race championship begins this weekend.
“If history is an indicator, we should have a solid finish to the season,” Fogarty said. “The entire team did great at Indy but we still need to be finishing ahead of our closest competition. We have a slight points deficit and need to close it. While podiums are good wins would be better but Indy was a step toward that end.”
Taking the title fight to a Road America circuit that is among the team’s favorites is a plus for the “Red Dragon” squad.
“There's nothing quite like Elkhart Lake,” Gurney said. “It’s just a beautiful road course that everyone seems to love. The track is a major challenge for the drivers with some very fast sections. The Carousel and especially the Kink are big hold-your-breath corners with the low level of downforce that we tend to run. Elkhart and Laguna are two of my favorite tracks coming up so I can't wait to fight it out!”
The GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series travels straight to the SFP Grand Prix at Kansas Speedway next weekend before visiting Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in California on September 7. The season finale is at Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park on September 28.
A three-day event at Road America, the VisitFlorida.com Sports Car 250 begins with practice Thursday afternoon. Friday includes only morning sessions with final practice preceding Daytona Prototype qualifying at 10:40 a.m. CDT. Race-day Saturday features only the VisitFlorida.com Sports Car 250 race that is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. CDT.
- Fogarty is hoping to fall in love with Road America this weekend. “For a track I have never won at, I like it a lot,” Fogarty said. “Winning would make me love it. The Kink is one of the toughest corners at any track, with big consequences for getting it wrong. Lots of tricky corners really and, of course, long straights where any power deficiency can make for a frustrating weekend at Road America.”
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing