GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and Jon Fogarty qualify “Red Dragon” third for Canadian Tire 200 at The Glen
No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet Riley paces first practice on Friday
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 12, 2011) — GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and driver Jon Fogarty will start on the inside of the second row in Saturday’s Canadian Tire 200 at The Glen after qualifying third fastest Friday in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet Riley. The two-hour timed Canadian Tire 200 twilight sprint race can be seen live on SPEED, Saturday, August 13, at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.
Fogarty turned a top lap time of 1:06.307 (133.018 mph) in the No. 99 GAINSCO “Red Dragon” on the ultra-quick 2.45-mile Watkins Glen NASCAR short course. GAINSCO was fastest in Friday morning’s opening practice but may have just missed the setup in the 15-minute late afternoon qualifying session.
“I am a little disappointed in third place,” Fogarty said. “The balance this morning was the opposite of what we had in qualifying. I think maybe we tuned too much for a set of tires that we abused this morning, and that didn’t serve us well for qualifying. It seems like we were able to put the car one direction or the other balance wise, so that means we are right in the window, which is good. It’s just that when it is this competitive and tight like this you have to be spot-on for qualifying, and we just missed it a little bit.”
Fogarty will start tomorrow’s race before handing off to co-driver Alex Gurney who will take the No. 99 to the checkered flag. Gurney and Fogarty co-drove to victory for GAINSCO in the 2007 running of the Canadian Tire 200 and will be looking for their second career victory on The Glen short course tomorrow.
“We just missed it a little bit,” Gurney said about the qualifying session. “We debated whether to touch the car after the practice session because we were quite good then, and we maybe got a little greedy. I think we just knocked it out of balance a little bit. I think we are OK and it should be a good race.”
Friday’s schedule concluded with an early-evening “night” practice, and no additional on-track activity is scheduled before Saturday’s race at 6 p.m.
“The car was a little free and sliding around in qualifying,” Fogarty said. “Just a lack of grip overall and a little on the free side, but we have final practice tonight, and we’re going to work on it and focus on what’s good for the race. That’s what matters. We have plenty of good sets of tires for the race, our Chevy motor seems to be very good, and we are pretty slippery through the air right now. For a race package, I think we’re in pretty good shape.”
The No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet Riley team is third in the 2011 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series team and driver championship standings with 250 points. GAINSCO trails the pole-winning No. 10 SunTrust Chevrolet Dallara of Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli by 16 points while the No. 01 TELMEX/ Chip Ganassi Racing BMW Riley of Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas lead the championships with 295 points.
In addition to the 2007 victory, GAINSCO finished second in The Glen short course race in 2008, fourth one year later, and earned its fourth career podium finish on the NASCAR track last year with a third-place showing. Gurney and team owner and then driver Bob Stallings earned GAINSCO’s first career top-three team finish on The Glen short course in 2005 with a second-place result.