GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing exits Canadian Tire 200 at The Glen early after contact incident while running second Jon Fogarty uninjured as GAINSCO “Red Dragon” hangs on to third in points race
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 13, 2011) — GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing’s run in the Canadian Tire 200 at The Glen lasted less than 10 minutes Saturday at Watkins Glen International where contact in the fast final turn before the front straight with a slower GT competitor knocked Jon Fogarty and the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet Riley out of the race.
Fogarty, who was uninjured in the incident, had just moved from fourth to second in a single lap as the Daytona Prototype leaders worked their way through traffic in the early stages of the two-hour race.
“We had just passed those two guys in front of me and put it in second place, and I was just trying to work my way quickly through traffic,” Fogarty said. “I came around the outside of a Mazda going into the final turn and as I came down into the apex, suddenly I was turned around. He hit me in the back end and spun me around, and there is a wall there instead of a run-off. That was that. It seemed like a simple move at the time.”
Fogarty drove the short distance back to the pits where the No. 99 was retired with heavy left rear damage. Teammate Alex Gurney never had a chance to drive and the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing crew immediately went to work assessing the damage and needed repairs to get the No. 99 “Red Dragon” ready for next Saturday’s race in Montreal.
“It’s just an unfortunate situation for us today,” Fogarty said. “It’s just frustrating because I was running at the front and trying to catch the leader. I’m not sure where that guy was, but I’m sure he wasn’t around any other GT cars, so it would have been pretty easy for him to give a tenth of a second and let us both come out of there clean. The GAINSCO guys are going to have their work cut out for them to run Montreal next week. The car is pretty banged up, it’s a hard wall, I am feeling fine, but it was a hard hit for sure.”
Gurney never even had a reason to put his helmet on Saturday and quickly shifted his focus to Montreal after the early-end at The Glen. Only next Saturday’s Montreal 200 and next month’s EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course are left on the 2011 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series schedule.
“This doesn’t really change our strategy,” Gurney said. “We want to win the last two races, for sure.”
Despite Saturday’s disappointment, the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet Riley team still ranks third in the 2011 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series team championship standings with 269 points. Fogarty and Gurney, however, didn’t have the chance to drive the required 30 minutes to earn driver points and have slipped out of the top-10 in that championship, according to GRAND-AM point standings.