Homestead: Blackhawk Racing qualifying report

Top-ten start under the lights at Homestead for GAINSCO/Blackhawk Racing MIAMI-- Alex Gurney and the GAINSCO/Blackhawk Racing team will kick off tonight's Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Linder Industrial Grand Prix of Miami from the...

Top-ten start under the lights at Homestead for GAINSCO/Blackhawk Racing

MIAMI-- Alex Gurney and the GAINSCO/Blackhawk Racing team will kick off tonight's Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Linder Industrial Grand Prix of Miami from the ninth position, a spot that leaves Gurney and his co-driver, 1996 Champ Car champion Jimmy Vasser, with a bit of catching-up to do under the bright lights of Homestead-Miami Speedway.

In Friday evening's 15-minute qualifying session for the Daytona Prototypes, Gurney, driving the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley, clicked off a lap of the 2.3 mile infield road course in 1 minute, 14.941 seconds at an average speed of 110.487 mph. While the lap put Alex solidly in the field, it was clear to him that handling and horsepower issues are putting the team off-balance this weekend.

"To me, it seemed like that was just about all the car had. I thought I got in a pretty good lap and myself and Jimmy and our whole crew worked really hard to improve the car, but we just weren't quite there. Maybe this track configuration doesn't suit us, I don't quite know," Gurney said.

But qualifying only determines where Gurney will start the two-hour, 45-minute endurance race -- he has no intention of staying in 9th for long. Alex believes his inside starting position will help give him an advantage at the drop of the green, and with so much time for so many things to happen, he's hopeful a top-five finish could be in the cards. More than 500 GAINSCO Auto Insurance employees, agents and clients will be at the speedway to cheer the team on.

"The GAINSCO Riley is as solid as it's ever been and I think we'll do OK in the race," Gurney said. "We'll just try to work our way up and stay out of trouble and run a clean race at a consistent pace, and be lurking around for that last 30 minutes to the checkers. We'll see what happens."

Alex and Jimmy will take to the track for final practice this afternoon at 11:45 a.m. The green flag will drop on Alex Gurney and two hours and 45 minutes of Grand-Am sports car action into the night, this evening at 6:30 p.m. The race will be broadcast on a same-day-delayed basis on SPEED Channel, at 8 p.m. Eastern. Internet radio coverage, live timing and scoring and race updates are available at Grand-Am.com.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Alex Gurney , Jimmy Vasser