Homestead: Bob Stallings Racing preview

GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Returns to Florida for the GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami Rolex Series Race with Maximum Momentum TEAM'S BEST SEASON START HAS THEM PRIMED FOR ROLEX POINTS LEAD AFTER MIAMI RACE MIAMI (March 25, 2008) -- Ready to...

GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Returns to Florida for the GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami Rolex Series Race with Maximum Momentum

TEAM'S BEST SEASON START HAS THEM PRIMED FOR ROLEX POINTS LEAD AFTER MIAMI RACE

MIAMI (March 25, 2008) -- Ready to return to Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series action after a strong second-place finish in January's season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and champion drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty will bring the team's best start of a season to Saturday's GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami, where nothing short of taking the championship lead is the goal.

Saturday's race is the kick-off event of a full day of auto racing action at Homestead-Miami Speedway that will highlight one of the biggest weekends in the history of GAINSCO Auto Insurance. In addition to its flagship sponsorship of the championship-winning No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley, GAINSCO is also is the title sponsor of both races that make up Saturday's unique double-header. The GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami is Round Two of the 2008 Rolex Series while the GAINSCO Auto Insurance Indy 300 is the first race of the recently unified sport of IndyCar Racing. The GAINSCO Grand Prix kicks off the Saturday schedule with a 3 p.m. green flag and the GAINSCO Auto Insurance Indy 300 goes off at 8 p.m.

On hand to take it all in will be the largest group of sponsor guests to attend a Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race in history. GAINSCO's more than 600 guests -- made up of agent partners, sales managers and corporate employees -- is also the biggest contingent of any sponsor that is entertaining at Saturday's Rolex Sports Car/IndyCar Series double-header.

"I am excited, not only to finally get racing again but also to put on a good show for all the GAINSCO employees and guests as well," Fogarty said. "I would also be lying if I didn't mention that I'm excited to see open-wheel racing finally racing on a united front. I say all of this now, but once I get behind the wheel, those thoughts will be left behind. We have our work cut out for us, as usual, with the super-competitive field that is the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. Being second in the points is great and we would like to build on that this weekend. Coming away with the points lead is our main objective and the best way to do that is win the race, so that is on the to-do list too."

The GAINSCO team practiced during Grand-Am's official test at Homestead-Miami Speedway last month where they took their first laps in one of the team's Pontiac Rileys fitted with the new Mk XX bodywork. Saturday's GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami will be the team's first race with the new XX configuration and improvements in some additional areas have also been made after the recent tests.

"We've done some testing since Daytona and we believe we've made some good gains and that we're a little more in tune with the Pirelli tires," Gurney said. "Everyone at GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing is excited to get back to racing. It's been such a long break that we're all very anxious to get going. The Homestead track has been an Achilles Heel for us in years past and the team has gone to great lengths to understand why. We're confident we can now get the most out of our package. We had a great start to the season in Daytona and now we're focused on coming out of Homestead with the championship lead."

In two previous races at Homestead, the No. 99 GAINSCO team finished 11th last year after a penalty and sixth in 2006 with Jimmy Vasser guest co-driving with Gurney. Vasser is usually called on by the team to assist with the driving chores in endurance races and, along with Jimmie Johnson, joined Gurney and Fogarty in the Rolex 24 runner-up finish in January. The 2006 Miami race was the only time he has driven for GAINSCO in a sprint race.

Noteworthy

While Vasser's sole sprint race with GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing came in the 2006 Grand Prix of Miami, that could all change in the coming months. Vasser, who has been an important part of the team's endurance racing the last few seasons, may join fellow Champ Car Champion Cristiano da Matta in a second GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Daytona Prototype for at least the May race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Da Matta made a successful return to competitive driving in the "No. 98" GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley in a test last week and is more than ready to return to racing after recovering from a devastating accident in 2006 at Road America.

-credit: bsr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Alex Gurney , Jimmy Vasser , Jon Fogarty , Bob Stallings , Cristiano da Matta