GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing's Fogarty qualifies second for Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway; No. 99 GAINSCO "Red Dragon" to start on front row after pacing opening practice. MIAMI, Fla. (March 5, 2010) -- GAINSCO/Bob Stallings ...
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing's Fogarty qualifies second for Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway; No. 99 GAINSCO "Red Dragon" to start on front row after pacing opening practice.
MIAMI, Fla. (March 5, 2010) -- GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and the No. 99 GAINSCO "Red Dragon" Chevrolet Riley Daytona Prototype will start on the outside of the front row for Saturday's Grand Prix of Miami after a qualifying lap of 1:11.839 (115.258 mph) Friday came up just short in driver Jon Fogarty's bid for a sixth consecutive GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series pole and his second in a row at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Fogarty will start alongside the No. 59 Brumos Porsche Riley of Darren Law who won the pole with a record lap of 1:11.806 (115.311 mph) that eclipsed Fogarty's previous record of 1:12.879 (113.613 mph) set in qualifying at Homestead-Miami last October.
"It was a pretty good qualifying session and we were being real conscientious of taking care of the equipment and not putting too many laps on our tires," Fogarty said. "We turned our quick time on our third lap to take the pole at that point and then immediately pitted. In retrospect, I think we would have benefited from perhaps staying out one more lap. I think we would have had a little bit more heat in the tires, but who knows. It is super tight up front and I felt like that lap was pretty good. We had it for a bit there but then Darren did a good job and got us."
The No. 99 went back out on to the 2.3-mile Homestead-Miami speedway road course in the waning minutes of the session in an effort to retake the pole, but Fogarty carried too much speed into Turn 1 at the start of his flying lap.
"I kind of went for it all in Turn 1 on that last lap but it didn't work," Fogarty said. "It was really close but the Brumos guys did a great job and the GAINSCO car is better than what I represented, so I feel good about the race. It is always a dogfight here at Homestead. It is a difficult track and it is slippery and slow at parts in the infield, so that makes for pretty good racing. It should be a real good show."
Fogarty closed out 2009 by winning the poles in the final five races of the year, including the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The pole streak was still alive heading into this weekend's race after a practice accident in January's season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona forced the GAINSCO team to miss qualifying.
Fogarty's co-driver Alex Gurney was also on pace on Friday and turned the day's top practice lap of 1:11.844 (115.250 mph).
"It was a good day and kind of unexpected, really, and we rolled off the truck super fast," Gurney said. "We had a little bit of a messed up qualifying session but we are fine for the race and we feel good about the car. We will try to work on it some more on old tires tomorrow morning in final practice. Tire management is always an issue here at Homestead and the second half of every stint will be really exciting to watch."