GAINSCO/Blackhawk shakes down brand-new Riley in Laguna Seca testing MONTEREY, Calif. -- Today, Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty took the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley out under the bright Northern California sunshine, as the Road &...
GAINSCO/Blackhawk shakes down brand-new Riley in Laguna Seca testing
MONTEREY, Calif. -- Today, Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty took the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley out under the bright Northern California sunshine, as the Road & Track 250 weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca kicked off with an unofficial test day. The laps were the first for the team's newly-rebuilt car, sporting a brand-new Riley MkXI chassis, #020. While laptimes and speeds are not available, as the day's two sessions were not timed, both drivers felt like their track time was well-used to improve the No. 99 machine. The team also introduced a new logo on the No. 99's rear wing -- "Pregunte por GAINSCO," the auto insurance company's Spanish marketing slogan.
Bob Stallings: "We're learning a lot because even though we were fast out of the box here last year, the track has changed quite a bit -- especially the curbing. Now we just need to work out a solid setup that both Jon and Alex will be comfortable driving. We're excited to have a new logo on the car -- 'Pregunte por GAINSCO' -- as part of GAINSCO's efforts to market to the rapidly growing Hispanic market across the Southwest. There are signs up in more than 6,000 insurance agencies across the nation with our car on it, telling Spanish-speaking customers to 'Ask for GAINSCO!'"
Alex Gurney: "The track is definitely not quite the same, as the lower curbs are allowing a lot more dirt on the course -- which has a big impact on where we're driving. It was a good test session and tomorrow we'll apply what we learned and try to work on things some more."
Jon Fogarty: "It's just so low-grip right now with all the sand that it's tough to get a read. But it's something that you've just got to deal with and work around. It's going to be difficult to pass here, even if you're substantially faster than the car ahead. That means starting position will be absolutely critical this weekend."