Mexico City: Bob Stalling Racing qualifying report

Fogarty and GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Qualify Fourth Fastest for Saturday's Mexico City 250 At Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez MEXICO CITY, Mexico (April 18, 2008) -- A frustrating on-track session didn't prevent Jon Fogarty and GAINSCO/Bob ...

Fogarty and GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Qualify Fourth Fastest for Saturday's Mexico City 250 At Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (April 18, 2008) -- A frustrating on-track session didn't prevent Jon Fogarty and GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing from posting a season's best fourth-place starting position in qualifying today for Saturday's Mexico 250 at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. Fogarty, teammate Alex Gurney and the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team will defend their 2007 Mexico City 250 victory in Saturday's 100-lap race that can be seen live on SPEED at 4 p.m. ET.

Although Friday's time of 1:19.706 (112.915 mph) to lock down fourth on the grid topped the team's qualifying results from the year's previous two races in the Rolex 24 At Daytona (11th) and the GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami (5th), Fogarty knew the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley was capable of winning the pole.

"We just didn't have a great qualifying session," Fogarty said. "I think the car was capable of more than that and we just didn't get out in the best spot and take advantage of our tires when they were at their optimum. The places where other guys decide to slow down in order to give themselves a gap, I can only assume that they are intentionally trying to screw the rest of the field, which is very bad sportsmanship. If you are going to get a gap you might as well do it at one of the many places on this track where you are not going to impede other people. It's just unfortunate that's what these people have to revert to if they don't have the speed."

Shaking off Friday's frustrations, both Fogarty and Gurney feel they have a race car that can carry them to the team's first repeat victory on Saturday. The GAINSCO No. 99 was fastest in Thursday's opening day of practice and clocked in third quickest in the lone morning practice before Friday's qualifying.

"We have a fast car so we still think we have a very, very good shot of winning this thing," Fogarty said. "We have got a car that can win but you really want to be able to go out and show it in qualifying. Now we will just have to do it in the race."

Fogarty will start the race from the outside of the second row and will then hand over to Gurney as the duo did to win last year's Mexico City 250. Any pressure to turn in a repeat performance has not been felt by the team or Gurney, who has all but shaken off a cold that still lingered with him on Thursday.

"No pressure," Gurney said. "It's a long season and we want to keep putting up good results. We just got caught out a little bit there in qualifying with the traffic, but we still feel good about the pace of the car. In general we are excited to get it on."

This is the fourth time the Grand-Am Rolex Series has raced in Mexico and the GAINSCO squad's 2007 victory was the first for the team in Daytona Prototype competition and proved to be the springboard to winning both the Rolex Series Driver and Team Championships. In total, the team won six more times -- half of 2007's 14 races -- in the most dominating Daytona Prototype season in Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series history.

-credit: bsr

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