GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, Gurney and Fogarty Take Sole Possession of Second in Grand-Am Rolex Series Points with Third-Place at Mid-Ohio NO. 99 GAINSCO TEAM PODIUMS FOR THIRD TIME IN SIX RACES IN MID-OHIO EMCO GEARS CLASSIC LEXINGTON, Ohio...
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, Gurney and Fogarty Take Sole Possession of Second in Grand-Am Rolex Series Points with Third-Place at Mid-Ohio
NO. 99 GAINSCO TEAM PODIUMS FOR THIRD TIME IN SIX RACES IN MID-OHIO EMCO GEARS CLASSIC
LEXINGTON, Ohio (June 20, 2009) -- GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty took sole possession of second place in the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Driver and Team Championships with a third-place finish in Saturday's EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Although GAINSCO came up just short in its bid for a record third consecutive win at Mid-Ohio, the team is still firmly in the thick of the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Series Championships at the halfway point of the season. GAINSCO, Gurney and Fogarty now have 164 points and are within 11 points of championship leaders Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, who won their second consecutive race Saturday in the No. 01 Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley. GAINSCO and Ganassi are 2009's only repeat race winners with the No. 99 team taking victories earlier this year in April's Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway and last month in the Verizon Festival of Speed at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
"It was a good finish," said Gurney, who took over from starting driver Fogarty just 40 minutes into the 2-¾ hour timed race. "We seemed to be really good on the long runs but on the restarts I just couldn't get the rubber pick up off of the tires. I just felt slow on all of the restarts, really sliding around a lot. But once we got going we were pretty good and I think we were able to match the pace of the two front guys. It would have been nice if the yellows fell a little bit different, maybe we would have had the lead, but all in all it was okay."
Fogarty started from the pole and led the first two laps only to lose his lead after the first of the race's four full course caution periods. The GAINSCO team decided to bring Fogarty to the pits for a strategic stop that fulfilled the mandatory 45-minute pit stop requirement.
"It was a pretty wild first lap," Fogarty said. "It was like dirt track racing and was pretty fun. I was kind of looking forward to doing more of it but then we went yellow early. That kind of mixed up the strategy and put us down in the field but I just went to work and started making up positions. We had really slippery conditions all around and it was pretty odd, really. I thought after a full day of sunshine and cars running all day there would be some grip on the track, but it was pretty slippery."
Fogarty raced back to fifth before handing over to Gurney who, after falling as low as eighth after pitting under green, passed several competitors as he charged back to the front of the field. Gurney pitted for the final time with one hour and 10 minutes remaining and returned to the race in fifth place. He passed the No. 58 Brumos Porsche Riley of David Donohue for fourth with 56 minutes to go and cracked the top three when he slipped by the No. 12 Penske Racing Porsche Riley of Timo Bernhard just under 40 minutes from the finish.
With half of the Grand-Am Rolex Series schedule's 12 races now in the books, Gurney, Fogarty and GAINSCO are shifting focus to the final part of the season.
"We have got a lot of good tracks coming up for us," Gurney said. "We just have to keep our focus and keep on pace and we will be in good shape. The 01 stretched the points out a little bit today but we gained on everybody else. So we just need to keep pushing, make it faster and hope for the best at these next few tracks."
Next up for GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing is the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway on the 4th of July.