GAINSCO, GURNEY AND FOGARTY GAIN ON SECOND IN DAYTONA PROTOTYPE TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MONTREAL, Quebec, Canada (August 28, 2010) -- GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing scored its third-consecutive top-three podium result of the 2010 season Saturday in the...
GAINSCO, GURNEY AND FOGARTY GAIN ON SECOND IN DAYTONA PROTOTYPE TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
MONTREAL, Quebec, Canada (August 28, 2010) -- GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing scored its third-consecutive top-three podium result of the 2010 season Saturday in the Montreal 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve where team drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty drove the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet Riley to a second-place finish. It's the first time since last summer's stretch of races at Mid-Ohio, Daytona International Speedway and Barber Motorsports Park that the No. 99 "Red Dragon" team has put together three consecutive podium finishes.
The runner-up result was also GAINSCO's third podium showing and highest finish to date in the four GRAND-AM Rolex Series races run on the Villeneuve circuit. GAINSCO finished third last year in Montreal and in the debut GRAND-AM race on the 2.709-mile Grand Prix road course in 2007.
Starting first after winning GAINSCO's second consecutive and third career pole in Montreal on Friday, Fogarty paced the field for nearly the first 55 minutes of the two-hour sprint and pitted for the No. 99's second and final stop of the race in the lead. Gurney took over and the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team turned in a solid pit stop only to be narrowly beat out of the pits by the race-winning No. 01 TELMEX/Chip Ganassi Racing BMW Riley of Scott Pruett.
"It's a good run for us," Gurney said. "We always like winning, so it is a little frustrating because we thought we had a good enough car going in. We lost out on the pit stop and we are still actually not quite sure why we did because we thought we had a pretty good stop. I think maybe the 01 took a second more fuel on the first stop, which would have made their second stop quicker, so they got out just in front of us, which was a shame."
Gurney was able to keep in touch with Pruett in the final hour of the race, and through the fourth and final race restart of the day with less than 15 minutes to go, but the No. 99 ultimately crossed the finish line two seconds behind the winning Ganassi machine.
"I thought our car was actually pretty good on the restarts, and we really weren't expecting that," Gurney said. "I was hoping for a little closer battle but they just kept edging away from us once we got settled after the final restart. I was able to at least give him some grief but then he tended to slowly pull away. It was close, but not the way we wanted it. Just not enough today."
Fogarty's 25 laps led ranked second only to Pruett's race-high 35 circuits up front.
"We just want to win so badly," Fogarty said. "Finishing on the podium is great, but it's just frustrating to keep getting beat by the 01. We just need to keep this sort of roll going and keep improving, and the top step of the podium is not far from here. We had a great car this weekend, and just a little bit more, and we would have had it. You just can't make any mistakes either when you run against guys from the 01 team because they just don't falter. It's is a good challenge but we are up to it."
GAINSCO's recent run of success has improved the No. 99's position in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype Team Championship and Fogarty's chances of finishing in the top-three in the driver championship with one 2010 race remaining. Although the No. 01 Ganassi team, Pruett and his co-driver Memo Rojas all but officially clinched both the team and driver titles with today's victory, GAINSCO closed in on the second-place No. 10 SunTrust Ford Dallara team, which finished third in Montreal. The No. 99 has 293 points, just nine points behind the second-place No. 10 team.
Fogarty also cracked the top three in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype Driver Championship standings with today's finish, the highest ranking for a GAINSCO driver this season. Fogarty also has 293 points, which has him behind only the leading duo of Pruett and Rojas and No. 10 SunTrust drivers Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor, who are second with 302 markers. Gurney would have been ranked with Fogarty in the standings but never had a chance to drive or earn points after the No. 99 retired early in Fogarty's stint with mechanical failure in this past April's race at Barber Motorsports Park.
Saturday's sprint kicked off a season-ending stretch of two races in the next three weekends that will bring the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season to a close.