VIR: Blackhawk Racing Friday report

Alex Gurney goes second-quick in first day at Virginia International Raceway ALTON, Va. -- Today at Virginia International Raceway, Alex Gurney extinguished any lingering doubts about GAINSCO/Blackhawk Racing's performance after their crash at...

Alex Gurney goes second-quick in first day at Virginia International Raceway

ALTON, Va. -- Today at Virginia International Raceway, Alex Gurney extinguished any lingering doubts about GAINSCO/Blackhawk Racing's performance after their crash at Long Beach, by setting the day's second-quickest time and scoring the fastest lap in the afternoon. Gurney's morning lap of 1 minute, 45.984 seconds was bettered only by Oswaldo Negri in the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing entry. Both practice sessions for Sunday's Grand-Am VIR 400 featured Gurney and co-driver Jon Fogarty clicking off consistently quick times and working together to develop the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley. Tomorrow, the team will have one final practice to work on the car before Gurney saddles up for the first-ever 30-minute Daytona Prototype qualifying race, set for 1:15 p.m. Eastern.

Driver Quotes:

Alex Gurney: "It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks since the crash at Long Beach, and to be back here and be this quick is really an amazing effort from the crew. Everyone's stoked to be so competitive here. Jon has been awesome in the GAINSCO car and we're working well together to get the car set up right. The weather tomorrow is definitely an open question but I think that, rain or shine, we'll be fine. I'm glad we got that last session in without rain because I feel that we used it well to improve the car just that little bit more. I hope the rain holds off because if they set the grid for the qualifying race by tomorrow's practice times, we stand a good chance of winning."

Jon Fogarty: "To see the GAINSCO car right up there in the top two is great, because it means we're right where we need to be. Alex and I have been able to develop the setup and the result is that the car's been getting easier and easier to drive quickly, which is what you need to run up front. We're focusing on the qualifying race right now, so we'll have to watch the weather closely tomorrow. I got some uninterrupted laps this morning and each time I drive the car, I get quicker -- that's what we'll be looking for in the races."

Owner Quote:

Bob Stallings: "Brian Tuttle said it all when he came over to our pits in the last session and said, 'I want my damn car back right now.' My hats are off to the GAINSCO boys because this crew went through hell to tear down the old car and get our stuff on Tuttle's car, and what you're seeing are the results of all that hard work. What's fascinating to watch is how Alex and Jon are working together and communicating with each other. Both drivers are learning things from each other, because they have complementary strengths and weaknesses on the track. One of the reasons I got out of the car is that we want to win a championship, so the qualifying races are a huge benefit for us because we have five more opportunities to get the GAINSCO car up front and score some points."

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Alex Gurney , Jon Fogarty , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Bob Stallings , Brian Tuttle , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing