A Virginia reunion for GAINSCO/Blackhawk: Jon Fogarty teams up with Alex Gurney at VIR DANVILLE, Va. (April 19, 2006) -- This weekend at Virginia International Raceway's Grand-Am Rolex Series VIR 400, two-time Toyota Atlantic champion Jon...
A Virginia reunion for GAINSCO/Blackhawk: Jon Fogarty teams up with Alex Gurney at VIR
DANVILLE, Va. (April 19, 2006) -- This weekend at Virginia International Raceway's Grand-Am Rolex Series VIR 400, two-time Toyota Atlantic champion Jon Fogarty will join Alex Gurney behind the wheel of the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley for GAINSCO/Blackhawk Racing, reuniting a dynamic driving duo that in 2002 captured first and third in the Toyota Atlantic Championship for Dorricott Racing.
Fogarty went on to perform strongly in endurance racing, with success driving GT cars for the Flying Lizards team, and that's experience he believes will be key to putting the GAINSCO machine in the front of the pack in the Rolex Series.
"The GAINSCO/Blackhawk team has shown strong performances, and with Alex's determination and Kyle Brannan's engineering, it's an outfit that I'm simply fired up to be driving for," Fogarty said. "It will be great to compete against a lot of my fellow Atlantic veterans and I know that the GAINSCO team will provide the tools I need to run at the front -- which, of course, is where I want to be!"
Gurney was equally enthusiastic about his new co-driver. "I'm very happy to have another great friend as a teammate, with Jon coming aboard," Gurney said. "He's a two-time Atlantic champion, a true professional in every way and an all-round good person on top of that. We're looking forward to putting a good result on the board for the GAINSCO team this week -- we've been snakebit a lot this season but we don't say quit and I think VIR is a perfect place to turn things around."
The VIR event will also mark something of a comeback for the team, which two weeks ago at Long Beach suffered a major setback -- the team's No. 99 car was completely destroyed in a savage crash which put driver Rocky Moran, Jr. in the hospital with minor injuries. But just as if GAINSCO Auto Insurance's claims reps had been handling the case, the Blackhawk Motorsports team went into action to get the team rolling as quickly as possible. Team owner Bob Stallings secured the use of Brian Tuttle's Pontiac Riley as a "temporary No. 99" until the crew can rebuild the team's car from the ground up. "It should even be mostly red," Stallings quipped.
Bob is looking to bounce back strongly after the disappointing end to what had been a promising weekend at Long Beach. "There's still a lot of racing left and this team does not know what the word 'quit' means," he said. "I'm flat-out stoked to have Jon joining us on the GAINSCO team, because not only is he fast but he's got a great ability to make things happen behind the wheel and turn the racing situation in his favor. I don't think we could have found anybody better than him to pair up with Alex and go for the victory in Virginia."
Fans can watch Alex and Jon go for that victory this weekend, as the duo take on the twisting and undulating 3.27 mile backwoods road course beginning with testing on Thursday. Official practice for the Daytona Prototypes starts at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time Friday, with a 30-minute qualifying race getting the green flag at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday. The VIR 400k, scheduled for 77 laps or two hours and 45 minutes, will begin at 1 p.m. sharp Sunday afternoon, and will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel. Internet radio coverage, live timing and scoring and race updates are available at Grand-Am.com.