Struggles give way to success for GAINSCO team; Gurney and Fogarty plan to build on that trend at Watkins Glen WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 1, 2006) -- After a disappointing start to the 2006 Rolex Sports Car Series season, the GAINSCO/Blackhawk ...
Struggles give way to success for GAINSCO team; Gurney and Fogarty plan to build on that trend at Watkins Glen
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 1, 2006) -- After a disappointing start to the 2006 Rolex Sports Car Series season, the GAINSCO/Blackhawk Racing team was wondering when their luck would turn around. The answer came in the month of May, as drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty combined to score two podium finishes and four top-10s in four consecutive Rolex Series starts at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Phoenix International Raceway -- vaulting the team from 14th to 7th in series points. This weekend, the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley will return to action in the eighth round of the Rolex Sports Car Series, the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen at Watkins Glen International in upstate New York.
The six-hour event will be the team's first enduro since the 24 Hours of Daytona in January, and both Gurney and Fogarty are looking forward to returning to the fast and sweeping 3.4-mile road course -- site of the team's first-ever podium finish in August, 2005.
"The long course at The Glen is a great race track with so much history to it, and it would be really special to break through here for our first victory this weekend," Gurney said. "Our team has made some gains lately that I'm really happy with, and our test at Infineon Raceway last month helped us just that much more. We feel like we should be on the pace and it'll be a matter of getting through a long afternoon and evening of racing -- we've got to stay clean and stay on the lead lap, because when we're around at the end we're always a factor."
Fogarty guessed that playing the right strategy cards would be critical for success during the event -- with more pit stops and driver changes for the GAINSCO team, the importance of getting it right in the pits is only magnified.
"Just having the pace is not enough in a series that is this competitive," Fogarty said. "We'll have to make sure we get the strategy down, and that means it's going to be even more of a team effort. There's seven races left to go and we know what we're going to need to do to be in Victory Lane for at least one of them. We can do it and we're driven to make it a reality."
Team owner Bob Stallings echoed Fogarty's sentiments, saying that all the pieces are there -- they just need to be put in the right order. "This team has great momentum coming into Watkins Glen. Everyone on the team is coming together, performing at a higher level and we're expecting good things to happen with the GAINSCO car," he said.
Alex and Jon will take on the grueling Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen starting today at Watkins Glen International. Opening practice will begin at 3 p.m. Eastern time, with an evening session at 7 p.m and the Daytona Prototypes will get 15 minutes to qualify on Friday afternoon starting at 4:45 p.m. The Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen will get the green flag at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, with the checkers falling as night falls, at 8:30 p.m. The race will be televised live on SPEED Channel.