JON FOGARTY'S LATE LAP IN THE NO. 99 GAINSCO "RED DRAGON" FASTEST ON THURSDAY BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (April 8, 2010) -- Defending Barber Motorsports Park race winners GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty were cautiously...
JON FOGARTY'S LATE LAP IN THE NO. 99 GAINSCO "RED DRAGON" FASTEST ON THURSDAY
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (April 8, 2010) -- Defending Barber Motorsports Park race winners GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty were cautiously optimistic after Fogarty's late lap in the day's only practice session topped the time sheets Thursday on the opening day of competition for Saturday's Porsche 250.
After Gurney drove the No. 99 "Red Dragon" in the opening part of practice, Fogarty put a set of "sticker" Pirelli P Zero tires to good use near the end of the session to post a top lap of 1:20.018 (103.477 mph). The lap was below the official track record time of 1:20.521 and obliterated Fogarty's 2009 pole run of 1:21.057.
"We went to a set of new tires at the end and got several clear laps on a near empty fuel load and maximized it, which was good because we want to have an idea of what the car might be like for qualifying," said Fogarty, who also won the Porsche 250 pole in 2007. "We don't think our competitors are on the same weekend tire schedule as us, so comparing our lap times to theirs is apples to oranges, in a sense."
Gurney returned to the wheel of the No. 99 in the last few minutes of the session but any attempts at posting an even faster lap went away with a caution period.
"I think it was a good day," Gurney said. "We did a new tire run at the end and it seemed to be pretty quick, but we are not quite sure where we stack up with everyone else. We expected some other teams to do tires at the end but we are not sure that they did. We have very little track time this weekend so we got it right. We will find out tomorrow where we stand."
Tomorrow's schedule, however, includes very little track time before qualifying. GAINSCO is looking for its third victory at Barber after winning the Porsche 250 last year and in 2007.
"We are happy to be on top of the time sheets and the car felt good on 'sticker' tires, but unfortunately we were only ninth fastest prior to putting those new tires on," Fogarty said. "So I think we might have a little bit of homework for ourselves trying to figure out how to make the car good over the race distance. We will think about it tonight and we don't have a lot of running, but we will try to get to some of those changes before qualifying tomorrow."