Gurney, Fogarty and GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing have productive two-day test at Homestead-Miami Speedway MIAMI (December 3, 2010) -- The final on-track activity of 2010 was all about 2011 for GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and drivers Alex...
Gurney, Fogarty and GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing have productive two-day test at Homestead-Miami Speedway
MIAMI (December 3, 2010) -- The final on-track activity of 2010 was all about 2011 for GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, who turned in a productive two days of work in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet Riley at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Wednesday and Thursday in the last official GRAND-AM test session of the year.
"It's 2010 but we're looking forward to 2011 and that's why we are here right now, getting ready more for the Rolex 24 At Daytona than I'd say for this race coming up in early March," Fogarty said. "We are making headway, learning the new Continental tires, trying to get the most out of them and getting a grip on it. That's still under development and it's going to be a little bit of a moving target throughout the year, but they're making improvements and we're working with them. We are just trying to get the car sorted and reliable for the 24 hour race, and that's always paramount."
GAINSCO joined its fellow GRAND-AM teams in running on two reportedly different variations of the Continental tires while also working through a scheduled list of the team's own component installations and testing, most in anticipation of the 2011 season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 27 - 30. Gurney and Fogarty will co-drive in that race with five-time reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson.
"It was a pretty good test," Gurney said. "Homestead is a difficult place because it tends to be really hard on the tires, but they hung in there okay. We tested a lot of stuff for Daytona and the 24 hour and had some of our endurance stuff on there, and at the end of the day I thought we learned a few things. As far as the Continentals, they made a nice step forward since the last test at VIR (Virginia International Raceway), for sure."
All in all, GAINSCO left a Homestead-Miami track that has always been among the most challenging for the "Red Dragon" team relatively upbeat with the accomplishments of the test.
"I am pretty pleased with what we have learned so far," Fogarty said. "Homestead is not a favorite of ours but our pace has been pretty good, so I am positive in the big picture."
Next up for GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing is the annual Roar Before the Rolex 24 Test Days at Daytona International Speedway, January 7 - 9.
Gurney, Fogarty and members of the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team began their trip to South Florida this week with a visit to the new Miami headquarters operation of GAINSCO Auto Insurance. The event also included a surprise appearance of the actual No. 99 GAINSCO "Red Dragon" Daytona Prototype and team transporter. Gurney even hopped in and made a few spirited sprints through the facility's parking lot to the delight of the 100 GAINSCO employees that stepped outside to see the team and drivers. "This is a tremendous, energizing boost for our employees," GAINSCO Southeast Region President Michael Johnston said. "We have photos of the team, drivers and car on the walls throughout our building. But seeing the photos is one thing. Having the actual experience of seeing and hearing the car, and meeting the drivers, are two different things. You can see everyone smiling after meeting and interacting with Alex and Jon. The team is a great example of how committed GAINSCO is to winning, and how important it is for everyone to do their best job as part of a team."
After showing off the race car in the parking lot, Gurney and Fogarty toured the company's new headquarters, which opened six months ago, nestled in a small industrial park between the Florida Turnpike and small lake in sight of the Miami skyline.
"Our job here is the same as the racing team," Johnston added. "We want to be the best at everything we do, and not only to provide the best process and product, but to have the best service. We want to let people know we are in it for the long haul, and let them know we will be there for them."