GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing retires in final hour of Inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix in Indianapolis after winning pole earlier on Friday
Jon Fogarty’s record-extending pole effort goes for naught in frustrating race
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 27, 2012) – GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, retired early in the final hour of Friday’s inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) where a variety of in-race issues prevented the team from backing up Fogarty’s record-extending 22nd career Daytona Prototype pole position posted earlier in the day in qualifying.
Fogarty led from the start in the first of two rain showers that hit IMS in the race’s opening hour and the No. 99 GAINSCO “Red Dragon” later twice retook the lead in a competitive first 60 minutes of racing. Gurney took over from Fogarty just before the race’s one-hour mark but a set of under-inflated tires, combined with major fogging inside the No. 99, made for a tough opening stint.
“Jon did a great job, won the pole and led the race and the front position was going back and forth during his stint,” Gurney said. “When I got in the car it was really tough to drive, we found we had a tire inflation problem, and we had to get off those tires, and before that my car was fogging up in the windshield in rainy conditions.”
GAINSCO’s main issues of concern in the Brickyard race, however, stemmed from a pair of penalties GRAND-AM Road Racing assessed to the No. 99 in the race’s second hour. Not long after that, the team instructed Gurney to drive the No. 99 back to the team paddock area where the car was retired.
“We came here hoping to win the inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix, put a very strong effort into not only today but in the various earlier Indy tests, our practice session today went well and qualifying went extremely well, but during the race a variety of things did not go well,” team owner Bob Stallings said. “Some were self-inflicted wounds that prevented our drivers from getting the most out of what was very good car, but in addition to that there were some highly questionable officiating calls which contributed to our problems for the day. The team, car and drivers could have overcome these hurdles but we simply concluded, taking everything into consideration, we would be better off retiring the car and preparing ourselves for the final four races of the year.”
The disappointing end to the day didn’t tarnish Fogarty’s record-extending 22nd Daytona Prototype career pole that he earned in Friday morning’s qualifying session. Fogarty and GAINSCO established the Daytona Prototype track record for the 2.534-mile IMS road course with a top qualifying lap of 1:23.035 (109.862 mph). The pole was the third this year for GAINSCO and Fogarty after also qualifying first in last month’s races at Belle Isle in Detroit and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Source: GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing