Daytona II: Blackhawk Racing preview

Stallings, Gurney ready for action under the lights on the fabled Daytona high banks DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.-- Coming off a strong debut performance at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May, Bob Stallings and Alex Gurney are treating Thursday's Brumos ...

Stallings, Gurney ready for action under the lights on the fabled Daytona high banks

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.-- Coming off a strong debut performance at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May, Bob Stallings and Alex Gurney are treating Thursday's Brumos Porsche 250 at the Daytona International Speedway as a learning experience -- building success one step at a time. After skipping the last two rounds of the Rolex Sports Car Series to test and tune, Bob, Alex and the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley will be back in action under the lights as the series races in support of Saturday's NASCAR Nextel Cup Pepsi 400. The 70-lap, two-and-three-quarter-hour race, which is the seventh of 14 on the 2005 Rolex schedule, will be contested on the speedway's challenging 3.56 mile infield road course.

The event will mark a pair of firsts -- the first superspeedway-road course race and the first night race -- for Stallings and Gurney, so they're both looking to gain valuable experience on the high banks. "Neither Alex or I have ever raced at Daytona before, so we will be at a slight disadvantage, especially given the tight, one-day schedule," Stallings said. "All the races for the balance of the year will be learning experiences for the entire team as we gain more knowledge about the car and the new tracks. In any case, we are both stoked to be racing the GAINSCO car again!"

But yet another Daytona first is fresh in Alex's mind -- his father, Dan Gurney, won the first-ever sports car race on the Daytona road course 43 years ago in an Arciero Racing Lotus 19. "There is so much history here, and having a chance to race in support of Nextel Cup is huge," Gurney said. "We hope to put on a good show in front of the Cup fans and improve on our excellent debut at Laguna Seca."

Alex said the biggest challenge for the team will be the one-day schedule -- practice, qualifying and racing all on Thursday. What the team learned in testing at California Speedway, he said, will be key to getting up to speed on Daytona's 36-degree banking.

"We will have to really be on our game and take in as much as we can over the course of the day," he said. "Fortunately, we had two very solid tests since our first race and I feel very confident in the car. We're ready."

Practice for the Daytona Prototypes gets underway at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time Thursday, with qualifying set for 1:30 p.m. The field of 25 DPs and 31 GT cars will get the green flag at 7:15 p.m. Fans can catch all the action from the Brumos Porsche 250 on SPEED Channel, Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern time, 5 p.m. Pacific. Live timing for all on-track sessions is available at www.Grand-Am.com. For more information, visit www.GAINSCORacing.com.

Blackhawk Motorsports has been committed to excellence in road racing since its formation in 2001. The team campaigns the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype in the 2005 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series. Owner/driver Bob Stallings has captured multiple race wins and the 2004 SCCA Formula Atlantic National Championship, while co-driver Alex Gurney -- the son of road racing great Dan Gurney -- is an open-wheel standout making his first foray into sports car racing. The team is supported by GAINSCO Auto Insurance and Wells Fargo Private Banking, and proudly partners with Pontiac, Riley Technologies, BBS Wheels, Sparco and Ringers Gloves. For more information, visit the team's Web site at www.GAINSCORacing.com.

The primary sponsor of the No. 99 Blackhawk Motorsports Daytona Prototype is GAINSCO Auto Insurance, a Dallas, Texas-based auto insurer which distributes policies through a network of independent agents in Florida, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, and California. GAINSCO Auto Insurance is a growing company in the automobile insurance industry and plans to use the racing program as a central feature of its "Are You Driven?" marketing theme that is intended to build brand awareness and advance its distribution strategies. For more information, visit www.GAINSCO.com.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Alex Gurney , Dan Gurney , Bob Stallings