Fogarty Continues Front-Row Streak For GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing With Pole at Brumos Porsche 250 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 5, 2007) -- For the fifth time this season, the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley driven by Jon Fogarty...
Fogarty Continues Front-Row Streak For GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing With Pole at Brumos Porsche 250
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 5, 2007) -- For the fifth time this season, the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley driven by Jon Fogarty and Dan Gurney will lead the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve field to the green flag for tonight's Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway (SPEED, Live at 8 p.m. ET).
Fogarty clocked a 1:44.043 (123.180 mph) on his fifth and final qualifying lap to take the pole in the Daytona Prototype class, 1.035 seconds faster than second-place qualifier NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson on a Daytona International Speedway road course that was drying throughout the qualifying session after a late morning rain shower. Fogarty's pole position extends the team's streak of eight straight front-row starts in as many 2007 races, with Gurney qualifying on the pole at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen in his only two qualifying attempts. The duo are also searching for their third consecutive Rolex Series win and fourth of the season.
"As a team, we've really built our confidence up," Fogarty said. "It's always a bit nerve-wracking to come into a schedule like today, with everything squeezed into just a few hours and the rain didn't help either. But Alex and I are working together well enough that even in that limited time we were able to make improvements to the car in that time. It's quite awesome to be able to step into the car and stand on the gas right off the bat, knowing that the car will do what you want. As a driver, that's what you want in a race car and we'll try to keep that up."
Johnson, racing with co-driver Marc Goosens in his second Rolex Sports Car Series appearance of the season, placed the No. 91 Lowe's/Riley-Matthews Motorsports Pontiac Riley on top of the charts for most of the 15-minute qualifying session with a best lap of 1:45.078 (121.967 mph) before being bumped late by Fogarty. Johnson also raced with the Riley-Matthews team during the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
"We've improved the car (since the Rolex 24 At Daytona)," said Johnson. "The team has done a lot of work since then and I think it shows. We've been really fast, qualifying second, and have been fast all through the practice sessions. We're looking forward to seeing how it does tonight."
The No. 23 Ruby Tuesday/Alex Job Racing Porsche Crawford matched its best qualifying effort of the season with a third place showing. For Jorg Bergmeister and teammate Patrick Long, the second row start is bittersweet. Despite being over 1.5 seconds off the pole, the effort comes on the heels of the EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course where problems in qualifying forced a start at the rear of the field.
"It is definitely an improvement over my last two qualifying sessions," Bergmeister said jokingly (due to mechanical issues, Bergmeister also started from the rear at Virginia International Speedway). "I did more than one lap. P3 was good, but the gap to the (number) 99 is tough -- we're 1.6 seconds back. It seems like they're in a different class all their own. Right now, it looks like there is no way to get by them. Hopefully we'll have a good race and see where we end up."
Max Papis, who along with co-driver Colin Braun is still searching for a 2007 win, piloted the No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley to fourth on the grid with a lap of 1:45.654 (121.302 mph). Rounding out the top-five qualifiers in the Daytona Prototype class is the No. 58 Red Bull/Brumos Porsche Porsche Riley driven by Darren Law and David Donohue. Law turned a lap time 1:45.985 (120.923 mph).
Ham Puts Mazda RX-8 On GT Class Pole
Nick Ham only turned one lap on a dampened Daytona International Speedway in the No. 70 SpeedSource/Mazdaspeed Mazda RX-8, but that was all he needed to take the Rolex Series GT class pole.
Ham turned the fastest lap of the day for the GT class with a time of 1:52.681 (113.737 mph) on his first full qualifying lap, nearly a full second quicker than second place. After completing the flyer, Ham pulled the car into the pits as a precaution. Ham will begin tonight's race before turning the car over to teammate Sylvain Tremblay.
"I'm very happy for my team, they really needed this. On my warm up lap, I got a warning light that indicated zero oil pressure. I radioed the crew and they said to keep going so I just didn't leave any on the table on that second lap. After that we parked it so as not to risk the car, but we think it was just a bad sensor. The Mazda RX-8 just loves this track, so look out for us in the race."
Ham will share the front row with the No. 07 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R, qualified by championship co-leader Kelly Collins and teammate Paul Edwards. The No. 70 Mazda RX-8 and No. 07 Pontiac GXP.R turned times that rivaled each other all morning in practice sessions, one claiming the top spot for a few minutes before the other would best the time. By the end of the qualifying session Collins was unable to top Ham's blazing first lap, ending up with a session best lap time of 1:53.503 (112.913 mph).
Ian Baas piloted the No. 85 Shoes for Crews/ Recaro Farnbacher Loles Motorsports Porsche GT3 Cup to a 1:54.163 (112.261 mph), sharing the second row with the No. 69 SpeedSource/Mazdaspeed Mazda RX-8 qualified by Nick Longhi (1:54.420, 112.008 mph). Baas will co-drive with Leh Keen and Dominick Farnbacher. Longhi will team with Emil Assentato.
Championship co-leader Dirk Werner qualified in fifth position with a 1:54.446 (111.983 mph). Werner, tied atop the GT Championship standings with Collins and Edwards, will co-drive with Bryce Miller.