Fogarty and Gurney Win Third Straight Rolex Series Race at Brumos Porsche 250 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 5, 2007) -- Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney piloted the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley to their third consecutive win during...
Fogarty and Gurney Win Third Straight Rolex Series Race at Brumos Porsche 250
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 5, 2007) -- Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney piloted the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley to their third consecutive win during tonight's 70 lap Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway under the lights on the 3.56-mile road course at the "World Center of Racing." The win was a series-leading fourth of the season for the GAINSCO team and Gurney crossed the finish line 7.48 seconds ahead of the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley of Max Angelelli and Jonathan Cochet.
After leading the early laps of the race from the pole, Fogarty dropped all the way to seventh after pitting with most of the lead pack on lap eight. During a climb back to second place, Fogarty was assessed a stop and go penalty on lap 13 for avoidable contact with the No. 01 TELMEX/Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley of Memo Rojas and the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday/Alex Job Racing Porsche Crawford of Jorg Bergmeister.
After serving the penalty, Fogarty began picking off competitors one-by-one. By lap 25, he had climbed to eighth place. Fifteen laps later, Fogarty shot past Angelelli for third place and by lap 43 had climbed into a nose-to-tail battle with the then race leading No. 58 Red Bull/Brumos Porsche Riley driven by Darren Law and the second-place No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley of Max Papis.
"I didn't really think about the penalty," Fogarty said. "I just took the anger and tried to channel it to some speed, put my head down and tried to get to the front. It was important to get the car up to the front, it seemed like we were going to go green so we had to push. It was very hot and humid in the car, tough, but we got it done, and we're very happy."
Fogarty turned the GAINSCO car over to teammate Gurney on lap 43 who took the lead after a cycle of pit stops just two laps later. Gurney wasn't seriously challenged again.
"We can't do anything more than what we're doing," said Gurney, still trailing by 17 points in the season championship. "Hopefully we keep putting up the results and maybe the championship will take care of itself. There's a long way to go, and a lot of things can happen. With these GT cars running in the same race, you have to be really careful because everything can change in a heartbeat."
The SunTrust team's second-place finish helped Angelelli close the gap in the championship lead to just four points behind Scott Pruett (237-233), who finished sixth co-driving with Rojas. Pruett took the wheel from Rojas in 13th place on lap 37 and climbed to a sixth-place finish to hold his points lead.
Still, Angelelli was hoping for his third career win in Rolex Series competition at Daytona International Speedway.
"I tried everything (to get past the duo of Fogarty and Gurney)," Angelelli said. "I got a good shot when he got out of the pits, and after that shot, it just took off. Nothing more, I was pushing very hard, and I don't think he was really pushing, just pulled away enough to be safe. Seemed like he always had something left in the pocket. I was pretty frustrated."
Rounding out the podium was the Krohn Racing No. 75 of Papis and Colin Braun, leading two laps during pit stops. Papis admitted, however, that they didn't have enough to catch the GAINSCO duo.
"Today I felt that we gave everything we could," said Papis, now tied with teammate Braun for sixth place in the championship. "It was definitely a very difficult race, both on the physical side and with the track being green all the time. I really felt that we had a shot for the win, you know we were rock-and-rolling as usual. But the No. 99 car went through traffic like a rocket, and I hoped that they would have to do an extra pit stop. They are doing everything right, they're clicking, and it's not just one thing. There are two great drivers maximizing everything they have, they also have a great engine in the Pontiac."
In GT class competition, the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 of Nick Ham and Sylvain Tremblay won from the pole, pulling a 9.514 second gap over the No. 07 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R of Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards at the finish. Ham and Tremblay combined to lead 45 laps of the 70 lap battle.
Collins and Edwards used the second place finish to take over the GT championship lead (255-253) after entering the night's race in a three-way tie with Dirk Werner, who finished third with co-driver Bryce Miller in the No. 87 Farnbacher Loles Motorsports Porsche GT3 Cup.
Tremblay and Ham used the win to pull within seven and 16 points of the Banner Racing duo, respectively.
"It was a good day's work," said Ham, who qualified the car on the pole and started the race before passing the car off to Tremblay on lap 42. "We had confidence coming here; we had the team, the car, the driving, it was meant to be. Everybody did their job today and when you do that, you win races."
"We had a great beginning of the season, and then had a few unfortunate events that put us back but the team put on a tremendous performance and I think our season is back on track," said Tremblay, happy to be within reach of the championship again. "We have a great car, a great team, and we have everything we need to get to the finish line first at the end of the race. It was great racing with Paul (Edwards). The traffic was difficult but the team told me to just keep doing the numbers and he made a little mistake which gave us a good gap and we were able to take the finish."
The Rolex Series reconvenes July 13 and 14 at Iowa Speedway for split-class action, and then heads on to Barber Motorsports Park July 20 through the 22.