GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing in contention and running in the top 10 as the 48th Annual Rolex 24 At Daytona hits the midnight mark DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 31, 2010) -- GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing is running on the lead lap and solidly in the...
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing in contention and running in the top 10 as the 48th Annual Rolex 24 At Daytona hits the midnight mark
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 31, 2010) -- GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing is running on the lead lap and solidly in the top 10 as the 48th annual Rolex 24 At Daytona raced through the midnight hour with Jon Fogarty at the wheel of the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet Riley.
Fogarty is the fourth and final driver in GAINSCO's opening rotation and joined teammates Alex Gurney, Jimmie Johnson and Jimmy Vasser in putting in strong first stints in the "Red Dragon" Daytona Prototype. Gurney and Vasser both led the race and Johnson ran as high as third during the first one third of the day-long race. Fogarty took the wheel at 11:05 p.m. late Saturday night and worked his way up the order in eighth position after the team made a slightly extended pit stop for some spring changes early in his stint.
"We're actually in great shape," said Gurney, who drove the majority of his race-starting stint in a heavy down pour. "We started last, and I came in second to hand it over to Jimmie. Really, I was trying to be conservative, or at least trying really hard to be conservative. On some of those restarts, some of these guys were racing like it wasn't 24 hours. It seemed like the race was coming to us right before I got out. We're probably going to have to make some adjustments to the car to be quick enough in the dry at the end, but right now, I think we're going to be in good shape."
Gurney drove the first three hours of the race while Johnson was at the wheel the following two-and-a-half hours.
"The car is very competitive and quick," Johnson said. "I noticed when Alex was in the car, and just by the tone of his voice, that if he needed to go fast he would and that he was just being real smart with the gearbox. We just need to be cautious and I wasn't going to break the car again on my watch. I have already done that once this weekend. When we have a clean track and no traffic I can put down good lap times. I still think there is more left in me and the car so I think the speed will be there for Jon and for Alex if there is a shootout at the end of this thing."
GAINSCO has avoided any major issues but the team's race has hardly been trouble free. The team lost the telemetry for the majority of Johnson's stint and ultimately traced the issue to a collapsed antenna on the No. 99. The problem was fixed early in Vasser's stint and he later came back to the pits two more times on consecutive laps to clear the GAINSCO race car's front radiator and cooling ducts after being run off course by a GT-class competitor. The spring changes during Fogarty's run were also combined with rear wing "wicker" adjustments as the GAINSCO crew continued to fine tune the No. 99's setup.