Slippery circuit can't stop GAINSCO team from quick times at Laguna Seca MONTEREY, Calif. -- Working together has paid off for Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, as their combined efforts put their No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley in sixth...
Slippery circuit can't stop GAINSCO team from quick times at Laguna Seca
MONTEREY, Calif. -- Working together has paid off for Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, as their combined efforts put their No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley in sixth place in Friday afternoon practice for Sunday's Road & Track 250 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Gurney's lap of 1 minute, 25.346 seconds, turned at an average speed of 94.402 mph, was the second-fastest clocked by a Pontiac-powered Daytona Prototype, trailing only the No. 10 SunTrust Racing machine. Both drivers continued to battle a slight understeering condition in the GAINSCO car, but changes made throughout the day's practice allowed the team to get a better handle on the problem -- and both are confident about Friday's qualifying race. At 11 a.m., Gurney will take the No. 99 out for a 30-minute qualifying sprint, with the finishing order setting the grid for Sunday's two-hour, 45-minute endurance feature.
Jon Fogarty: "I feel like we have a good handle on the balance of the GAINSCO car at this point and we're capable of making the car behave as we wish. Now we just need to figure out what sort of balance will be best to set the fastest lap time tomorrow. We need to run quick in the morning to set ourselves up well for the qualifying race, because we don't want to force a situation where we have to overtake the field, like the one we faced at VIR. Tomorrow morning will be absolutely critical. The competition is tough as always, and we'll have a fight on our hands. Unfortunately, the chance to the curbing has made Laguna more of a horsepower track, as no car is capable of going quickly through a corner covered in gravel. Whoever can get from one gravel-covered corner to the next will have the greatest advantage. Our car comes up to speed quickly and brakes well, so I think the track conditions will suit us just fine."
Alex Gurney: "Today was a pretty productive day, and we needed it! Our setup from last year unfortunately didn't transfer over because the track conditions have changed so much, so we really had to work at it. I think a lot of our competitors are finding the track quite a bit different too. Considering we only used one set of tires for the day, I think we're in pretty good shape heading into the qualifying race."