GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing's Fogarty Qualifies Third For Grand-Am Rolex Series Verizon Wireless 250 at New Jersey Motorsports Park; Gurney and Fogarty Won from Third Last Weekend at VIR and Look for Two in a Row Millville, N.J. (May 2, 2009)...
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing's Fogarty Qualifies Third For Grand-Am Rolex Series Verizon Wireless 250 at New Jersey Motorsports Park; Gurney and Fogarty Won from Third Last Weekend at VIR and Look for Two in a Row
Millville, N.J. (May 2, 2009) -- GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing's Jon Fogarty qualified third for the second race in a row today and will be looking to join teammate Alex Gurney in capitalizing on that starting position for their second consecutive victory Sunday in the Verizon Wireless 250 on Thunderbolt Raceway at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP).
Gurney and Fogarty won from third on the grid in last Saturday's Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) for their record ninth Grand-Am Rolex Series win as teammates in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley. They will be looking for a record-extending 10th win tomorrow and both GAINSCO drivers believe they can find the overnight speed necessary to give them back-to-back victories.
Fogarty turned his quick time of 1:14.919 (108.117 mph) on Lap 4 of the 15 minute session and will start on the inside of the second row behind the pole-winning No. 12 Penske Racing Porsche Riley of Romain Dumas and outside front-row starter Scott Pruett in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley.
"It's a pretty big gap there to the top guy but it is a good starting spot," said Fogarty, who improved on the team's fourth-place starting position at NJMP in 2008. "We made some changes from the previous (practice) outing to try and get a little bit quicker, but I think maybe we went the wrong way. But we are starting up front and we got some information, so it was a good run. We will work on it and consider what the weather looks like tomorrow, but I would say we are pretty pleased."
The New Jersey weather has been cool and gray with occasional brief rain showers the last two days, and it is not expected to be any better on Sunday.
"It was a good qualifying, I think," Gurney said. We are in a great position. We are expecting a rain race tomorrow and anything can happen. Starting up front is a good place to be and we are on the inside going into Turn 1. We are fairly happy but just want to search for a little more speed. We still don't have the balance exactly like we want it and we were a little surprised, actually, at the P1 time."
Dumas won the pole with a lap of 1:14.057 (109.375 mph) while Pruett qualified second at 1:14.265 (109.069 mph)
Fogarty did all of GAINSCO's driving on Saturday but Gurney will get his next laps in tomorrow's morning warm-up session and in the final half of the race.
"You get used to non-driving days after awhile but it should be fine," Gurney said. "We will get a few laps in warm-up tomorrow so hopefully we will get a little bit of rain running."
GAINSCO has traditionally performed well in the rain and won the 2008 race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course last June in the wet.
"Ideally, we would like a dry race, I would say," Fogarty said. "It has been dry running for the most part up to this point so we would like to continue along those lines. I would prefer it to be dry, but it is going to be the same for everybody. Rain will not be a problem."
After last week's win and a seventh-place finish in January's season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, GAINSCO, Gurney and Fogarty are in the hunt for the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype Team and Driver Championships. GAINSCO, the 2007 Rolex Series Champs, is now just one point behind third place VIR finishers and Rolex 24 winners David Donohue and Darren Law of Brumos Porsche Racing in both the Team and Driver Championships. The Brumos squad has 60 points to lead both championships but GAINSCO, Gurney and Fogarty follow closely with 59 points. Law will start 11th in tomorrow's Verizon Wireless 250.