GAINSCO'S SECOND CONSECUTIVE AND THIRD OVERALL POLE AT MONTREAL IS FOGARTY'S RECORD 16TH MONTREAL, Quebec, Canada (August 27, 2010) -- Jon Fogarty extended his all-time record as the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype pole leader...
GAINSCO'S SECOND CONSECUTIVE AND THIRD OVERALL POLE AT MONTREAL IS FOGARTY'S RECORD 16TH
MONTREAL, Quebec, Canada (August 27, 2010) -- Jon Fogarty extended his all-time record as the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype pole leader to 16 with a new track record in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet Riley Friday in qualifying for Saturday's Montreal 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Fogarty first posted a pole lap halfway through the 15-minute session and improved two more times to seal the top starting spot for good with a record time 1:31.524 (106.556 mph) as the checkered flag flew. He broke his own qualifying record of 1:32.235 (105.734 mph) set last year at Montreal.
The pole was the second of the 2010 season and second consecutive for Fogarty and GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing at the Montreal 200. GAINSCO and Fogarty have now won the pole in three of the four GRAND-AM Rolex Series races run to date at Montreal and the No. 99 "Red Dragon" team has never started off of the front row on the Villeneuve circuit after qualifying second in 2008.
"It was a really good run for us," said Fogarty, who gave GAINSCO its first Montreal pole in 2007. "Circuit Gilles Villeneuve presents interesting challenges. You have to have the balance when your tires are good, but you have to get to that point without overheating your brakes. Getting all the stars to align was the way to do it, and I was able to run clear laps and go hard, let things cool, go hard, let things cool, and go hard again. Each time I was able to improve and the time just came - not necessarily from pushing harder, but with the balance of the car."
Fogarty and teammate Alex Gurney will be shooting for their first Montreal win and third-straight top-three podium finish and second victory of the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season in tomorrow's race on the 2.709-mile Grand Prix circuit. The No. 99 finished third three weeks ago at Watkins Glen International one race after scoring GAINSCO's first pole and win of the season last month at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP). The races marked the first time Gurney and Fogarty drove to back-to-back podium finishes in nearly a year after a third-place finish in Montreal last year was backed up with a victory at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah this past September.
Gurney also has five career GRAND-AM Rolex Series Daytona Prototype poles with GAINSCO to his credit and the team's total of 21 ranks the No. 99 second on the all-time pole winner list. Gurney and Fogarty have also combined to win 13-career Daytona Prototype races and hope to add to that total in tomorrow.
"Jon and the team did a great job and now we have a lot of strategy to go over for the two-hour race," Gurney said. "The car is fast and hopefully we will be able to take it to them again. Brake management will be a big deal and always is at Montreal, but all in all a good day today."
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, Gurney and Fogarty won the GRAND-AM Rolex Series Daytona Prototype Team and Driver Championships last year and in 2007, and finished second in both title races in 2008. Although the rival No. 01 TELMEX/Chip Ganassi Racing BMW Riley team of Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas is almost certain to clinch this year's championships, the No. 99 GAINSCO team is a threat for runner-up honors in the Daytona Prototype team title battle. The No. 99 jumped from fifth to a tie for third in the team standings after the New Jersey win and took sole claim to the spot with 261 points after The Glen. The No. 01 leads the championship with a comfortable 302 points, but GAINSCO is only 11 points behind the second-place No. 10 SunTrust Ford Dallara, which has 272 points.
"Qualifying is always very different from the race," Fogarty said. "There will be more brake management issues tomorrow, but the car is quick. Hopefully, it's quick enough that I won't have to be challenging the brake zones lap after lap. We're real happy. We want to finish the season strong."
Saturday's sprint kicks off a crucial two-race run in the next three weekends that will wrap up the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season. Montreal will be followed by the season-ending race at Miller, September 10 - 11. A win tomorrow would also see GAINSCO join Ganassi as the only repeat Daytona Prototype winners this season.