Fogarty Captures GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing's Sixth Consecutive Grand-Am Rolex Pole at the Porsche 250 BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (July 21, 2007) -- For the sixth consecutive race, the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley will lead ...
Fogarty Captures GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing's Sixth Consecutive Grand-Am Rolex Pole at the Porsche 250
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (July 21, 2007) -- For the sixth consecutive race, the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley will lead the Daytona Prototypes of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve to the green flag in Sunday's 109-lap Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant at Barber Motorsports Park.
Jon Fogarty captured his fifth pole of the season and the team's seventh overall (co-driver Alex Gurney has earned an additional two) in the No. 99 machine, turning a time of 1:22.283 (100.628 mph) on the scenic 16-turn, 2.3-mile road course. Concerned about losing tire grip after just a handful of laps, Fogarty turned only three laps before pulling into the pits while the team monitored the session's pace.
"We have confidence in qualifying, with what we're able to do with the car and how best to utilize the tires," said Fogarty. "We were able to get a gap in the field, ran a couple of hard laps, and just kind of waited. We didn't want to put any more laps on that set of tires if we didn't have to, because we're going to have to run that set in the race."
Starting alongside Fogarty in the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche Crawford is Patrick Long, who qualified just two tenths of a second behind the No. 99 in a time of 1:22.527 (100.330 mph). Long's front-row start is the highest of the season for him co-driver Jorg Bergmeister. Bergmeister won last year's Porsche 250, then driving for Krohn Racing with Colin Braun.
"We struggled yesterday; it was one of the toughest days we've had all year," said Long. "To turn this program around and start in the front row with the No. 99 is a great morale boost for us. At this point, it's almost like a pole position right now."
The No. 23 team turnaround came the old-fashioned way -- through trial and error.
"We found a couple of things that we weren't able to get in yesterday and the guys in the crew worked really late last night to fix a few things that we've struggled with the last few races," Long said. "We still have a few things to figure out, but we're headed in the right direction."
Fogarty also noticed the increase in speed that the Ruby Tuesday Racing team had found.
"The 23 car found a lot of speed overnight and they're doing a great job," Fogarty said. "I haven't run around the track with them so I don't know where they might have advantages with not only a different power plant but a different chassis as well. They were quick last year, for sure, and I expect it to be the same again this year."
Braun is still searching for his first 2007 win in the No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley, but things are looking up this weekend. Braun's co-driver Nic Jonsson will begin the race third after a lap of 1:22.795 (100.006 mph). Jonsson and Braun were the fastest drivers in Friday's morning and afternoon practice sessions, respectively.
Memo Gidley, driving this week with Max Angelelli in the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley for the first time this season, qualified fourth in a time of 1:22.849 (99.940 mph). Gidley is driving the No. 10 after running the season's first seven races in the No. 77. Gidley's role this weekend is to help his teammate close the championship gap, as Angelelli currently sits in second place just 15 points behind Scott Pruett.
Championship leader Pruett's No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Racing Lexus Riley co-driver Memo Rojas rounds out the top five, turning a fast lap of 1:22.877 (99.907 mph). He shares the Lexus with Pruett.
Sunday's Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant at Barber Motorsports Park will begin at 2:00 p.m. CT (Live on SPEED).
Doug Goad Earns KONI Challenge Series Grand Sport Pole For Sunday's Race
Spirit of Daytona Racing driver Doug Goad landed the Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series Grand Sport (GS) pole in Saturday morning's 15-minute qualifying session at Barber Motorsports Park and will lead a solid 38-car field to the green flag for Sunday's 109-lap, two-and-a-half hour race, which is scheduled for 8:30 a.m.
Goad -- who co-pilots the No. 9 Spirit of Daytona Racing Corsa Exhaust Pontiac GTO with son Brandon -- posted a time of 1:37.711 (84.739 mph), just over two tenths of a second faster than Bryan Sellers and co-driver Andrew Davis in the No. 42 TRG Carlsen Porsche/Maxwell Paper Products Porsche 997 (1:37.915; 84.563 mph). Goad's pole position is his first of 2007, while the younger Goad makes his professional road racing debut this weekend.
Sellers is one of two TRG drivers in the top 10 and one of four TRG cars in the field. This will be the highest start for Sellers and Davis this season. Ted Ballou, who co-drives the No. 41 TRG Carlsen Porsche/Maxwell Paper Products Porsche 997, was sixth fastest.
Row three will feature former championship series point leader Joe Foster, who will co-pilot the No. 55 Hyper Sport Supercuts Ford Mustang GT with Scott Maxwell, with a time of 1:38.321 (84.214 mph). Starting alongside will be No. 99 Automatic Racing Fresh From Florida/Imported Car Store BMW M3 driver David Russell, who will share the BMW with Tom Long, after posting a time of 1:38.688 (83.900 mph). Rounding out the top five is Owen Trinkler, who will co-pilot the No. 79 Kinetic Motorsports Said Head Performance/Savvion BMW M3 with Bryan Ortiz, after posting a time of 1:38.917 (83.706 mph).
Sunday's 109-lap, two-and-a-half hour GS race is scheduled for an 8:30 a.m. start.