Utah: Blackhawk Racing preview

GAINSCO's All American Line-Up Vasser is Back! Champ Car champion Jimmy Vasser returns to the GAINSCO stable for this weekend's 9-hour enduro. Vasser drove the ...

GAINSCO's All American Line-Up

Vasser is Back! Champ Car champion Jimmy Vasser returns to the GAINSCO stable for this weekend's 9-hour enduro. Vasser drove the #99 GAINSCO machine in this season's kick off at the 24 at Daytona, as well as at the Miami Grand Prix at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Vasser will close the season with the team at Miller, which will be his first professional stint since the Champ Car season opener at Long Beach. Vasser is familiar with the 4.5-mile road course in Salt Lake City, having completed a successful two-day test there with the GAINSCO team last month.

What to Expect: When racing for nine hours straight, anything can happen! But here are a few statistics we expect for the #99 GAINSCO/Pontiac/Reilly. Average lap speed will be around 2:39.0 at 100 mph, with 40 shifts per lap. Top speed occurs on the 3500-foot front straight at 160 mph. The slowest turn will be #4, at a speed of 56 mph. Nine sets of Hoosier tires will be used in the race, with at least eight pitstops. The maximum distance for the race will be 1900 miles and our Pontiac will burn 180 gallons of fuel (¾ of a gallon per lap).

It's a Wrap: The GAINSCO/Blackhawk team is about to wrap their first full season of racing in the Rolex Grand American series and the crew has garnered much success along the way.. While the team is still searching for their elusive first victory, they have paced the field by leading laps at six of the last seven races, for a total of 158 laps led. Gurney and Fogarty have earned one pole position and three podium finishes since their first race together at VIR. Off track, the program has been just as successful, as GAINSCO Auto Insurance has created a highly recognizable marketing platform with their racing partnership. Nearly 1,000 GAINSCO guests attended various races this season and GAINSCO sponsored their fist race, the GAINSCO Grand Prix in Phoenix.

Bob Stallings, Owner, Car #99: "We have mixed emotions heading into the last race of the 2006 season. On one hand, we hat to see the season end because despite our setbacks it's been a lot of fun. On the other hand, we are very excited for the 2007 season as we focus on winning the Grand American championship. In the meantime, we would like to achieve our first visit to the top step of the podium this weekend at Miller; we are happy to have Jimmy back with us and are very confident in our driver line-up."

Alex Gurney: "It's been a whirlwind year and despite some setbacks, we feel we've grown tremendously as a team. We are certainly a threat for victory at every single track. It's been an amazingly competitive year of Grand Am racing and we are proud to be a part of it all. We would love to close out the season the right way but we know we have nine long hours that stand in our way. We had a very good test at this amazing new circuit, Miller Motorsports Park, where we think we were unofficially quickest. There are so many corners here, its going to be a challenge, especially into the night. We're also excited to have Jimmy Vasser back with us. We're ready for a real adventure."

John Fogarty: "Nine hours around a new circuit will be a challenge itself. Throw in the stiff competition we've been battling against all year and good finish here will be a major accomplishment. Having said that I know the GAINSCO team can do it- we have the speed and reliability and have certainly gown and learned plenty of lessons this season that should help us out over the duration of the event. Having Jimmy on board is awesome, he is always looking forward and has insights that can only come from someone who has competed and won at the highest levels of motorsports. I am 100% confident that victory can be ours, and a win in the final event of 2006 would be a great way to move forward into 2007."

Jimmy Vasser: "I can't wait to get back in a race car, especially in the #99 GAINSCO machine. I have been following the progress of Alex, Jon and the team all season and they have been consistently quick everywhere, I think the three of us together at Miller Motorsports Park will make a very competitive team. The endurance races are a lot of fun, I enjoyed the races I did earlier in the season with the GAINSCO team, and I am excited to get back to it."

-credit: gbr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Alex Gurney , Jimmy Vasser , Bob Stallings