GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing qualifies second for season-ending GRAND-AM Rolex Series Utah 250 TOOELE, Utah (September 10, 2010) -- GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and Jon Fogarty qualified second today for Saturday's season-ending GRAND-AM Rolex...
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing qualifies second for season-ending GRAND-AM Rolex Series Utah 250
TOOELE, Utah (September 10, 2010) -- GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and Jon Fogarty qualified second today for Saturday's season-ending GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Utah 250, lapping the 3.048-mile Miller Motorsports Park circuit with a time of 1.43.433 (106.086 mph).
Fogarty held the provisional pole halfway through the 15-minute session that was hampered by a spin and an off-course incident by two other competitors. The No. 99 was second fastest when the checkered flag flew but Fogarty was blocked on his final flying lap by pole-winner Memo Rojas in the No. 01 TELMEX/Chip Ganassi Racing BMW Riley. The pole-winning time of 1:43.377 (106.144 mph) edged the No. 99 "Red Dragon" by a scant six-hundredths of a second.
"It wasn't a very smooth session," Fogarty said. "I was first out but just caught some traffic that much quicker. I think I got two consecutive laps before I had to slow up and gap the field for some track space again but then Mike Forest went off and slowed up everybody. I thought it was close on the last lap and Memo held me up. Apparently he was under the impression that I held him up, and I guess he was upset, but if he had been paying attention and looking ahead he would have seen that Mike Forest had gone off and we weren't going to be able to complete that lap anyway."
GAINSCO also turned the day's top practice time with Alex Gurney's lap of 1:43.148 (106.379 mph) in the morning session.
"We had a pretty good day," Gurney said. "That was kind of a messed up qualifying session and we didn't really get to run a lot of laps in a row. Then Jon got held up in the end with the 01 car slowing in front of him, so think he might have been able to improve on that last lap. It was only six-hundredths of a second behind, so not much there. But we did some good work today, went through a lot of changes and I think we have a direction for tomorrow. I think we actually went the wrong way in qualifying. We should be stronger tomorrow."
A victory in Saturday's race would see GAINSCO join the No. 01 as the year's only repeat race winners while any finish in the top-three would give the No. 99 squad it's first four-race podium streak since 2007. That season GAINSCO had a mid-season rally of eight consecutive top-three finishes, which was just one of many milestones and records that the team rode to the 2007 driver and team championships.
"It is very close in the top three and I think we can make the car better for the race," Fogarty said. "We just have to execute and work on our package and I think we will have a good day. We will be ready to go come race time."
Heading into tomorrow's finale, the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet Riley is currently third in the Daytona Prototype team championship standings with 293 points and Fogarty also ranks third in the driver championship standings with the same amount of points. The No. 01 of Rojas and Scott Pruett will officially clinch the 2010 titles in the race, but the No. 99 "Red Dragon" and Fogarty are just nine points out of second in both championships. The No. 10 SunTrust Ford Dallara and drivers Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor are second in both the team and driver title races with 302 points.