GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and Jon Fogarty win fourth-straight Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series pole and fifth of the year in Utah FOGARTY ALL-TIME DAYTONA PROTOTYPE LEADER WITH 13TH CAREER POLE FOR SATURDAY'S UTAH 250 TOOELE, Utah (Sept....
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and Jon Fogarty win fourth-straight Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series pole and fifth of the year in Utah
FOGARTY ALL-TIME DAYTONA PROTOTYPE LEADER WITH 13TH CAREER POLE FOR SATURDAY'S UTAH 250
TOOELE, Utah (Sept. 18, 2009) -- GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing's Jon Fogarty became the all-time Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype pole winner Friday at Miller Motorsports Park where he earned his 13th career pole and a series-high fifth of the season in qualifying for Saturday's Utah 250. The 11th and next-to-last event on the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Series schedule, the Utah 250 can be seen live on SPEED on Saturday, Sept. 19 at 5:30 p.m. ET (2:30 p.m. PT).
The No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley with Fogarty and co-driver Alex Gurney at the wheel was among the fastest race cars on the massive 4.486-mile Miller road course all day on Friday. The No. 99 topped morning practice and was second in the afternoon run before Fogarty took to the track for qualifying. He turned just three flying laps in the quick 15-minute session but managed to set the fastest time of the session at that point on each and every circuit. He sealed the pole with a final lap time of 2:35.737 (103.697 mph) and is now assured of ending the 2009 season as the Grand-Am Rolex Series Daytona Prototype pole leader.
"It was just a question of when the tires were going to be at their optimum," Fogarty said. "I am pleased for the No. 99 car and GAINSCO. It is absolutely what we need at this stage in the championship. We unloaded with the car and it was quite quick and it is a short race weekend. That's not to say we haven't put a lot of work into it. The engineers definitely deserve some credit for the homework they have been doing away from the track. Alex and I just jump in and immediately start refining what is already a good race car."
GAINSCO, Gurney and Fogarty lead the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Series Daytona Prototype standings with just tomorrow's Utah 250 and the October finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway remaining on the schedule. GAINSCO and its drivers have 274 points to top the standings in both championships, five points ahead of Max Angelelli, Brian Frisselle and their No. 10 SunTrust Ford Dallara, and the No. 01 TELMEX/Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley of Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, who are tied for second with 269 points. Ganassi and SunTrust will start the Utah 250 from row two on the grid while Fogarty will share the front row with second-fastest qualifier Timo Bernhard and the No. 12 Verizon Wireless/Penske Racing Porsche Riley.
"Obviously it was a really good day," said Gurney, who set the fastest lap in morning practice. "We rolled off the truck really quick and we are really happy about that because it is such a short weekend. We have a really fast race car and Jon did a really good job and we are in good shape. We are just trying not to get too excited because it is all about the race tomorrow."
Gurney arrived in Salt Lake City Thursday night just one day after the birth of his second child. Alex and Colleen Gurney proudly welcomed Savannah Reese Gurney into the world Wednesday morning at 7:32 a.m. PT. Savannah weighed in at a healthy 7 lbs., 2 ounces.
"I would say actually I'm hugely relieved because I was thinking I was going into this race weekend with the baby coming," Gurney said. "To have it happen on Wednesday was just about perfect. It's a big relief and my wife is doing fine and the baby is doing great and sleeping a lot."
This weekend's Utah 250 is the second time in three years that GAINSCO has come to Miller Motorsports Park locked in a title battle with Ganassi and SunTrust. The team and drivers had a narrow lead over both teams at Miller for what was then the 2007 season finale and left Utah as Grand-Am Rolex Series Champions.
Fogarty's other 2009 poles came in the last three races at Montreal, Watkins Glen and Barber Motorsports Park and he took the top qualifying spot for the first time at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in June. GAINSCO is also the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Series Daytona Prototype race-win leader with three victories. The team's first win was at Virginia International Raceway in April's Bosch Engineering 250. GAINSCO and its drivers then led the championship standings for the first time this season with a victory in May's Verizon Festival of Speed presented by SPEEDCOM at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. They reclaimed a co-share of the points lead with the No. 01 team after a series-leading third win of the season in the Porsche 250 presented by Legacy Credit Union in July at Barber Motorsports Park and are back in Utah with sole possession of first place again this weekend.