GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and Fogarty Qualify Third For Bosch Engineering 250 Grand-Am Rolex Series Race at VIR; Gainsco, Gurney And Fogarty Overcome Rear Axle Boot Issues in Friday's First Practice DANVILLE, Va. (April 24, 2009) --...
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and Fogarty Qualify Third For Bosch Engineering 250 Grand-Am Rolex Series Race at VIR; Gainsco, Gurney And Fogarty Overcome Rear Axle Boot Issues in Friday's First Practice
DANVILLE, Va. (April 24, 2009) -- GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing's Jon Fogarty will start on the inside of the second row for Saturday's Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway (Live on SPEED at 2:30 p.m. ET) after the GAINSCO crew overcame some mechanical issues in Friday morning practice and Fogarty qualified third for tomorrow's race.
Fogarty repeatedly improved his lap times in the 15-minute qualifying session on the 2.37-mile VIR road course and ultimately locked down third on the grid with his final lap of 1:42.262 (115.116 mph). It's the first time the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley has qualified in the top three since the Infineon Raceway event last August.
"It was a pretty good qualifying session," said Fogarty, who will make his 40th race start with GAINSCO teammate Alex Gurney in tomorrow's race. "We had some mechanical issues that kept us from running in this previous session and it kept us away from, I think, the ideal set up. So we really had to rely on getting the most out of the tires and I think I did that pretty early in my run. It was good. We pretty much got what we needed. The car balance was better than I thought it was going to be considering what limited development time we had, but I think we unloaded pretty well."
The No. 99 suffered dual rear axel boot failures in morning practice Friday but the GAINSCO crew worked through the late morning and afternoon to give Fogarty a race car ready for qualifying. Fogarty and Gurney debuted as teammates here at VIR in April of 2006 and will be looking for the GAINSCO team's first win at VIR in the Bosch Engineering 250. The race is Round 2 of the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 schedule and comes after a three-month break following the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona in January.
"It feels great to be back racing," said Gurney, who joined Fogarty, Jimmie Johnson and Jimmy Vasser for a seventh place finish in the Daytona opener. "Definitely Jon did a really good lap in qualifying and it is nice to be up there, but we definitely have a long race tomorrow. We will just try and fight it out."
While the GAINSCO team was encouraged with the third-place qualifying effort the No. 99 trailed the pole-winning No. 01 TELMEX/Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley of Memo Rojas by over 6/10ths of a second.
"Obviously, a little bit of a gap there to the 01," Fogarty said. "They definitely seem to have something figured out here but it is a long race. The Fords in practice definitely looked strong and they were at Daytona too. They are going to be tough there at the end of the race and there is going to be a lot of cars able to run up front. We just need to keep clean. The more quick guys you have up there at the front, the more the chances are that things are going to get nasty. We are just going to try and keep it clean and get a strong finish."