CONTACT INCIDENT WHILE FOGARTY LEADS KNOCKS NO. 99 GAINSCO TEAM FROM CONTENTION DALLAS (April 27, 2008) -- Encountering trouble while leading a race for the second consecutive week, GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and drivers Alex Gurney and Jon...
CONTACT INCIDENT WHILE FOGARTY LEADS KNOCKS NO. 99 GAINSCO TEAM FROM CONTENTION
DALLAS (April 27, 2008) -- Encountering trouble while leading a race for the second consecutive week, GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty soldiered home to a 14th-place finish in Sunday's Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway after a contact incident with a lapped car in the early going dropped them from contention.
Starting in the back of the field after Saturday's disqualification, Fogarty and the GAINSCO team used pit strategy and some fast laps early in the race to quickly take the lead by Lap 14. Fogarty was running comfortably up front by nearly 20 seconds when disaster struck while passing the No. 59 Brumos Racing Porsche Riley of JC France on Lap 31 in Turn 1.
"It is unfortunate, my emotions are at the bottom of the barrel right now," Fogarty said. "I got the greatest job in the world, and the greatest team in the world and the greatest sponsor in GAINSCO, but it is hard to be stoked right now. We were going to win. I had a clean pass but we got hit from behind. He was on the outside of me and I went underneath him and I was well on my way exiting the corner, accelerating hard. I hit the apex of the turn and was tracking out and then just 'bang,' from behind. I have no idea what happened."
Fogarty drove the stricken No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley around the entire VIR circuit to the pits where teammate Alex Gurney took over the driving duties and the GAINSCO team jumped right on repairs. After one more pit stop and a tire change as the race restarted, Gurney rejoined two laps down, but he and the GAINSCO team were able to make up one lap before the checkered flag flew on Lap 77. The finish was the worst for the GAINSCO team since placing 22nd in the 2007 Rolex 24 At Daytona, but Fogarty is already looking ahead.
"We have been down before and we have come back, so on to Laguna Seca," Fogarty said. "It is a West Coast race for Alex and I and we will have a bunch of friends and family there. We will be fine."