Thursday
Jul122007

TEAM NEWS: Testing confirms Gurney, Fogarty are again among quickest on tight, tricky infield circuit

Photo by John Thawley NEWTON, Iowa -- Throughout unofficial testing today at Iowa Speedway, Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty consistently kept their No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac-powered Riley at the top of the time charts, finishing up the day a close second, only trailing Scott Pruett's machine. Times were not officially record.

This bodes well for the duo's performance in tomorrow evening's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Iowa 400k, as the narrow, demanding 1.3-mile infield road course offers few opportunities to pass. To secure a successful result and have a shot at recording the team's series-record fourth straight victory, Alex and Jon know they've got to secure a starting position right at the front of the grid.

That's a familiar position for the red GAINSCO car, as Gurney and Fogarty have combined to qualify on the front row in every one of the eight Daytona Prototype races this season -- including four consecutive and five total poles. Both drivers focused their track time on finding little tweaks that could add up to big gains. On a course which sees lap times around 42 seconds, every tenth makes a difference.

Official timed practice for the Iowa 400k begins at 9 a.m., with two further sessions into the afternoon. Fogarty will attempt to continue the team's streak of poles and front-row starts in an all-out 15-minute qualifying session at 5 p.m., followed shortly thereafter by pre-race preparations. The 192-lap or two-hour, 30-minute Iowa 400k will get the green flag at 8 p.m., and will be televised on SPEED Channel on a same-day-delay basis beginning at 10 p.m. Eastern time.

Driver/Owner Quotes:

Alex Gurney: "We got through a lot of changes to the GAINSCO car, doing pretty much just short runs. We got through all our work and I think we found a little something toward the end that will help us out tomorrow -- where, hopefully, we'll be in our usual spot up front. I'm excited about the race, but it's going to be a very challenging one. It'll get interesting when we're out there with other cars, trying to lap and pass people, because there's definitely not much room. I think there'll be a lot of frustration in the race, and it's going to take a lot of patience. We tried to learn a little bit about that today."

Jon Fogarty: "The track has thrown us a bit of a curveball, as it's had some time to season in since we tested here in May. We had to make a few adaptations to our setup, and I think we'll make some more as we compare the data from today. I feel like we're going in the right direction, and we're fortunate that we had this test day. Qualifying tomorrow will be hugely important, because starting up front is going to be key to success in the race. A lot will happen with strategy too, as we're going to have to make the best of any situation we get thrown into. My goal is to go out there, find a clear lap and lay one down."

Bob Stallings: "Both Alex and Jon did a really good job today, using the testing time we got to improve the GAINSCO car, not just on speed but on drivability. We ended up chasing the track just a little bit in the second session, but the guys are comfortable in the car and that will be huge, because 192 laps around this place will be punishing. The big deal tomorrow is qualifying the 99 car well, and then staying on track and out of trouble in the race."

The primary sponsor of the No. 99 Bob Stallings Racing Daytona Prototype is GAINSCO Auto Insurance (Amex:GAN), a Dallas, Texas-based auto insurer that distributes policies through a network of nearly 4,000 independent agents across the Sunbelt. One of the fastest-growing carriers in the auto insurance industry, GAINSCO uses its "Are You Driven?", motorsports sponsorship and marketing campaign to build brand awareness and advance its distribution strategies.

« TEAM NEWS: Stevenson Corvette's Luck Runs Out At Daytona | Main | TEAM NEWS: SAMAX MOTORSPORT LOOKING TO RETURN TO WINNING WAYS »

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.
Editor Permission Required
You must have editing permission for this entry in order to post comments.