GRAND AM NEWS: Fogarty Continues Front-Row Streak For GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing With Pole at Brumos Porsche 250

Photo by John Rawley DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 5, 2007) – For the fifth time this season, the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley driven by Jon Fogarty and Dan Gurney will lead the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve field to the green flag for tonight’s Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway (SPEED, Live at 8 p.m. ET).

Fogarty clocked a 1:44.043 (123.180 mph) on his fifth and final qualifying lap to take the pole in the Daytona Prototype class, 1.035 seconds faster than second-place qualifier NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson on a Daytona International Speedway road course that was drying throughout the qualifying session after a late morning rain shower. Fogarty’s pole position extends the team’s streak of eight straight front-row starts in as many 2007 races, with Gurney qualifying on the pole at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen in his only two qualifying attempts. The duo are also searching for their third consecutive Rolex Series win and fourth of the season.

"As a team, we’ve really built our confidence up,” Fogarty said. “It’s always a bit nerve-wracking to come into a schedule like today, with everything squeezed into just a few hours and the rain didn’t help either. But Alex and I are working together well enough that even in that limited time we were able to make improvements to the car in that time. It’s quite awesome to be able to step into the car and stand on the gas right off the bat, knowing that the car will do what you want. As a driver, that’s what you want in a race car and we'll try to keep that up.”

Johnson, racing with co-driver Marc Goosens in his second Rolex Sports Car Series appearance of the season, placed the No. 91 Lowe’s/Riley-Matthews Motorsports Pontiac Riley on top of the charts for most of the 15-minute qualifying session with a best lap of 1:45.078 (121.967 mph) before being bumped late by Fogarty. Johnson also raced with the Riley-Matthews team during the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

“We’ve improved the car (since the Rolex 24 At Daytona),” said Johnson. “The team has done a lot of work since then and I think it shows. We’ve been really fast, qualifying second, and have been fast all through the practice sessions. We’re looking forward to seeing how it does tonight.”

The No. 23 Ruby Tuesday/Alex Job Racing Porsche Crawford matched its best qualifying effort of the season with a third place showing. For Jörg Bergmeister and teammate Patrick Long, the second row start is bittersweet. Despite being over 1.5 seconds off the pole, the effort comes on the heels of the EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course where problems in qualifying forced a start at the rear of the field.

"It is definitely an improvement over my last two qualifying sessions,” Bergmeister said jokingly (due to mechanical issues, Bergmeister also started from the rear at Virginia International Speedway). “I did more than one lap. P3 was good, but the gap to the (number) 99 is tough – we’re 1.6 seconds back. It seems like they’re in a different class all their own. Right now, it looks like there is no way to get by them. Hopefully we’ll have a good race and see where we end up.”

Max Papis, who along with co-driver Colin Braun is still searching for a 2007 win, piloted the No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley to fourth on the grid with a lap of 1:45.654 (121.302 mph). Rounding out the top-five qualifiers in the Daytona Prototype class is the No. 58 Red Bull/Brumos Porsche Porsche Riley driven by Darren Law and David Donohue. Law turned a lap time 1:45.985 (120.923 mph).

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