In today’s Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park
Fogarty Fourth Fastest In Qualifying As Team Readies For another Hot Alabama Race
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and driver Jon Fogarty qualified a solid fourth Saturday for tomorrow's Brumos Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant at Barber Motorsports Park with a lap time of 1:21.279 (101.871 mph) in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley.
The GAINSCO team continued to work through various set-up issues but managed to maintain an impressive career-qualifying effort on the 2.3-mile Barber road course where they have started now lower than fourth. GAINSCO was on pole at Barber in 2005 and last year and qualified fourth in 2006. Despite the success over the years, a pole didn't seem to be in the cards this weekend.
"Our biggest issue is that we came off the trailer chasing the set-up," Fogarty said. "We've made improvements and I think we know the direction, but unfortunately this is the one weekend that we don't have a warm up to continue down that path. We are going to go off what we learned, make some adjustments for the race and hopefully it will be enough. We have a good race strategy and having a drivable car will help. There's a lot of racing left to go."
Fogarty and teammate Alex Gurney are the defending Porsche 250 race winners and reigning Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Champions and join the GAINSCO team in knowing what it takes to win in the incredible heat in which the Barber race is usually run. Temperatures crested the mid-90s again on Saturday and more of the same is expected for race day.
"The heat is a little bit better this year but it is still going to be pretty oppressive tomorrow," Gurney said. "We've worked hard at handling the heat. We did it last year for a double stint so I am hoping we should be OK. We have worked hard on the cool suit so that is not going to be an issue."
Last year, Gurney took over from Fogarty early in the race and endured the heat for more than two hours before beating Krohn Racing's Colin Braun to the finish line. He expects to be battling for the win again tomorrow.
"We are still struggling for that last little bit of pace but we expect we will be racing with the Ganassi car and the SunTrust car at the end of the race," Gurney said. "We are going to make a couple of more improvements before the race."
The No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Dallara of Michael Valiante won the pole with a lap time of 1:20.521 (102.830 mph) while GAINSCO's championship rivals TELMEX/Chip Ganassi Racing and Memo Rojas in the No. 01 Lexus Riley qualified second with a lap at 1:20.940 (102.298 mph). The No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Lola of Ricardo Zonta will share row two on the grid with Fogarty.
The No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley is currently second in the team championship with 220 points. The same number of points also has Gurney and Fogarty with the second highest total in the Rolex Series Driver Championship. Pruett, Memo Rojas and the Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley now have 260 points to lead both championships.