Grand Am Prototypes - Fogarty Takes Pole At Belle Isle
DETROIT, June 2, 2012: GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty set the pace in the day’s practice sessions and qualifying in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette Daytona Prototype in preparation for tomorrow’s Chevrolet Detroit GRAND-AM 200 where Fogarty won a career record-extending 20th pole position Friday afternoon. Saturday’s timed two-hour sprint race will air live on SPEED at 5 p.m. EDT/2 p.m. PDT.
Fogarty posted the fastest lap of qualifying in the GRAND-AM Daytona Prototype category with a time of 1:22.369 (90.91 mph) in his eighth and final flying lap around the 2.07-mile, 14-turn circuit located in the middle of the Detroit River on Belle Isle.“I am really pleased that the weather cleared and to drive the 99 GAINSCO Corvette in qualifying,” Fogarty said. “We have had some unfavorable results so far this season, so having qualifying rained out would’ve had us starting seventh or eighth. On a street circuit that would have been tough. We felt like we had a good car in the wet, and it translated to the dry. I am pleased. It is good to be back on the pole. It is a challenging field, especially from the 10 car with Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli behind the wheel.”
The top qualifying effort is Fogarty’s first of the 2012 season and boosts his total as the all-time GRAND-AM Daytona Prototype pole winner to 20.
“Qualifying is an opportunity to go out and focus on the car and all out speed,” Fogarty said. “Part of my job as the starting driver is to hand over the car in a responsible fashion. In qualifying, I can be a little irresponsible and the left side of the “Red Dragon’ felt the ramifications of that today. It is a little torn up from ping ponging off the walls, but that is what it takes to get the pole. It is an opportunity to go out and lay it all on the line.”
Gurney was not able to get any dry running today, but has a lot of faith in the GAINSCO “Red Dragon” and his teammates.
“We had a great day,” Gurney said. “The car was working great in the wet and the dry. Jon did an awesome job in qualifying. We were very lucky to have a dry session. It was dry enough where we could run. We are in a great position for the two-hour race. I didn’t get any dry running yet, so the warm-up will be important for me in the morning. We are going to go out tonight and think seriously about our strategy for the race tomorrow.”
GAINSCO is looking to get into victory lane for the first time in 2012 and turn their season around after failing to finish the last two of the year’s opening four races.
“The only way we are going to get back into the championship is to win races,” Fogarty said. “We are looking forward to each and every race to claw our way back to the front. We have done it before. The team needed this pole position. This is a short event, but I think it will be an interesting one. It may only be a one-stop race and we will have to see what happens with the yellows. Starting up front will be helpful, but anything can happen. We need to be smart about how we will play this race tomorrow.”