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GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Brings Tight Title Fight to The Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen
Posted by: newsla on Jun 27, 2013 - 04:32 PM
Grand Am News
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Brings Tight Title Fight to The Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen

GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, return to Watkins Glen International in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance® Corvette Daytona Prototype this weekend, June 28 – 30, for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen in the midst of the team’s first championship battle in four years.


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Round 7 of the 2013 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, and the opening race of the second half of the season, the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen airs live on SPEED at 11 a.m. EDT/8 a.m. PDT this Sunday, June 30.

GAINSCO, Gurney and Fogarty are in their best championship position since they won their second GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Team and Driver Championships in 2009. The “Red Dragon” squad won the 2007 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, one of that season’s seven victories that gave GAINSCO and its drivers its first set of Rolex Series crowns that year.

The No. 99 team and drivers return to The Glen this weekend just one point behind, 173 – 172, the championship-leading Wayne Taylor Racing No. 10 and its drivers Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor in both the team and driver standings.

“This is a very exciting time for the team,” Gurney said. “Our finishes have been consistent all year, not outside of the top seven so far, even on days when things haven't gone our way. We realize that we are in great shape for this championship and we are trying to stay focused on all the little things that are going to allow us to finish on the podium at every race from here on out.”

Season highlights for GAINSCO include a storybook victory at Circuit of The Americas in the team’s home-state of Texas in March. The victory was backed up with podium finishes in the next two races, a second-place run at Barber Motorsports Park and a third-place showing at Road Atlanta.

“We just need to stay consistent and toward the front,” Fogarty said. “It has been somewhat of a mixed-bag year for all competitors with several different race winners. We really want to win races but I would take a championship over all else. Points are the main thing on my mind.”

Watkins Glen is a favorite track for GAINSCO and its drivers, and they came close to scoring a second Sahlen’s victory in the “Red Dragon” last year at The Glen.
“We have always had good results at Watkins and I love driving the long course,” Gurney said. “Our car was superfast in 2012 and we were in great shape for the victory. I got held up in traffic just slightly last year and Joao Barbosa was able to get by me with about 15 minutes left in the race. That was a heartbreaker for sure so we want to make it right this year!”

Gurney set the overall fastest race lap in the No. 99 as he pressured Barbosa to the line for a second-place finish. The team expects to have similar field-leading pace in this year’s Sahlen’s.

“We came very close last year at The Glen,” Fogarty said. “All in all, a good race and I feel like we should be able to improve the performance of the car this year. It will be highly competitive as usual, and weather could play into it, but we are prepared and looking forward to the challenge.”

GAINSCO’s most recent result was a top-five finish at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course two weeks ago where the team dealt with challenging track conditions and more. A late race mechanical issue kept Gurney from getting more out of the No. 99 but he skillfully managed to keep Angelelli behind him until the checkered flag.

“We really set the car up at Mid-Ohio expecting the track conditions to improve noticeably and for the track to grip up,” Gurney said. “It actually went completely the other way with light rain and a very slick track. The car was not easy to drive throughout but became really difficult at the start of my second stint. We found after the race that a front roll bar blade had snapped so it was nice to get out of there with a top five.”

Like Mid-Ohio, The Glen is a GAINSCO favorite, but not without its challenges.

“Setting the car up to run clean out of Turn 1 and up through the esses is critical to lap time,” Fogarty said. “You need to do that and make it drivable for the more technical corners, but maximizing the Turn 1 to chicane segment is very important. The Carrousel is a blast when the car is balanced. Really, the entire long course is excellent.”

The other end of The Glen track is an attention-getter for Gurney.

“I think the most challenging section includes the last two corners,” Gurney said. “We always have to come up with some sort of compromise on our gearing through there and the last corner has an awkward, slippery entry that always feels a bit strange.”

A three-day weekend event, the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen begins with practice on Friday afternoon. Saturday includes only morning sessions with final practice at 9 a.m. and Daytona Prototype qualifying at 11:25 a.m. Race-day Sunday’s only on-track GRAND-AM Rolex Series activity is the featured Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen that is scheduled to go green at 11 a.m. EDT.

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