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Jul 01, 2013 - 07:26 AM
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GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Endures a Disappointing Day
Posted by: newsla on Jul 01, 2013 - 07:23 AM
Grand Am News
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Endures a Disappointing Day at The Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen But Stays in The Championship Chase


GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, crossed the finish line in the 14th and final Daytona Prototype finishing position Saturday in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen after a suspension issue early in the race knocked the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance® Corvette Daytona Prototype from winning contention and into a “racing for points” mode at Watkins Glen International.

 

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After taking over from starting driver Fogarty one hour into the race, Gurney was only 15 minutes into his first driving shift when the No. 99 GAINSCO “Red Dragon” suddenly veered off course and into the gravel trap at Turn 8, the “heel” of The Glen’s well-known “boot” section.

“We had some part fail on the front, the steering got really vague and had a bunch of free play probably a lap before,” Gurney said. “It seemed to get a little bit worse and then all of a sudden it went all the way when I hit the brakes going into the heel. It was a good place to go off if you had to because there is good gravel there.”

The GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing crew quickly repaired what turned out to be a snapped right-front tie-rod end and got Gurney back in the race in just over 30 minutes. The No. 99 was 13 laps behind the leaders at that stage but the quick pace of the race and The Glen’s lengthy 3.4-mile track distance never really gave the team an opportunity to get more than a couple of those laps back by the finish.

“Not the result we wanted, it’s unfortunate,” said Fogarty, who ran as high as second in his opening stint. “The car was quite quick at the end, we just weren’t in a position to take advantage of it, but in the big picture of the championship it is not a complete disaster. We will regroup and go on to the next one, it is just disappointing, but we tuned on it during the course of the race, definitely made it better, and even learned some things.”

Fogarty even managed to turn the fastest lap of the race in his final stint, clocking in at 1:42.147 (119.827 mph) on the 149th of the teams 159 laps completed.

“It was a really tough day,” Gurney said. “We finished last but we are still only five points out of the championship lead, so that is cool.”

GAINSCO and its drivers came into the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen just one point out of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype Championship lead and remain in title contention despite the disappointing day at The Glen.

The BobStallingsCars.com No. 99, and Gurney and Fogarty, have 189 points to rank fourth in both the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype Team and Driver championship standings. GAINSCO’s 189 points are just one shy of third place, two points from second and only five points out of the lead in both the team and driver championships.

“The key thing is that we are only five points out of the championship lead despite the fact that we have had three pretty disappointing races recently,” said Team Owner Bob Stallings. “Breaking that tie-rod end was a big issue and the interesting thing about that is that we don’t see any damage on the right front wheel. We are kind of perplexed as to why it broke.”

Next up for GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series is the 2nd Annual Brickyard Grand Prix on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, July 25 – 26. The race can be seen in same-day coverage on SPEED, Friday, July 26, at 7:30 pm. EDT/4:30 p.m. PDT.

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