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Jan 24, 2014 - 06:48 AM
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GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Claims Rolex 24 At Daytona Pole
Posted by: newsla on Jan 24, 2014 - 06:44 AM
Grand Am News
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Claims Rolex 24 At Daytona Pole


GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing driver Alex Gurney claimed the pole driving the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance® Corvette Prototype during the 15-minute qualifying session for the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Marking the inaugural event since the merger of GRAND-AM and ALMS, this is the first pole in the new era in sports car racing for the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Series.

 

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Gurney drove seven laps during the timed qualifying session, posting his fastest time of 1:38.270 (130.416 mph) in the sixth lap. Gurney now has two poles for the famed day-long race, winning his first pole for the 2007 Rolex 24. He now has six career poles to his credit. Co-driver Jon Fogarty has a series-leading 25 career poles, so the pair has combined for 31 total poles in nine seasons in the No. 99 “Red Dragon.”

“We are obviously really excited and really happy about winning the pole,” Gurney said. “It’s been a difficult off-season, and I have to say a big thank you to Bob Stallings and everybody on the team. I think most of the team worked right through Christmas and New Year’s, with no real time off for them. With all the rules changes there have been a lot of challenges. This means a lot to us and to all our team. We aren’t set for the whole season, and this is one of our times to shine. I feel really good to have pulled it off winning the pole.”

Team owner Bob Stallings celebrated on pit road with his pole winning driver, having first captured the pole seven years ago.

“A lot of people have a tendency to say, it’s not that big of a deal. But it is a big deal,” Stallings said. “This is the first pole ever in the new combined series. This is in the history books as the first one, and people will remember that. We are the fastest sports car in the world right now in 2014, and that’s exciting. It’s a great lift to the team, and I’m very proud of the team.”

Gurney and Fogarty join co-drivers Darren Law and Memo Gidley for a chance to win the team’s first Rolex 24 At Daytona. Gurney, son of the first-ever Rolex 24 winner Dan Gurney, would like to follow in his father’s footsteps in the 52nd running of the Rolex 24. The No. 99 team placed second in the 2008 edition of the race, with Gurney, Fogarty, Jimmie Johnson and Jimmy Vasser behind the wheel. Law is the only driver of the four-driver tandem to win the endurance event.

“It would be the biggest thing in my career to win the Rolex 24,” Gurney said. “The last time we had an all-American team win was when my dad’s team won in 1993. That would be something really special to do again. For me personally, this is the biggest race we do. So it’s the one we all want to win.”

Thursday concluded with an evening practice, and a lone mid-day practice is scheduled for Friday. The Rolex 24 At Daytona airs live beginning at 2 p.m. EST on FOX Sports, with two hours of green-flag coverage. At 4 p.m., coverage continues on sister station FOX Sports 2 until 9 p.m. For the overnight hours (9 p.m. to 7 a.m.), live images, in-car cameras and announcers will be streamed on www.IMSA.com. On Sunday, January 26, beginning at 7 a.m. FOX Sports 1 takes over the coverage and continues through the end of the race and post-race festivities, concluding at 3 p.m. Motor Racing Network (MRN) will air live flag-to-flag radio coverage, streaming live at www.MRN.com.


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