GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team owner Bob Stallings announced today that his team will again have four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson on its driving strength for the upcoming Rolex 24 At Daytona. IndyCar Series team co-owner Jimmy Vasser will also join the team's familiar No. 99 alongside regular drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty. The team will switch to Chevrolet engines for the defense of its Grand-Am Rolex Series Daytona Prototype championship, following GM's decision to shut down the Pontiac brand.
Rolex Series champions Gurney and Fogarty will be shooting for a record third Grand-Am Rolex Series driver title in 2010. The top Daytona Prototype duo will be joined by fellow champions Johnson and Vasser for the third consecutive year at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The teammates finished second in their first Rolex 24 together with GAINSCO in 2008 and backed it up with a seventh-place finish this past January in this year's edition of America's premier endurance race.
"All of us at GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing want to win our third Grand-Am Rolex Series championships just as bad as we want to score a victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona," said Stallings, who was joined by the team's drivers today in making the announcements in a NASCAR/Grand-Am media teleconference. "We are honored to carry the great racing history of the Chevrolet bow tie in the Grand-Am Rolex Series and we feel very, very fortunate to have put together, for the third year, an unmatched lineup of American champion drivers in Alex Gurney, Jon Fogarty, Jimmie Johnson and Jimmy Vasser."
Johnson, who clinched a record fourth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship last month, has raced in five of the last six Rolex 24 races, including the last two with GAINSCO. In addition to the second-place finish with GAINSCO in 2008, Johnson was also part of 2005's second-place Howard/Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford team. He made his first Rolex 24 start with the same team a year earlier and then returned in 2007 for not only the Rolex 24 but also that summer's Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona with Riley Motorsports. Johnson turned to GAINSCO prior to the 2008 event when he was looking for a team capable of winning a race as tough as the Rolex 24.
"I've really enjoyed running with Bob and the GAINSCO team the past couple of years," Johnson said. "Anyone who knows Bob knows that he's very passionate about racing, and it shows in his team and his ability to bring out the best in everyone. Jon (Fogarty) and Alex (Gurney) are two of the best and I really enjoyed being teammates with them and Jimmy Vasser in the last two Rolex 24-hour events. Bob does a great job of keeping the team at the top, especially when you consider the competition from teams like Ganassi and some others. They are a threat each week and that says a lot about the team that Bob has put together."
"It is great to have somebody like Jimmie on our team each year," Fogarty said. "His championships in NASCAR speak volumes about his abilities and drive to win. We are all focused on winning the 24 and adding an extra bit of that fuel to the fire only makes it brighter. In addition, the fact that we have worked with Jimmie in past Rolex 24 races makes the whole operation work more smoothly. It is a comfortable situation that lets us get down to business right away. The icing on the cake is that Jimmie is just a great guy to spend time with, racing aside."