Reigning Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Champions Alex Gurney, Jon Fogarty and GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing aim to make a fast start to the second half of the 2010 season after struggling through the first half of the season with their No. 99 GAINSCO Chevrolet Riley. The team reckons it's in the right place for a turnaround as it heads to Mid-Ohio for this Saturday's EMCO Gears Classic – an event it has won three times in the last four years.
Two weeks ago, Gurney, Fogarty and enduro teammate Jimmie Johnson looked like a lock for a third-place finish in the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen before a late-race spin by Gurney less than 15 minutes from the 8 p.m. finish knocked the team back to sixth at the checkered flag. That result continued a tough trend in the first half of the season that saw GAINSCO only score one podium finish – a third-place showing at Homestead back in March – in the year's opening six races.
“I'm anxious to get back behind the wheel after a tough couple of race weekends,” said Gurney, who drove the final two hours at the Glen. “I'm still not quite sure what happened at Watkins Glen – it was likely just my mistake at the end there, but they did find a few things going on with the car after the race. In addition to a broken rear roll bar, the car was smoking quite a bit during the last hour and they found that the main seal on the engine had broken, so some oil may have leaked on to the tire. That seems like a good excuse to me anyway. Either way, it certainly caught me by surprise and felt weird.”
Rather than dwell on the past, GAINSCO shifts its focus to the future this weekend and will use the final races of the year to score as many victories as possible in preparation for the 2011 season.
“I am looking forward to Mid-Ohio – it's a great track to race on and a really fun driver's circuit,” Fogarty said. “Despite the way the season is going, I am excited to go to a nice natural terrain road course and a place where we have had some success. We just want to get into the second half of the season, get some points on the board and try to establish a little bit of rhythm that involves podiums.”
GAINSCO has scored nothing but podium finishes at Mid-Ohio since 2006 and has never started off of the front row there since 2005.
Live coverage of Saturday's 2 -and-3/4-hour timed sprint race begins at 5 p.m. ET on SPEED and this is the second race in a row on the Rolex Series schedule that begins during the day and ends at twilight.