Fogarty Earns Pole, Place in History In Utah
Jon Fogarty’s career qualifying prowess officially is fodder for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series record book.
Fogarty became the all-time Daytona Prototype pole-winner Friday at Miller Motorsports Park, where he earned his 13th career pole and a series-high fifth of the season during qualifying for Saturday’s Utah 250.
The 11th and penultimate event on the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Series schedule will be televised live on SPEED at 5:30 p.m. (EDT).
Fogarty turned just three flying laps over the 4.486-mile road course during the quick, 15-minute qualifying session, but set fastest time on each circuit. He secured pole with a final time of 2:35.737 (103.697 mph) and now is assured of ending the 2009 season as the Daytona Prototype pole-leader.
“It was just a question of when the tires were going to be at their optimum,” said Fogarty, co-driver with Alex Gurney of the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley. “It is absolutely what we need at this stage in the championship. We unloaded with the car and it was quite quick and it is a short race weekend. That’s not to say we haven’t put a lot of work into it. The engineers definitely deserve some credit for the homework they have been doing away from the track. Alex and I just jump in and immediately start refining what is already a good race car.”
Fogarty and Gurney, of GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, lead the Daytona Prototype standings with only the Utah 250 and the October finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway remaining on the schedule. Fogarty and Gurney have 274 points to top the standings in both championships, five points ahead of Max Angelelli, Brian Frisselle and their No. 10 SunTrust Ford Dallara, and the No. 01 TELMEX/Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley of Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas. The latter teams are tied for second with 269 points.
Ganassi and SunTrust will start the Utah 250 from Row 2, while Fogarty will share the front row with second-fastest qualifier Timo Bernhard and the No. 12 Verizon Wireless/Penske Racing Porsche Riley.
“Obviously it was a really good day,” said Gurney, who set the fastest lap in morning practice. “We rolled off the truck really quick and are happy about that because it is such a short weekend. We have a really fast race car and Jon did a really good job and we are in good shape. We are just trying not to get too excited because it’s all about the race.”
This weekend’s Utah 250 marks the second time in three years that Bob Stallings Racing has rolled into Miller Motorsports Park locked in a title battle with Ganassi and SunTrust. The team and drivers had a narrow lead over both rivals at Miller for what was then the 2007 season-finale and left Utah as Grand-Am Rolex Series Champions.
Fogarty’s other 2009 poles came in the last three races at Montreal, Watkins Glen International and Barber Motorsports Park. He also took the top qualifying spot for the first time at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in June. Bob Stallings Racing is the 2009 DP race-win leader with three victories.No Comment