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Fogarty Tops Qualifying In Grand-Am

| , RacinToday.com Thursday, August 6 2009


After struggling with brake problems throughout practice, Jon Fogarty went out and shattered the Watkins Glen International short course qualifying record Thursday, capturing the pole position for the Crown Royal 200.

Round 9 of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 will take the green flag at 6:30 p.m. Friday. The race will be shown on SPEED (8 p.m. ET).

After breaking the record five minutes into the session, Fogarty backed it up with a lap of 1:05.069 (135.548 mph) to solidify his third pole position of the season in the No. 99 GAINSCO Pontiac Riley. He will be joined on the front row by Memo Rojas, who ran a lap of 1:05.315 (135.083 mph). Rojas was bidding for his fourth pole of the campaign in the No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley co-driven by Scott Pruett.

“We spent the day diagnosing some brake problems,” said Fogarty, who collected his third pole of the season. “We eventually changed the entire braking system. Fortunately, we were granted two hardship laps by Grand-Am, and I was able to jump in and focus on going fast.”

The GAINSCO and Ganassi drivers are tied for the Daytona Prototype point lead with 216 points each – one point ahead of No. 10 SunTrust Ford Dallara drivers Brian Frisselle and Max Angelelli, who will start third.

Frisselle ran a lap of 1:05.326 (135.015 mph), and will be joined on the second row by his brother, Burt Frisselle, who ran 1:05.336 (134.994 mph) in the No. 61 AIM Autosport Ford Riley. Brian Frisselle and Mark Wilkins won the 2008 Glen event in the No. 61 entry, leading all but three laps. Wilkins will co-drive that car with Burt Frisselle in Friday’s race.

Timo Bernhard and Ricky Taylor will start in the third row, both seeking their first victory of the season. Bernhard co-drives the No. 12 Verizon Wireless Porsche Riley with Romain Dumas, while Taylor shares the No. 13 Lennox/Brach’s Chevrolet Riley with Mike Forest.

Darren Law, Nic Jönsson, Rob Finlay and Mark Patterson rounded out the top 10 qualifiers.

Buddy Rice was originally the fifth fastest in the No. 90 AMA Porsche Coyote, but his time was disallowed when the car was found to be too wide in post-qualifying inspection. Rice and Antonio Garcia will start at the back of the Daytona Prototype grid.

Keen Wins Second Acxiom GT Pole

Leh Keen waited until late in qualifying to second his second Acxiom GT pole of the season in the No. 87 Farnbacher Loles Porsche GT3. Keen and co-driver Dirk Werner have four victories this season and have a 25-point lead (247-222) in the standings.

Andrew Davis secured the front row outside starting spot after Tom Sutherland had his qualifying time disallowed. Sutherland ran a lap of 1:12.139 (122.264 mph) in the No. 30 Click-Away Computers/3-Dimensional.com Mazda RX-8 co-driven by Dane Cameron, but the car was found to be too low in post-qualifying inspection.

Davis ran a time of 1:12.576 (121.528 mph) in the No. 57 BryanMark Financial/Stevenson Automotive Pontiac GXP.R co-driven by Robin Liddell.

Sharing the second row will be Eric Lux in the No. 86 Farnbacher Loles Porsche GT3 with a time of 1:12.667 (121.376 mph), and Joe Foster in the No. 40 Dempsey Racing Mazda RX-8 with a time of 1:12.937 (120.926 mph).

Defending GT class champion Paul Edwards will miss Friday’s race due to a shoulder injury suffered in a mountain bike training accident. Team owner Leighton Reese qualified seventh in the No. 07 Drinkin’ Mate Pontiac GXP.R co-driven by Kelly Collins. It marks the first race Edwards will miss in Rolex Series competition since the Brumos Porsche 250 in 2005.

Wayne Nonnamaker was uninjured in a practice accident Thursday afternoon, but the No. 43 Team Sahlen Corvette will not compete in the event.

| , RacinToday.com Thursday, August 6 2009
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