Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty stamped their names in the Daytona record books, and all over the Grand-Am Rolex Series championship, with a third straight win in the competition - and a fourth of the year - with success in Thursday's Brumos Porsche 250.

The duo - who had not won a Grand-Am race before this year's Mexico City round - took the #99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Riley-Pontiac from pole to Victory Lane, but did it the hard way as Fogarty was forced to mount a comeback after being hit with a questionable stop-and-go penalty on lap 15.

The punishment, issued to Fogarty for what Grand-Am officials called 'avoidable contact' with the #23 and # 01 cars, dropped the GAINSCO machine back to 15th but, with 54 laps left in the 250-mile encounter, team owner Bob Stallings told his crew that they'd overcome greater obstacles, and had a car that 'could salvage a solid finish'. Determined to do more than scoop some points, however, Fogarty scythed through the field, grabbing third place on lap 43 before handing over to Gurney, setting fastest lap along the way.

After further good work from the Gurney, a fast final pit-stop sent the #99 car back out in the lead and, from there, the team never looked back , as Gurney sailed under the chequered flag some 7.48secs ahead of second-placed Max Angelelli's #10 SunTrust Racing machine.

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"We're in the history books now," an exuberant Gurney said afterwards, "It feels awesome to win at this track, a place with so much history, where my dad won one of the first sportscar races ever.

"Jon and I had the car to beat all the way and, when we got that penalty, we knew we just had to overcome it. The crew gave us a great pit-stop to get me out in front of the #10 car and I knew the out-lap was a critical moment. I had to get on it to stay in front and, when I did that and got clear, it was all about being smart in traffic and taking it to the chequers."

Fogarty was equally proud of the GAINSCO team's drive and determination after the penalty was assessed, claiming that, after he had brought the #99 machine down pit-road for the penalty, he 'didn't really think about it' and just focused on driving back to the front.

"I drove the wheels off it - I tried to channel my anger into speed," the to-time Atlantic champion explained, "My goal was to get the car as close to the front as possible to give Alex a shot at the win in his stint, so it was just maximum push the whole time.

"As for the circumstances that put us there, I didn't really get why the penalty was assessed then and I don't get it now, but as a team we pulled together. I was able to cut through the field, the pit crew put Alex back out in front and he drove it home - that shows the depth of this team."

The victory had major championship implications, as Gurney, Fogarty and the GAINSCO team cut Scott Pruett's lead in half in both the driver and team battles. After three consecutive victories - at Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio and now Daytona - the #99 team's deficit is now just 17 points with six races remaining.

"If the #01 car stumbles, we'll be right on them," team owner Bob Stallings said, "We did what we had to do - go out and get max points. That's all we can do to win the championship, just get all the points we can. There's a lot of racing left this year, and my goal is that we don't beat ourselves anywhere along the line. If we get beat, it should only be because someone else takes the fight to us."

The SunTrust team's second-place finish also helped Angelelli close the gap in the championship and the Italian now lies just four points behind Pruett, who finished sixth with Chip Ganassi Racing co-driver Memo Rojas. The American took the wheel of the #01 car in 13th place on lap 37 and climbed to sixth by the finish to ensure he retained his points lead.

Angelelli, meanwhile, had been hoping for a third career win at Daytona.

"I tried everything [to get past the GAINSCO car]," he said, "I got a good shot when he got out of the pits but, after that shot, it just took off. Nothing more, I was pushing very hard, and I don't think he was really pushing, just pulled away enough to be safe. Seemed like he always had something left in the pocket. I was pretty frustrated."

Rounding out the podium was Krohn Racing's #75 car of Max Papis and Colin Braun, which led two laps during the pit-stops but, as Papis admitted, didn't have enough to catch the GAINSCO duo.

"Today, I felt that we gave everything we could," the Italian said, "It was definitely a very difficult race, both on the physical side and with the track being green all the time. I really felt that we had a shot for the win, we were rock-and-rolling as usual, but the #99 went through traffic like a rocket. I just hoped that they would have to do an extra pit-stop.

"But they are doing everything right, they're clicking - and it's not just one thing. There are two great drivers maximising everything they have, but they also have a great engine in the Pontiac."

The #70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 of Nick Ham and Sylvain Tremblay returned to winning ways in the GT class, taking victory from pole, after pulling a 9.514secs gap over the #07 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R of Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards at the finish. Ham and Tremblay combined to lead 45 laps of the 70-lap battle.

Collins and Edwards used the second place finish to take over the GT championship lead after entering the night's race in a three-way tie with Dirk Werner, who finished third with co-driver Bryce Miller in the #87 Farnbacher Loles Motorsports Porsche GT3 Cup. Tremblay and Ham have now pulled to within seven and 16 points of the Banner Racing duo respectively.

"It was a good day's work," said Ham, who qualified the car on the pole and started the race before handing over to Tremblay on lap 42, "We had confidence coming here - we had the team, the car, the driving - so it was meant to be. Everybody did their job today and when you do that, you win races."

Tremblay paid tribute to the SpeedSource team for a fightback after recent disappointing performances.

"We had a great beginning of the season, and then had a few unfortunate events that put us back, but the team put on a tremendous performance and I think our season is back on track," he said, happy to be within reach of the championship again.

"We have a great car, a great team, and we have everything we need to get to the finish line first at the end of the race. It was great racing with Paul [Edwards] tonight. The traffic was difficult, but the team told me to just keep doing the numbers and he made a little mistake which gave us a good gap and we were able to take the finish."