Defending Grand Am Rolex Series champions GAINSCO Racing will start from the back of the field in Virginia after being excluded from qualifying for the latest round of the season.
Jon Fogarty's qualifying lap of 1m 43.556s – which would have put him fourth on the grid - in the #99 GAINSCO race car was disallowed due to an issue with the wing on the car and he will now start Sunday's race at Virginia International Raceway last in the field of 19 Daytona Prototypes.
Ironically, the GAINSCO team will be joined at the back of the pack by the #01 TELMEX/Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley of chief rival and apparent pole winner Memo Rojas, who also had their qualifying time thrown out for the same infraction.
"Grand-Am's decision has implications on two race cars that were capable of winning the pole – and one that apparently did – in addition to factoring heavily into tomorrow's race and the championship," team boss Bob Stallings said. "It is our hope that similar minute rulings are not made later in the season when the championship implications will be even greater. As it is, we will take this penalty and go racing tomorrow, but I look forward to discussing this and other aspects of this decision with Grand-Am in the near future."
The team had earlier paced the morning's opening practice and was second fastest in the final session before qualifying.
"We are good at corner entry and we are good coming down the hill on to the front straightaway" Fogarty said. "It is a cool track, there is a lot of variety of corners, fast and slow, but we have to make it work everywhere if we want to be able to win these things, and that's our goal.
"This is a difficult place to race with GT cars. In these fast corners, they use up a lot of the race track. They have a hard time positioning their cars in these successive corners, so they use up a lot of road. A lot of places where you think you should be able to get by, you can't, because they are at the limit and they are using up the track. It's going to make for an issue in the race, for sure."