GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing managed to stay out of trouble at Watkins Glen to secure a podium finish in the latest round of the Grand Am Rolex Series and stay in contention for the 2008 title.
Defending champions Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty have endured a mixed title defence thus far but the only real issue at The Glen came before the race even started when Fogarty spun on his way to the grid in wet conditions – although he was able to escape from the gravel trap in time to start the race.
"We took our first recon lap on rain tyres and I thought it was dry enough to go to slicks," said Fogarty, who made a clean race start and was in second-place by lap four. "So we came back in and put the slicks on and they felt really bad. I was doing my best to try to put some heat into them and I just got a little too eager with the throttle and I spun it. It was a pretty bone-head move but I think the decision to go to slicks was quite clever, so I was happy about that. It definitely put us in a good position relative to the #01 car at the start of the race."
Fogarty and team-mate Gurney produced a solid run during the 82 lap race which meant they were always in touch with the leaders, eventually taking the flag just 1.986 seconds behind the winning #61 AIM Autosport Ford Riley of Brian Frisselle and Mark Wilkins, which led all but three laps.
Fogarty stayed with a few seconds of the #61 throughout his stint and pitted for the team's only stop of the race on lap 30. Gurney took over and set a string of fastest race laps as he stalked the leader while dealing with some late-race pressure from the #58 Brumos Porsche Riley of Darren Law, which finished third.
"The conditions when I got in were nearly all the way dry so it was a little easier for us but still we were running like we were qualifying the whole time," Gurney said. "It was really tough. Both Brumos cars were very quick and we didn't have anything for the #61 car all weekend. Other than that, I seemed to be able to run the pace of the rest of they guys and I just did everything I could to hold the position.
“It was another very good Grand-Am Rolex Series race. It was close to the very end and tough, always, and I am very happy for everyone on the GAINSCO team. To come out of here in second is a good result and it is nice to see the #01 way back there."
The championship-leading #01 Ganassi Lexus Riley of Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas had its worst showing of the year with a 13th place finish and is now 49 points ahead of the GAINSCO pair in the standings.