Gurney, Fogarty and GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing suffer rare DNF
Page: 1  2  Links
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 6, 2009) - A seldom seen DNF (Did Not Finish) and an even rarer reason for it capped a frustrating day for GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty in Saturday's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen where the team was classified 16th after retiring just past the four hour mark.

After great team strategy and hard-charging stints by both drivers saw the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley climb back into the top five after an early setback, disaster struck just minutes after Gurney took the wheel for the final time. What was supposed to be a two-hour battle to the finish instead turned into a race-ending trip into the Glen's Turn 13 gravel trap. Gurney was just settling in for his stint when David Donohue tried to squeeze his No. 58 Brumos Porsche Riley past Gurney. Donohue instead hit the No. 99, which sent the GAINSCO car spinning off course.

The contact was relatively light but the race-ending damage was ironically sustained after the incident. In an apparent miscue, safety crews tending to the stuck No. 99 pulled the GAINSCO machine backwards out of the gravel trap. The bottom of the No. 99 hooked on the outer edge of the Turn 13 curbing, which rolled the floor pan back to the point that it resembled an open sardine can. GAINSCO's race was over and the stricken No. 99 was taken back to the paddock on a flat-bed tow truck.

"It was just an all around forgettable day," said Gurney. "We were reasonably competitive and thinking about the championship, but we just had a lot of things go wrong today. We were running fifth and we were in good shape - it was just unfortunate."

The end result was particularly frustrating considering GAINSCO overcame a three-lap deficit after making four pit stops in the race's first hour. Gurney reported a bad vibration after his first pit stop at the 40 minute mark and pitted three more times in quick succession as the GAINSCO crew zeroed in on the problem. A couple of bolts had worked loose in the right front suspension upright but the problem was quickly corrected and the team spent the remainder of the race's first half getting back on the lead lap.

"We had our own issues at the very beginning of the race," said Fogarty, who passed six cars within 30 minutes to move to fifth place late in the race's fourth hour. "When you go down some laps and it's your own fault, you beat yourself up, but the team did a really good job, strategy wise, of making those positions back. We were just happy coming towards the end of the race, we really overcame a lot and rectified our own mistakes. Then somebody else makes a mistake and it kind of ruins your day and it kind of stings a little bit more because there is really nothing you can do about it. It's just unfortunate, but I think we did a good job working our way back up into a good points position before things really turned south."
  Next Page >>