LAKEVILLE, Conn. (September 29, 2012) - GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, closed out the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season with their third-consecutive podium finish in Saturday's GRAND-AM Road Racing Championship sprint at Lime Rock Park where the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette Daytona Prototype crossed the finish line in third place in its 100th series race start.
GAINSCO had finished second in the pair of races at Montreal and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca leading into the Lime Rock finale and ended a challenging 2012 season on a relative high note with the third-place showing. The No. 99 "Red Dragon" ran on pace with the similar Corvette Daytona Prototypes of race winners SunTrust Racing and runner-ups Spirit of Daytona, but GAINSCO's race strategy ultimately left them just short of challenging for the team's first victory of the year.
"We ended up a little bit on a different strategy the way the yellows fell," Gurney said. "We gambled a certain way and it didn't quite work out, we ended up on pretty old tires at the end of the race, and it is tough to fight that way. I did the last hour and 20 minutes on the same set of tires, it seemed like we were good in the middle and kind of moving forward, but it kind of took the air out of us to do the last bit of the race where we were kind of sliding backwards. We couldn't quite keep pace with the 10 and the 90 cars over that last 20 minutes or so."
The season-ending podium streak was part of five total top-three finishes in the year's 13 races, the season's best results for the GAINSCO/BobStallingsCars.com team that endured its first winless season since 2006.
"We had a good beginning to the race," said GAINSCO's usual opening driver Fogarty, who started the race after qualifying third earlier on Saturday. "It was kind of punctuated by a bunch of yellows here and there so I never really found quite a rhythm, and I think that kind of dictated our strategy. It was a good result for the GAINSCO crew and we had a good strong end to the season. We would have loved to have won one for the crew this weekend, but being on the podium is great, and it was great to see all of these fans here."
Gurney also left Lime Rock optimistic for the future despite the winless