GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing fastest in final Rolex 24 practice GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and drivers Alex Gurney, Jon Fogarty and Jimmie Johnson, topped final practice Friday for this weekend’s Rolex 24 At Daytona, and were second fastest in the morning session as well, to cap a full day of final preparations for the 49th annual running of America’s premier endurance race. The Rolex 24 starts at 3:30 p.m. ET this Saturday, January 29, with live coverage on SPEED beginning 30 minutes earlier at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT. A total of 14 hours of live race coverage will air on SPEED.
“We ended up well and we've been pretty much running the 24-hour setup through testing and qualifying,” said Fogarty, who was at the wheel of the No. 99 for the final fast lap. “Alex wasn't able to do much of a speed run during qualifying, so it wasn't representative of what the car is ultimately capable of. I think that now that we are closer to the race, we'll start to see a lot more teams put their racing packages on their car, and that has evened out the field. I hope that's the case at least, because that means good things for us. We all drove in the session and now we are just going to practice some driver changes and get ready for the race.”
Fogarty lapped the 3.560-mile DIS road course in 1:40.878 (127.045 mph), a time comparable to Gurney’s qualifying lap of 1:40.828 (127.108 mph) set on Thursday. Although GAINSCO will start 10th, the fact that the top practice and qualifying laps are nearly identical proves the team has indeed focused on race setup this month at Daytona. Yesterday’s axle woes are hopefully a thing of the past too after GAINSCO worked hard to solve the problem the past 24 hours.
"We hope so, and haven't seen any axle issues since yesterday,” Gurney said. “We have e been making little gains along the way with the car, and we are very happy. We've got a really good race car for sure. Now for tonight we will just rest, prepare and eat a lot of pasta.”
Gurney will start tomorrow’s race, hand off to Johnson and Fogarty will be third in the rotation.
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