Grand-Am Sports Cars Championship features slim eight-point margin
Bob Stallings Racing co-drivers Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney have clawed their way to the points lead by eight points with only the Championship finale at Homestead-Miami remaining Oct. 10 (photo courtesy: Brian Cleary, Getty Images Sport)
Not to be outdone, the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Cars Series brings the second-closest points battle in series history to Homestead-Miami Speedway on Oct. 10 to crown a Champion.
Entering the Oct. 10 Championship finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty of Gainsco/Bob Stallings Racing hold just an eight-point lead (309-301) over SunTrust Racing’s Max Angelelli and Brian Frisselle. Third place belongs to Target Chip Ganassi Racing co-drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, who sit 10 points back of the leaders.
Gurney and Fogarty, who captured the 2007 crown by a slim two-point margin, lead the 2009 series with four victories. The duo can clinch its second championship with a fourth-place or better finish in the season-ending Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Oct. 10.
“That’s really nice position to be in,” said Gurney. “We’re not going to let up or anything, but we’re going to have that in our mind for sure. We made a nice jump.”
A year ago, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas came to Homestead-Miami Speedway in the lead for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 Daytona Prototype championship, coming off a victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. They went on to win the Grand Prix of Miami in the No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley, their second of six triumphs en route to capturing the 2008 title.
Pruett and Rojas return to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Oct. 9-10 NextEra Energy Resources SPEEDJAMsm Championships in unfamiliar territory. They’re currently third in the standings entering the season finale, 10 points behind point leaders Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty.
“I think it’s great that we’re finishing up the season here,” Pruett said. “It’s so much better than where we finished up the last few years. When you go to Homestead-Miami, there’s a lot of excitement. It’s a great track, and it’s great for spectators because they see a lot of action from the grandstands. I think Grand-Am did absolutely the right thing by moving our race here to the season finale."
“We have three cars that are virtually identical in speed or dang close to it - that's what Grand-Am racing's all about,” Pruett said. “It’s fun; it’s close and I think it will be a great race for the fans.”
Pruett and Rojas finished third in the recent Utah 250 at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City. Gurney and Fogarty won that race to extend their point lead, while Max Angelelli and Brian Frisselle finished second to take over sole possession of the runner-up position in the championship, eight points out of the lead.
“The Miller race was exciting for the fans and exciting for the drivers, and now we’re on to Miami,” Pruett said after the race. “We would have liked to have the points a little differently, but it is what it is.”
Pruett and Rojas have seven podium finishes this season. They won back-to-back races at Watkins Glen International and Mid-Ohio, and finished second four times. In addition to winning the 2008 Grand Prix of Miami, Pruett and Rojas finished third in the event in both 2006 and 2007, when the race was held in the spring. Now, Pruett is looking forward to South Florida hosting the season finale and awards banquet.
“Last year was my best memory racing at Homestead-Miami,” Pruett said. “We won, and we were dominant."
Great seats are available now for the Oct. 9-10 NextEra Energy Resources SPEEDJAMsm Championships, featuring the series-crowning Championship finales of the Firestone Indy Lights, Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car and IndyCar Series. The Firestone Indy 300 is set for Oct. 10 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, with the Champion to be crowned under the lights. Great seats for the Championship start at just $30, and all kids 12 and under are admitted FREE.