Grand-Am Crowns Champions at Homestead-Miami Speedway
GAINSCO Bob Stallings Racing finished fourth at Homestead to win the Championship (photo courtesy: Robert Laberge, Getty Images Sport)
Series leaders Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty in their GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley started from the pole in today’s Grand Am Rolex Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In qualifying, Jon Fogarty set a new record with a lap of 1:12.879, averaging 113.612 mph around the 2.21 mile, 14-turn Homestead-Miami Speedway road course.
“It was a good run and we are definitely pleased to be running up front,” said Fogarty, who turned the pole-winning time on just his second qualifying lap. “We knew we had to maximize our tires early in the run and I was able to do that and get a clear lap.
Gurney and Fogarty held an eight-point edge over nearest rivals Brian Frisselle and Max Angelelli in the Florida-based SunTrust Ford. The pairing of Fogarty and Gurney was seeking their second Grand-Am Daytona Prototype Championship in addition to being the series leaders in victories with 12. The team’s fourth-place finish assured the team’s second Grand-Am Rolex Series Championship. Bob Stallings Racing took the title by a slim six point margin over SunTrust Racing teammates Frisselle and Angelelli.
“We have the total package and it was enough to get it done,” said Fogarty.
The GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team was eager to regain the championship title they won in 2007 but relinquished to the TELMEX-Ganassi squad in 2008. The SunTrust team has not won the series since 2005, when current driver Angelelli paired with team owner Wayne Taylor to take the title.
“It’s just a great day and I’m so happy for Bob Stallings and GAINSCO,” said Gurney.
Joao Barbosa and Hurley Haywood drove to victory under caution after a late-race melee brought out the race’s final yellow flag.
“This feels so great, I really didn’t do much,” said Haywood.” Joao really did all the work.”
Defending series and Homestead-Miami race Champions Memo Rojas and Scott Pruett came to Homestead-Miami Speedway third in the standings, ten points out of first. A disappointing seventh-place qualifying effort put the Ganassi bunch at a disadvantage. Pruett drove like a man on a mission but was thwarted by the multi-car crash that brought the late caution.
“The whole crew did a great job,” said Barbosa. “I guess he’s like a lucky charm.”
In the GT class, Nick Ham and Sylvain Tremblay in the SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 scored their first pole of the season.
The Team Drinkin’ Mate Pontiac GXP.R of Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards entered the Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway second in the GT Class Championship standings. Collins and Edward started second on the grid and were the only drivers with a chance to take the title from the Farnbacher Loles Racing. The drivers of the No. 87 Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche needed to each drive 30 minutes to claim the title, while Collins and Edwards needed to finish first or second and the Porsche fail to complete 30 minutes.
The Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche qualified fifth and was thirty points ahead of the Drinkin’ Mate Pontiac at the outset of the race. A decent finish for Farnbacher Loles Racing won the championship for Farnbacher Loles Racing. Dirk Werner and Leh Keen were able to surpass the thirty minute mark in the race and drove to the GT Class Championship.