Late Speed Pushes Fogarty To The Top

Jon Fogarty won the pole Friday morning for Saturday's Grand-Am Rolex Series race at Alabama's Rolex Sports Car Series. (Grand-Am photo)
Jon Fogarty won the pole Friday morning for Saturday’s Grand-Am Rolex Series race at Alabama’s Rolex Sports Car Series. (Grand-Am photo)

LEEDS, Ala. — Another race, another TOTAL Pole Award for Jon Fogarty, who extended his Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series record to 25 poles in Friday’s qualifying for the Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park.

For the second straight event, Fogarty waited until the final minute of the 15-minute Daytona Prototype session before unleashing the power of the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette DP. The “Red Dragon” responded with a track-record lap of 104.878 mph/1 minute, 18.949 seconds. It was Fogarty’s third pole at Barber, and fourth for GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing at the circuit. Co-driver Alex Gurney won his first career pole at the scenic 2.3-mile layout in 2005 in only his second DP race.

“We’ve done our homework and came to a setup that works around here,” said Fogarty, who won the pole before joining Gurney to win for the first time since 2011 in the most recent Rolex Series race in Austin, Texas. “Stoking the fire at Circuit of The Americas was great for the team, and we want to try to move forward from there. We’d love to have another win here, for sure.”

Fogarty exchanged the pole with brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor throughout the session, with all three eclipsing Ricky Taylor’s 2010 track DP record.

Ricky Taylor, who was trying to extend Spirit of Daytona’s three-year Barber pole streak to three years in the No. 90 Corvette DP co-driven by Richard Westbrook, was second with a lap of 104.623 mph/1:19.141. Jordan Taylor took third in the No. 10 Velocity Worldwide Corvette DP he shares with Max Angelelli, 104.552 mph/1:19.195.

Point leader Memo Rojas – looking to join Scott Pruett in winning a fourth consecutive DP championship – qualified fourth in the No. 01 Telmex BMW/Riley, 103.947 mph/1:18.656.

The GT class will also have an all-GM front row, with the lone Chevrolet competitors in the class eclipsing the three-year old track record in the process. John Edwards captured his sixth career pole, running a lap of 95.60 mph/1:26.610 in the No. 57 Stevenson Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro. Boris Said qualified second in the No. 31 Marsh Racing Corvette, running a lap of 95.527 mph/1:26.677. Both drivers broke Jonathan Bomarito’s GT track record, which was set in 2010 in the SpeedSource Mazda RX-8.

Tom Long gave the new Mazda 6 its first pole in the new GX class, running a lap of 89.965 mph/1:32.036 in the No. 70 Mazdaspeed/Castrol entry co-driven by Sylvain Tremblay.