DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – After a rough start to the Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend, GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing rebounded on Friday by getting back on the 3.56-mile road course and recording the third fastest lap in final practice session.
Jon Fogarty posted the No. 99 car’s fastest lap of 124.822 mph, one minute, 42.674 seconds.
The team worked into the early hours of Friday morning making repairs to the No. 99 Chevrolet Riley after four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson made heavy contact with a safety barrier during the Thursday morning practice.
“The components on the car were going to be our backups and now we don’t have those spares so I have put the team in a really tight spot,” Johnson said. “I know it was a racing situation on the track but bottom line is I was behind the wheel and I feel terrible for it.”
Despite the team’s incredible repair effort, Johnson still feels guilty about damaging the car.
“I feel better now that the car is repaired, very fast, comfortable and all the things that we hope for,” Johnson said. “But until we finish the race and can honestly look back and say it didn’t affect the performance, then I’m going to have the guilt on my shoulders.”
Teammate Jimmy Vasser was upbeat about the repairs, which were completed around 4 a.m. on Friday morning.
“It was a great job by all of the guys on the GAINSCO team,” Vasser said. “The car is good enough for us to win the race and we just can’t beat ourselves. We just need to get it out there and keep it going.”
Fresh From Florida 200: In their team debut, Rum Bum Racing captured the checkered flag in the Fresh From Florida 200 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race on Friday afternoon.
Gianluis Bacardi and Matt Plumb shared the wheel on the No. 13 BMW M3 Coupe and earned a 0.107 second win over second place Fall-Line Motorsports No. 48 BMW M3 Coupe of Charles Espenlaub and Charles Putman.
“I’m speechless,” said Plumb. “I’ve been trying to think of what to say. My proud moment was seeing Gian doing as well as he did in the race. All the stars aligned for this day, and I’m very glad to be a part of it.”
Compass360 Racing claimed the ST class win in the No. 74 Honda Civic SI piloted by Lawson Aschenbach and David Thilenius.
Tickets for all Hershey’s Milk & Milkshakes Speedweeks events, including the 48th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.