Chevrolets Win Poles For NJMP 250

July 17, 2010
J.J. O’Malley, GRAND-AM

Jon Fogarty’s Rolex Series record 15th pole was his first of the season.
Fogarty Captures First Pole of Season in Grand-Am Qualifying

MILLVILLE, N.J. – After finishing fifth and sixth in two GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 races at New Jersey Motorsports Park, GAINSCO Bob Stallings decided to come with a different setup for Sunday’s NJMP presented by Crown Royal.

Jon Fogarty found the new setup to his liking on Saturday, running a lap of 1:15.148 (107.787 mph) to capture his first pole position of the season in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet/Riley. Friday, co-driver and defending Daytona Prototype co-champion Alex Gurney led both practice sessions at the 2.25-mile Thunderbolt Raceway.

The NJMP 250, Round 9 of the 12-race Rolex Series season, takes the green flag at 1 p.m. ET (SPEED, live).

“We unloaded with a good car, even though we came here a package that was vastly different from what we’ve run here in the past,” said Fogarty, who scored his Rolex Series-leading 15th career pole. “The setup is working quite well, and I’m very happy to be up front with Chevrolet’s first pole of the year.”

Ricky Taylor will start second in the No. 10 SunTrust Ford/Dallara after running a best lap of 1:15.416 (107.404 mph) to secure his third consecutive front-row start. His co-driver, Max Angelelli, finished second in this event both years that the Rolex Series raced at this circuit.

“That was the epitome of a qualifying session – flat out, 110-percent every lap,” Taylor said. “I’m happy to be on the front row again, and I’m looking forward to the race.”

Mark Wilkins qualified third in the No. 61 AIM Autosport Ford/Riley, 1:15.489 (107.300 mph) while DP point leader Memo Rojas will start fourth after running a lap of 1:15.671 (107.042 mph) in the No. 01 Telmex BMW/Riley that won six of eight races this season. Rojas and Scott Pruett enter the race with a 13-point in the Daytona Prototype championship over Ryan Dalziel, who will start 12th in the No. 8 Flex-Box/Xtreme Indoor Karting BMW/Riley qualified by Mike Forest.

Chevrolets dominated qualifying for the production-based GT class, taking the top three positions. Paul Edwards ran a lap of 99.319 mph to win the pole in the No. 07 Banner Racing Corvette co-driven by motorcycle veteran Scott Russell.

“We really needed it, because we’ve had a tough start to the season,” said Edwards, who led qualifying at Homestead-Miami Speedway for Chevrolet’s only other pole position of the season. “I’ve felt we’ve deserved a good result many times, but it all hasn’t come together for us. We’re planning on finishing the last four races of the season strong, and that’s what we did today. Scott and I have worked real hard to find a good balance here, and we’re happy with the car.”

Edwards will be joined on the front row by Formula One veteran Jan Magnussen, in the No. 97 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro co-driven by Gunter Schaldach. Robin Liddell qualified third in the

No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro co-driven by Andrew Davis, running a lap of 1:21.614 (99.248 mph).

Jonathan Bomarito qualified the fastest of eight Mazdas entered in the race, and will start fourth after running a lap of 1:21.679 (99.169 mph) in the No. 70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8.

Championship leaders Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal will start 14th in the No. 69 FXDD Mazda RX-8. They enter the race with a nine-point lead over Andy Lally, who starts 18th, joining RJ Valentine in the No. 66 Advanced Aerosol Engineering Porsche GT3 that won the most recent race, the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway.

Sunday’s schedule opens with a 30-minute practice session at 9:30 a.m. In addition to SPEED coverage, the race will be broadcast live on MRN radio, and on the Sirius NASCAR Channel 128.

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