Alex Gurney's 2007 Rolex Series Championship came after a career and breakout season for himself and the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team. After Gurney won the pole for the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, the team shook off a disappointing finish in that race to record the most impressive run to a Grand-Am Rolex Series Daytona Prototype Championship in history.
In total, the team won a record seven races, led all but one race and started every event from the front row. Ten of the front-row starts were from the pole, including two by Gurney (Rolex 24 and Watkins Glen 6-Hour), who only made three qualifying attempts for the year. The Gurney-Fogarty duo had a record-run of nine consecutive first-place starts that stretched from the May race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca all the way to the season's penultimate event at Infineon Raceway in late August. The team took the championship lead with its seventh victory at Infineon and sealed the crown in September one race later in the season-ending SunChaser 1000 at Miller Motorsports Park in Útah. During the season, Gurney led a series-high 331 laps.
For Gurney, the 2007 Championship title – his first major auto racing championship – was the culmination of years of perseverance, hard work and unwavering determination on the race track. He now joins his legendary father Dan Gurney in the ranks of American sports car road racing champions. Gurney and Fogarty will once again drive for GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing in 2008 as they try to become the first repeat Grand-Am Rolex Series Daytona Prototype Champions in history.
While he was exposed to auto racing from the time he was born on September 4, 1974, Gurney was not encouraged to pursue a driving career and only started racing go-karts on an amateur level in his first year of college. By contrast, most race car drivers begin racing go-karts soon after they learn to walk, but Gurney's focus was on more traditional career paths. Soon after graduating from the Úniversity of Colorado at Boulder with a bachelor's degree in 1997, however, Gurney answered the auto racing call with the blessing of both his father Dan and mother Evi.
Alex is youngest of Dan and Evi Gurney's two sons, and his brother Justin, three years older, is the general manager of All American Racers (AAR), the legendary Southern California race shop founded by Dan Gurney. Alex also has a half-sister and three half-brothers – Jim, John and Danny – all of whom dabbled in race driving as well but did not pursue the top levels.
Among the first vehicles Alex ever had was a Honda CR80 motorcycle he received from his parents as a Christmas present when he was nine years old. To this day, Alex enjoys motorcycle riding with his father and brothers. After an illustrious and winning career as a driver, constructor and team owner, Dan Gurney is the creator and owner of Alligator Motorcycles, Inc. and Alex spends a lot of time riding the latest prototypes out of their Santa Ana, California, facility. Alex also enjoys golf, poker tournaments and spending time with his wife Colleen and their infant daughter Natalie. The family lives in Irvine, California.Bob Stallings
For Robert W. 'Bob' Stallings, winning the 2007 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Championship was yet another achievement in a long line of success stories in the business world and beyond.
Stallings currently serves as Chairman and President of Stallings Capital Group, Inc., a Dallas-based merchant banking firm specializing in the financial services industry. He is also Executive Chairman of GAINSCO Inc., the property and casualty insurance holding company that specializes in personal auto insurance. Additionally, Stallings serves as a director of Texas Capital Bank and previously was a director of Crescent Realty prior to its sale to Morgan Stanley last year. He also co-founded and managed the Pilgrim Capital Group, a $20 billion investment fund, before selling the firm to ING.
Engine : 5.0 L., 8-cylinder
Power: 500 hp
While Stallings has found gratifying success in his various business endeavors, it was a certificate for the Bob Bondurant Racing School that he received as a birthday gift from his wife Linda that unlocked another one of his passions. Stallings was instantly hooked on driving and just three years later won the pinnacle of amateur racing in this country, the SCCA Runoffs, to become a National Champion in the Formula Atlantic division.
His driving coach at the time was Alex Gurney, and in 2005 the duo entered Daytona Prototype competition in the Rolex Series with the debuting GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team. Stallings competed in a total of 11 races in the 2005 and 2006 seasons — co-driving with Gurney to a best finish of second in August of 2006 in the short-course race at Watkins Glen — but soon realized that if his racing team was going to reach its championship potential, he would need to replace himself with another driver comparable in talent to Gurney.
Stallings stepped aside in favor of Jon Fogarty and shifted his focus to team management and race strategy. Whenever the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac-Riley is on the track, Stallings can now be found in the team's pit box, working and communicating with the crew and drivers.
Stallings is a native of Malden, Missouri, the father of three daughters and the grandfather of seven, including triplet boys who turn two years old in 2008. He and Linda Stallings, who also works with GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, live in Frisco, Texas.Jimmie Johnson
NASCAR Superstar Jimmie Johnson will join GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing for the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona and possibly other races in 2008. Best known for his back-to-back NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Championships, Johnson is also one of the most diverse drivers in the world and is as skilled at sports car road racing as he is driving stock cars.
Johnson's racing career started on a 50cc motorcycle at age five and culminated in November 2007 with his second consecutive NASCAR Championship. He began his professional career in off-road racing and, after early success, moved to pavement racing in 1998 in American Speed Association (ASA) competition. Numerous ASA victories paved the way for a move to NASCAR the next year. Johnson now owns 33 Nextel Cup victories, the 18th most of any driver. The record includes the two NASCAR Cup titles as well victories in the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400.
Johnson has also spent a fair amount time in the Grand-Am Rolex Series the last few seasons. He has competed three times in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, finishing second in 2005 and 28th in 2004 driving for Howard-Boss Motorsports, and 36th for the Riley-Matthews team last year. Johnson also competed in the 2007 Brumos Porsche 250 Grand-Am Rolex race at Daytona, where he qualified second for Riley-Matthews and led the race.
Johnson is a presence off the track as well. He and wife Chandra promote the Jimmie Johnson Foundation with a variety of public fundraising activities. He also hosts a weekly radio show on XM Radio and is a frequent guest on late night television.Jon Fogarty
The 2007 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype Championship title was Jon Fogarty's third auto racing championship in the last six seasons — he also won the Toyota Atlantic Championship in 2002 and 2004 — but his first in a top-tier series.
Fogarty and Gurney will once again drive for GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing in 2008 as they try to become the first repeat Grand-Am Rolex Series Daytona Prototype Champions in history.
The 2007 Rolex Series Championship came after a career and breakout season for Fogarty and the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings team. Shaking off a disappointing finish in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, the team recovered to record the most impressive run to a Grand-Am Rolex Series Daytona Prototype Championship in history. In total, the team won a record seven races, led all but one race and started every event from the front row.
Ten of the front row starts were from the pole, with Fogarty setting the fast time at a record eight races. Fogarty's streak of seven poles from the June race at Mid-Ohio to the penultimate event at Infineon Raceway in late August was also a record and part of another record streak in which he and Gurney had nine consecutive poles from the May race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to the Infineon race.
The team took the championship lead with its seventh victory at Infineon and sealed the crown in September one race later in the season-ending SunChaser 1000 at Miller Motorsports Park in Útah.PERSONAL HISTORY
Fogarty had a passion for speed at an early age and his first races were on Big Wheels down a hill behind his house. His first real racing experience came in motocross and he later stepped into cars at the Skip Barber Racing School. He began racing Formula Vees while in college and won the 2005 SCCA San Francisco regional championship.
When he's not behind the wheel of the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance machine, Fogarty enjoys relaxing with his wife Sara and infant son William and the family's two dogs, Reno and Sprout. He's also an avid outdoors lover, from mountain-biking in the Santa Cruz Mountains to hunting and fishing. Fogarty even dabbles with the bass guitar now and then, and fans often ask if he is related to John Fogerty, the Creedence Clearwater Revival rock-and-roll legend, but the two only share the same names, which they spell differently.Source - Gainsco Racing