GAINSCO Racing Waves the Checkered Flag on 2010 "Read for Speed" Program
Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney Provide Star Power to Program's 2010 Grand Finale at Watkins Glen International
By: WGI Staff on 6/3/2010
Alex Gurney (left in black shirt) and Jon Fogarty of GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing sign autographs for students from Watkins Glen Elementary School during their visit to WGI.
The students of Watkins Glen Elementary School celebrated the conclusion of the Read for Speed program with a trip to Watkins Glen International on Thursday, June 3. About 100 students visited the track as a reward for being named one of the “fastest” classes during the three month program. The trip was headlined by a meet-and-greet with Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney, drivers of the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Daytona Prototype, and a “behind the scenes” look at the GAINSCO race preparations.
“My wife is a kindergarten teacher so I have been around young schools kids before and it is always neat to see their eyes light up and how excited they get,” said Gurney. “They were really interested in my helmet and all of the extra gizmos we have on them for sports car racing. We read to some of these same kids at their school two years ago and it was cool that some of them earned the field trip to visit the track this year.”
The visit to WGI kicked-off with a meet-and-greet with both GAINSCO drivers and a “behind the scenes” look at their car and transporter. Fogarty talked about his racing background, the steps the team is taking to prepare for this weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, and explained the process of replacing the engine in the No. 99. Gurney shared stories of his racing experiences and discussed the many uses they have for the transporter including how their car is stored in the upper half with the work shop and storage on the lower half. Both drivers then autographed hero cards for every student at the track.
“It’s great these kids get rewarded for reading so well and reading so many books,” said Fogarty. “It is also good to see Watkins Glen International support their local schools year in and year out and we are always happy at GAINSCO to help out with this great program whenever we are asked. This was a great way to start what is going to be a good weekend at the Sahlen’s Six Hours.”
The fieldtrip was not yet done after the autographs. All the students hopped back onto their buses to take a lap around the 3.4-mile Grand Prix Course behind the Toyota Camry pace car before heading over to the FrontStretch Grandstands. They then watched the beginning of the promoter test day featuring the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge and Ford Racing Mustang Challenge while eating their lunch and enjoying ice cream bars provide by Perry’s Ice Cream.
“I really want to thank WGI, the guys from GAINSCO, and all of the sponsors for helping us have another successful year as the kid read over 20,000 books,” said Rodney Weeden, principal of Watkins Glen Elementary School. “We were not expecting Jon and Alex to sign autographs for all of our kids so that was an extra bonus. The kids have a blast each time they come up to the track and always have a very memorable experience.”
Tickets for the entire 2010 season at Watkins Glen International are on sale now! The season kicks-off with the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen weekend, June 4-6, featuring the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, and Ford Racing Mustang Challenge. Weekend tickets are only $35 and general admission for kids 15 and under is FREE when accompanied by an adult. For tickets and information, please contact the WGI ticket office at 866-461-RACE or log on to the official Watkins Glen website at www.TheGlen.com. Tickets, gift certificates and track merchandise can be all purchased at The Shop located at 2 North Franklin Street in downtown Watkins Glen. The Shop is open Monday-Saturday 9-5 and Sunday 9-4.