Bay Area will decide Rolex 

A trio of Northern Californians graced the podium at last weekend’s Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Crown Royal 200 at The Glen and all three could figure prominently in the driver and team championships to be decided over the final two weekends of the season.

Jon Fogarty, originally from San Francisco, and his Southern California teammate with the world-famous surname, Alex Gurney, tied the Rolex Series’ single-season victory mark with their sixth win (in 12 races) last weekend at Watkins Glen on the under card of NASCAR’s Nextel Cup Series race.

When Fogarty put the No. 99 car on the pole for a record-setting seventh consecutive time, it also marked the 12th straight front-row start for the dominant duo, who enter next weekend’s Grand-Am-IRL doubleheader at Infineon Raceway four points out of the championship lead.

On race day, "We had to wait for the Cup cars and through the rain, so it was a little bit of a guess to which [setup] we should run," Fogarty said. "But we nailed it. The car was really good on the out laps, similar to what I did in qualifying. I turned it on from the get-go. I ran a consistent pace and brought the car back [for the driver change] in one piece."

Memo Gidley of Novato had been running with another team, but stepped into the No. 10 car with 2005 champ Max Angelelli and the two finished second in the race, moving Angelelli into a tie for the driver championship with 2004 champ Scott Pruett of Auburn in the No. 01 car.

"The car felt really good after that," Gidleysaid of an early-race incident that could have knocked him out of the race. "I started coming around and the Pontiac was wicked fast. I was really happy with the stint."

Tickets and information for the Infineon race are available by logging on to www.infineonraceway.com.

Testing with the stars: Infineon Raceway is inviting fans to a one-day test session for the Motorola Indy 300 today that will feature IRL stars Danica Patrick and Dario Franchitti of Andretti Green Racing. Also testing will be A.J. Foyt, Ed Carpenter and Tomas Scheckter.

The test session runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is free to the public and will also feature two news conferences that fans can watch during the lunch hour. Tickets for the Motorola 300 will also be made available at a discounted rate to attendees.

Huffaker inducted: Joe W. Huffaker of Novato will be inducted into the Infineon Raceway Wall of Fame during next weekend’s Motorola Indy 300 at the Sonoma Valley speedway.

Huffaker, considered one of the most successful race-car builders of his generation, moved his business, Huffaker Engineering, to then-Sears Point Raceway in 1976 and it is the longest-running tenant in the raceway’s industrial park, which boasts more than 70 businesses.

JR. TO SAY SO LONG TO No. 8

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will not be taking his familiar No. 8 with him to Hendrick Motorsports next season.

Earnhardt is leaving Dale Earnhardt Inc. at the end of the season and had hoped to take No. 8 with him to his new team. His late grandfather, Ralph, used that number and Earnhardt picked it when he entered the Cup Series in 1999.

THIS WEEK’S PIT STOPS

NEXTEL CUP

WHAT: 3M Performance 400

WHERE: Brooklyn, Mich.

WHEN: Sun., 11 a.m.

BUSCH

WHAT: Carfax 250

WHERE: Brooklyn, Mich.

WHEN: Sat., 12:30 p.m.

NHRA

WHAT: Toyo Tires Nationals

WHERE: Reading, Pa.

WHEN: Sun., 8 a.m.

IRL

WHAT: GP of Sonoma

WHERE: Infineon Raceway

WHEN: Aug. 26

CHAMP CAR

WHAT: Grand Prix of Belgium

WHERE: Liege, Belgium

WHEN: Aug. 26

FORMULA ONE

WHAT: Turkish GP

WHERE: Istanbul, Turkey

WHEN: Aug. 26


Will Fogarty and Gurney take the Rolex title?

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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