The Rolex 24 at Daytona has been a star-studded race for many years, dating back to the days when Paul Newman participated. The 2013 edition of the historic endurance race continues that history.
NASCAR fans will be familiar with driver/owner Michael Waltrip, Clint Bowyer, Earnhardt-Ganassi drivers Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya, Marcos Ambrose, Nelson Piqeut Jr., and AJ Allmendinger. Max Papis, who has driven in Formula 1, NASCAR, IndyCar and Champ Car, will also be a part of the festivities, as will 2008 Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year Colin Braun, who spent 2012 in the American Le Mans Series.
The IZOD IndyCar Series will also be well represented, with Justin Wilson, Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, Charlie Kimball, Sebastien Bourdais, Rubens Barrichello, Tony Kanaan, Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchclliffe, Paul Tracy, 2012 Rookie of the Year Simon Pagenaud, 2002 Indy 500 pole winner Bruna Junqueira and Scott Sharp. Christian Fittipaldi, nephew of Indy 500 champ Emerson Fittipaldi, is another former NASCAR and Champ Car driver competing in the Rolex 24.
Current GRAND-AM drivers with names familiar to fans include 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year and Northport, New York native Andy Lally and former Nationwide Series and Indy Racing League driver Anthony Lazzaro.
Scott Pruett, who has competed in almost everything with four wheels, joins his three-time championship partner Memo Rojas on the pole for the race, as Pruett tries to win his fifth Rolex 24, something only one other driver has done – that being the legendary Hurley Haywood. Pruett and Rojas are joined by Montoya and Kimball in the No. 1 BMW for Chip Ganassi Racing. A second Ganassi entry, with Dixon, Franchitti, McMurray and Joey Hand, qualified second.
Qualifying a surprising third was Team Sahlen, owned by Joe Sahlen of Buffalo’s Sahlen Meats. The team made the jump to Daytona Prototypes from the GT class this season, and impressed in testing in early January. The team of Dane Cameron, Wayne Nonnamaker, Pagenaud and Junqueira will be among those taking the green flag on Saturday, January 26th at 3:30 p.m. ET. Find out more about the race at www.grand-am.com.
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