Four-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon is continuing the
trend of NASCAR stars that are crossing over to compete in the prestigious Rolex
24 At Daytona.
During the recent Pepsi 400 Weekend at historic Daytona International Speedway, SunTrust Racing car owner/driver Wayne Taylor (and his Surrey Sport LLC company) and SunTrust Racing announced that Gordon will co-drive the No. 10 SunTrust Racing car with Taylor and his fellow 2005 Daytona Prototype co-champion Max Angelelli in the 45th annual Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 27-28, 2007.
Gordon is teaming with one of the strongest teams in the Rolex Sports Car Series garage.
The team's list of successes includes winning the 2005 edition of the Rolex 24 and last year's Daytona Prototype driver and team championships.
Click here for the complete coverage of the 2007 Rolex 24 At Daytona
"Every time I have been in a race car and had success it's because I have great teams," Gordon said during the news conference. "That was so important to me. This is the first time I have been actual teammates with the same car. This is going to be a unique opportunity for me and I am excited about learning things from Max and becoming his teammate as well as Wayne and going out there and having some fun. These cars to me look like a lot of fun. I have not had the opportunity to get behind the wheel. Of course I do love the road courses and I am excited about getting out there and getting some lap times in a car that is really built for that type of racing."
Gordon is among the many NASCAR stars that moonlight in the Rolex 24, which is the kick-off event for the world's motorsports calendar. Other NASCAR stars that have tried their hand recently in the Rolex 24 include:
· Dale Earnhardt: The late seven-time NASCAR champion made his one start in the Rolex 24 in 2001 with son Dale Earnhardt Jr. driving one of the factory Corvettes. His team, which also included Andy Pilgrim and Kelly Collins, finished fourth overall.
· Dale Earnhardt Jr.: The 2004 Daytona 500 champion has made two Rolex 24 starts. He finished fourth overall with his father in 2001 and came home fifth in 2004 with Andy Wallace and Tony Stewart.
· Tony Stewart: The two-time Pepsi 400 winner has become a regular fixture during Rolex 24 Weekend. In four Rolex 24 starts, he has had a couple of near-misses at victory with his best finish a third in 2005.
· Jimmie Johnson: The 2006 Daytona 500 winner has two Rolex 24 starts. In 2005, he earned runner-up honors driving with Butch Leitzinger and Elliott Forbes-Robinson.
· Kyle Petty: Petty has made five starts in the Rolex 24 with a best finish of sixth in 2003.
· Casey Mears: Driving for Chip Ganassi Racing, Mears captured the overall Rolex 24 victory in 2006 driving with IRL IndyCar stars Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon.
Gordon hopes to follow in Mears' tire tracks and celebrate a Rolex 24 victory, which would be his 13th at "The World Center of Racing" tying him for fifth on the all-time DIS wins list with racing legends Hurley Haywood and Richard Petty.
"It's all about winning for me and this is an opportunity for me to come into the 24 Hour race and actually have a shot at winning," Gordon said.
Tickets for the 45th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona are available online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
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