DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Jack Roush Jr. and Billy Johnson captured the BMW Performance 200 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season opener on Friday afternoon, the prelude to this weekend’s historic 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Roush Jr. and Johnson, who shared the wheel behind the No. 61 Roush Performance Mustang Boss 302 R, captured the 58-lap race edging the No. 48 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3 and drivers Charles Putman and Charles Espenlaub.
“I love this track,” said Roush Jr., whose car the past two season-opening events at Daytona has failed to finish the race. “There is a lot of history. It’s a very special race to win. I can’t be happier.”
The No. 61 car took the lead during a pit stop cycle on Lap 41 with Johnson replacing Roush in the driver’s seat. Johnson led the final 18 laps on the 3.56-mile road course on the way to a 1.061-second win.
In the Sport Touring class, the No. 31 i-Moto Mazda Speed 3 with Pieree Kleinubing and Jayson Clunie, who started at the rear of the field, nipped the No. 10 Kinetic/Kia Racing Kia Forte Koup and drivers Andy Lally and Nic Jonsson at the start/finish line.
The margin of victory was .021 seconds.
Pole winner Shelby Blackstock, son of country music star Reba McIntrye, co-driver Jade Buford finished 10th overall in the No. 51 Roush Performance Mustang Boss 302 R.
The 50th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona takes center stage on Saturday with the start scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
The No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Ford Riley will start on the pole with the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Chevrolet Corvette starting alongside.
Tickets for the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona are on sale online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter (www.twitter.com/disupdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway).