Jan 11 | U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds to perform fly-over for 54th annual Daytona 500

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The world-renowned U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will provide race fans with the flyover during the National Anthem for the 54th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26.

USAF Thunderbirds

DAYTONA BEACH , Fla. – The world-renowned U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will provide race fans with the flyover during the National Anthem for the 54th annual Daytona 500 – the prestigious season-opening event for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 26 at Daytona International Speedway.
 
It’s the third time the flying team, officially known as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, will perform the flyover for the Daytona 500. The Thunderbirds previously flew over the race in 2008 and 2011.

“It’s an honor to have the USAF Thunderbirds return to the ‘World Center of Racing’ and participate in the 54th annual Daytona 500 pre-race activities,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “The Thunderbirds are known throughout the world as an elite flying squadron and their rousing fly-over at the conclusion of the National Anthem will give goose bumps to the thousands of race fans in attendance and millions more watching on FOX Sports.”

“It’s hard to imagine a better way to start our 2012 demonstration season,” said Lt. Col. Greg Moseley, the Thunderbirds commander and flight leader. “Being part of an event as celebrated as the ‘Great American Race’ is a tremendous opportunity, and we look forward to showcasing the pride, precision and professionalism of the U.S. Air Force to NASCAR fans.”

The Thunderbirds flyover will feature six F-16 Fighting Falcons, the Air Force’s premier multi-role fighter aircraft, soaring over the speedway at the moment the final notes of the Star-Spangled Banner are sung.

The Thunderbirds team is an Air Combat Command unit composed of eight pilots (including six demonstration pilots), four support officers, four civilians and more than 100 enlisted people serving in about 30 Air Force job specialties. In 2012, the Thunderbirds will perform precision aerial maneuvers at more than 60 air shows in 32 different locations in North America.

Since the unit's inception in 1953, more than 350 million people in all 50 states and 61 countries have witnessed the distinctive red, white and blue jets in thousands of official aerial demonstrations.
 
Tickets for the 54th running of the Daytona 500 and other Speedweeks 2012 events are available online to www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Jan 10 | 1976 Rolex 24 Overall Champion No. 59 BMW 3.5 CSL Joins the 50th Anniversary Exhibit

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The No. 59 BMW 3.5 CSL is the latest addition to the exhibit of overall Rolex 24 At Daytona championship cars that will celebrate the 50th anniversary on Jan. 28-29.

1976 overall champion

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The No. 59 BMW 3.5 CSL that overcame a bizarre twist of events to capture the overall win in the 1976 Rolex 24 At Daytona is the latest addition to the exhibit of overall Rolex 24 At Daytona championship cars that will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the twice-around-the-clock challenge on Jan. 28-29.

After witnessing the speed of the BMW when winning with Haywood in 1975, Peter Gregg entered the No. 59 BMW 3.5 CSL with Brian Redman. Gregg started the pole-winning BMW and the car ran into the night with the lead. During his night shift, Gregg became ill and co-driver Brian Redman pulled a double stint. John Fitzpatrick, driving the team’s sister No. 2 BMW, was brought over to fill-in for the ailing Gregg.

A mysterious issue of water in the fuel developed for many of the cars, including the No. 59 BMW. The race was stopped for almost three hours as the problem was solved. Once the race was restarted, the No. 59 BMW drove to victory and Gregg became the first driver to win three consecutive runnings of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

The. No. 59 BMW 3.5 CSL joins the growing field of prestigious championship cars previously announced in the exhibit:

• The No. 96 Arciero Racing Lotus-Climax 19B  from the inaugural Rolex 24 (then known as the Daytona Continental) in 1962
• 1966 Rolex 24-winning No. 98 Ford GT Mark II
• 1968 Rolex 24-winning Porsche 907
• 1969 Rolex 24-winning No. 6 Lola T70 Chevrolet
• 1970 Rolex 24-winning No. 2 Gulf Porsche 917
• 1977 Rolex 24-winning No. 43 Porsche 911 RSR
• 1978 Rolex 24-winning No. 99 Porsche 935
• 1981 Rolex 24-winning No. 9 Bob Garretson’s Style Auto Porsche 935
• 1982 Rolex 24-winning No. 18 JLP Porsche 935
• The Preston Henn Porsches from the 1983 and 1985 Rolex 24s
• 1984 Rolex 24-winning No. 00 Kreepy Krauly Porsche-March
• 1993 Rolex 24-winning No. 98 Eagle GTP
• 1994 Rolex 24-winning No. 76 Nissan 300ZX-Turbo
• 1995 Rolex 24-winning No. 10 Kremer Porsche K8 Spyder
• 1996 Rolex 24-winning No. 4 Oldsmobile Riley & Scott Mk III
• 1997 Rolex 24-winning No. 20 Ford Riley & Scott Mk III
• 1999 Rolex 24-winning No. 20 Ford Riley & Scott Mk III
• 2000 Rolex 24-winning No. 91 Dodge Viper GTS-R
• 2001 Rolex 24-winning No. 2 Chevrolet Corvette
• 2002 Rolex 24-winning No. 27 Dallara Judd
• 2003 Rolex 24-winning No. 67 Porsche GT3RS
• 2004 Rolex 24-winning No. 54 Pontiac Doran
• 2005 Rolex 24-winning No. 10 Pontiac Riley
• 2009 Rolex 24-winning No. 58 Porsche Riley
• 2010 Rolex 24-winning No. 9 Porsche Riley
• 2007, 2008 and 2011 Rolex 24-winning No. 01 BMW Riley

To view the complete list online, visit http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/Vanity-Pages/50th-Rolex-24/50-Years-of-Champions-Display.aspx. Additional cars will be announced as they are secured to be part of this one-of-a-kind exhibit.

In addition to the 50th anniversary exhibit during the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the championship cars will also be on display at the Rolex 50 Years of Champions, a charity gala on Thursday night, January 26th at the Ocean Center. Daytona International Speedway has partnered with the Halifax Health Foundation to host the event with the admissions proceeds benefiting the Halifax Health Foundation, which includes the area’s only Level II Trauma Center. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Halifax Health Foundation office at (386) 254-4111.

The Rolex 24 At Daytona, the kick-off event to Speedweeks 2012 as well as the international motorsports calendar, showcases the world’s best drivers competing against each other lap after lap for 24 hours on Daytona International Speedway’s challenging and demanding 3.56-mile road course.

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).
 

Jan 09 | Back On Track: 2012 Preseason Thunder At Daytona Set For This Week

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NASCAR is back in full gear as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams hit the pavement at Daytona International Speedway this week for three days of preseason testing.

NASCAR Preseason Thunder

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR is back in full gear as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams hit the pavement at Daytona International Speedway this week for three days of preseason testing.

The main focus of the test is for teams to work on their final preparations for 2012 Speedweeks – in particular, the 54th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26.

“This is an opportunity we are providing to the competitors to implement and test the new Daytona rules package for 2012,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition.  “It’s a chance for them to get comfortable with the cooling package, the smaller spoiler and to practice drafting for next month’s Daytona 500.”

The new rules package is a result of information gathered during recent tests at Talladega last October and at Daytona last November.

“While we have had other tests with these set-ups, this is the first opportunity for the entire field to test together and get more comfortable with this package as it relates to their cars,” Pemberton said.

The new rules package includes:
• Smaller radiators
o Maximum of 2 gallon capacity
• Smaller overflow tank
o Maximum capacity of ½ gallon
• Radiator inlet is moved up closer into the front center bumper area
• Rate reduction in the springs – softer springs
• Smaller rear spoiler
• Base line restrictor plate of 29/32 inch (1/64 inch larger than plate size for the 2011 Daytona 500)

“This three-day test will allow the engine tuners for these teams to be able to work with their engine packages and see how they relate and react to the new cooling regulations,” Pemberton said.

Next month’s Daytona 500 will be only the third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points event ran on the repaved Daytona International Speedway. This year’s Preseason Thunder will continue to be an opportunity for teams and drivers to test their skills on a relatively fresh surface in addition to the new rules.

Complementing the testing portion of this weekend’s festivities, the track is also offering fans an opportunity to be part of a special two-day Fan Fest event.

Fan Fest sessions are scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 12 and Friday, Jan. 13 and include autograph sessions, driver question and answer sessions, show cars and displays, music and a photo opportunity with the 2012 Harley J. Earl Daytona 500 trophy. In addition, fans can ride the high banks under the lights by purchasing a Richard Petty Driving Experience ride along.

Tickets for Daytona Preseason Thunder Fan Fest are $20 and available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com. Children 12 and under will receive free admission.

Daytona International Speedway will also host special driver chat sessions on the speedway’s social media channels following the end of testing Thursday and Friday evenings. Fans can submit questions for Twitter chats by using #daytonatesting, with answers, updates and testing information coming from Daytona International Speedway’s Twitter feed @DISUpdates. Fans can also submit questions on Facebook for LiveStream chats with drivers on www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway. NASCAR’s official Twitter feed @NASCAR will also provide updates throughout the three-day session.

SPEED will broadcast live coverage of testing on all three days from 1-5 p.m. ET. Additionally, SPEEDTV.com will stream testing live from 9 a.m.-noon ET each day.

Jan 08 | Day 3 Roar Before The Rolex 24: Testing Concludes With The Chevrolet Corvettes Atop The Speed Charts

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The Roar Before The Rolex 24, the three-day test session for the historic 50th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29, concluded on Sunday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway.

Patrick Dempsey and Brian Johnson

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., -- The Roar Before The Rolex 24, the three-day test session for the historic 50th  Anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29, concluded on Sunday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway.

Between GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, 112 cars tackled the twists and turns of Daytona’s road course preparing for the Rolex 24 At Daytona Weekend.

In the Rolex Sports Car Series, the new Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototypes got off to a solid start by posting the fastest speed during the three-day test. The No. 10 SunTrust Racing Chevrolet Corvette posted the fastest speed of the test with driver Max Angelelli – 126.713 mph – on Sunday. Overall, the Chevrolet Corvettes took the top five spots in the cumulative speed charts. The No. 63 Risi Competizione Ferrari 458 was fastest among the GT class entries with a speed of 117.321 mph  and driver Toni Vilander on Saturday.

The Rolex Sports Car Series and the Continental Tire teams will next return to Daytona International Speedway to celebrate the golden anniversary for America’s most prestigious sports car event on Jan. 26-29.

And while the every driver and team wants the distinction of winning the 50th Anniversary of the Rolex 24, the preparation for the grueling and demanding race doesn’t change.

“It’s still 24 hours,” said Graham Rahal, who was part of last year’s overall winning No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing driver team. “It’s still fighting for a Rolex at the end of it. I don’t think it changes the way we approach anything at all. We really want to win this one of course being the 50th but you want to win any of them.”

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates has won four of the past six Rolex 24s and will be one of the pre-race favorites with a two-car effort. Rahal and the entire No. 01 driving team of Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas and Joey Hand are returning to defend their victory while the No. 02 BMW Riley will be driven by Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray.

For Rahal, it’s a thrill to enter the 50th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 as the defending champions with the same co-drivers.

“It’s great to be back,” Rahal said. “My dad (Bobby Rahal) won it 30 years before I did and certainly to be part of the winning team last year meant a lot. It’s one of the greatest events in the world. There are very few events that you can count on one hand that you would want to be a part of and this is one of them. This really world wide starts the racing season for the year and you’ve got the who’s who of racing all around here at this event.

“To be back in the 01 car, there’s a lot of history in this car and a lot of winners. To be led by Scott and Memo, there’s no better way to going to into this race. We won it last year and we know what we have to do.”

Rahal’s father Bobby, who captured the 1981 Rolex 24, will be among the former overall winning Rolex 24 drivers returning to attend the race. In addition, the Speedway will have more than 30 past overall winning championship cars on display

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Rahal said. “To be here and see the winning cars I think is exciting. To know that my name is on that list of winners is a great accomplishment and certainly I’m honored to be a part of it. With the 50th anniversary, it’s going to be fun to be here. To be a part of this team, you know that when you come here, you have a shot to win. It’s great to go to a race track and know that.”

Dempsey and Johnson: The Roar Before The Rolex 24 also showcased actor Patrick Dempsey and AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson, who were turning laps with their teams in preparation for the twice-around-the-clock endurance challenge.

Dempsey, who finished on the podium in the GT class in last year’s Rolex 24, is returning for his fifth Rolex 24 start. Meanwhile Johnson is making first Rolex 24 start and first GRAND-AM start in the No. 50  50+Predator/Alegra BMW Riley.

Dempsey’s No. 40 Mazda was 33rd in the GT class on the cumulative speed charts while Johnson’s No. 50 BMW Riley was 13th among Daytona Prototypes.

Franchitti’s favorite: In addition to battling for another Rolex 24 victory, Franchitti is excited about the return of the past overall championship cars. The car on top of his list to check out is the No. 96 Arciero Racing Lotus-Climax 19B from the inaugural Rolex 24 (then known as the Daytona Continental) in 1962.

“The Dan Gurney car,” Franchitti said. “I’ve actually sat in that. I haven’t driven it yet. I was supposed to drive that at Monterey last year but I think there was a gear box problem which I believe is quite common with that Lotus.”

Next up: Daytona Preseason Thunder testing sessions are set for this Thursday through Saturday as the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test the high banks in advance of the 54th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26.

The Preseason Thunder Fan Fest sessions are scheduled for Thursday and Friday and include autograph sessions, driver question and answer sessions, show cars and displays, music and a photo opportunity with the 2012 Harley J. Earl Daytona 500 trophy. In addition, fans can ride the high banks under the lights by purchasing a Richard Petty Driving Experience ride along.

Tickets for Daytona Preseason Thunder Fan Fest are $20 and available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com. Children 12 and under will receive free admission.

Tickets for the Rolex 24 At Daytona are on sale, along with the rest of Speedweeks events. To purchase tickets, go online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by call 1-800-PITSHOP.

Stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter (www.twitter.com/disupdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway).

Jan 08 | Rolex 24 Flashback: Andy Wallace's Daytona Memories

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Andy Wallace has done it all at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The stalwart sports car pro has won the race no fewer than three times, he's been on the overall podium on a further two occasions and notched up a class win to boot. And, like all long-distance regulars, he's also experienced the heartache of the near-miss.

Rolex 24

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Andy Wallace has done it all at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The stalwart sports car pro has won the race no fewer than three times, he's been on the overall podium on a further two occasions and notched up a class win to boot. And, like all long-distance regulars, he's also experienced the heartache of the near-miss.
 

Wallace famously won the 24 Hours at Le Mans at his first attempt in 1988. Remarkably, the victory he took for Jaguar together with Jan Lammers and Johnny Dumfries was only his third sports car start. He finished in the runner-up position in next 24-hour appearance six months later at Daytona and went on to win the U.S. endurance classic at his second attempt a year later.

Jaguar dominated Daytona 1990. The V12-engined XJR-12 wasn't the fastest car over one lap of the Speedway, but in the race, it outperformed and outlasted its rivals. Just.
 

The Nissans and Porsches that had qualified ahead of the TWR-run Jaguars all ran into problems early in the race, so much so that two Jags were at the top of the leaderboard as early as the second hour. That year's Rolex 24 turned into a two-horse race between the Jaguars driven by Wallace, Lammers and Davy Jones and its sister car shared by Martin Brundle, John Nielsen and Price Cobb. Only, the British cars were facing a problem of their own: their production-based V12 engines were overheating.
 

"All the sand and track debris that you get at Daytona was bending the little fins in the radiator; in later years we had a tea-strainer affair fitted ahead of the rad," remembers Wallace. "We were doing all the normal things like spraying water on the radiator during pit stops and recharging the system, but it didn't really work.
 

"We even tried running without the tail section, but that didn't lose us as much heat as we'd hoped. I'm sure the only reason that both cars got to the end was their massive oil tanks. I think the quantity of oil was enough to prevent the engines going pop."
 

One memory that stands out from that first victory is running in tandem with teammate Brundle, who had just stepped down from Formula 1 for a full year with the TWR-Jaguar sports car team.

"We had been racing and switching places regularly when we came upon a wall of Porsches between NASCAR Turns 3 and 4. There was no way through, but Martin thought we were not having that, so he dived down onto the apron. There's a massive transition from the 31-degree banking onto a flat surface.
 

"There were sparks everywhere and then he smashed back up onto the banking. That, I remember thinking, wasn't a good idea in a 24-hour race.
 

"Another 500 or 600 yards down the road, he had to lift and I had the momentum to pass him. I had a chat with him afterward, and he said, "I don't know what I was thinking; I reckon I was still in F1 mode."
 

Wallace might have followed up on his first Daytona triumph within a couple of years. He was part of Dan Gurney's All American Racers squad that scored back-to-back victories in 1992-93. The Brit, however, was in the wrong car each time. His Eagle-Toyota started from the front row in both years, but failed to make the finish on either occasion.
 

"I know everyone says this, but if you are in the winning team you are part of the victory," he says. "You probably have some involvement in the set-up of the winning car and if you are delayed, you might find yourself scrubbing in tires for your teammates. Anyway, the victories were shared around – we won at Sebring in 1992 and '93".
 

One squad where Wallace was very much part of a team was Dyson Racing. He played a part in its two Daytona victories, perhaps most famously in 1997 when he was one of seven drivers who climbed aboard Dyson's winning Ford-powered Riley & Scott over the course of the race.
 

"We'd lost our car [with engine problems], and after a shower back at the hotel, we [Wallace and co-drivers James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger] went back to the track to see if we could cheer the boys on. They were being hounded by a Ferrari, and the cool thing was that we could throw in three fresh drivers."
 

The Riley & Scott MkIII, in which Wallace would also triumph at Daytona in 1999 with Leitzinger and Elliott Forbes-Robinson, stands as one of Wallace's all-time favorite race cars.
 

"That car was designed for U.S.tracks and it was brilliant everywhere, but its Achilles heel was that it only really worked with one downforce and drag level. It didn't work if you trimmed it out for some reason.
 

"That meant you went to Daytona pretty much knowing that you were going to have a 10mph deficit to your rivals up on the banking. When we were racing against the Ferrari 333SP that was a killer. When you saw one coming, you knew it was coming past no matter where you put the car.
 

"They didn't have the downforce we had and that was a killer in the night when it was cold and slippery. All the Ferrari driver used to make mistakes, but you could put the R&S anywhere. It didn't matter how sideways you got it, you could always get it back."

One that got away was the 2004 race. Wallace was paired with NASCAR stars Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr in a works-run Crawford-Chevrolet DP03 under the Howard-BOSS Motorsports banner and came within 16 minutes of victory.
 

The trio had led from the seventh hour and were still ahead in the closing minutes despite a series of unscheduled stops after Stewart complained of a vibration. Then, the left rear suspension broke, sending a wheel flying down the track and the car into the wall.
 

Wallace is one of a select band of drivers to have triumphed the 24-hour classics at both Daytona and Le Mans, and he's one of only 10 to have completed the unofficial Triple Crown of endurance racing by winning outright at Daytona, Le Mans and the Sebring 12 Hours. The challenges presented by the twice around the clock races on either side of the Atlantic couldn't be more different, he says.
 

"They are demanding in different ways," says Wallace, who has 42 24-hour starts to his name at Daytona and Le Mans. "Daytona is physically harder, but Le Mans is more mentally challenging.

"Daytona is all about full on wheel-to-wheel racing. With so many cars on a circuit measuring three and a half miles, you are in and out of traffic all the time. You don't have that at Le Mans, but what you have are very high speeds. If you make a slight miscalculation on your speeds, the consequences can be disastrous."
 

Wallace hasn't contested the 24 Hours at Daytona since 2009 and he hasn't got a ride for the 50th anniversary event, but he's aiming to make his 22nd appearance in the great race on Jan. 28-29.
 

"A few possibilities have fallen through," he says, "but I haven't given up yet."

Jan 06 | Nine Recent Rolex 24 Championship Cars Join the 50th Anniversary Display

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Nine of the most recent overall winning cars from the Rolex 24 At Daytona will join the display of Rolex 24 At Daytona championship cars at the 50th anniversary of the twice-around-the-clock challenge on Jan. 28-29.

2001 Rolex 24 champion

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Nine of the most recent overall winning cars from the Rolex 24 At Daytona will join the display of Rolex 24 At Daytona championship cars at the 50th anniversary of the twice-around-the-clock challenge on Jan. 28-29.

Included in the list of newly secured championship cars are:

2000 Rolex 24-winning No. 91 Dodge Viper GTS-R: Driven by Olivier Beretta, Karl Wendlinger and Dominique Dupuy, the Oreca Viper took the checkered flag only 30.878 seconds ahead of the Corvette of Ron Fellows, Justin Bell and Chris Kneifel.

2001 Rolex 24-winning No. 2 Chevrolet Corvette: While seven-time NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt finished fourth overall in the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette, the No. 2 Chevrolet Corvette with Fellows, Kneifel, Frank Freon and Johnny O’Connell took the overall win.

2002 Rolex 24-winning No. 27 Dallara Judd: The Doran Lista Judd-powered Dallara and drivers Didier Theys, Fredy Lienhard, Mauro Baldi and Max Papis won the 2002 Rolex 24, the final twice-around-the-clock challenge for the open-cockpit SportsRacing Prototype cars.

2003: Rolex 24-winning No. 67 Porsche GT3RS: The Racer’s Group with Kevin Buckler, Michael Schrom, Timo Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister.

2004 Rolex 24-winning No. 54 Pontiac Doran: The No. 54 Pontiac Doran with drivers Terry Borcheller, Forest Barber, Andy Pilgrim and Christian Fittipaldi became the first Daytona Prototype to win overall in the Rolex 24.

2005 Rolex 24-winning No. 10 Pontiac Riley: Wayne Taylor brought home his second overall Rolex 24 win in the No. 10 Pontiac Riley with Max Angelelli and Emmanuel Collard.

2009 Rolex 24-winning No. 58 Porsche Riley: With a record four cars on the lead lap at the finish, the No. 58 Brumos Porsche Riley with drivers David Donohue, Darren Law, Antonio Garcia and Buddy Rice captured the win in the closest finish in event history.

2010 Rolex 24-winning No. 9 Porsche Riley: Action Express Racing and drivers Joao Barbosa, Terry Borcheller, Ryan Dalziel and Mike Rockenfeller topped the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW Riley by 52.303 seconds to deliver Porsche its record 22nd Rolex 24 triumph and first back-to-back twice-around-the-clock challenge win since 1987.

2007, 2008 and 2011 Rolex 24-winning No. 01 BMW Riley: Owner Chip Ganassi captured three of his four overall Rolex 24 victories with the No. 01 Riley chassis. The car was Lexus-powered in 2007 and 2008 and BMW powered in 2011.

Hurley Haywood, who holds a record five Rolex 24 triumphs and first began racing at Daytona in 1969, is excited about seeing the different eras of sports car racing through this one-of-a-kind display at the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24.

“I think people will be able to see in one spot sort of the evolution that racing has taken over the years,” Haywood said. “From 908s to 917s, to 911s, to 935s, to 962s, to the GT1 cars, it’s pretty amazing when you are able to go to one spot and see all that array of racing cars, most of which will be populated by Porsche because they have won the race so many times. I think the fans will really enjoy looking at all those different types of cars and eras of racing.”

Previously announced historic championship cars that will also be in the display include:
• The No. 96 Arciero Racing Lotus-Climax 19B  from the inaugural Rolex 24 (then known as the Daytona Continental) in 1962
• 1966 Rolex 24-winning No. 98 Ford GT Mark II
• 1968 Rolex 24-winning Porsche 907
• 1969 Rolex 24-winning No. 6 Lola T70 Chevrolet
• 1970 Rolex 24-winning No. 2 Gulf Porsche 917
• 1977 Rolex 24-winning No. 43 Porsche 911 RSR
• 1978 Rolex 24-winning No. 99 Porsche 935
• 1981 Rolex 24-winning No. 9 Bob Garretson’s Style Auto Porsche 935
• 1982 Rolex 24-winning No. 18 JLP Porsche 935
• The Preston Henn Porsches from the 1983 and 1985 Rolex 24s
• 1984 Rolex 24-winning No. 00 Kreepy Krauly Porsche-March
• 1993 Rolex 24-winning No. 98 Eagle GTP
• 1994 Rolex 24-winning No. 76 Nissan 300ZX-Turbo
• 1995 Rolex 24-winning No. 10 Kremer Porsche K8 Spyder
• 1996 Rolex 24-winning No. 4 Oldsmobile Riley & Scott Mk III
• 1997 Rolex 24-winning No. 20 Ford Riley & Scott Mk III
• 1999 Rolex 24-winning No. 20 Ford Riley & Scott Mk III

To view the complete list online, visit http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/Vanity-Pages/50th-Rolex-24/50-Years-of-Champions-Display.aspx. Additional cars will be announced as they are secured to be part of this one-of-a-kind display.

In addition to the 50th anniversary display during the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the championship cars will also be on display at the Rolex 50 Years of Champions, a charity gala on Thursday night, January 26th at the Ocean Center. Daytona International Speedway has partnered with the Halifax Health Foundation to host the event with the admissions proceeds benefiting the Halifax Health Foundation, which includes the area’s only Level II Trauma Center. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Halifax Health Foundation office at (386) 254-4111.

The Rolex 24 At Daytona, the kick-off event to Speedweeks 2012 as well as the international motorsports calendar, showcases the world’s best drivers competing against each other lap after lap for 24 hours on Daytona International Speedway’s challenging and demanding 3.56-mile road course.

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).

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