With tickets now on sale for both the 2020 Rolex 24 at DAYTONA and 62nd running of the DAYTONA 500, you may think that you have to choose one or the other. However, these drivers below are proof that you can enjoy both iconic races – separated by just a few weeks at the “World Center of Racing!”
It was announced in November that 2015 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch would run in the 2020 Rolex 24 with AIM Vasser Sullivan and Lexus Motorsports. Busch will make his Rolex 24 debut in one of the two AIM VASSER SULLIVAN Lexus entries competing in the GTD class. The NASCAR star has yet to capture a DAYTONA 500 victory, but one of the top drivers in the sport will add to another all-star lineup at the 2020 Rolex 24.
McMurray broke through into the NASCAR elite with his 2010 DAYTONA 500 victory, passing runner-up Dale Earnhardt Jr. with just two laps to go. Just five years later, McMurray became only the third driver to win both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the DAYTONA 500, joining Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt on the elite list. Co-driving the No. 02 Ford EcoBoost DP of Chip Ganassi Racing with Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray, he captured the Rolex 24’s 53rd running by just 1.333 seconds.
This NASCAR legend and three-time DAYTONA 500 champion teamed with Rolex 24 At DAYTONA winner Wayne Taylor Racing in 2007 for a third-place overall finish, and then again in 2017 to capture the overall championship on a last-lap pass by Ricky Taylor over Action Express Racing’s Filipe Albuquerque. With the victory, Gordon joined McMurray, Andretti and Foyt as the fourth driver to win both the DAYTONA 500 and Rolex 24 At DAYTONA.
A DAYTONA 500 champion in both 1985 and 1987, Elliott saved his best performances for ’87. That year he not only won “The Great American Race,” but also turned a 210.364 mph lap in qualifying (a record which still stands) and won the GTO class in the 1987 Rolex 24 At DAYTONA.
The seven-time Cup Series champion has 18 career DAYTONA 500 starts, winning “The Great American Race” in 2006 and 2013; however many don’t know that he’s a seven-time starter in the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA, with two runner-up finishes (2005, 2008) co-driving Pontiac-powered prototypes.
2017 DAYTONA 500 Champion Kurt Busch has been incredibly successful in the race, with six top-five finishes, including three second-place finishes before finally capturing a win. Both 2005 and ’08 stand out as his most memorable years as he followed up a 15th-place finish in the Daytona Prototype class during his debut in the 2005 Rolex 24 AT DAYTONA with a runner up finish in the 2005 DAYTONA 500. He returned to the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA in 2008 driving for Penske Taylor Racing, when he teamed up with Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe to take third place overall. The following month he had another second-place finish in the DAYTONA 500.
The second-winningest driver in DAYTONA history, Tony Stewart has six top-10 DAYTONA 500 finishes and has competed in the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA five times, twice finishing in the top five. Notably, in 2005, he teamed with Jan Lammars and Andy Wallace to earn a podium position, finishing third in their class.
Juan Pablo Montoya
In 2007, Juan Pablo Montoya not only made his DAYTONA 500 debut and won the NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year, but also joined Chip Ganassi Racing for his first Rolex 24 At DAYTONA. He claimed Rolex 24 At DAYTONA titles in 2007 and ’08, becoming the first full-time NASCAR driver to win multiple Rolex 24 championships. He has also a two-time Indianapolis 500 champion.
DAYTONA’s winningest driver was a mainstay in the DAYTONA 500, memorably getting his only victory in 1998. The legendary driver competed in the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA one time, but his 2001 debut was something special. Along with his son Dale Earnhardt Jr. and sports car veterans Andy Pilgrim and Kelly Collins, he co-drove the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, finishing fourth overall and second in the GTS class.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
With only two career appearances, Earnhardt Jr. has captured two podium finishes. In addition to driving alongside his father in the 2001 Rolex 24 for a second place finish in the GTS class, he ran in the teamed up with sports car champion Andy Wallace and Tony Stewart in 2005, placing fourth in their group.
Foyt is one of only two drivers to win the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA, DAYTONA 500, and Indianapolis 500, which we won four times. A two-time winner of the Rolex 24, he earned victories in 1983 and ’85 while driving for Henn’s Swap Shop Racing. His lone DAYTONA 500 victory came in 1972, driving for the legendary Wood Brothers Racing organization, besting Charlie Glotzbach by a full lap.
While he was unable to break through with a DAYTONA 500 victory, fan favorite Martin was dominant in the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA in the 1990s, winning four GT class titles for Ford. In 1995 he co-drove with Academy Award-winning actor Paul Newman, helping the iconic actor become the oldest winner in the event’s history by taking the title in the GTS-1 class.
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