While NASCAR owns IMSA, the series racing this weekend as well as the Daytona International Speedway, the track we were racing at, it was instead the NTT IndyCar Series heading down to Florida and taking all of the headlines for the annual Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona race.
The only NASCAR flair in the sports car race was Kyle Busch, but even he was driving for an Indy Car team (Vasser-Sullivan). The defending Cup Series champion was making his Rolex debut and if you ask me, he did a phenomenal job. The No. 14 Lexus RC-F GT3, started behind the eight ball with their engine letting go in practice on Thursday. It didn’t give them enough time to qualify, so Parker Chase would have to start the car on Saturday in the back.
Chase, was battling a badly handling race car early on, so instead of Busch taking over the second stint like originally scheduled, the team went with lead driver Jack Hawksworth instead. Busch, would take over around 6 p.m. ET for his first try of it.
Between Hawksworth and Busch’s abilities, the car was back in contention, albeit still behind a bit. Busch, would go just the 45-minute stint on his first run before hopping out. He’d run a stint overnight, followed by three stints in the morning daytime hours to cap a great debut with the team getting a ninth place finish in class.
The rest of the headlines goes to Indy Car teams or drivers.
Scott Dixon, a Chip Ganassi Racing driver, won his fourth 24 Hours at Daytona race on Sunday afternoon for Wayne Taylor Racing. It was also his third overall Rolex win, tying him for second all-time. Also, former Indy Car driver Ryan Briscoe was his teammate on that team.
In LMP2, DragonSpeed would win again. Ben Hanley, who contested the races for DragonSpeed in Indy Car competition in 2019 and once again in the season opener this March at St. Pete, was driving the car across the finish line at Daytona.
For GTLM, it was Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing’s BMW team winning for a second consecutive year. Last year, it was the No. 25 BMW, this year it’s the No. 24 entry.
Three of the four classes were won by an Indy Car connection.