The 50th Rolex 24 at Daytona


The no.99 Gainsco Corvette DP suffered a damaged radiator, and later a crash, during the overnight hours.

Allan McNish was able to get the car back on the lead lap by 11 AM. One of the race's most exciting moments came when McNish caught Oswaldo Negri and the pair of them split a pair of GT cars in NACAR turns one and two – going four wide while battling for the lead.

The battle between the no. 60 and no. 8 cars would boil over a short time later. After a round of pitstops, where AJ Allmendinger replaced Negri in the no. 60 car, he attempted an outside pass of McNish in turn two. McNish gave him no room and Allmendinger nearly went off track, losing several seconds.

The incredible battle between Allan McNish in the no. 8 Starworks Ford-Riley and AJ Allmendinger in the no. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley with less than three hours remaining.

A few laps later, Allmendinger had caught McNish and got a better run out of turn six, which heads on to the banked oval. As the two ran side-by-side, Allmendinger appeared to drift up the bank slightly, and the two cars made contact. Not amused, McNish returned the favor and the two made hard contact heading down the backstraightaway at well over 180mph, with Allmendinger assuming the lead. However, it was the no. 01 car that would take the lead following a round of pitstops.

Leaving the pits while leading, with 45 minutes left in the race, it was all over for the no. 01 car as Scott Pruett lost both first and second gears in his BMW-Riley. The team opted to bring him into the pits and replace the gear stack, costing him several laps and dropping the car to sixth. This would leave the no. 60 car in the lead with a small gap over the no. 8, now driven by Ryan Dalziel.
The battle between the new generation of Daytona Prototypes between the Corvette DPs (no.5 Action Express Corvette DP) and the Riley DP (no. 8 Starworks Ford-Riley) was settled heavily in favor of the Riley chassis.

It was a nail-biting final run to the checkered flag, with the difference between Allmendinger in the no. 60 and Dalziel in the no. 8 ebbing and flowing between six seconds and eleven seconds. At the checkered flag, Allmendinger took the win by 5.198 seconds, scoring his first win and Michael Shank Racing's in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, ahead of the no. 8 Starworks Ford-Riley that had been on pole. A surprise third place was the no. 2 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley – an older generation Daytona Prototype – of Felipe Nasr, Jorge Goncalvez, Michael McDowell and Gustavo Yacaman. Despite being an older car, the no. 6 car ran near the front throughout the race – and led briefly before midnight – and stayed out of trouble while the other contenders ran into trouble.

“I'm so worn out,” said Allmendinger in victory lane following the race. “The motor was so fast. I'm so drained. I knew those last three hours I was going to have to flat out. It was fun. When Dalziel got in the car…I knew I was going to have to drive my ass off. I pushed really hard to build up a gap and take those last ten laps to manage that gap.”

The no. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley takes the checkered flag. Third place went to the other MSR car, the no. 6, which is an older generation Daytona Prototype.

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