Childress-Howard Motorsports Announces Driver Lineup
The driver lineup for the Childress-Howard Motorsports entry in the 2009 Rolex 24 at Daytona has earned victories in the Rolex 24, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the IndyCar Series.
The talented driver quartet for the No. 2 CHM Pontiac Crawford Daytona Prototype is headed by three-time Rolex 24 overall winner Andy Wallace (1990, ’97, ’99). NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and 2006 Rolex 24 overall winner Casey Mears, IndyCar Series star and 2006 Rolex 24 competitor Danica Patrick and veteran sports car racer Rob Finlay will all see significant time behind the wheel.
Only five drivers have won more Rolex 24 overall titles than the three earned by Wallace. His trophy case also includes trophies from the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1988), the 12 Hours of Sebring (1992, ’93) and the Petit Le Mans (1999).
“I’m massively excited about the Rolex 24 and the whole season,” said Wallace. “Childress-Howard Motorsports is a fairly new team and we’re building ourselves up but knowing we have a whole season is exciting. I know Crawford (Race Cars LLC) is working flat out on the car and we’re just trying bit by bit to improve everything. This is a very competitive series and you don’t just come in and go straight to P1 (pole position) but the car is very good.”
Patrick has been one of the top stars of the IndyCar Series since making her debut there in 2005. Last April, she became the first female to win a major closed course auto race when she took the checkered flag at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan.
“So many drivers come together for this event, which everyone wants to win and do well, but there's such camaraderie at this event," Patrick said. "I just had a really great time (in 2006). The cars are fun to drive and there’s just a unique way of competing in a 24-hour race with the car and the people. I missed being a part of it."
Mears was a co-driver for the winning team that earned the overall victory in the 2006 Rolex 24, becoming the first full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver to do so. He was named in August 2008 as the driver of Richard Childress Racing’s No. 07 Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet team for the 2009 Sprint Cup Series season.
“I had a great time running this race in 2006 so I jumped at the chance to drive for Childress-Howard this year,” said Mears. “The Rolex 24 is one of the Big Three in American auto racing, along with the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. It will give me the chance to get warmed up for the Cup season, especially now that there will be no testing at Daytona.”
The 2009 Rolex 24 will be Finlay’s fifth competing in the Daytona Prototype class. He and Wallace are scheduled to run the entire 2009 Grand-Am Series season in the No. 2 CHM Pontiac Crawford Daytona Prototype.
“Any time you can team up with drivers like Andy Wallace, Danica Patrick and Casey Mears is a great opportunity,” said Finlay. “The Childress-Howard Motorsports team has put together a great Crawford race car so I’m looking forward to doing my part to make this a successful program both in the Rolex 24 and the rest of the Grand-Am Series season.”