Roush Yates Engines 1-2-3 at Rolex 24
Roush Yates Engines powered Ford Daytona Prototype series entries to a 1-2-3 "podium finish" in Sunday's 50th Running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The 761-lap endurance race was green flagged yesterday afternoon.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star AJ Allmendinger drove the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Ford / Riley Daytona Prototype entry to the win. It was an epic battle over the final two hours between three Ford DP entries in one of the most competitive Rolex 24 events in recent memory.
Allmendinger traded the lead with Michael Shank Racing teammate Felipe Nasr (No. 6) and pole sitter Ryan Dalziel (No. 8) in the Starworks Motorsport Ford / Riley over the final hours - even in the light of being placed in the car for a stout 3-hour stint to anchor the No. 60's driving chores to the checkered flag finish.
Dalziel finished second while Nasr took third in clearly the greatest day of sports car/road racing performance history at Roush Yates. Allmendinger's margin of victory was 5.198 seconds over Dalziel.
When the media seemingly and rightfully tagged the BMWs and Corvettes as the teams to beat in the 14-car DP division, Ford /Riley and a team of engineers, technicians, and assemblers at Roush Yates Engines were able to shed Ford's "underdog" moniker as soon as all six Ford DP entries touched the Daytona pavement early last week. They were fast and it proved no fluke once the top starting spot was earned by Dalziel.
"It just doesn't get any better in road racing than winning the 50th Running of the Rolex 24 - such a prestigious event," said Doug Yates, Roush Yates CEO. "This was just an amazing accomplishment from everyone at Roush Yates, who had a hand in making these engines perform flawlessly, to the teams and drivers who put their talent on the line and trusted our technology. This is the 10th year that we have had engines in the Rolex 24, and Roush Yates has stayed committed to making this program better each year. This was truly our year."
In addition to Allmendinger, the winning No. 60 driver roster consisted of IndyCar driver Justin Wilson, John Pew, and Ozz Negri as the team took home the coveted Rolex watches and trophy.
A tired and sweating Allmendinger in victory lane said: "I want to thank everyone at Roush Yates and (DP program manager John) Maddox. Wow, I am so worn out right now ... but this Roush Yates motor was a rocket ship. Michael puts together great race cars and we owe this to him. Ford 1-2-3 on the podium ... wow that is absolutely amazing."
John Maddox, Roush Yates Engines' Daytona Prototype/Road Racing program manager commented: "This was our 10th attempt to win this thing overall. Finally! In these past 10 years we have been really good down here ... and had tragedy strike (our engines). Now it all came together. We had a few practice and qualifying struggles, and even an early race concern. But the professionalism of every person down here connected to these Ford teams enabled this great outcome. We are definitely connected with the right partners in Michael Shank Racing and Starworks."