In years past there used to be preseason thunder, NASCAR testing at Daytona International Speedway, to take the lid off of the off-season. This year that distinction is left to the 24 hours of Daytona, the ROLEX 24 at Daytona to be exact.
In years past there were many NASCAR stars entered in the race. This year from my tally only Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray and AJ Allmendinger are entered in the race.
The No. 02 Target/Ford EcoBoost Riley fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates will be piloted throughout the 24 hours by an all-star driving team of Scott Dixon Tony Kanaan, Kyle Larson, and Jamie McMurray.
Jamie McMurray drove the No. 01 Ford EcoBoost Riley fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates last year with Scott Pruett, Memo Rolas and Sage Karam but they blew an engine and failed to finish.
Kyle Larson drove the No. 02 last year with Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Marino Franchitti but they had problems and did not finish the race. In spite of that they did come in 43rd overall even though they had a great car. Such is the nature of this endurance race.
AJ Allmendinger will be a part of the No. 60 Ligier JS PS2 Honda HPD fielded by Michael Shank Racing w/ Curb/Agajanian team with fellow drivers John Pew, Oswaldo Negri Jr, and Matt McMurry .
Allmendinger and his team last year finished the race 47th. They finished the race but were not very fast throughout.
Both teams are driving what is called a Daytona Prototype cars, a very high tech race car specifically built for this style of racing.
The Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway is a very interesting race in that several different classes of race cars race at the same time. Imagine if NASCAR held a very long race in which there were Sprint Cup Cars, Xfinity Series Cars and Camping World Truck Series trucks on the track at the same time. It makes for some interesting racing watching those cars that are out classed get passed by those that obviously have a large advantage.
When you consider the strategy that can be played by those drivers who are not too tired by setting up passing those slower cars and the interest level gets raised a bar or two. Then those drivers who are not fresh try a similar move and disaster strikes. That in a small nut shell is what this 24 hour race is all about. I recommend watching as much as you can.
For a more enhanced entry list to the Rolex 24 at Daytona visit http://www.imsa.com/sites/default/files/races/entry_lists/2015%20TUDOR%20Championship%20ROLEX%20Pre-Event%20Entry%20List_v2.pdf?invalidate-cache=1405248398
If you cannot get to Daytona International Speedway it will be televised on a combination of the TV and the Internet. It will be broadcast on FOX Saturday January 24th 2015 from 2-4 PM ET then on Fox Sports 2 from 4-8 PM. It will move to Fox Sports 1 from 8-10 PM. At 10 PM the race moves to the internet streaming live at imsa.com until 7 AM Sunday. The race will finish on Fox Sports 1 from 7 AM until 2:30 PM ET. This race is a timed event so it will finish promptly prior to 2:30 regardless of the laps run plan accordingly to see the finish.
Feature Photo Credit: 293368 Chris Trotman/Getty Images