Today marks the beginning of the 61st annual Rolex 24 race at Daytona International Speedway. Starting at 1:30pm EST, 61 sports cars and over 200 drivers will work to complete a full 24 hours of driving with a ton of activities for spectators during the race.
Whereas the Daytona 500 track resembles a distorted oval, the Rolex 24 course features two consecutive hairpin turns immediately after the start line, adding a little more excitement to the speed and finesse of sports car racing.
24 year old Austin Cendric would like to make history at his fifth Rolex 24 event, becoming the first driver to win the Daytona 500 and Rolex 24 crown in the same 12-month span. The win would also put him with prestigious names like Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, Jamie McMurray and Jeff Gordon, as drivers to win the Daytona and Rolex, just not in the same year. Cendric will be in the No. 51 car for today's race.
In 2022, the No. 60 car entered by the Meyer Shank Racing club won the race, just three seconds ahead of two time champ and most recent Rolex winner, Ricky Taylor. The Meyer Shank Racing Acura team included Tom Blomqvist, HélioCastroneves, Oliver Jarvis and Simon Pagenaud. Blomqviststayed close to the front towards the end of the race, before letting Castroneves of Meyer Shank and former teammate of Taylor to pass him and win with the third closest finishing margin of 3.028 seconds.
This year, the No. 60 car for Meyer Shank driven by Blomqvist will begin in the front of the race with the help of the qualifying race from last night, with Taylor not far behind in the No. 10 car for Wayne Taylor Racing. As spectators, we can only hope for a more exciting race than the last. Best of luck to the racers of today’s very long event.
No more than 10 minutes into the race, the race was sent into caution due to the No. 8 car of Tower Motorsports losing an engine, so the cleanup crew helped it return to their garage and resumed the race just a few minutes later.
The No. 60 Acura GTP entered by Meyer Shank and driven by Tom Blomqvist, held a 10 second lead over Ricky Taylor in the other Acura GTP numbered nine near the one-hour mark. By 3:30pm Meyer Shank switched to Colin Braun behind the No. 60 wheel and held a four second lead over Chip Ganassi’s No. 01 Cadillac driven by Renger van der Zande. The Meyer Shank No 60. Acura and Chip Ganassi No. 01 Cadillac kept the pace, shadowing each other into the third and fourth hours of the race.
As the sun began to set into the fifth and sixth hours of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Colin Braun in the Meyer Shank No. 60 Acura held his lead by a few seconds, which means very little knowing how fast a lead can be lost, especially when the top six GTP prototypes were separated by only five seconds. The lead was given up to the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura, driven by Louis Deletraz, after Braun finished his lengthy time behind the wheel for Pagenaud.
Here are the racers in the top five positions as of 7:50pm
There is plenty of racing left to watch throughout the night and into the morning. If you could not get tickets to the race, don't worry, you can still watch on NBC, the NBC Sports App, NBCSports.com and Peacock. You can also tune into 107.9FM to hear all of the excitement of the race.