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The final installment in our four-part series detailing the field for the 58th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona showcases the largest of the four IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship classes, GT Daytona (GTD).
Volusia Speedway Park welcomes the Super DIRTcar Series for five nights of DIRTcar Nationals action Tuesday-Saturday, Feb. 11-15. The World’s Fastest Half-Mile will rumble and shake beneath the fury of the Northeast’s premier Big Block Modified touring series once again.
The 2019 Super DIRTcar Series champion Mat Williamson, from St. Catharines, ON, and his No. 88 Buzz Chew Racing team are planning a full-scale assault on Volusia Speedway Park. Williamson wants to start 2020 right where he left off: In Victory Lane.
Race fans will look forward to seeing Waterloo, NY’s Super Matt Sheppard go for The Big Gator once again. Sheppard has eight race wins on the Florida oval. The seven-time Super DIRTcar Series champion wants to start 2020 off with a head full of steam.
After a strong run at the Chili Bowl in Tulsa, OK, Larry Wight will be strapping back into his No. 99L Gypsum Racing Big Block Modified to take on Volusia and looking for a repeat. Last year, Wight captured his first Big Gator. Coming off his win last year at the Can-Am World Finals, Billy Decker will have the famed #91 alongside in the pit area.
2019 rookie sensation Demetrios Drellos picked up his first career Super DIRTcar Series win at Albany-Saratoga Speedway by holding off the best in the business last September for a $10,000 pay day. Drellos improved steadily throughout the 2019 season, The Greek Streak will be looking to big up his first Gator this year in February.
Ransomville, NY racer Erick Rudolph gave Matt Sheppard a run for his money for the Series in 2018 with the points chase coming down to the final race of the season at the Can-Am World Finals. Rudolph has picked up track championships at Utica-Rome Speedway, Ransomville Speedway, and the Land of Legends as well. Needless to say, Erick Rudolph is a perennial Gator hunter in Barberville.
The Baldwinsville Bandit Jimmy Phelps, with his brand new HBR Bicknell hot rods, will shake and rattle the Barberville half-mile oval. Phelps has never taken home a DIRTcar Nationals Gator. Will the Bandit steal one in 2020?
The ever-likable Peter Britten will be making his first start stateside. He spent the holidays back home in his native Australia and just like years past he will have a familiar face and car alongside the returning Rich Scagliotta after being injured during the 2019 season.
Brett The Jet Hearn will join the Super DIRTcar Series for all five nights of action. Hearn has stepped away from full-time racing in favor of taking on the role of Director of Motorsports at Orange County Fair Speedway. But this February, Hearn will climb behind the wheel of the Madsen Motorsports No. 20 for another shot at Gator glory at Volusia.
NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck star Stewart Friesen will bring his Halmar International No. 44 to four of the five nights and hopes to repeat his popular win in the Nationals finale last year.
The legendary Billy Pauch and his hand-painted No. 1 Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modified are DIRTcar Nationals bound as well. Pauch has 14 Series wins including one win at Volusia Speedway Park in 2008. No one can miss the Johnny Rutherford/Pennzoil Chaparral throwback yellow Big Block screaming around the Florida clay.
Fan-favorite Ronnie Johnson, from Duanesburg, NY, has plied his trade at Lebanon Valley Speedway and Albany-Saratoga Speedway over the years with success. Johnson will be behind the wheel of Eugene Mill’s No. 30 as a teammate to JoJo Watson.
Anthony Perrego, who will be racing in the Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly Championship at Albany-Saratoga Speedway and Orange County Fair Speedways, had a stout week of racing at last year’s DIRTcar Nationals. Can Perrego breakthrough in 2020 with a Big Gator trophy?
Three-time Volusia Speedway Park winner and North Country ace Tim Fuller will haul down to The World Fastest Half-Mile for a go a Gator. Another veteran warrior Pat Ward, The Genoa Giant, is bringing his No. 42 Gypsum Racing machine down as well.
Billy Dunn will anchor the potent two-car team from the Ray Graham stable. For the second car, Graham will keep everyone in suspense with a “driver to be named later.” Rick Laubach has also been a mainstay in Florida and that will be no different when his familiar No. 7 pulls into the pits.
Other expected entries include Land of Legends star Justin Haers, asphalt modified standout Jimmy Zacharias, Thunder Mountain regular Jeremy Smith, Dave Rauscher, Western Pa. runners Rick Regalski and Ralph McBride, plus the North Country’s Michael Maresca, and more to be announced.
Race fans cannot go wrong heading down to the DIRTcar Nationals. The Super DIRTcar Series runs in conjunction with the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models for four out of the five nights of racing. The Late Model events are full points shows and pay $10,000-to-win.
The Super DIRTcar Series purse has been raised as well. Tuesday-Friday the 30-lap Features pay $3,000-to-win and $250-to-start. The finale on Saturday, February 15 awards $5,000 to the winner of the 40-lap Feature with $300 to take the green flag.
If you can’t make it down to Florida in February, be sure to sign up for a subscription to DIRTvision. DIRTvision will broadcast all twelve nights of DIRTcar Nationals action including the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars, World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models, UMP Modifieds, and of course the ground-pounding, earth-shaking, window-rattling Big Block Modifieds of the Super DIRTcar Series.
Get your tickets for the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, FLA here or call 844-DIRT-TIX today.
Stay up to date with all Super DIRTcar Series previews, race reports, highlights, and more at the new Super DIRTcar Series website. Follow the Series on Twitter for up-to-the-minute race day updates, videos, and photos. Even more content can be found on our Series Facebook page and Instagram. There is no shortage of ways to stay connected to the premier Big Block Modified touring series.
DIRTcar Series PR
Sitting side-by-side on stage Thursday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway, Lyn St. James and Hailie Deegan represented two significant eras in auto racing competition.
St. James was the first woman to earn an IMSA GT-class solo victory in 1985 and won three times competing in a Ford Mustang for Jack Roush that season. This weekend, Deegan will make her IMSA debut driving the No. 22 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 in Friday’s Michelin Pilot Challenge four-hour race - the car designed with a tribute livery to St. James’ 1985 car.
In her IMSA sportscar career as a Ford driver, St. James earned six wins including a pair of Rolex 24 class victories.
“Meeting Lyn, someone who has had such a historical presence in the sport and done so much in the past and just to pick your brain on everything and everything you know especially - and not just being a racer but being a girl in racing,’’ Deegan said, smiling at St. James.
“And also being just a true racer at heart and having pure talent like she has. I think it’s definitely cool to go back and go through scenarios we can relate on.’’
Deegan, 18, who was recently announced as a Ford Performance development program driver, will team with 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship contender Chase Briscoe in the four-hour IMSA race Friday – a day before the annual Rolex 24 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener on the Daytona International Speedway road course.
Briscoe, 25, who won the 2019 Xfinity Series Sunoco Rookie of the Honors, drives for Stewart-Haas Racing and has competed in this Michelin Pilot Challenge event three times previously. Another up-and-coming NASCAR star, Austin Cindric, will be driving a second car for the Multimatic team.
As with Deegan, Briscoe spoke about how proud he was to honor St. James with their car in Friday’s race.
“It’s humbling for sure, anytime you think of being able to recognize clearly an icon of motorsports it’s a huge deal,’’ Briscoe said. “To be a part of that is awesome.
“To be able to try to help Hailie in her first start is neat for me to come back full circle. I think it’s my third year doing [this race]. Austin Cindric was kind of that guy for me and now I’m able to try and to help Hailie.
“Hopefully we can have the same results Lyn had in 1985 and get that car back to victory lane.”
For her part, St. James said she was truly honored for the team to use a paint scheme acknowledging her efforts. She has been a long-time advocate for women in racing and spent more than a decade as an advisor to Ford Motor Company.
“It’s awesome to be sitting here and remembered,’’ St. James said, adding, “It was great to meet Hailie, I’ve followed her career even before she was doing some things last year (in the NASCAR K&N Series) and I knew that she was a rising star. I knew Chase and remember him from back when he was doing sprint car stuff.
“I follow the young drivers and what they’re doing. It’s just great to be in their presence and to be able to hang with them.’’
Deegan will compete fulltime in the ARCA Menards Series, which opens its season Feb. 8 on the Daytona International Speedway’s 2.5-mile high banks and is planning to compete more Michelin Pilot Challenge races throughout 2020.
The BMW Endurance Challenge begins at 1 p.m. Friday and can be streamed live exclusively on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold in the United States. International viewers can stream the race on IMSA.tv and the IMSA App. IMSA Radio also has live coverage on RadioLeMans.com. The race will be broadcast on NBCSN on Thursday, Feb. 6 at 1 p.m. EST.
NBC Sports presents comprehensive live coverage of 58th IMSA Rolex 24 at Daytona endurance race this weekend23 Jan 2020 Written by Speedway Digest Staff
NBC Sports’ 2020 coverage of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship begins this weekend with unparalleled live coverage of the 58th Rolex 24 At Daytona endurance race at Daytona International Speedway on NBC, NBCSN, NBC Sports.com, the NBC Sports app, and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.
The Rolex 24 At Daytona features icons of the racing world competing on teams across four separate classes of competition – Daytona Prototype International, Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2), GT Le Mans (GTLM), and GT Daytona (GTD) – where the world’s premier car manufacturers are represented. This year’s race is no exception with some of the world’s most well-known drivers competing, including Kyle Busch, Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud, Juan Pablo Montoya, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Alexander Rossi.
NBC Sports’ comprehensive presentation will utilize 17 of its IMSA, NASCAR and INDYCAR commentators, analysts and reporters on-site for its inaugural presentation of the Rolex 24, headlined by NBC Sports’ lead IMSA commentating team of play-by-play voice Leigh Diffey, Rolex 24 winner & former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver A.J. Allmendinger (analyst), and former IMSA GT driver and analyst Calvin Fish (analyst).
NASCAR legend-turned analyst Dale Earnhardt Jr. joins analyst Steve Letarte and host Krista Kelly inside the “Peacock Pit Box,” a state-of-the-art remote studio set designed to bring viewers closer to the action. Built within a traditional pit box frame, the “Peacock Pit Box” will be set up along pit road.
An additional broadcast booth comprised of NASCAR on NBC lead announcer Rick Allen, INDYCAR on NBC analysts Paul Tracy and IMSA champion Townsend Bell, and Brian Till will be featured throughout the weekend.
Reporters Marty Snider, Dave Burns, Kelli Stavast and Parker Kligerman, Kevin Lee and Dillon Welch will share pit road duties. In addition, Rutledge Wood will showcase stories around the Daytona International Speedway.
DRIVERS INTERVIEWS WITH NBC SPORTS AHEAD OF ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA
- Kyle Busch – 2019 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch sits down with fellow AIM Vassar Sullivan driver and NBC Sports analyst Townsend Bell to discuss the adjustments to the GTD class and why he’ll follow his teammates’ lead in the Rolex 24;
- Jordan Taylor and Ricky Taylor – The Taylor brothers take a look back at early racing memories and their strengths behind the wheel as they look ahead to the Rolex 24;
- Colton Herta – The young INDYCAR star reflects on his rookie season and talks about growing up in a racing family;
- Simon Pagenaud – The 2019 Indy 500 winner explains what he loves about the sports car scene and looks forward to this year’s Rolex 24;
In addition, motorsports journalist Sam Posey will voice a feature on Ken Miles, the racer portrayed by Christian Bale in “Ford vs. Ferrari,” who also helped his Ford team to the overall win at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1966.
DOUBLE DUTY – A.J. ALLMENDINGER AND TOWNSEND BELL TO PARTICIPATE IN RACE AND SERVE AS RACE ANALYSTS
In addition to their roles with the NBC Sports’ telecast team, drivers A.J. Allmendinger and Townsend Bell will be pulling double duty and competing in this weekend’s Rolex 24. Bell won the IMSA GT Daytona Championship in 2015, and Allmendinger won the Rolex 24 in 2012.
All coverage streams on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app, and the entire race will stream live and commercial free via TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold, NASCAR® and NBC Sports’ new streaming product delivering unprecedented, exclusive live motorsports coverage.
Following is NBC Sports’ coverage schedule for the IMSA Rolex 24 At Daytona, including commentary pairings throughout the race. Announcers Tommy Kendall and Justin Bell will call overnight coverage on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.
|Time (ET)||Platform||Commentators||Pit Crew/Roving|
|6-8 p.m.||NBC Sports App||Allen/Tracy/Till/Bell||Lee/Welch/Kligerman|
|8-10 p.m.||NBC Sports App||Diffey/Fish/Allmendinger/Bell||Snider/Burns/Stavast/Wood|
|10-11 p.m.||NBC Sports App||Allen/Tracy/Till/Bell||Lee/Welch/Kligerman|
|11 p.m.-3 a.m.||NBCSN||Allen/Tracy/Till/Bell||Lee/Welch/Kligerman/Wood|
|3-6 a.m.||NBC Sports App||Tommy Kendall/Justin Bell|
*commentary teams are subject to change
IMSA ON NBCSPORTS.COM AND THE NBC SPORTS APP
NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs — will provide live streaming coverage of the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value to their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.
NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app are powered by Playmaker Media and available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.
- There are more than 10 teams on the entry list with two or more cars entered for the race. There are also more than 15 drivers making their Pilot Challenge debut.
- Five women are entered for Friday’s race, with four in the GS class and one in TCR.
- Stock car star Hailie Deegan has made headlines with her entry in the No. 22 Multimatic Motorsports Ford, but there will be two women racing alongside in a pair of BMW M4 GT4s. Aurora Straus returns in the No. 95 Turner Motorsport BMW and hailing from the Netherlands is BMW Motorsport Junior Beitske Visser in the No. 26 BMW for Fast Track Racing.
- Sheena Monk is jumping up from the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America series into a McLaren GT4, racing in the No. 3 M1 Racing car.
- Taylor Hagler is the lone female competing in the TCR class in the No. 77 L.A. Honda World Racing Honda Civic TCR.
- Snowboarding Olympian AJ Muss will be making his IMSA debut in the No. 74 Forty7 Motorsports Hyundai Veloster N TCR. After suffering a life-threatening medical emergency following a surgery in 2014, Muss recovered, trained and followed his dreams of competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Seoul.
- Austin Cindric and Seb Priaulx could start up a winning streak with a victory at Daytona. The pair won the 2019 season finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, also in the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4.
- New number, same operation. Russell Ward and Indy Dontje have switched from the No. 33 entry to the No. 4, but still with Winward Racing in a Mercedes-AMG GT4. Their sister car, the No. 57 remains the same, although with Bryce Ward now teaming with Philip Ellis.
- Popular Brazilian driver Atila Abreu is making his IMSA debut along with Leo Sanchez in the No. 31 MCC Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4. The pair co-drove in the Porsche GT3 Cup Brasil series as well as Brasilian stock car racing.
Natalie Decker has added an additional race to her schedule, teaming with Ken Schrader Racing, and FURY Race Cars to wheel the No. 52 machine in the Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire at Daytona International Speedway for the ARCA season opener.
In her two career starts at Daytona in the ARCA series, she scored finishes in the top six. Additionally, in 2018 Decker won the pole for the race, becoming the third female to do so at Daytona in ARCA. She would finish that race in 5th place and in 2019, finished in 6th.
"We are obviously very excited to have Natalie in the seat for the Daytona race! With her previous ARCA experience, we are pulling in with one of the more experienced drivers in the field," says Ken Schrader.
It will be a chance for Natalie to get out on the track before her first NASCAR Trucks series start of the year, which will come a week later on, Feb. 14th, when she begins her journey with Niece Motorsports. Ken Schrader Racing and partner, FURY Race Cars, adds to a strong core of teams Decker will race with during 2020.
In Schrader’s nearly 40 years in the sport, he has seen through hard work into success, both behind the wheel and as a team owner. Schrader has captured 18 ARCA wins and has 65 top 10s after 28 years behind the wheel. Additionally, he had four wins in the NASCAR Cup Series.
"In years past, we have won 3 times, but you're only as good as that day. So much of the finish depends on staying clean and were going to try really hard to give her what she needs," say's Schrader.
It's that type of experience that drew Natalie to Ken and his team.
“I’m so thankful and honored to have the opportunity to drive for these racing icons! I will be learning so much and from some of the best!” says Natalie.
Tony Eury Jr. will serve as Natalie's crew chief for the race. He was also the crew chief for the likes of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Danica Patrick, Brad Keselowski, and Michael Waltrip, just to name a few.
"I'm really looking forward to going to Daytona with Natalie and working with Ken Schrader Racing. I've always liked Daytona, and I've had a lot of success there in the past," says Eury Jr. "I've built my career on mentoring young and up-and-coming drivers, trying to teach them the X's and O's of different levels of this sport, and that's what we do as a company at FURY. Natalie has a lot of passion for racing, and our goal is to help her improve so that she can meet the goals she has set for her career."
Natalie reiterated how natural the whole process was for her as it all came together seamlessly.
“I have owned a FURY super late-model since 2017, and have gotten to know Tony, Jeff (Fultz), Kaz (Grala) and all the guys at FURY very well. I love driving those cars. So partnering with FURY and KSR for the Daytona race just seemed pretty natural.”
KBR Development officials are pleased to announce Connor Mosack as the driver of the teams #28 Super Late Model for New Symrna Speedways’ World Series of Asphalt.
Mosack, a member of the Drivers Edge Development program, is entering his second season at the late model level. The Charlotte, North Carolina driver earned Rookie of the Year honors at Hickory Motor Speedway in 2019. Mosack is set to compete full time with the JR Motorsports late model program in 2020.
“I look forward to working with KBR and learning a new car on a new track,” said the 21-year-old Mosack. “Being able to race nearly half a season in a week is so exciting and I feel it will be a huge benefit this year with JRM.”
Eight nights of racing on the high banked New Symrna Speedway oval are on tap for KBR and Mosack, beginning February 7. In addition, KBR will be competing 12-miles to the north at the World Center of Racing, Daytona International Speedway. World of Outlaws Sprint Car star David Gravel will pilot the #28 Chevrolet in the ARCA Menards Series 200 on February 8.
Keep up with the latest news and information, as well as live race day updates by following KBR Development, on your favorite social media platform, as well as KBRdevelopment.com. Learn more about Connor Mosack at connormosack.com.
Opportunities are available in KBR Development ARCA cars, as well as super and pro late models, for drivers searching to compete in premier equipment.
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