Rolex 24 Wrap Up

Even before Dayna international Speedway announced a record attendance for the race, I knew it. I felt it, I saw it. It was in the jam- packed food court, and the long lines for at food trucks that in years past, you could walk right up to anytime. The record crowd was in the hoseshoe grandstand, which was nearly full all the time. In other years, it empties out after the fireworks Saturday night. When I returned Sunday afternoon, I swear some fans had been there the entire 24 hours.

The 61st Rolex had some improvements, but they still have a long way to go. Wifi was available in the infield campgrounds, but not in the main grandstand. Two video boards were added, one in the food court and one near turn 1. One is needed in the horseshoe and two more should be installed on the front stretch.

The Grid Walk, always a disaster waiting to happen, was worse than ever. The problem is getting everyone through just a couple of narrow openings, then having the crowd wait for race teams to drive through to prepare for the race. What the track and IMSA should do is have more and wider openings, and not have an entry point through the garages and near pit entrance. Once everyone gets out to the track, everything is fine, but management needs to work on the getting there part.

My Weekend

This year was my third camping experience. I have learned a lot from my friends Brian runnells and Debbie Howard, and I felt more comfortable camping this time. I was much better prepared, for one thing. Thursday night Doug Boles came to our campsite. he usually pops in, but this year he was taking an in depth look at how campers set up to give him an idea of what IMS might look like for the IMSA race this fall. He spoke to several groups of campers and viewed their setups.Bokles is always learning to improve IMS.

I had an ice chat with him about the Speedway honoring Bill Vukovich this year on the 70th anniversary of his first win. I think we will see something. We had a great chat about Vuky.

GTP- History Made

The race saw the debut of the GTP class, which replaced the DPi cars. It was refreshing. The new cars, represented by Cadillac, Acura, Porsche, and BMW, each have a distinct look. It was nice to see race cars have some variety in appearance. I thought the BMW were the best looking of this class. It was nice to be able to tell which car was approaching by its looks.

In addition to the distinctive front, there were some differences in the body style and sidepods. More of this diversity, please.

I expected the cars to have more issues in the race than they did. Only two cars fell out of contention early, and the others finished the race.

The Race

I don’t know how this happens, but after 24 hours you wouldn’t expect a class battle to come down to a pass at the line. The LMP2 finish was incredible.

In GTP, Acuras were the fastest cars, and Cadillac I thought performed better than expected. Porsches were the most disappointing. The Penske team had more development and test time than the other teams.

It was nice to see Cooper McNeil win in his final Rolex24 in the GTD class.

Yellow flags flew early and often, but then there was a stretch of six hours of continuous green flag racing. Yellows in the last hour added a bit of drama, but in the end helped the contenders with it strategy.

Too Many Classes?

While it was fantastic to see a field of 61 cars take the green, I wonder if IMSA could cut back to three classes. i don’t think it would hurt the product.

I think IMSA should eliminate the LMP3 class and consolidate GTD and GTD Pro. LMP3 cars are barely quicker than the GTD cars, and both GTD classes run the same equipment. It was challenging enough frying to follow four classes, let alone five.

This might be a case of addition by subtraction.

I will have a photo gallery up at some point tomorrow.

Some Indycar Notes

Congratulations to Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud, who were part of the winning team, the number 60 Acura of Meyer Shank Racing.

Tomorrow and Wednesday are Indycar media days. All drivers will talk to the media, and I will share what I find out. Thursday and Friday is Indycar Spring Training, with 11 hours of practice at the Thermal Club near Palm Springs, California, split into two sessions each day..

Timing and scoring is available, but there is no streaming, one of the pitfalls of going to a club track

Rolex 24 Entry List, Spotter Guide Links

Just about to head to Daytona. Here are links to the entry list and Andy Blackmore’s fabulous spotter guide.

Entry list:

Spotter guide:

I will post the weekend schedule this afternoon. Follow my Twiter ab=nd Facebook forphotos all weekend.

Power Joins Rolex 24 Indycar Contingent

Will Power ill participate in the 2023 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona at the end of January. Power will co-drive the number 75 Mercedes AMG in the GTD class. The car owner, Kenny Habul, used to race against Power in Australian supercars.

Power will be making his debut in the Rolex. He joins Penske teammates Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin in the 24 hours. Newgarden and McLaughlin will be teammates in the Tower Motorsports LMP2 entry.

I think sports cars is where Power’s future lies. He has expressed interest in running at Bathurst in his native Australia.

He joins 10 fellow full time Indycar drivers in the first major race of the season in North America. In addition, Indy NXT drivers Kyffin Simpson and Christian Rasmussen, and Josh Pierson will also take part in the race.

Pierson will be part time in NXT as his main focus will be in sports cars. he has signed as a development driver with Ed Carpenter Racing. Keep in mind the kid is not yet 16 years old.

The previous year’s Indycar champion should be in the Rolex 24, which has become somewhat ofa racing season All-Star race. Likewise, I would like to see the IMSA season champion in the Indianapolis 500.

Indycar drivers entered in the Rolex 24 as of now:


Colton Herta BMW Team RLL

Scott Dixon – Cadillac racing

Helio Castroneves- Meyer Shank racing

Simon Pagenaud-Meyer Shank Racing


Josef Newgarden-Tower Motorsports

Scott McLaughlin- Tower Motorsports

Kyffin Simpson-Tower Motorsports

Christian rasmussen-ERA Motorsport

Devlin DeFrancesco-Rick ware Racing

Rinus veekay- TDS Racing


Romain Grosjean- Iron Lynx


Kyle Kirkwood- Vasser Sullivan

Will Power- Sun Energy1

2023: Less Off -Track Drama, More Good Racing

The site of Spring Training

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and is looking forward to a good new year. At the end of January Indycar will be on track at the Thermal, California, track, which could nbe the site of an Indycar race in a couple of years.

I am excited about several things this upcoming season. For one the off track driver drama should be much less. Alex Palou knows where he will be the next two years. Pato O’Ward has the contract he wanted. The drama should stay on the racetrack. This is not a season preview, just a list of what I’m looking forward to.

Before I talk about Indycar, a couple of IMSA items.

I am excited to go to the Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona to see the new GTP cars. The former top prototype class has some new manufacturers with more coming in 2024. The cars have some style differences, which is refreshing. I’m not sure that the body work is distinct enough to recognize different cars while they are on track, but it is a step in the right direction.

I don’t like the new group name GTP. It makes the top class sound as if they are GT cars. IMSA should have stuck with the prototype label. That is what this class is- concepts. But they again failed to ask my opinion.

I am very excited for the IMSA race at IMS in September. It’s about time this series ran at the speedway.

Indycar- A Big 4 at Last?

This may be the year Arrow McLaren may finally join the Big Three of Penske, Ganassi, and Andretti as Indycar elite. The team has been nipping at the heels of the top tier, and 2023 could be their breakthrough season.

The addition of Alexander Rossi should give Pato O’Ward some extra help in his championship hunt. Felix Rosenqvist is essentially auditioning for a job on another team for 2024, and last year he did a great job fighting to keep his ride at McLaren.

Meanwhile a reconfigured Andretti Team looks to improve from a mediocre 2022 season which saw just two wins. Colton Herta should geta couple victories. I look for improvement from Kyle Kirkwood on his new team. Romain Grosjean may be driving to keep his ride. Will Devlin DeFrancesco be better with a year of experience?

Super Sophs?

David Malukas had a strong run at the end of the year. Will he carry that momentum into 2023? I felt he matured a lot as the season progressed.

Kyle Kirkwood has a fresh start after a difficult year. I hopoe his new team with more resources gives him a better chance at good results.

McLaughlin Even Better?

Scott Mclaughlin won three times in his second year in 2022. I think we have a third Penske driver to watch. McLaughlin could win the championship this year. I would not be surprised to see his win total increase in 2023.


The Pit Window will be moving to winter headquarters tomorrow. That means there will be major news breaking while I’m driving through the wilds of Kentucky or Tennessee.

Nest week I will share some thoughts abought the Damar Hamlin situation. There are some parallels to racing.

Andretti-Wayne Taylor Racing Partnership: Some Thoughts

Yesterday’s announcement of the new partnership between Andretti Autosport and Wayne Taylor Racing is huge for both IMSA and Indycar. While in 2023 we might not see any big changes, the next two years have a lot potential for some big moves.

Le Mans?

My first thought was that the new group will head to Le Mans in 2024 or 2025. Taylor’s son Ricky has driven at le mans for other teams, but now Taylor has a chance to bring his own car to France. It would be great to see the Andretti name return to Le Mans.


The groups no have increased depth in engineering and crew personnel. I can see a possibility of trading people back and forth for the sports car and Indycar programs as necessary.

I’m not sure how much each program can learn from Acura/Honda that translates from Sports cars to Indycars,but with Indycar moving to a hybrid system in 2024, perhaps there are things Andretti can learn from a year with the GTP car.


Will Acura grant WTR/Andretti a second GTP car for 2024? If they do, will Meyer Shank still be an Acura program?

Ricky Taylor in Indycar?

The prospect of Ricky Taylor driving an Indycar really excites me. He is a talented driver. Driving for a team affiliated with Andretti gives him his best opportunity. I doubt if he would ever be a full time Indycar pilot, but I could see Taylor running a couple of road course races and possibly the Indianapolis 500.someday.

Indycar Exposure

I am not sure if there will be an increase in exposure for Indycar with this joint venture. Andretti joins Chip Ganassi, Mike Shank, Roger Penske, Bobby Rahal as Indycar team owners who will have entries in the GTP class in IMSA. With both series on NBC/Peacock, maybe the network can work opn some cross promotion. Some driver crossover would help.

For 2023 I believe all the Andretti indycar drivers have endurance commitments with other teams in various classes. Colton Herta with Rahal, Kyle Kirkwood with Vasser./Sullivan, and Romain Grosjean with Lamborghini. Devlin DeFrancesco has an LMP2 ride I believe.

I am excited to see how this partnership evolves. I see a potentially big super team on the horizon.

Andretti Joins IMSA with Wayne Taylor Racing

Andretti Autosport added to their extensive racing portfolio by partnering with Wayne Taylor Racing in the IMSA Weather tech Championship. The multi year deal begins withthe Rolex 24 hour at Daytona when the GTP Acura debuts. I will have some thoughts on this partnership tiomorrow.

The release from Andretti this morning:

INDIANAPOLIS (Dec. 28, 2022) – Andretti Autosport and Wayne Taylor Racing announced a new, long-term partnership today that will see the championship-caliber teams combine resources to compete in IMSA’s top classes. Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport’s No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 and its No. 93 Harrison Contracting Company Acura NSX Evo22 will make their official debut at the 2023 Roar Before the Rolex 24 and will be on the grid for the Rolex 24 at DAYTONA. The newly formed team will also compete in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America series. 

During the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, day-to-day operations and leadership remain as they have currently operated with the long- term goal of moving the programs into Andretti Global’s recently announced 575,000-square-foot headquarters in Fishers, Indiana, due to be operational in 2025.

Wayne Taylor’s global motorsports enterprise boasts two IMSA driver championships (2013, 2017) and back-to-back IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup Championships (2021, 2020), which have contributed to nine IMSA manufacturer championships for Acura, Pontiac, Corvette and Cadillac as well as multiple victories in sportscar racing’s most iconic events – the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA (a total of six Rolex 24 At Daytona titles, two as driver and four of the past six years as team owner), Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, Road America, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International. Wayne Taylor Racing claims eight Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America Championship titles and a Lamborghini World Finals title. 

For 2023, Andretti will continue to operate in IMSA’s LMP3 category with Jarett Andretti. The five-time Indianapolis 500 champions Andretti Autosport competes in six additional racing championships worldwide, including the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, INDY NXT by Firestone, ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, Extreme E, Australia’s Repco Supercars Championship and Mexico’s SuperCopa series. 

Michael Andretti, Chairman & CEO, Andretti Autosport: 

“This is an exciting time for us. We’re proud to be returning to the IMSA paddock in this way and the opportunity to be part of the launch of the GTP program alongside Wayne Taylor Racing and our friends at Honda Performance Development. Re-entering IMSA full time, and at this level, has been a goal of mine. I wanted it to be the right opportunity and at the right time – and we’ve found that. I’m looking forward to working closer with the team at WTR and meeting all the team’s strong supporters. I want to personally thank Wayne (Taylor) and Travis (Houge) for already being such great partners as we plan for a successful future.” 

Wayne Taylor, Team Owner, Wayne Taylor Racing: 

“It’s an honor to be partnering with a name like Andretti as we enter a new era of racing. I was approached by Michael a year ago and, as we all know, timing is everything, especially as our GTP and GTD programs continue to grow with Acura |HPD. Having worked with Michael on this for nearly a year, I’m very excited to see it come together. While our 2023 program won’t look much different, there is a lot that Andretti Autosport can offer to us as we continue to build and expand. I’m looking forward to working closer with Michael (Andretti), J-F (Thormann), Rob (Edwards) and the entire Andretti team.” 

From IMS: To Sponsor Battle on the Bricks in 2023 at IMS

From IMS:

IMSA Event Tickets On Sale Dec. 20

INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022) – Indianapolis Motor Speedway and – a customer-direct tire, wheel and car accessory distributor – announced Dec. 14 an entitlement sponsorship of the Battle on the Bricks IMSA sports car event in September 2023. is the “Official Partner of the Battle on the Bricks” and “Official Partner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

“The opportunity to join as official partners in bringing IMSA sports car racing back to IMS amplifies how important tire performance is to our DNA,” said Matt Edmonds, executive vice president, “Tire performance always plays a critical role for every driver, on the track or the street, and IMSA at IMS provides an exceptional showcase right in our home state of Indiana.”

The Battle on the Bricks features the return of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship to the Racing Capital of the World from Sept. 15-17, 2023, with a full weekend of sports car racing on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile IMS road course. The two-hour, 40-minute feature event will take place Sunday, Sept. 17, with live NBC network television coverage.

“We welcome as a partner of this exciting weekend of IMSA sports car racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “We know many sports car fans also are enthusiasts who enjoy working on their own cars, including me, and provides 24/7 access to shop for the highest-quality tires, wheels and car accessories with a focus on the best prices and customer service, which is an ideal match.”

In addition to Sunday’s WeatherTech Championship race, the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge will headline the action Saturday, Sept. 16 with a four-hour, bumper-to-bumper traffic jam of production-based race cars.
With 18 different manufacturers competing in IMSA, the Battle on the Bricks weekend will be a three-day festival showcasing the pinnacle of sports car racing.

Fans who signed up for event updates about the Battle on the Bricks will receive a ticket pre-sale link via email. Ticket sales will open to the general public Tuesday, Dec. 20. Visit to sign up for event updates and purchase tickets once available.

In another exciting addition to the sports car weekend, fans can camp in the IMS infield, access not available during any other race weekend. Powered and primitive spaces will be available to purchase throughout the infield for public camping.
IMSA also will return to IMS in 2024 and 2025 for longer endurance races. Fans who purchase race tickets or infield camping in 2023 will have first access to secure those spots for the 2024 IMSA endurance race.

Tire Rack, headquartered in South Bend, Indiana, is a leading independent tire tester and consumer-direct source for tires, wheels and performance accessories. Since 1979, Tire Rack has grown from a single-point retail store in Indianapolis to encompass over 2.8 million square feet of space in 10 distribution centers across the country. Tire Rack does business as online, TR Wholesale Solutions in the car dealer and wholesale channels and Tire Rack Mobile Installation in select areas as a mobile installation solution.

Acuras 1-2 After 17 Hours

The yellow sky of sunrise reflects the course of the race, currently under its 15th caution. The number 60 Acura of Meyer Shank Racing leads the number 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing. Tom Blomqvist and Ricky Taylor are the respective drivers.

Both Cadillacs of Chip Ganassi Racing are out of contention. Just before midnight the 01 went behind the wall. It is back on track but running 37th overall, 22 laps behind. The 02 had a fuel pump issue just about 30 minutes ago and is currently in the garage.

Indycar drivers are having a mixed day. Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves drive for the leading Acura, and Alexander Rossi got his first stint in the second place 10 just before midnight.

The LMP2 team for which Rinus VeeKay drives is currently running second in class. The Dragonspeed entry with Indycar stars Pato O’Ward, Colton Herta, and rookie Devlin DeFrancesco is currently third.

The Andretti Autosport LMP3 entry is currently fourth in class, one lap down. Former Indycar driver Gabby Chaves is in the car at the moment.

The cold nighttime hours have produced lots of spinning cars, as expected. The current Daytona temperature is 34degrees F.

I will probably not have another up date until this evening. Thanks for following along this weekend. I have a feeling the ending is going to be wild.

Race Day- Chily Day, Cold Night Ahead

The 60th running of the Rolex 24 starts at 1:40 pm EST today. The temperature at the start will be in the mid 40’s and by the midpoint of the race the mercury will read low 30’s. By the end of the race temperatures will rise to the low 50’s.

How teams and drivers handle the tires after pit stops could be key to winning the event. I’m not sure if Michelin has a temperature threshold like Indycar has. Could we see a red flag due to the cold? My predictions follow.

Going into yesterday, I would have put Wayne Taylor Racing as the favorite for its fourth straight win here, but the dominance of the Cadillacs in Friday’s final practice makes me wonder if one of the Ganassi cars has an edge.

Watch for the Dragonspeed car number 81 in LMP2. The car has an Indycar all star squad of Colton Herta, Pato O’Ward, and Devlin DeFrancesco. O’Ward had the fastest overall .lap in a Thursday practice session.

Andretti Autosport is my pick in LMP3. They dominated the qualifying race last Sunday. This class could be prone to a lot of attrition.

GTD Pro will go to the 63 Lamborghini. It is by far the class of this field. One of the Weather Tech Porsches should be the GTD champion. My pick is the 79.

Today’;s schedule and television times:

At the track:

10:30 AM – 11:15 AM IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Autograph Session – UNOH Fanzone

12:00 PM Crossover Gates Open for Pre-Race Access

12:00 PM Grid Opens for Fan Access to Pre-Race Ceremonies

1:15 PM – 1:40 PM Rolex 24 At DAYTONA Pre-Race Ceremonies

1:40 PM Start of the Rolex 24 Hours

I will report on the race progress when possible. If you are at the track, stay safe and warm.