Photo: old boone
AJ Allmendinger outlasted a late push to help propel himself and his Michael Shank Racing teammates to Victory Lane as the 31-year-old captured the title at the Daytona International Speedway.
The No. 60 Ford Riley lead most of the race and outlasted the No. 8 Ford Riley of Starworks Motorsports driven by Ryan Danziel to capture its first Rolex 24 championship and the team’s fourth Rolex Series DP title.
Another Michael Shank Racing team entry, the No. 6 Ford Riley driven by Felipe Nasr, finished third.
Dalziel started the race Saturday on the pole but the Orlando resident couldn’t overcome the No. 60 Ford Riley down the stretch but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Dalziel and Allmendinger fought side by side, nearly taking each other out at several times during the final hour of the race.
It was a tough day for Chip Ganassi Racing which was looking to make it, back-to-back titles.
The No. 01 BMW Riley car driven by Scott Pruett had been battling with Allmendinger and Ryan Dalziel most of the race but a gear box issue on pit row with a little over an hour left in the race caused the 51-year-old Pruett to lose several gears that inevitably ended up costing the team a penalty for speeding on pit row.
After the penalty, the Ganassi team replaced the gear box, which pushed the No. 01 car to sixth place finish.
Pruett was looking for his fifth Rolex 24 at Daytona title which would have tied him with Hurley Haywood for the record