Rolex 24: Tough Break Late for AJFebruary 1, 2010
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (31 January 2010)-Michael Shank Racing finished the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona in fifth place overall as drivers John Pew, Ozz Negri, Burt Frisselle, and Mark Wilkins combined for a top-five finish in the No. 60 Crown Royal XR Ford-Riley at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday after the machine started the race from the outside pole.
As the morning dawned at Daytona, the sister No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley of Mark Patterson, Michael Valiante, AJ Allmendinger, and Brian Frisselle looked well-placed for a run to the podium as the entry led the race, but a driveline failure as the entry ran in third position with just over an hour remaining prevented the machine from reaching the checkered flag as the No. 6 was classified seventh at the finish.
The double-top ten team result is a strong way to open the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series championship campaign. But with both team entries having shown such tremendous speed over the course of the four-day season-opening event, the ultimate results were less than what had been hoped for in its seventh consecutive campaign in the endurance classic.
Massive preparations resulted in some quick pit work and rapid response in the garage as the Michael Shank Racing crew quickly replaced a clutch on Sunday morning during the race after having also made a very fast splitter replacement on the No. 60, but the setbacks were still enough to keep the car off the podium.
“We didn’t get the results we wanted today no question,” said team owner Mike Shank. “We had a pretty amazing performance this whole weekend, and to be leading the race at 8 AM was really encouraging. But we’ll come back from this and just look to be as ready to go as possible at Homestead. We finished last year on the podium there and hopefully we can get some good points in the championship with both cars there in March. I’m really proud of the effort from this team, and even though we’re disappointed with the results, we know we did everything we could, and the performance of the cars showed that.”
“I felt like this was the best 24 that I’ve ever run. I had a triple stint starting around 3 am and then was ready to run a lot of laps with a triple again to get it to the finish. This was no ones fault. Everyone worked really hard and we wanted to get back up on the podium for Mike Shank. It’s disappointing, but we’ll be back, no question. I’m going to win one of these things if it kills me. Once again a great car, a great team just bad luck. Thanks to everyone at Ford for the effort that they put into this, and I’m looking forward to running with Ford in Sprint Cup this year.”