Posted (01/29/2012) -
Daytona Beach, FL – On his ninth try, race team owner Michael Shank made history capturing the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona to start the 2012 Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season. After a grueling 24 hours John Pew, Ozz Negri, AJ Allmendinger, and Justin Wilson drove the Alcon equipped Michael Shank Racing No. 60 across the finish line just 5.198 seconds ahead of second place.
Ozz Negri began the weekend right by qualifying in the sixth position. The No. 60 proved to a force to be reckoned with while dominating most of the race running in the top-three.
The team completed 761 laps around the 3.56-mile Daytona road course for a total of 2,709 miles. The effort was just one lap shy of tying the all time record set in 1962. In front of the biggest crowd in the event’s history, the race didn’t disappoint with 49 lead changes among 53 drivers. The No. 60 team led a total of 249 laps with Wilson pacing the field for 92, Allmendinger for 90 and Negri for 67.
Allmendinger, who recently signed to drive for Roger Penske in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, drove the final leg of the race for Michael Shank Racing and didn’t disappoint. The team was challenged in the waning hours Sunday but with a little over an hour to go Allmendinger got the No. 60 car in front for good.
“We all managed to compromise enough to get by between all four of us in being comfortable and being able to push the limit every lap, because this was a tough race,” Wilson of the No. 60 said.
Adding to team’s excitement was a third place finish by the team’s sister No. 6 car with Michael McDowell, Felipe Nasr, Jorge Goncalvez, and Gustavo Yacaman. Although the No. 6 team had to fight back from two laps down, they finished less than one minute behind the leaders. Both Shank cars ran near perfect races with each entry leading laps and never going behind the wall for repairs.
“It’s a long race and a lot of complicated things happened,” Yacaman of the No. 6 explained, “They had a lot of problems. We had a flawless race. Michael Shank did an amazing job preparing, getting readyboth cars. We had no mechanical failures. We had no driver mistakes.”
Both of the Michael Shank Racing cars ran a full Alcon brake package at Daytona International Speedway in the Rolex 24. The full package includes DP88 front calipers and DP 83 rear calipers with Alcon’s heavy duty rotors, Alcon high efficiency master cylinders and balance bars. Alcon proudly continues to be a contingency sponsor of the Rolex Series for the 2012 season.
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