The Alex Job Racing Porsche Crawford of Joey Hand held a 34-second lead over Colin Braun's AIM Autosport Ford Riley after six hours at the 46th Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway. Hand, one of 14 different drivers to lead the first race of the Rolex Sports Car Series season, took the lead about half way through the fifth hour, when he passed the No. 59 Brumos Racing Porsche Riley driven by Terry Borcheller in the chicane at the end of the back stretch.
Darren Turner lay third behind the wheel of the No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley, followed by the No. 99 Gainsco Racing Pontiac Riley of Jimmy Vasser and the No. 01 Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley of Dario Franchitti. Kurt Busch was sixth in the Penske-Taylor Pontiac Riley, despite having lost a lap early in the race when his teammate, Helio Castroneves, suffered a tire puncture on the front straight.
While the fifth hour was kind to the Penske-Taylor entry, it was not so kind to the SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley and the second Ganassi entry. The former experienced electrical problems on the pit road that cost it five laps to the leaders, while the latter lost 11 laps after Salvador Duran careened off the course in the infield under the caution flag, ripping off the front end of his Lexus Riley and damaging the suspension and radiator. The SunTrust car re-entered the race but the team was not able to determine what caused the car to lose power. The Ganassi car also returned to the race after the team replaced most of its front end and the rear valence.
In the GT class, the No. 86 Farnbacher Loles Motorsports Porsche led the No. 81 Synergy Racing Porsche, and the No. 70 Mazda RX-8.
Despite intermittent rainfall that led to slicker than usual conditions around the 3.56-mile, 14-turn road course at Daytona, there were only five cautions for 19 laps in the first six hours of the race. But the weather was making it difficult for the teams to determine whether to race on slicks or rain tires and it did cause a number of spins, including two by actor Patrick Dempsey.