Daytona 24: Finlay Motorsports preview

Finlay Motorsports Set To Take On The 24 Hours At Daytona MOORESVILLE, NC (JANUARY 23, 2007) - With a busy off season behind them, the Mooresville, NC - based team is looking forward to kicking off the 2007 Grand American Rolex Series season...

Finlay Motorsports Set To Take On The 24 Hours At Daytona

MOORESVILLE, NC (JANUARY 23, 2007) - With a busy off season behind them, the Mooresville, NC - based team is looking forward to kicking off the 2007 Grand American Rolex Series season at this weekend's 45th running of Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.

When the team pulls into the Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday and begins to unload the hauler a few changes will be unveiled. The No.19 Daytona Prototype machine that participated in the Daytona test days a mere two weeks ago has a new paint scheme and several new sponsors.

Joining our established sponsors, Z-Line Designs, Make-A-Wish and Uniden will be two new corporate partners Mission Residential and Menards. With such a strong group of sponsors behind the team it really shows the growth and viability of the series.

"We're very excited to be heading back to Daytona with the No.19," said Steve Cameron. "The driver line-up we've put together is strong and I think we've got a great shot at finishing on the podium."

Michael McDowell and the 2000 NASCAR champion, Bobby Labonte will join the team's regular drivers Rob Finlay and Michael Valiante in their quest for the crown jewel of sports car racing.

With two hard charging youngsters, Michael Valiante and Michael McDowell behind the wheel, the experience of Bobby Labonte and the determination of Rob Finlay this team will definitely be one to look out for when the green flag drops on Saturday afternoon.

"To win this race all the drivers will need to be on their A game," said Michael Valiante. "If we're running with the leaders as the sun begins to rise on Sunday morning we might just have a shot at the win."

Valiante's teammate, Rob Finlay who scored a podium finish in the Grand Am Cup race last year at Daytona is looking forward to getting his sophomore season as a Daytona Prototype driver underway.

"I'm very excited to be heading back to Daytona," said Rob Finlay. "This race isn't all about the car and its drivers, there's a fair amount of luck that comes into play in a 24 hour race. We've been working extremely hard during the off season and my comfort level keeps getting stronger all the time."

NASCAR superstar, Bobby Labonte also likes Finlay Motorsports chances of visiting victory lane this weekend.

"This will be my third time in this race," stated the likeable Bobby Labonte. "But I think it's the best shot I've had at visiting victory lane. This team competes full- time in the Rolex Series and the car has been very quick in testing so I'm really looking forward to this weekend."

Another driver that's looking forward to returning to the cockpit is Michael McDowell. McDowell who drove the No.19 machine last season for Finlay Motorsports will be making a cameo appearance before opening a new chapter in his motorsports career. The youngster will be making the switch to stock cars in 2007 driving for Eddie Sharp Racing in the ARCA/ReMax Series.

"This is a great team and I'm honored to be a part of their Daytona effort," said Michael McDowell. "The guys in the shop have worked hard during the off season and the results have really shown on the track. The No.19 machine was quick at Homestead and at the Daytona test days a few weeks back, we're ready to get this party started."

The No.19 Z-Line Designs/Make-A-Wish/Mission Residential/Menards/Uniden Daytona Prototype machine will take to the track on Thursday for the first day of practice for the 24 hour event. For the first time in Rolex history Fox Sports will carry the first 90 minutes, beginning with pre-race coverage on Saturday at 1:00 p.m... Be sure to check your local listings!

-credit: finlay motorsports

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