Daytona 24: Justin Wilson Thursday report

Justin is upbeat about Michael Shank Racing's prospects in this weekend's Daytona 24 Hours after the team dominated Thursday's qualifying session, taking pole position and P2 to lock out the front row. Oswaldo Negri set a Daytona Prototype track...

Justin is upbeat about Michael Shank Racing's prospects in this weekend's Daytona 24 Hours after the team dominated Thursday's qualifying session, taking pole position and P2 to lock out the front row. Oswaldo Negri set a Daytona Prototype track record with a 1:40.793-second lap of Daytona International Speedway's 3.56-mile road course in the #60 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley which he'll pilot alongside Mark Patterson, Graham Rahal and Justin. AJ Allmendinger will start alongside in the sister #6 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley entry after setting a fast lap time just 0.009 seconds adrift of Negri.

The team established dominance early in the fifteen-minute session as Negri set the fastest lap early before Allmendinger staked his own claim at the pole. A series of exchanges of fastest laps followed and Negri emerged with the quickest time to be the first-ever winner of Grand-Am XPEL Pole Award.

"This is a great way to start our relationship with Ford Racing and I have to say thanks to the Roush Yates guys because they've really helped us move forward. I can't say how pleased I am to be on pole," said Negri. "This is nothing compared to the effort we have ahead of us for the race, but it obviously feels good to set this record time and to have AJ right next to us on the front row. Hopefully we can do what we came here to do and win this race."

Team owner Mike Shank added, "I'm happy, but the team is focused on winning this race, so we'll take about three minutes to celebrate being on the front row with both cars, and then it's back to work and getting ready for our next practice session. This is the fifth time this team has been here for this race, and I really want to win that Rolex watch."

-credit: justinwilson.co.uk

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Justin Wilson , Graham Rahal , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Mark Patterson , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing