2004 Rolex 24 Hours Race Review: Rain, Rain, and More Rain Daytona Beach, FL -- The 2004 Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona was a test of man's ability to battle the elements as rain fell on Daytona International Speedway for twenty one of the twenty...
2004 Rolex 24 Hours Race Review: Rain, Rain, and More Rain
Daytona Beach, FL -- The 2004 Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona was a test of man's ability to battle the elements as rain fell on Daytona International Speedway for twenty one of the twenty four hour race. The #41 Planet Earth Motorsports / Orison Marketing Porsche GT3 Cup battled through the rain and cold to come home fourth place in the hotly contested Super Grand Sports class and fifteenth overall.
The #41 Porsche's driver lineup was a family affair. Paul and Charlie Menard, cousins, shared the car with Joe Nonnamaker and his two sons, Will and Wayne. The race started out at 1:11 PM on Saturday and Joe Nonnamaker took the green flag to start the 2004 Grand American Rolex Season.
Nonnamaker was to start the car from his fifth place starting position but a small mechanical issue pulled him into the pits before the race even started. Once the issue was fixed the team climbed from last place to finish fourth place 24 hours later.
"My hats go off to the Menards," said Bill Pate, Team Manager. "They drove through the night and the rain to bring this car home. The conditions were absolutely horrendous. The crew perfected their pit stops to where we had one of the quickest four tire changes on pit road."
As the race progressed from night into morning the rain continued to pound the famous Florida speedway. Puddles on the track forced Grand American to halt the race for the fourth time in its over forty year history. After several hours of drying the track out the race went green again until the checkered flag flew eleven minutes after 1:00 PM on Sunday.
"The car ran great the entire race," added Joe Nonnamaker. "We had one small mechanical issue that we worked out in the first hour of the race and after that the car was perfect. This SpeedSource Porsche has such great reliability. We came here hoping for a top five finish to start the season and we are going away with a fourth place finish."
The Rolex Sports Car Series will travel next to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Grand Prix of Miami, part of the Toyota Indy 300 weekend, February 26-29.
Support for ORISON Marketing - Planet Earth Motorsports' campaign at the 2004 ROLEX 24 of Daytona comes from: GOJO, Jack Link's Beef Jerky, Menards Home Improvement, Kempthorn Auto Mall, NRAuto.com, Pagid Brake Pads, Red Line Oil, SpeedSource, TheRaceSite.com, TheRaceMarket.com, Grassroots Motorsports Magazine and 9 Magazine.