SunTrust Racing Qualifying Report Rolex 24 At Daytona SunTrust Racing drivers Max Angelelli, Michael Valiante, Wayne Taylor and Ricky Taylor will start this weekend's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona from the...
SunTrust Racing Qualifying Report Rolex 24 At Daytona
SunTrust Racing drivers Max Angelelli, Michael Valiante, Wayne Taylor and Ricky Taylor will start this weekend's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona from the outside of the second row after qualifying Thursday afternoon at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Angelelli and his No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley of Wayne Taylor Racing clocked a fast lap of 1 minute, 41.161 seconds (126.689 mph) around the 3.56-mile, 14-turn superspeedway road circuit, fourth-fastest among 67 car-and-driver combinations entered in this weekend's twice-around-the-clock marathon run.
"I'm very happy, no regrets," said Angelelli, who qualified the SunTrust car second at three of the last four Rolex 24s. "This is the maximum I could do -- maybe one more tenth, but no more than that. It's a good starting position. We are on the outside. I've always been on the outside. Remember, I've been the bridesmaid here in qualifying every year. That's fine. We're looking good for the race. The car is perfect. I wouldn't have changed anything we've done in our preparation. This is our race car. It's a 24-hour race. We will start racing in the second half, and in the last quarter we're going to push it."
A pair of Michael Shank Racing Ford Rileys will occupy the front row, led by Oswaldo Negri's pole-qualifying run in the No. 60. It was the second career pole for Negri, who will start alongside the No. 6 team car qualified by A.J. Allmendinger. It was the first Rolex Series pole by Ford since July 2006 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., and only the third-ever Rolex Series pole for the manufacturer.
Marc Goosens qualified third in the No. 91 Bob Stallings/Riley-Matthews Racing Pontiac Riley to take the inside-second-row starting position alongside Angelelli. Mark Wilkins rounded out the top-five in the No. 61 AIM Autosport Ford Riley.
The No. 9 Toshiba Pontiac Riley of Penske-Taylor Racing -- sister car to the SunTrust Racing Pontiac -- qualified 13th at the hands of two-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves. He'll share the driving duties with 2008 Penske Racing Indy Racing League teammate Ryan Briscoe and former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch.
"Well, the best news of all is knowing that Max is very happy with the SunTrust car," said Wayne Taylor, whose co-driver and 18-year-old son Ricky will be making his first career Rolex Series start, and whose 16-year-old son Jordan Taylor also will be making his first career Rolex Series start in the No. 17 Terra Firma Motorsports GT-class Porsche. "I think Max gave everything, the team gave everything, and we were fourth. We tried everything. Max pushed as hard as he could. So that's obviously all we had. Winning the pole at Daytona is prestigious. Congratulations to those (Michael Shank Racing) guys. But, quite honestly, if you are qualifying at Daytona for the 24-hour, you have to be mindful of the fact that the race starts on Saturday and finishes on Sunday. I think everybody on our team did a good job. I think starting on the second row is just fine. I'm not sure what the problem was with the No. 9 car, but I'm sure we'll figure something out because they've been much faster."
-credit: suntrust racing