Daytona24: Roush Yates Engines hour 18 update

JANUARY 30, 2011 (9:30 a.m. ET) - With 18 of 24 hours complete at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, four of eight Fords carrying a Roush Yates engine have led laps - No. 6 (32 laps led), No. 76 (nine laps led), No. 60 (seven laps led), and No. 23 (three laps led). John Maddox, road racing program manager for Roush Yates Engines, gave a quick update about what happened overnight:

ROUGHLY 18 HOURS INTO THE RACE, HOW ARE THE ROUSH YATES ENGINES HOLDING UP? "On our side everything is really good. We've got two cars in the garage for crash damage and gear box failures but as far as the cars on track, our side is running flawless. We had an issue with some car electrical wiring on the No. 6 car and we had quite a lengthy caution for fog so our guys jumped in and did a lot of work. They got it running right and got all the issues sorted out and I think we're good to go until the end.

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*The following three drivers changed out during the 18th hour:

MICHAEL MCDOWELL, NO. 6 CONTINENTAL TIRES/CURB RECORDS/PVA/ROCKY FORK COMPANY MICHAEL SHANK RACING WITH CURB/AGAJANIAN FORD/DALLARA:

TALK ABOUT YOUR STINT OUT THERE NOW THAT THE SUN IS UP AND THE TRACK HAS CHANGED. "The track has changed quite a bit. We'll probably have to make some adjustments here to keep up with it. All-in-all we still have a long way to go so just trying to burn laps here. We're still a couple hours away from worrying about how fast we can go so we'll just try to stay in the top five there and keep plugging away."

HOW DOES THAT ROUSH YATES ENGINE FEEL 17 HOURS INTO THE RACE? "Everything is good. We've had no issues. During that caution there we took the time to look everything over real good and not lose a lap so everything looks good."

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MARK BLUNDELL, NO. 23 JOHNNIE WALKER/FXI/UBS UNITED AUTOSPORTS WITH MICHAEL SHANK RACING FORD/RILEY:

HOW DID THAT LAST STINT GO FOR YOU? "The last bit was the toughest stint so far in the race for me. In the condition, the sun in your eyes but more than that the track condition. After the fog the track was quite slippery and we put some scrubbed tires on, we felt that may help us but it didn't really work. The tires came in about 10 degrees cooler and car balance wasn't very good so it was a bit of a struggle a couple of moments but that's racing, we'll just get back on top of it." HOW'S THE MOTOR RUNNING? "The engine's running fine, hasn't missed a beat and still a few more hours to go yet but I'm still quite happy."

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RICARDO ZONTA, NO. 76 KROHN RACING FORD/LOLA:

TALK A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR STINT OUT THERE, HOW DID IT GO? "It was pretty good one. Just keep the car as safe as possible still not the time to push or put up a fight I was just trying to keep my pace. The traffic is very hard all the time and the car is not easy to drive. Its low grip and all the time its sliding like this (he gestures with his hand) but it's okay."

WE'RE ABOUT 18 HOURS IN, HOW'S THE ENGINE WORKING? "It will be important. We work very hard for this. Of course the strategy and also the car pace has to be the key, but we work very hard for it."

-source: roush yates engines

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Series Grand-Am