Ford Racing, Multimatic Enter 'Team Of Champions,' Featuring Roush Racing NASCAR Drivers in Rolex 24
DEARBORN, Mich., December 21, 2004 - Call it the "Team of Champions."
That's an appropriate name for the new Crown Royal Special Reserve/Multimatic Ford entry in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the twice-around-the-clock road racing classic Feb. 5-6, 2005.
The special team will feature three NASCAR champion drivers from Ford and Roush Racing: 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion Kurt Busch, 2003 NASCAR Cup Champion Matt Kenseth, and NASCAR Busch (2002) and Craftsman Truck (2000) Champion Greg Biffle.
The three Roush Racing Ford pilots will be joined by Multimatic Ford driver Scott Maxwell, who has won six professional road racing championships in his career, but may be best known for his victories in both the 24 Hours of LeMans and the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
The potent foursome will look to capture an overall victory in the 2005 season-opener of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, it was announced today.
"It's a dream team, that's for sure," said Dan Davis, director of Ford Racing Technology. "We started talking last summer about getting a chance to put this type of team together for the Rolex 24, and because of the cooperation of Roush Racing, Multimatic, and Crown Royal Special Reserve, we have an effort and a class of drivers that will be able to make a run for the overall win."
The Crown Royal Special Reserve Multimatic Ford is an updated version of the race car that won the Daytona Prototype class at the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2003. A Ford Modular Cammer V-8 motor prepared by Roush-Yates Engines will power it.
"One of the first things I knew about Jack Roush was his heritage in the 24-hour race at Daytona," said Busch, noting that Roush Racing Fords had won 10 class victories there. "Now to be a member of Roush Racing with Greg and Matt, and to team up with Multimatic and Scott for this event gives me a chance to be a part of history.
"It's going to be an All-Star effort for this Crown Royal Special Reserve team, but there are some fantastic drivers in the Grand Am Series that we'll be competing against," Busch added. "We're going to look to Scott to lead us goofy oval guys around those right turns in Daytona, but we're definitely going to have fun with it."
"I'm really excited about this coming together as quickly as it did," said Kenseth. "I think with the drivers we have lined up and the support from Ford Racing, we're bound to have a good showing."
"I'm privileged to have the opportunity to compete in the 2005 Rolex 24 At Daytona," said Biffle. "When Dan Davis approached me this summer about the opportunity, I jumped at the chance. I love road racing and while I'm excited, I'm also a little nervous about what to expect. I've never driven this type of car, so I'm anxious to get down to Daytona and do some testing, especially at night.
"I'm really looking forward to competing with my teammates, and having Scott in the equation will certainly bring it all together," Biffle added. "He's got a lot of experience running these cars and he's a past champion. I appreciate all the hard work that has gone into putting this program together and we plan on bringing home a victory."
Busch is fresh off capturing the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup crown in the Sharpie/IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Taurus, giving Roush Racing and Ford back-to-back Nextel Cup championships. He captured three victories, and led the Chase for the Nextel Cup Championship for all 10 races after winning the Chase-opener at New Hampshire. Busch won by eight points over Jimmie Johnson in the closest Cup championship ever.
Kenseth, the 2003 champion, was also one of 10 drivers in the Chase for Championship. The DEWALT Tools Taurus driver captured two victories this past season, a victory in the Nextel All-Star Challenge and had 16 top-10 finishes along the way. He competed part-time in the Busch Series, capturing three wins.
Biffle finished 17th in the Nextel Cup standings, and third in the Busch Series standings, as he competed in both championships. The National Guard/Subway Taurus driver won two Nextel Cup races in 2004, including a thrilling come-from-behind win in the season-ending Ford 400, which helped his teammate clinch the championship. He also captured five victories in Busch competition.
"I'm excited about having a chance to run with Kurt, Matt and Greg," said Maxwell, who has done the development work on the Multimatic Ford and was one of three drivers who won in the car at the 2003 Rolex 24 At Daytona. "I've had a lot of great teammates during my career, but having a chance to work with these three guys will be a treat. We'll have some fun, but we're going to Daytona to win."
"Multimatic is proud to be working with Ford Racing and Crown Royal Special Reserve to put together this great entry for the Rolex 24," said Larry Holt, vice president of engineering for Multimatic, and the man who oversees racing operations. "We're happy to have such great cooperation from Roush Racing and its drivers to come in and partner with Scott on this program. We're committed to going for the overall win."