Christopher To Compete In Rolex 24 At Daytona; Second Time In Three Years Modified Driver In Endurance Event
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 15, 2008) -- Ted Christopher has never been shy about driving anything with wheels. So it's no surprise the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour veteran jumped at the chance to run in the 2008 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Christopher is one of three drivers currently committed to take the wheel in the Southard Motorsports Riley-Lexus Daytona Prototype (DP) car co-sponsored by Whelen and Loctite for the Jan. 26-27 event.
Christopher also had a ride in the 2006 event in which he and fellow drivers finished 36th in the Brumos Racing Porsche.
"I'm really looking forward to it," Christopher said. "When I did it last time, everything was new. Now at least I have a good concept of Daytona -- of the course itself, of the car, and of the aspect of driving with those GT cars."
The Plainville, Conn., driver finished fifth in the 2007 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour standings. He will team up in the Rolex 24 at Daytona with Shane Lewis of the Grand-Am Rolex Series and Bill Lester, a veteran of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. A fourth driver could be added at a later date.
The Rolex 24 at Daytona is an annual 24-hour endurance race that attracts drivers from various series throughout the world. Last year's winner was a Riley-Lexus entry by Telmex Ganassi Racing, with drivers Juan Pablo Montoya, Salvador Duran and Scott Pruett.
Among the other NASCAR drivers Christopher will compete against in this year's event are 2007 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, 2007 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year Montoya, A.J. Allmendinger and Kurt Busch.
The race, held entirely inside the walls of Daytona International Speedway, uses a combined road course with portions of the tri-oval and an infield road course.
"The biggest thing with that race is keeping it on the track for the longest period of time until the sun comes up," Christopher said, "and then hopefully you're in contention to have a good finish -- and then run it pretty hard toward the end."
Whelen Engineering, which recently extended its title sponsorship of the NASCAR Whelen Modified and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified tours through 2016, was eager to support Christopher for the Daytona event.
"We had sponsored Teddy in this race once before, and the opportunity came along again, so we wanted to show some support for the Grand American Series," said Phil Kurze, vice president of motorsports for Whelen Engineering. "I know all the race fans -- including all the Whelen race fans -- are anxious for the season to kick off, and we felt it was a good opportunity to get some exposure and support Teddy in this effort."
For Christopher, the addition of the Rolex 24 at Daytona further fills his racing calendar.
"I raced indoors last weekend up at South Windsor (Conn.) on dirt," Christopher said. "This weekend, I go indoors on concrete with a TQ midget down in New Jersey, then go to the Rolex race, then come home before I go to Speedweeks (Fla.) for nine nights. So I've got some fun racing coming up in the next month."
Practice and qualifying for the 24-hour race at Daytona will be held on Thursday, Jan. 24. The event will commence at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26 and will conclude at the same time the following day.
"I'm looking to keep asphalt in front of me, asphalt behind me, and keep going," Christopher said.