"The Boys Are Back" Wallace, Stewart, and Lammers Ready for Rolex 24 Denver, NC (January 31, 2005) -- February 1, 2004 will be a day that Andy Wallace, Tony Stewart, and the CITGO Racing Team will never forget.
"The Boys Are Back"
Wallace, Stewart, and Lammers Ready for Rolex 24
Denver, NC (January 31, 2005) -- February 1, 2004 will be a day that Andy Wallace, Tony Stewart, and the CITGO Racing Team will never forget. With Stewart leading the Rolex 24 At Daytona with less than seventeen minutes remaining, a suspension problem ended their hopes for victory. As disappointing as that race may have been at the time, the worst news may be for their competitors. Why? Because "The Boys Are Back" for the 43rd annual Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Veteran sports car standout Andy Wallace and NASCAR superstar Tony Stewart are returning with the CITGO Racing Team from Howard-Boss Motorsports, hopefully, to finish what they started last year. This year, veteran road racer Jan Lammers will join the duo as they attack the Rolex 24 At Daytona on a mission. Lammers will replace Dale Earnhardt Jr. who teamed with Wallace and Stewart in '04 and will not compete this year. However, the Wallace, Stewart, Lammers trio has a brief, but successful history.
Stewart and Lammers have teamed in a Crawford car twice, the first being at Daytona in 2002. Aside from their Rolex 24 effort last year, Stewart joined Wallace for races at Watkins Glen and the Paul Revere 250 at Daytona, a race where they finish third. Lammers and Wallace have teamed many times during their storied careers, and the Netherlands driver joined Wallace and Milka Duno in the #2 CITGO Pontiac Crawford for six hour events at Mont-Tremblant (Canada) and Watkins Glen in 2004.
Wallace turned in the third fastest overall lap (1 minute 47.263 seconds) during pre-season testing in January at Daytona, and left the World Center of Racing with high hopes.
"I'm extremely happy," Wallace said after the test. "We've done a lot of testing since we raced at Daytona last July, and we had lots of things to try. But, we got through every single thing we wanted to try. Now, we'll analyze our data and come to the Rolex 24 with a perfect setup. Speed wise, we seem to have it. I'm really happy and excited about the race."
"We really had a great test, and Andy (Wallace) did an excellent job creating a nice setup," Lammers commented. "I think everything is connecting well. There's a lot of data to study between testing and the race, but the Howard-Boss Team has done an excellent job preparing this car. Come the race, we enter the '(Tony) Stewart factor' and hopefully, if they (Wallace and Stewart) get the luck they deserve, I'll be a lucky man just to hitch a ride with them."
Stewart also had thoughts about competing in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. "It's nice to do something different once in a while. I really feel like it will help me be a better road racer when it comes time to go to the road course races with Cup this year. We learn so much from the guys who are professional road racers."
"I'd like to put everything on my resume," Stewart continued. "It doesn't matter whether it's the Daytona 500, the Rolex 24 At Daytona, or the Indy 500. I've got a pretty good resume started, but you always want to add bigger, marquis-events to it. The biggest road course races in my mind are the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Le Mans 24 Hour. If you can put one of those on your resume, that's a pretty neat addition." And, teaming with Andy Wallace and Jan Lammers in the #20 CITGO Pontiac Crawford, Stewart may very well make that addition to his resume shortly after noon on February 6th. After all, Wallace has won the Rolex 24 three times ('99, '97, '90) and Lammers twice ('90, '88).
The 43rd annual Rolex 24 At Daytona will get the green flag at noon on Saturday, February 5th. Speed Channel will televise fourteen hours of live coverage this year, including the final four hours. The Rolex 24 At Daytona is the first of fourteen events on the 2005 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series schedule.
CITGO, based in Houston, Texas, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals, refined waxes, asphalt and other industrial products. The company is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information on CITGO visit www.citgo.com.