Citgo Racing's ...
Citgo Racing's #2 Out of Rolex 24 With Six Hours Remaining
Daytona Beach, FL (February 6, 2005) CITGO Racing's #2 Pontiac Crawford Daytona Prototype, driven by Milka Duno, Dario Franchitti, Marino Franchitti and Dan Wheldon, was retired six hours shy of finishing the 43rd Rolex at Daytona.
Milka, Dario, Marino and Dan were able to keep the car in the top-ten for virtually all of the eighteen hours it was on the track -- even leading the race at times -- but the team's hopes for a podium ended at 6:18am EST with just under six hours remaining.
Milka was driving the car and was just three laps short of finishing her double-stint when contact caused by a Porsche GT in NASCAR Turn Three spun her around and into the wall, causing severe damage to the car which was then taken directly to the garage. Milka, though shaken, was unhurt.
"Just past the chicane I started to pass the GT car and had almost cleared it when it drifted up and clipped me on the left rear and spun me around," said Milka. "At that place on the track you're really going very fast and that, combined with the high banking, made it very difficult to try and control the car after being hit. I was in fourth place overall at the time and had reduced the lead of the car in third to only about five seconds and was scheduled to pit and get out of the car in three laps. It's such a disappointment not only for me, but my co-drivers, the team and CITGO. It was such an incredible experience driving with Dario, Marino and Dan. The #2 CITGO Pontiac Crawford was running very well -- had it not been for the unfortunate contact by the GT car -- I really think we had a good chance for a top-five -- maybe even a podium. I would really like to compliment the crew. They worked so hard preparing the car for the test sessions and worked even harder while here at Daytona. They did a truly amazing job."