Daytona 24: Highcroft Racing Thursday report

Highcroft Racing's Dayton Qualifies Essex Racing's Crawford Ford for Rolex 24 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Jan. 26 - Highcroft Racing's Duncan Dayton and Rick Knoop are part of the Essex Racing effort for this weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona International...

Highcroft Racing's Dayton Qualifies Essex Racing's Crawford Ford for Rolex 24

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Jan. 26 - Highcroft Racing's Duncan Dayton and Rick Knoop are part of the Essex Racing effort for this weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway, and on Thursday afternoon Dayton put Essex's Crawford Ford into the 12th row for the start of the twice-around-the-clock classic at noon Saturday.

Dayton, of Danbury, Conn., qualified the car in 24th spot with a lap in 1:46.981 for an average speed of 119.797 mph on the 3.56-mile, 14-turn road course.

His best lap was his third one, because right after that he spun during the 15-minute qualifying session.

"I hadn't been in the car today before qualifying, and since I was jumping into the car cold, in the beginning I was just trying to get a feel for it," Dayton explained. "I thought I was going to have a decent lap, but then I looped it in the first horseshoe and got stuff on my tires. Then I lost my rhythm and chased the throttle the whole rest of the session.

"Now night practice will become even more important," he added. "It doesn't really matter where you start in a 24-hour race, but I was definitely hoping to do better."

He'll have lots of time to move up in the 24-hour race, a lot of which will be televised live on SPEED. That network's coverage is scheduled to run from noon until 6 p.m. and from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m. on Saturday, and from 8 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. All times are Eastern.

In addition to Dayton and Knoop, the other drivers of the Essex Racing No. 5 at the Rolex 24 will be Brian DeVries, Jim Matthews and James Gue.

-restartcommunications.com.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Duncan Dayton , Brian DeVries , James Gue , Jim Matthews