Justin excited about Rolex 24 At Daytona
26-January-2011 - Justin and Michael Shank Racing are eager to return to the podium at Daytona International Speedway with a strong finish this weekend as the 2011 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal season kicks off with the 49th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
This will be Justin's fourth start at the famous sportscar endurance event and his third with MSR. He was runner up in 2010 with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and his runner-up finish with MSR in 2006 remains the team's previous best finish at the event. This time out Justin will share driving duties in the No. 6 Continental Tires Flip For Four Ford-Dallara with co-drivers AJ Allmendinger and Michael McDowell.
With seven previous campaigns in the race to its credit, the 2011 Rolex 24 effort will mark the largest to date for Michael Shank Racing. The team is well-poised for success this weekend with a three-car Daytona Prototype entry and talented driver roster. The two other MSR entries are the No. 60 Crown Royal XR Ford-Riley will be shared by John Pew, Ozz Negri, Michael Valiante, and Marc Goossens, and the No. 23 United Autosports with Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley piloted by Martin Brundle, Mark Blundell, Zak Brown, and Mark Patterson.
"This is by far the biggest endeavour that this team has ever taken on, but we feel as ready as we possibly can be and we're all eager to get down to Daytona and get to work," said team owner Mike Shank. "We feel like we've dotted every "i" and crossed every "t" and now it's just a matter of executing on our plans. We have an outstanding driver line up in all three cars - just a remarkable group of guys with speed and tons of experience. I'm humbled that they are racing for me. I couldn't be more proud of the effort that this team has put into this, and I'm very excited about our chances."
"I can't wait -- the Rolex is such a good way to start the year," added Justin. "There's always huge buzz about this race and some great competition. We had a really good test a few weeks ago where AJ, Michael and myself all set consistently quick times. What was also great was that we were completely on the same page with the set-up and we all now feel pretty comfortable in the car. Mike [Shank] and the guys have pulled out all the stops to prepare for this one and all we need now is a bit of luck. I've competed in the Rolex enough times to know that anything can happen -- but if we can stay out of trouble on the track and have good luck mechanically there's no reason why we can't aim for the top step."