DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 9, 2000) -- What a difference four months has made for George Robinson's racing team. Banged up from a testing accident, and without a major sponsor, Robinson Racing struggled to finish the Rolex 24 At Daytona in ...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 9, 2000) -- What a difference four months has made for George Robinson's racing team. Banged up from a testing accident, and without a major sponsor, Robinson Racing struggled to finish the Rolex 24 At Daytona in February, the 2000 season opener for the Grand American Road Racing Association.
When Robinson returns to Daytona for the June 28-29 Paul Revere 250, his team will unload the hottest car in the Grand-Am Series, the Informix Software Riley & Scott Judd. Lead driver Jack Baldwin will be seeking his third victory of the 2000 season, and trails James Weaver by only five points in the battle for the inaugural Grand-Am SportsRacer driver championship.
"We can't wait to return to Daytona and try to put one in the win column," said Robinson, who joined Baldwin in victory lane in the most recent Grand-Am race at Mid-Ohio. "I think the Judd motor and the Riley & Scott chassis is a great combination, and we're looking forward to being very competitive. The car's a proven winner, with two firsts and a second, and we're fighting for the championship. The team is definitely fired up and looking forward to a good year, and a good race at Daytona."
Baldwin is a proven winner, capturing IMSA GTU titles in 1984 and 1985, and the 1992 SCCA Trans-Am crown. His favorite Daytona memory was not winning GTU in the 1984 Rolex 24, but competing against NASCAR and CART stars in the 1993 and 1994 IROC races. Robinson also is a winner in sports car competition, winning GTU in the 12 Hours of Sebring and the Des Moines Trans-Am, both in 1991.
Robinson's confident smile belies a rough start to the new century. The red-headed Texan began the year with a nasty flip in a test at Texas World Speedway, struggled through the Rolex 24 with a series of broken half-shafts, and then contracted malaria on an African safari.
Weakened by illness, Robinson called on old friend and rival Irv Hoerr to co-drive with Baldwin at Phoenix and Miami, where the pair finished first and second. Robinson has fully recovered, as evidenced by his victory at Mid-Ohio.
"We feel we'll have a very competitive package when we return to Daytona," said Baldwin, the 1984 GTU class winner in the Rolex 24. "We're very happy with the car, and the team is constantly making improvements to it.
"The big difference at Daytona for the Paul Revere 250 will be the length of the race," Baldwin continued. "It's a whole different approach from the Rolex 24. It's no-holds-barred, go for it racing. Even though you run hard in a 24-hour race, you're forced to run some sort of a pace. In a 250-mile race, you just go as fast as you can."
Practice for the Paul Revere 250 begins at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 28, with qualifying beginning at 9:15 p.m. The 70 lap, 250-mile race will be held under the lights on Thursday, June 29, 30 minutes following the 8 p.m. Bud Pole Qualifying session for the Pepsi 400.
Tickets are still available for the Paul Revere 250/Pepsi 400 weekend at Daytona International Speedway. For information, call the Speedway Ticket Office at (904) 253-7223. For additional information, visit www.grand-am.com.