DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 25, 2002) -- Anniversaries are typically known as family affairs, and the 40th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona will be no different next week. Strong family ties bind together several of the teams that will...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 25, 2002) -- Anniversaries are typically known as family affairs, and the 40th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona will be no different next week. Strong family ties bind together several of the teams that will travel to Daytona International Speedway for the Feb. 2-3 race.
Intersport Racing will have three members of the Field family behind the wheel during the historic twice-around-the-clock race. Twin brothers Jon and Joe Field will join Jon's 18-year-old son Clint on the team's driver lineup for its pair of Banana Joe's Judd-powered Lolas. Although the Field trio raced together in the 2001 Rolex 24 At Daytona, the family will most likely be split up between the two cars during the 2002 race.
"Most likely my uncle Joe and I will be in one car and my dad will be in the other. I think we'll have fun even though we aren't in the same car," Clint said. "I think we'll have a chance to go for the win. I've learned a lot from my dad, and I would feel good if we did beat him, not because he's my dad, but because he's one of the top racers in the series."
The Field family will face some tough competition from another racing family in the SportsRacing Prototype class - the Dysons. Team owner Rob Dyson will team up with his 23-year-old son Chris in the #20 Ford-powered Riley & Scott. Although Rob won the 1997 Rolex 24 At Daytona, Chris can still be considered a Rolex Series rookie, racing the last two races of the 2001 season with the team.
"I think my father and I are both looking forward to the race. We've got terrific teammates in Elliott (Forbes-Robinson) and Dorsey (Schroeder)," Chris said. "The engine refinements we did in the off season were a step in the right direction, and the car has a good chance of doing well."
The family ties are not limited to the SRP class. The American GT ranks will see a pair of brothers and a father-son duo team up together in the Morgan Dollar Motorsports Corvette. Charles Morgan and his 28-year-old son Rob will partner with brothers Steve and Andy Richards for the race.
"Racing in the Rolex with Dad has kind of become a tradition," Rob said. "The first Rolex 24 that I raced in was with him back in 1995. It was the biggest race that I had been in to that point, but Dad knew what he was doing and I felt confident that we would good the first time out. The very next year, we raced in the Rolex again and won it in our class.
"It was awesome and really was the race that had me believing that I could turn my passion for racing into a career," added Rob, who currently owns the #46 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team for which he drove from 1998 to 2000.
Although the Morgans will be sharing the driving duties during the Rolex 24, it will be the the Richard brothers who will be the team's regulars behind the wheel for the 2002 season. "Andy and I have had somewhat of a friendly rivalry in racing so far," admitted Steve, who raced against his brother in Ferrari Challenge last year. "We always want to do better than the other every time out. Now we will compete together against the rest of the field. That will be different than last year."
Several other teams will have family members taking to the track together for the historic race, and the count of family members working behind the scenes during the race is even higher. Fathers serve as crew chief for their driver sons. Wives work as scorers for their husbands. Brothers work as business partners in a team. Nearly every combination of family members can be found working together at the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
One team that epitomizes family teamwork behind the scenes is the Flis family, whose Flis Motorsports team will field two Corvettes in the American GT class. Stan Flis sparked his sons' interest in racing, and today he helps them with the championship-winning team. Older son Todd handles the business side of things, while the younger Troy specializes in the technical aspect of the team. But family collaboration doesn't stop there. All three of their wives also pitch in to make sure things run smoothly come race weekend.
"Working with family members would normally be the worst case. Because you know each other so well, you can easily attack their weak points," Todd said. "But our family isn't like that at all. Everyone works together perfectly. We all know what our role is in the team and it runs very smoothly."
The 40th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona will kick off the 2002 Rolex Sports Car Series season, as well as SpeedWeeks at Daytona International Speedway. Tickets are currently on sale for the Rolex 24 At Daytona and may be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at 386-253-RACE. The Rolex 24 At Daytona will be broadcast on Speedvision.
More information on the Rolex Sports Car Series is available online at www.grand-am.com.