Testing concludes at Daytona for Rolex 24

Petty gets company from NASCAR ranks in preparation for Rolex 24 at Daytona. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Jan. 5, 2003) -- Testing at Daytona International Speedway for the Feb. 1-2 Rolex 24 concluded today. Teams from the Rolex Sports Car Series and...

Petty gets company from NASCAR ranks in preparation for Rolex 24 at Daytona.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Jan. 5, 2003) -- Testing at Daytona International Speedway for the Feb. 1-2 Rolex 24 concluded today. Teams from the Rolex Sports Car Series and the Grand-Am Cup Series will return at the end of the month for the sportscar weekend spectacular that culminates with the 41st anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Among those preparing for the round-the-clock endurance race were NASCAR Winston Cup veteran Kyle Petty. Petty spent the weekend in Daytona with the Orbit Racing Porsche GT3 R team, in preparation for his third consecutive appearance with the team in the Rolex 24.

"I'm not quite sure what gear to take for some of the corners yet," Petty said after his first session behind the wheel on Saturday. "It takes me awhile to decide which gears to use, I'm not real proficient at that. But once I get that down, I'm OK."

Petty's best finish in the Rolex 24 came in 2001 when Orbit Racing placed fourth in the GT Class. Petty teamed with fellow Winston Cup racer John Andretti to win the GT class in a Rolex Series race at Watkins Glen International in 2001, and also won a Winston Cup race at the New York circuit.

"I guess I'm decent, but not great, at road racing," he said. "There's a difference."

Petty was impressed with the closeness of competition in the class. "The first time I ran here, it seemed there were a lot of fast slow cars in the class," he explained. "But every year, the level of competition comes up, it just gets closer and closer * just like it does in Winston Cup."

Joining Petty from the NASCAR ranks for this year's Rolex 24 At Daytona will be Winston Cup and Busch Series veteran Kevin Lepage and Craftsman Truck Series driver Rick Carelli. Lepage will join the driver lineup of the No. 48 Heritage Motorsports Mustang. Carelli will drive with Team Re/MAX Racing in the No. 05 Corvette.

Tickets for the Rolex 24 At Daytona are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.

-dis-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers John Andretti , Kyle Petty , Kevin Lepage , Rick Carelli