DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Feb. 3 -- TRV Motorsport's Supreme Exhaust System Products/Racer Parts Wholesale Riley & Scott Chevy ...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Feb. 3 -- TRV Motorsport's Supreme Exhaust System Products/Racer Parts Wholesale Riley & Scott Chevy #95 was forced to retire from the 40th annual Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona at Daytona International Speedway Saturday night before the halfway point of the race when John Schneider was involved in a hard crash near NASCAR turn four.
The Dallas driver was taken to a local hospital for examination but he was released unhurt around 2:30 a.m. Sunday.
Unofficially the yellow and black Sports Racing Prototype car completed 216 laps and finished 13th in a class of 17 and 61st overall in a field of 74.
Crew members said Schneider hit so hard that he couldn't recall what happened to start the melee.
"The car did its job and he was amazingly unhurt for as hard as he hit," said team owner and co-driver Tom Volk of Blissfield, Mich. "He hit the outside wall doing about 170 mph and then he spun and hit the inside wall too."
The car suffered extensive damage in both the back and the front, but especially the back.
That ended the bizarre 2002 edition of the race for the Toledo, Ohio-based team.
After dealing with electrical problems in practice which left the team little time to work on its set-up, Indy Racing driver Jeret Schroeder qualified the car on the inside of row seven. When the green waved the Vineland, N.J.-based driver took off, vaulting from 13th to llth by the end of lap two. Shortly thereafter he had the car in the top 10.
Inside the cockpit, however, Schroeder was making every adjustment he could to correct a serious oversteer in the infield portion of the course.
"The car was a handful," he said when he got out to allow co-driver John Macaluso of Winter Haven, Fla. to take over the steering wheel. "We were reall y loose, especially in the Kink in the infield, and we wore out the tires.
"The power was good though," Schroeder continued, referring to Todd Hertel's Chevy engine. "I could get down the straightaways fine. Things would go better if we could put our foot down in the infield though. When we stopped for the driver change the crew changed the set-up manually, because I'd done everything I could do. Hopefully it'll be better for the other drivers from now on."
After Macaluso and Schneider did their first stints, Volk took over.
"There was a problem with the brakes when I was in the car," Volk related later. "I had only the front brakes or only the rear brakes, but never all of them together."
Then it was Schroeder's turn again, but he brought out a full-course caution at 6:04 p.m. when the car lost power and stopped in a dangerous spot. After it was towed to the garage, the team discovered the problem was a broken bracket that holds the crank trigger sensor.
"It was our typical bizarre thing," Volk explained. "That piece is as thick as a suspension piece, so why it broke is a mystery. But the team fixed it and sent Jeret back out, and just now he turned the fastest lap that we've turned here all month in both the test and this race, and he says the car is great!"
Macaluso drove another stint with no major problems but then Schneider's accident occurred, and that was the end of an all-too-short Rolex 24 for the TRV Motorsport team.