DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 7, 2000) -- Wally Dallenbach lent a hand, and a lead foot, to Grand American Road Racing Association officials Tuesday night when the NASCAR Winston Cup driver took the wheel of the Corvette Pace Car to determine...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 7, 2000) -- Wally Dallenbach lent a hand, and a lead foot, to Grand American Road Racing Association officials Tuesday night when the NASCAR Winston Cup driver took the wheel of the Corvette Pace Car to determine optimum lighting for the Paul Revere 250 at Daytona International Speedway.
When Rolex 24 At Daytona competitors raced the Speedway's 3.56-mile road course in February, the track was lit to 20 percent. Tuesday night, Dallenbach, who was also testing his stock car, took several laps in the Vette under the full lights of the Superspeedway.
The Paul Revere 250 sports car race will start a half hour after Bud Pole Award Qualifying for the Pepsi 400 on the evening of Thursday, June 29.
"All the times I've raced here in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, you haven't had the luxury of these lights," said Dallenbach after his first run through of the road course. "The infield is still dark, so the competitors still need their light package. I didn't see any problems with the full lights other than in turn one, the inside bank of lights will definitely have to be shut off because they just blind you going in. Overall, I thought the lights were definitely a plus."
The former IMSA GTO and SCCA Trans-Am champion was happy to be back road racing again, even if only for a few test laps.
"Sportscar racing is my roots and road racing needs a good boost right now, so I'm glad to see Grand-Am bringing the Paul Revere back. I think that this race will be the first time a lot of the NASCAR fans have had the opportunity to see this kind of racing. I think they will enjoy it because there are a lot of folks out there who drive cars other than Ford Taurus and Chevy Monte Carlo. So my advice to fans is to open up another cold one and stick around for a while after qualifying."
Grand-Am President Roger Edmondson was pleased with the test and announced that the race would be run under the full lights at Daytona. The only modification to the track lights after qualifying will be the dimming of four reflector lights near the entry of the road course.
"Personally, being a part of the sanctioning body that revives the Paul Revere here at Daytona is especially meaningful to me because I put this race to bed in 1986 as a motorcycle event," said Edmondson who was at one time road race manager of the American Motorcycle Association, which sanctioned the last running of the midnight race. "Part of what Grand-Am is all about is not just moving forward in sports car racing, but trying to recapture the history and traditions of the past. We've been able to have three revival events this year - the Road America 500, the Six Hours of Watkins Glen and the Paul Revere 250."
Edmondson pointed out that the importance of the Paul Revere to the new sanctioning body was the opportunity to show its sport to NASCAR fans - a lot of them.
"We think that after the excitement of qualifying for the Pepsi 400, the fans are not going to be ready to give it up. So we want them to stick around to see a great race, which will showcase some of the best sports cars and drivers in the world."
The Paul Revere 250 will feature five different classes of sports cars -everything from the American push-rod V-8 all the way up to V-10s and V-12s.
"It's just a different form of the sport they already love, which is motor racing," added Edmondson.
Tickets are still available for the Pepsi 400 weekend at Daytona International Speedway. For information, call the Speedway Ticket Office at (904) 253-7223.