Winston Cup drivers commit to 2002 Daytona 24

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 2, 2001) - Four drivers from NASCAR's Winston Cup Series have committed to race with Rolex Sports Car Series teams in the 40th Rolex 24 At Daytona, Feb. 2-3, 2002. Kyle Petty, John Andretti and Jeff Burton will team up in...

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 2, 2001) - Four drivers from NASCAR's Winston Cup Series have committed to race with Rolex Sports Car Series teams in the 40th Rolex 24 At Daytona, Feb. 2-3, 2002. Kyle Petty, John Andretti and Jeff Burton will team up in one of the Orbit Racing Porsches to race in the GT class, while Wally Dallenbach will slide behind the wheel of Robinson Racing's SportsRacing Prototype.

Petty joined the Orbit Racing team during the 2001 Rolex 24 At Daytona, where he maneuvered the #43 Porsche GT3 R into fourth-place in the GT class on the final turn of the race, impressing both his fans and teammates. Petty was joined by Andretti in Orbit's #45 Porsche GT3 RS at the Bully Hill Vineyards 250 at Watkins Glen International. The pair scored a victory together in the GT class. Burton's interest was peaked during the event at The Glen, which shared the weekend with Winston Cup, prompting him to be added to Orbit's driver lineup for the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

"I am very close to Kyle. He is a cherished friend, as well as his family. We just had the time of our lives in the 24-hour race, with an extraordinary finish by Kyle that they will talk about for years," Orbit driver Leo Hindry said of his teammate during this year's Rolex 24. "We are thrilled that it is John Andretti, Kyle Petty and Jeff Burton as part of Orbit Racing. We are anxious to win. We are committed to being very competitive and trying to win the thing. We've got the drivers to do it. We've got some wonderful road racers mixing with these incredible Cup racers.

"I think motorsports is better off when viewed seamlessly and not as a series of silos. It's about the sport of racing cars, regardless of what kind of cars. So when you get cross over, its good for the sport at every level. It's good for Winston Cup, because it shows these aren't just oval drivers. It shows that these fellows can move a road course car like nobody alive. It shows that the guys who drive in the road cars can come to a place like Daytona, that is two-thirds an oval, and do very well. It just shows that it is about the sport and about skills. "

Dallenbach will team back up with an old friend from his road racing roots - Robinson Racing crew chief James Fraser. "I have known Wally since 1984. I won a couple of championships with him in IMSA and Trans Am," Fraser commented. "We stayed in contact and have been good friends. It's always good having a Cup guy racing with us. It's good for us. It's good for the sport. It's good for the series."

Dallenbach will join team owner George Robinson, Jack Baldwin and Steve Knapp in the team's brand new Judd-powered Riley & Scott Mark III-C, which is making its racing debut this weekend during the Grand-Am Finale at Daytona International Speedway. Dallenbach will slide behind the wheel of the prototype for the first time at the Rolex 24 At Daytona January Test Days, January 3-5, 2002.

The 40th Rolex 24 At Daytona will kick off the 2002 Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway, February 3-4, 2002. Tickets are on sale for the event online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.

- www.grand-am.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers John Andretti , Jeff Burton , Wally Dallenbach Sr. , Kyle Petty , Jack Baldwin , George Robinson