"I think it's great for INDYCAR that its drivers are doing other types of racing. It just shows the world how good they are." -- Bobby Rahal
An IndyCar Series competitor has co-driven the winning overall entry in the Rolex 24 At Daytona the past three years and five of the past 10. In 2013, series drivers swept the podium, with Charlie Kimball (first), Ryan Hunter-Reay (second) and Justin Wilson (third). More than a dozen IndyCar Series and Mazda Road to Indy drivers will compete in the 52nd race this weekend on the 3.56-mile circuit at Daytona International Speedway, including reigning IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan and 2012 series champion Hunter-Reay.
"The (Rolex 24) lineup of drivers has evolved over the years," said Dixon, who co-drove the winning entry in 2006. "When I first started in '04, I might have been one of the few IndyCar Series drivers that did the 24. The last four or five years there's been more of a mix of INDYCAR drivers going over, which is good for both series. It's a great way to start the year and really shows the all-around skills of IndyCar (Series) drivers."
Wilson co-drove the winning car in 2012, while Graham Rahal was a member of the 2011 winning team. Both are entered this year, with Wilson rejoining Michael Shank Racing in its prototype car and Rahal competing for BMW Team RLL in the GT Le Mans sports car category. Rahal, who won the event 30 years after his father's victory, said winning the race is a career highlight.
Kanaan will join Dixon in co-driving the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates car in the Prototype category. Simon Pagenaud, who finished third in the IndyCar Series championship standings last year, will make his second start in the race.