Action Express gives Chase Elliott a Rolex 24 milestone

Action Express Racing put among its 2 Cadillacs – the one including NASCAR champ Chase Ellott – on the pole for the Rolex 24 at Daytona in a first-of-its-kind certifying race for the crown gem endurance occasion.

The No. 31 Cadillac DPi will be driven next week in the twice-round-the-clock race by Felipe Nasr, Pipo Derani, Mike Conway and Elliott in Elliott’s IMSA cars launching.

He didn’t race the vehicle in Sunday’s qualifier, which granted 35 indicate the pole-winning group. Action Express utilized fulltime routine chauffeurs Nasr and Derani for the 140-minute qualifier around the winding Daytona International Speedway roadway course and snagged the Rolex 24 pole.

The duo later on whined other groups didn’t race for the triumph and rather utilized the race as a glorified test for the race that starts Saturday.

”To me, it’s a joke. Simply do the damn lap, reveal what you have actually got,” Nasr stated. ”It makes the entire life of the series, it makes everyone’s life much easier.”

The Action Express sis vehicle did deal with Sunday’s race as a practice to provide seven-time NASCAR champ Jimmie Johnson almost 100 minutes in the seat, and in quick damp conditions. Johnson then turned the Cadillac over to Kamui Kobayashi, who certified the No. 48 sixth of 7 vehicles in the leading Daytona Model class.

Action Express is owned by Jim France, head of the household that owns both NASCAR and IMSA. This year he slotted Elliott as the all-star for Action Express, a seasonal champion competitor.

However France likewise teamed with Hendrick Motorsports on a 2nd, star-studded entry simply for the Rolex. The No. 48 Cadillac functions Jimmie Johnson, Indianapolis 500 winner Simon Pagenaud, previous Rolex and LeMans winner Mike Rockenfeller and Kobayashi, the two-time ruling winner at Daytona.

Amongst the Hendrick workers at Daytona helping Action Express were Chad Knaus, team chief of all 7 of Johnson’s titles, and the No. 48 it is moneyed by Ally, among Hendrick’s leading sponsors.

Nasr was freely crucial of the groups that didn’t trouble to race in the qualifier and he was probably upset with the Acura entries from Wayne Taylor Racing and Michael Shank Racing, in addition to Mazda Motorsports. Both Taylor and Shank are brand name brand-new to the Acura factory program and have actually tired their companies by upgrading their fleets in time for Daytona.

Cadillac has 4 entries in the field; one from JDC-Miller Motorsports and one from Chip Ganassi Racing, which is back in IMSA after a one-year hiatus and back in the leading DPi department for the very first time considering that 2016.

The Ganassi vehicle includes Kevin Magnussen simply months after losing his Solution One seat, six-time IndyCar champ Scott Dixon and ruling two-time Rolex winner Renger Van der Zande, however it certified last in the seven-car class.

Derani stated it was ”a pity” some vehicles sandbagged and questioned if the points granted were not generous adequate to encourage competing groups to apply effort in certifying.

The Rolex 24 of Daytona is among the most prominent occasions on the planet and draws leading chauffeurs from around the globe. It’s extremely essential in the cars neighborhood, both to the makers and the audience of efficiency car lovers.

”We are entering into the most essential race of the season next week and I believe there’s very little clearness,” Derani stated. ”We are being clear with what we have.”

The Oreca LMP2 for PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports won the pole for the Le Mans Model 2 class, a 10-car field that consists of an entry from Rick Ware Racing including Daytona 500 winner Austin Dillon and Cody Shane Ware, who is slated to run the complete Cup season in NASCAR for his daddy’s group.

Nick Tandy improved his Corvette Racing sis vehicle to win the pole for the GT Le Mans class. The 2 Corvette factory entries become part of a five-car class that consists of 2 BMW M8 GTE’s that marks Bobby Rahal’s 30th season of group ownership. The GTLM class includes single entries from each Ferrari and Porsche.

Turner Motorsport won the pole in the congested GT Daytona class, which at 20 vehicles is the biggest in the field. Costs Auberlen drove the BMW M6 to the pole; the lineup consists of IndyCar breakout star Colton Herta.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.