Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona begins Speedweeks 2020

Episode 300 (Wow)

January 26, 2020

Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona

The 38 car starting field for the 58th running of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race. From left to right GTD class with 19 entries, GTLM with 7 cars, LMP2 with 5 cars and DPi with 8 entries. With only six cautions the 2018 record of 808 laps was smashed as the winning #10 Cadillac DPi ran 833 laps. (IMSA photo)

As reported in last week’s episode, I was unable to attend the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in person. I did however, have Lou Masciarelli of Massachusetts agree to send me a few photos and share some thoughts about the race. The local TV station, WAGM had just added NBC to their lineup. NBC carried the final 1 1/2 hours of the race.

I also monitored the race via IMSA Radio throughout the evening. Endurance racing has some unique characteristics that I enjoy. The cars are built for the long race and actually are built like lightweight tanks. You also are able to get close to the action and watch passing since four classes are on the track at one time.

Race winning DPi Cadillac of Wayne Taylor Racing going through the Bus Stop on the backstretch. The team set a new record with 833 laps, had 41 pit stops, and finished about a minute ahead of the #77 Mazda DPi. With this win, Cadillac has won the last four Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona races. Three of the four belong to Wayne Taylor Racing. (IMSA photo)

Mazda DPi #77 driven by Oliver Jarvis, Tristan Nunez, and Olivier Pla. Their second place finish was the first time a Mazda has finished the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona since 2012. (Lou Mascarelli photo)

Winner of the LMP2 class was the Oreca chassis/Gibson powered Dragon Speed Racing #81 driven by Ben Hanley, Henrik Hedman, Harrison Newey, and Colin Braun. You may recall Braun formerly drove for CORE Autosports owned by Jon Bennett who has close Maine ties. This was the second straight class win for Dragon Speed. (IMSA photo)

The new Corvette mid-engine C8.R did well. The sister car to the #4 pictured here placed fourth in the GTLM class. This Corvette was an example of perseverance. After an oil leak was detected at hour nine. The team took the car to the garage. Such was the leak that the team had to take the engine out of the car to repair the problem. Despite a nine-hour repair the Corvette went back out onto the track and finished the race with 461 laps and 18 pit stops. (Chevy Racing photo)

Lexus RC F GT3 #14 driven by Kyle Busch, Jack Hawksworth, Parker Chase, and Michael de Quesada finished ninth in class and drew more than its fair share of attention with two-time NASCAR champion Busch at the wheel. The team had brake issues early on and dropped back eight laps behind the leader. (Lexus Racing photo)

Comments about and from the NASCAR driver

Fellow Lexus driver Jack Hawksworth, “Kyle’s got a lot of ideas. Kyle’s super switched on and he is like a sponge. He studies the setup, he studies the driving, and every aspect of it. He’s been good, he’s been helpful in many elements of the car setup. Again, anyone like him, he’s obsessed with it, so he’s thinking about it all of the time and constantly trying to improve it. So, he’s been good to work with.”

Kyle Busch had this to say about his first Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona race, “It was good, it was fine. Racing at night, people were talking about how difficult it was and I’ve been to some short tracks that don’t have very good lights, so there were plenty of lights here to see around. Obviously sometimes when you’re following a guy, or having a guy follow you, their lights are in your mirror the entire lap around the race track. That’s a bit difficult, but it’s not too bad getting the experience of running at night and having my first 24 hour was pretty cool. We’ll see what happens next.”

Thanks to Lou Masciarelli

I met Lou at the 2018 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona while strolling on the frontstretch  grass before the race. He has been to many sports car races including multiple trips to the Daytona race. I have used some Masciarelli material in the past and relied on him a bunch this year in my absence from the track. I want to publicly thank him for his support!

For the first time, Lou Masciarelli ran the Rolex 5K early on race day Saturday morning. He told me he would let me know if that was a good idea later that night. (Lou Masciarelli photo)

The finishing touches on Jason Griffeth’s frontstretch turfgrass artistry

The 2020 Speedweeks frontstretch turf artistry with the Daytona logo. (DIS photo)

Tame the Track Snowmobile Racing Tour at Rangeley Snodeo

NAPA Auto Parts 2020 Tame the Track Snowmobile Tour results  from the Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club Snodeo — “Adrenaline Rush Reunion” January 25, 2020

Dysart’s Truck Stop, Cyr & Sons Repair, KLIM KIDS 120cc STOCK —
1) Malcolm Witham Jr: Carmel, ME, Polaris
2) Trenton Hanscom: Benton, ME, Polaris
3) Breenan Comeau: Nashua, NH, Polaris

Recreational Motorsports & Machias Savings Bank KIDS 120cc IMPROVED/LO 206 —
1) Evan Folsom: Barre, VT, Polaris
2) Breenan Comeau: Nashua, NH, Polaris
3) Tucker Chase: Stratton, ME, Arctic Cat

Tame the Track 120 Modified class at Rangeley Snodeo 2020. (Elizabeth Agnew Hartford photo)

Witham’s Paving, Daigle Oil Company KIDS 120cc MODIFIED
1) Riley Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH, Polaris
2) Evan Witham: Levant, Maine, NH, Polaris
3) Mason Silva: Hudson, ME, Polaris

Corinth Village Creamery & Willette’s Automotive KIDS 200 STOCK
1) Cayleigh Rose: Turner, ME, Arctic Cat
2) Jayden Huff: Hampden, ME, Arctic Cat
3) Tucker Chase: Stratton, ME, Arctic Cat

Casella Waste Systems/ Pine Tree Waste WOMEN’S INVITATIONAL —
1)  Haley Brownell: Ossipee, NH, Yamaha
2) Haley Frohlich: Auburn, ME, Polaris
3) Alley Ripley: Center Ossipee, NH, Yamaha

Tame the Track Juniors at Rangeley Snodeo 2020. Riley Hartford on#789 on the inside with Austin Witham #5 on the outside, closest in the photo. (Elizabeth Agnew Hartford photo)

TNT Road Company & Last Chance Motorsports JUNIORS INVITATIONAL —
1) Riley Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH, Yamaha
2)  Austin Witham: Levant, ME, Yamaha
3) Hailey Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH, Yamaha

Workstore and Houlton Powersports & RV TEENS INVITATIONAL —
1) Christian Hanscom: Benton, ME, Yamaha
2) Henry Moneypenny: West Ossipee, NH, Yamaha
3) Landon Collins: Wolfeboro, NH, Yamaha

Blanchard’s Towing & VIP Tires SINGLE CYLINDER STOCK
1) Mark Newcombe: Augusta, ME, Arctic Cat
2) Mike Morris: Turner, ME, Arctic Cat
3) Ryan Sullivan: Auburn, ME, Arctic Cat
4) Daytona Gould: Dexter, ME, Sno Jet
5) Shawn Martin: Turner, ME, Bombardier

Harry’s Motorsports & Equipment & UniFirst SINGLE CYLINDER MODIFIED —
1) Mark Newcombe: Augusta, ME, Arctic Cat
2)  Adam Polevenin: Hebron,ME, Arctic Cat
3) Justin Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH,Sno Jet

SnowStuds, Star City Rentals & PowerMadd 340 STOCK —
1) Justin Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH, Yamaha
2) Daytona Gould: Dexter, ME, Yamaha
3) Mike Morris: Turner, ME, Arctic Cat
4) Landon Collins: Wolfeboro, NH, Yamaha
5) Alley Ripley: West Ossipee, NH, Yamaha

Savage Paint & Body and Dead River Company 340/440 MODIFIED —
1) Justin Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH, Yamaha
2) Daytona Gould: Dexter, ME, Arctic Cat
3) Shawn Berry: Center Ossipee, NH, Yamaha

Bangor Motorsports & J McLaughlin Construction 440 STOCK
1) Shawn Berry: Center Ossipee, NH, Yamaha
2) Daytona Gould: Dexter, ME, Arctic Cat
3) Alec Hayford: Center Ossipee, NH, Yamaha
4) Caleb Morris: Turner, ME, Arctic Cat
5) Jerry Worden: Ossipee, NH, Yamaha

1st Rate Bait and Pelletier Ford IFS 440 STOCK —
1) Joe Pelletier: Fort Kent, ME, Arctic Cat
2) Caleb Morris: Turner, ME, Polaris
3) Daytona Gould: Dexter, ME, Arctic Cat

Mission Trailers & Thundering Valley IFS OUTLAW —
1) Joe Pelletier: Fort Kent, ME, Arctic Cat
2) Daytona Gould: Dexter, ME, Arctic Cat
3) Caleb Morris: Turner, ME, Polaris

The next regularly scheduled race is the Polar Blast race “First or Last” –at the Quincy Field in Stratton/Eustis, Maine. The races will be held on Saturday: February 8th, as part of the Tame the Track Snowmobile Tour regular season schedule.

Go to website: www.tametracktour for rules, guidelines, schedules and further information.

300 Episode Milestone reached

When Sports Editor, Joe McLaughlin suggested that I begin a blog for the digital side of the Bangor Daily News in April 2014, I never would have predicted I would still be publishing weekly episodes for five years.

At the Maine Press Association’s 2016 Awards Ceremony in Portland with Bangor Daily News Executive Editor Anthony “Tony” Ronzio. HTF Motorsports photo

When I received the Maine Press Association award for best blog site in October 2016 I was deeply humbled. When 2019 year ended and we had over a quarter million views in one year, I again was humbled that folks would look at this blog written from a small town in northern Maine! Thank you.

Next weekend is Super Bowl Sunday and we are hosting a drug, alcohol and smoke free Super Bowl watch on the big screen at the Caribou Assembly of God Activity Center on 6 Summer Street in Caribou starting at 6 pm. Free pizza, wings, chips, veggie trays and soda will be offered. At half time a presentation by three Christian football players including Ben Watson of the Patriots will be shown.

I will be spending my evening making sure our guests are well taken care of and probably will not have time to write episode 301. Don’t forget to subscribe and share UpNorth Motorsports. Look at the end of each episode where you can get sign up for email notifications of each episode.

Let’s go racing,

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria (Matthew 5:16)


Tom Hale

About Tom Hale

Tom wrote 14 years as freelancer for the Bangor Daily Sports covering motorsports in Maine. Now blogging and concentrating on human interest stories about people and places in racing. He races Champ Karts and owns HTF Motorsports in remote Westmanland, Maine