A beautiful sunrise greeted the drivers still circulating the 3.56-mile high-banked tri-oval/infield road course, and also for those awaking to take their turn behind the wheel. The weather continues to warm, with the hovering cloud cover no doubt holding in the heat. Made for a spectacular sky.

Spirit of Daytona Racing No.09 Porsche Coyote DP  Photo by MARK WEBER
Spirit of Daytona Racing No.09 Porsche Coyote DP Photo by MARK WEBER

In Hour 21, the Spirit of Daytona Porsche/Coyote Daytona Prototype flamed up big time in the pit lane and was doused by multiple extinguishers. Road racer GUY COSMOS was exiting the car at the time, and motorcycle rider, SCOTT RUSSELL, was getting in. He said he smelled fuel the instant he was inside and something just ignited. Russell was able to safely get out, and the team is still diagnosing the problem. Russell said he wore more safety garments for the car race than he does for bike riding. The driver lineup includes Cosmos and three motorcycle riders: Russell, JASON PRIDMORE and JEFF WARD.

The Ford marque is now represented by one car, SunTrust Racing No.10 Ford Riley Daytona Prototype. The other six Ford DP’s retired with the same kind of engine problem, in addition to the GT Mustang. Meanwhile the Lexus and Porsche marques are soldiering on, for the most part, swapping the lead. For four hours the pole sitter No.58 Brumos Porsche Riley DP has led its class and overall, the longest streak of any car in either class.

Four of the remaining DP’s are on the lead lap.

Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R GT  Photo by MARK WEBER
Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R GT Photo by MARK WEBER

The GT category continues to hold down eighth position overall, with the top two on the lead lap. In Hour 19, Farnbacher took back the lead from TRG, but the two teams swap nearly every hour. A new car has inserted itself into the mix. Banner Racing No.07 Pontiac GXP.R ran third.

SCOTT DIXON/No.02 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley DP had a bit of a drama when his nosepiece flew off and landed on track. A caution came out and Dixon pitted and headed for the garage for replacements and went back on course.

Driver ANDY WALLACE explained some of the strange hiccups being experienced by the Childress-Howard Motorsports No.2 Pontiac Crawford DP. He said there’s a renegade wire in the chassis, and the diagnostic system in a box has shorted out. It keeps indicating failures in all the various functions of the car. The car seems to work better in the cool. As no one knows what to expect, Wallace quipped that it would probably start sparking on the last stint and the shock would keep the drivers awake for the checkered flag.