Heartbreak for A.J. ALLMENDINGER who was leading while driving No.6 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley Daytona Prototype coasted to a stop. Turned out the car had a blown motor and officially retired. The co-drivers were IAN JAMES, JOHN PEW, and MICHAEL VALIENTE.
More bad luck for KYLE PETTY who was driving No.45 Victory Junction – Orbit Racing BMW Riley DP. Oil leaked from the axle and caught fire. The car was towed back to the garage, where Petty and team manager, PETER BARON were hands-on with the crew feverishly working away to fix the car.
At the end of hour seven, SCOTT DIXON/No.01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley is leading the Daytona Prototype class. PAUL EDWARDS/No.07 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R was in fifteenth overall, leading GT.
The temperatures have gradually gone down, from 72 degrees F to 57 degrees at 11 PM EDT. It’s still mild and very tolerable. Skies are clear.
BORIS SAID/No.15 Blackforest Motorsports Ford Mustang GT lost a cylinder and retired early on, running a mere 52 laps. His co-drivers are TOM NASTASI and two Aussies – Super V8 driver, PAUL MORRIS and OWEN KELLEY.
Kelley is currently running NASCAR Late Model Series for DALE EARNHARDT Jr and living at Junior’s house. This is his first time in a sports car, and a first for racing at night. He said he had no trouble acclimating during the Thursday Night Practice.
Morris met Boris in Australia. Morris, who runs a two-car Super V8 team. He and RUSSELL INGALLS are the drivers. Morris put Said into his team’s second V8 car for the fall Bathurst 1000 race in New South Wales, co-driving with Ingalls.
Morris has been in discussions with BARRY GREEN about JACQUES VILLENEUVE racing in the V8 series in the upcoming season. Villeneuve, winner of the 1995 Indianapolis 500 and CART Championship and the 1997 Formula One championship, has expressed interest in running the series. Morris is ready to put him in a car once the sponsorship is in place. However, with time running out and the economy being what it is, Morris puts J’s chances at about 20 percent at this point.