Justin will rejoin Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian for this weekend’s Rolex 24 At Daytona as he joins full season drivers Ozz Negri and John Pew and NASCAR pilot AJ Allmendinger in their quest for a second victory in the prestigious sportscar race.
The race marks the first-ever IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship event as the next era in sportscar racing launches with the blue riband event at Daytona International Speedway.
The team won the race in 2012 and has finished on the podium four times since making its first start in the event in 2004. This will be Justin’s seventh appearance in the twice round the clock event and sixth with MSR. After an off-season spent recovering from injuries sustained in October’s IndyCar Series finale at Fontana he’s fighting fit again and can’t wait to go racing this weekend.
“It’s great to get back in the car,” said Justin after the recent Roar Before the 24 test. “This was the first time in about four months I think, so that is always good. The car feels good. I love the sound and the feel of the new Ford EcoBoost engine, it’s a lot of fun to drive. I’m just looking forward to the race now. We will get a few more miles in and we have a lot of work to do, but everyone is working hard and it is fun to be a part of this group and be back here and hopefully we have a shot at getting another Rolex.”
“We are just trying to take it one step at a time, not looking too far ahead,” added Justin who has four Rolex podiums, including the 2012 victory, on his CV. “We don’t have any preconceived ideas about the race and we are just taking it one step at a time. I would love for us to win it again, but we have to make sure we do all of the right things and give ourselves a chance.”
The 2014 Rolex 24 is Michael Shank Racing’s 10th straight campaign in the event and the team will once again utilize Ford power. 2014 sees the Blue Oval put innovation on the track as a new EcoBoost motor will power the team. Michael Shank Racing already has written history with the powerplant, setting several records with EcoBoost power at Daytona International Speedway late last year.
“It is hard to believe that this is our 10th Rolex 24, and it is certainly going to be the biggest one yet,” said team owner Mike Shank. “This sport is ready to put on a great show for a huge audience and we are very excited for what is next with the United SportsCar Championship. There are so many unknowns with the new rules and all the new classes, it is little bit like the first time for us. But we’ve been preparing non-stop and are ready to put all of our preparation to work this weekend. We’ve got some incredible support from our commercial partners and this is the same driver line up that we won the race with so everyone is just chomping at the bit to get down there and get going.”
Following the first official visit to IMSA technical inspection at 3:30 PM on Wednesday, Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian will open the weekend on Thursday with practice starting at 9:30 AM (full schedule below).
Rolex 24 At Daytona Broadcast Information:
Fox 2:00 PM-4:00 PM ET
Fox Sports 2 4:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
IMSA.com 9:00 PM-7:00 AM ET
Fox Sports 1 7:00 AM-3:00 PM ET
MRN Radio www.mrn.com
Also note: In partnership with Roberts Service Group, Michael Shank will team with Matt Finkes and 95.5 The Game for a radio show from Daytona International Speedway. You can listen live at http://player.tritondigital.com/12171 (http://www.955thegameonline.com/)
Roberts Service Group/The Game at Daytona Broadcast Schedule:
Friday, January 24 9:00 AM- 12:00 PM
Saturday, January 25 1:00 PM- 2:00 PM
Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian fans and supporters can wear their allegiance with pride as the team has unveiled a new line of merchandise ahead of the 2014 season:
Make sure to follow the race via updates from team members and with the #msr24 tag
www.twitter.com/michaelshankrac Mike Shank
www.twitter.com/johnpew1 John Pew
www.twitter.com/ozznegri Ozz Negri
www.twitter.com/justin_wilson Justin Wilson
www.twitter.com/ajdinger AJ Allmendinger
www.twitter.com/sundaygroup Sunday Group (Team PR)
2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona Weekend schedule:
Thursday 23 January
Practice 1 – TUDOR Championship 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM ET
Practice 2 – TUDOR Championship 1:15 PM – 1:45 PM ET
Qualifying – TUDOR Championship (P) 4:50 PM – 5:05 PM ET
Practice 3 – TUDOR Championship 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM ET
Friday 24 January
Practice 4 – TUDOR Championship 11:30 AM-12:30 PM
Saturday 25 January
Autographs – TUDOR Championship 11:45 AM – 12:30 PM ET
Fan Walk – TUDOR Championship 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM ET
Start – The 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona 2:10 PM ET (24 hours)
Sunday 26 January
Finish – The 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona 2:10 PM ET