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Daly goes from busy IndyCar test to last-minute Rolex 24 drive

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Conor Daly’s week in Florida has been extended through the weekend thanks to a last-minute call from Starworks Motorsport team principal Peter Baron.

The 25-year-old has been added to the lineup of the No. 88 Oreca FLM09 in the Prototype Challenge class for this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona. Daly joins fellow young star Sean Rayhall, along with race debutante James Dayson, Alex Popow and Scott Mayer. Sebastian Saavedra tested for the team at the Rolex 24 in that car but had not been confirmed for the race.

For Daly, nearly 200 laps of running (he estimated 180 laps) in his No. 4 ABC Supply Co. Chevrolet IndyCar over two days at Sebring International Raceway was the start of his week.

And then he got interrupted as his A.J. Foyt Racing crew was doing a damper change.

“I’m in the pits in-between runs, and I ask my crew to hand me my phone,” Daly told NBC Sports. “I look down and all of a sudden there’s a few messages from Peter asking if I was available to drive. It’s a great opportunity and I figured I’d jump at it.”

Daly has one past Rolex 24 start, with RSR Racing in 2014, and also in the PC class.

His most recent IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship experience came in 2015 with Performance Tech Motorsports, running the balance of the season from the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring onwards. Daly impressed many in the paddock with his speed, and will look to capture an elusive first class victory as part of this lineup this weekend – one which would also be overdue and deserved for Baron and his Starworks team.

Daly joins the list of IndyCar drivers racing at this year’s Rolex 24 as well. That list grows to 12 drivers who competed in 2016, and eight who are confirmed for the full season in 2017.

Starworks’ two cars are adorned in special bright colors, which Baron has referred to as “Please Don’t Hit Me Pink” for the No. 8 and “Hey, We’re Right Here Orange” for the No. 88, according to Sportscar365.

The No. 8 car features the lineup of Robert Wickens, Remo Ruscitti, John Falb, Chris Cumming and Ben Keating, the latter of whom is also in the No. 33 Riley Motorsports-Team AMG Mercedes AMG-GT3 in the GT Daytona class.

Practice for the Rolex 24 at Daytona begins at 10:20 a.m. ET this morning.

Dakar Rally Stage 13: Carlos Sainz has second overall victory in sight

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Editor’s note: Check out expanded video highlights of Stage 13 Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Carlos Sainz is nearing his second Dakar Rally victory while Nasser Al-Attiyah strengthened his bid for second by winning Friday’s 13th stage of the endurance race.

Sainz finished sixth in his Team Peugeot ride and holds a lead of 46:18 over Al-Attiyah’s Toyota.

“I tried to play it safe, even if there were plenty of tricky parts,” said Sainz, who won the Dakar Rally in 2010 but had failed to finish the past five races because of mechanical problems. “Since the start, there has been a lot of drama in this race and it’s not over until we’ve crossed the finishing line. It’s not a crazy Dakar, but it’s very difficult. I hope everything will go OK (Saturday).”

Defending race winner Stephane Peterhansel is in fourth overall, trailing by 1:28:08 after crashing and finishing 20th in the penultimate stage. The Frenchman has a record 13 overall wins in the Dakar but is unlikely to earn another despite rebounding well from a crash in the seventh stage that had knocked him from the overall lead.

In other divisions, Eduard Nikolaev (trucks), Matthias Walkner (motorcycles), Ignacio Casale (Quads) and Reinaldo Varela (SxS UTV) are on the cusp of capturing overall wins entering the final stage.

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STAGE 13 RESULTS, CARS

  1. Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah, Toyota, 5:02:22
  2. Argentina’s Lucio ALvarez, Toyota, 5:13:38
  3. South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers, Toyota: 5:15:28
  4. Poland’s Jakub Przygonski, X-Raid, 5:17:29
  5. Finland’s Mikko Hirvonen, X-Raid, 5:21:46

OVERALL 

  1. Spain’s Carlos Sainz
  2. Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah, 46:18 behind
  3. South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers, 1:20:00 behind
  4. France’s Stephane Peterhansel, 1:28:08 behind
  5. Poland’s Jakub Przygonski, 2:46:32 behind

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TRUCKS

  1. Russia’s Eduard Nikolaev, Kamaz, 5:59:02
  2. Russia’s Airat Mardeev, 5:59:52
  3. Czech Republic’s Martin Kolomy, Tatra, 6:05:08
  4. Belarus’s Siarhei Vlazovich, 6:26:47
  5. Czech Republic’s Dmitry Sotnikov, 6:31:56

OVERALL 

  1. Russia’s Eduard Nikolaev
  2. Belarus’s Siarhei Vlazovich, 3:53:59 behind
  3. Russia’s Airat Mardeev, 5:21:05
  4. Czech Republic’s Martin Kolomy, 9:01:18
  5. Czech Republic’s Dmitry Sotnikov, 10:04:29

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MOTORCYCLES

  1. Australia’s Toby Price, KTM, 4:48:33
  2. Argentina’s Kevin Benavides, Honda, 4:50:36
  3. France’s Antoine Meo, KTM, 4:51:17
  4. Austria’s Matthias Walkner, KTM, 5:00:05
  5. Spain’s Juan Pedrero Garcia, 5:03:45

AMERICAN RIDERS

15th: Mark Samuels (Honda), 5:19:40

18th: Shane Esposito (KTM), 5:27:14

37th: Andrew Short (Husqvarna), 5:58:14

68th: Bill Conger (Husqvarna), 7:16:00

OVERALL 

  1. Austria’s Matthias Walkner
  2. Argentina’s Kevin Benavides, 22:31 behind
  3. Australia’s Toby Price, 27:45
  4. France’s Antoine Meo, 50:17
  5. Spain’s Gerard Farres, 1:01:19

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QUADS

  1. Argentina’s Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli, 5:55:16
  2. Paraguay’s Nelson Augusto Sanabria Galeano, 5:58:34
  3. Chile’s Ignacio Casale, 5:59:19
  4. Argentina’s Nicolas Cavigliasso, 6:02:22
  5. Brazil’s Marcelo Medeiros, 6:02:23

OVERALL

  1. Chile’s Ignacio Casale
  2. Argentina’s Nicolas Cavigliasso, 1:37:16 behind
  3. Argentina’s Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli, 2:05:12
  4. Brazil’s Marcelo Medeiros, 4:25:26
  5. Peru’s Alexis Hernandez, 4:34:37

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SxS UTV

  1. France’s Patricie Garrouste, Polaris, 6:29:40
  2. Brazil’s Reinaldo Varela, Can-Am, 6:39:39
  3. France’s Claude Fournier, Polaris, 7:33:17
  4. Spain’s Jose Pena Campos, Polaris, 7:41:200

OVERALL 

  1. Brazil’s Reinaldo Varela
  2. France’s Patricie Garroueste, 53:28 behind
  3. France’s Claude Fournier, 10:02:12
  4. Spain’s Jose Pena Campos, 10:06:01

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SATURDAY’S SCHEDULE

Champions in all five classes will be crowned Saturday after the 14th and final stage concludes in Cordoba, Argentina.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Stage 12 wrapup

MORE: Stage 11 wrapup

MORE: Stage 10 wrapup

MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions

MORE: Stage 8 wrapup

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MORE: Stage 5 wrapup

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MORE: Stage 3 wrapup

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