Say hello to two-day old Remi Menard w/ proud dad, Paul. pic.twitter.com/6w0BsWj1tc
— RCR 27 Cup Team (@RCR27PMenard) March 20, 2014
Paul Menard won’t have to worry about having a standby driver anymore — well, at least not for awhile.
Menard has had reigning Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton on his speed dial the last several weeks, as Menard and wife Jennifer were awaiting the birth of their first child, Remi Barbara Christine Menard.
The blessed event finally came on Tuesday night, with the proud papa tweeting about it from his account @RCR27PMenard.
Expect Menard to be passing out a lot of cigars at this weekend’s event at Auto Club Speedway.
Meanwhile, Matt and Katie Kenseth are awaiting the birth of their third daughter, due in the next two weeks.
Matt will have NBC NASCAR analyst Jeff Burton on standby duty at Fontana for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race, and Sam Hornish Jr. for Saturday’s Nationwide Series event, in case Matt has to return home to North Carolina for the birth.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.
And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).
Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.
Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.
“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”
It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.
The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.
In other categories:
LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.
GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.
MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.
“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.
GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.
It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.
LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.
STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:
NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.