AJ Foyt Racing adds James Davison to third car for Indy 500, field grows to 35 entries

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For the second consecutive day, another entry has been added for this year’s Indianapolis 500 field.

A.J. Foyt Racing announced Friday that it will add a third entry for the 102nd running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing on May 27.

James Davison will drive the No. 33 Chevrolet for Foyt, joining regular AJFR full-time drivers Tony Kanaan and Matheus Leist.

Originally, AJFR didn’t plan to have a third entry in this year’s 500, but when the three partners approached Foyt officials, their 500 gameplan changed.

Davison’s car will be co-owned by A.J. Foyt Racing, in partnership with Jonathan Byrd Racing, Hollinger MotorSport and Belardi Auto Racing.

When he found out Davison was available, AJFR president Larry Foyt decided to go with three cars for the 500 after all.

“We had kind of decided we weren’t going to do (a third car) this year and focus on the 4 and the 14,” Larry Foyt said. “It just all really made sense, and we think it’s something that will really add to our two cars and be a benefit to the team as a whole.”

The Australian driver and his car become the 35th entry for the race, meaning the number of cars that will be bumped from the final 33-car field during qualifying has now climbed to two, with the possibility of at least one or two more entries that could further extrapolate the bump field.

Thursday, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing announced that J.R. Hildebrand became the 34th entry for the 500.

This will be Davison’s fourth bid to make the 500. He’s qualified in each of his first three tries, with his best finish being 16th in 2014.

Davison was a last-minute replacement in last year’s Indy 500, filling in for the injured Sebastien Bourdais. He started last and was up to fifth with 17 laps remaining before being involved in a late-race accident.

“We’re all very excited for it,” Davison said. “Obviously AJ Foyt Racing has shown fantastic form so far this year, that we’re really looking to capitalize on, and yeah, the month of May can’t come soon enough.

“In 2014 being a single-engine program, we had no reason to really go big and trim and those kind of things. There were 33 cars in the field. Now obviously qualifying is important. It’s not just where you start the race, you’ve got to make it.

“And of course it’s the greatest race in the world. It’s the greatest spectacle in racing. You watch the restarts on TV, it gives you goose bumps. I mean, it’s just such an amazing spectacle. The history of the event is just amazing. And yeah, I just have a massive passion for it. Trying to win the race is my life goal.”

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Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats

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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.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

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:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

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.