Rolex 24 at Daytona 2020 full coverage recap, results


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 58th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona featured a repeat winner with unprecedented performance.

Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Cadillac won the sports car endurance classic for the second consecutive year and by completing a record 833 laps, shattering the previous mark of 808 that was set in 2018.

That was one of the many storylines during a newsy weekend at Daytona International Speedway.

From Kyle Busch’s Rolex 24 debut to a historic “convergence” of sports cars that could link Daytona and Le Mans, you can revisit all the stories from the past week at Motorsports Talk below:


How Kyle Busch found happiness in sports cars over a month at Daytona

Full results of the race with class wins, fastest laps and leaders

Wayne Taylor Racing wins its second consecutive Rolex 24 at Daytona and third in four years

Kamui Kobayashi was in command with 90 minutes to go as Kyle Busch prepared for his last stint

–With four hours remaining, Kyle Busch’s team was out of the hunt as Joao Barbosa led in DPi

–Near halfway, it was Loic Duval in front as Kyle Busch completed his first double stint


–Eight-hour update: Scott Dixon leading for Wayne Taylor Racing

–O Canada! Why plaid has been rad for Pfaff Motorsports’ Porsche

–Kyle Busch was begging for more laps after his first stint in the No. 14 Lexus

–Helio Castroneves angry after getting wrecked in the Bus Stop by Harry Tincknell

–Olivier Pla leads at the four-hour mark

–Kyle Busch gets his marching orders for his first Rolex 24

–Ken Squier recalls the 1966 Rolex 24, sports cars at Daytona and Ken Miles’ career


–IMSA’s blockbuster “convergence” could signal a new Ford vs. Ferrari era, Jim France says

–In a sign of things to come, Wayne Taylor Racing’s Kamui Kobayashi had the fastest lap in final practice

A ‘crucial’ year for Hailie Deegan’s career begins at Daytona


Mazda takes the Rolex 24 pole for the second straight year as Ricky Taylor crashes hard in qualifying

The doctor who became a driver takes racing lessons from his son

–Wake up! How drivers alert working the graveyard shift at Daytona


–Meet Nick Tandy, the sports car and Le Mans champion who loves NASCAR

–‘I’m not the top dog’: How a humble Kyle Busch approached his Rolex 24 debut


–DPi champion Dane Cameron discussed his career while visiting the NASCAR on NBC Podcast

–Why winning a watch is so special for Rolex 24 drivers

–With Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya, Team Penske’s odd couple also has been outstanding on the No. 6 Acura


–A viewer’s guide to the Rolex 24 at Daytona 2020, here were five things to watch in the race

–Without neither sons behind the wheel for the first time in 10 years, Wayne Taylor understandably felt a void before the race

–The always outspoken Taylor also hasn’t been happy with IMSA’s direction on Balance of Performance

Heart of Racing program aims to elevate new generation of women to star in sports cars

women sports cars
Mike Levitt/LAT Images/Heart of Racing

(Editor’s note: This story on the Heart of Racing sports cars shootout for women is one in an occasional Motorsports Talk series focusing on women in racing during March, which is Women’s History Month.)

Heart of Racing driver and team manager Ian James says his daughter, Gabby, isn’t so interested in auto racing. But she is interested (as a New York-based journalist) in writing about the sport’s efforts and growth in gender equality

It’s a topic that also was brought up by James’ wife, Kim.

“They’re always saying, ‘Hey, you manage all these guys, and you help them, so why not a woman?’ ” Ian James told NBC Sports. “And I feel like there are a lot of women that haven’t had a fair crack at it in sports car racing.

Our whole DNA at Heart of Racing is we give people opportunities in all types of situations where there’s been crew personnel or drivers. And I felt like we hadn’t really addressed the female driver situation. I felt like there was a void to give somebody a chance to really prove themselves.”

During the offseason, the team took a major step toward remedying that.

Heart of Racing held its first female driver shootout last November at the APEX Motor Club in Phoenix, Arizona, to select two women who will co-drive an Aston Martin Vantage GT4 in the SRO SprintX Championship.

The season will begin this weekend at Sonoma Raceway with Hannah Grisham and Rianna O’Meara-Hunt behind the wheel. The team also picked a third driver, 17-year-old Annie Rhule, for a 2023 testing program.

The Phoenix audition included 10 finalists who were selected from 130 applicants to the program, which has been fully underwritten by Heart of Racing’s sponsors.

“We didn’t want it to be someone who just comes from a socio-economic background that could afford to do it on their own course,” James said. “We can pick on pure talent. We’re committed to three years to do this and see if we can find the right person. I’m very hopeful.”

So is Grisham, a Southern California native who has been racing since she was 6 in go-karts and since has won championships in Mazda and Miata ladder series. She has several victories in the World Racing League GP2 (an amateur sports car endurance series). The last two years, Grisham has worked as a test driver for the Pirelli tire company (she lives near Pirelli’s U.S. headquarters in Rome, Georgia, and tests about 30 times a year).

Starting with the Sonoma during SprintX event weekends (which feature races Saturday and Sunday), she will split the Heart of Racing car with O’Meara-Hunt (a New Zealand native she got to know at the shootout).

“It’s huge; the biggest opportunity I’ve had in this sport,” Grisham, 23, told NBC Sports. “Now it’s up to me to perform how I know I can. But I’m super lucky to be with such an amazing team and have a good teammate. The Heart of Racing has a family vibe and energy to it that’s really amazing. It’s super exciting. It’s hard to put into words.”

Grisham is hopeful that a strong performance eventually could lead to a full-time ride with Heart of Racing. The team has full-time entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and won the GTD category of the 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona with the No. 27 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 piloted by James, Darren Turner, Roman DeAngelis and Marco Sorensen.

James said “there’s no guarantee” of placement in an IMSA entry for Grisham and O’Meara-Hunt, but “if they prove themselves, we’ll continue to help them throughout their career and our team. The GT3 program is an obvious home for that. If they get the opportunity and don’t quite make it, we’ll be looking for the next two. The next three years, we’ll cycle through drivers until we find the right one.”

Grisham described the two-day shootout as a friendly but intense environment. After a day of getting acclimated to their cars, drivers qualified on new tires the second day and then did two 25-minute stints to simulate a race.

“Everyone was super nice,” she said. “Once everyone gets in the car, it’s a different level. A different switch gets turned on. Everyone was super nice; everyone was quick. I feel we had an adequate amount of seat time, which is definitely helpful.

“It’s always cool to meet more women in the sport because there’s not too many of us, even though there’s more and more. It’s always cool to meet really talented women, especially there were so many from all over the world.”

IMSA has celebrated female champions and race winners, notably Katherine Legge (who is running GTD full time this season with Sheena Monk for Gradient Racing). The field at Sebring and Daytona also included the Iron Dames Lamborghini (a female-dominated team).

James believes “a breakout female driver will be competing with the best of them” in the next five years as gender barriers slowly recede in motorsports.

“It’s been a male-dominated sport,” James said. “It’s still a very minute number of women drivers compared to the guys. I’m sure back in the day there were physical hurdles about it that were judged. But now the cars are not very physical to drive, and it’s more about technique and mental strength and stuff like that, and there’s no reason a girl shouldn’t do just as well as a guy. What we’re just trying to achieve is that there isn’t an obvious barrier to saying ‘Hey, I can’t hire a guy or a girl.’ We just want to put girls in front of people and our own program that are legitimate choices going forward for people.”

“There’s been some really good female drivers, but a lot of them just haven’t been able to sustain it, and a lot of that comes from sponsorship. I think (with the shootout), there’s no pressure of raising money and worrying about crash damage. We’ve taken care of all that so they can really focus on the job at hand.”

Funding always has been a hurdle for Grisham, who caught the racing bug from her father, Tom, an off-road driver who raced the Baja 1000 several times.

“I don’t come from a lot of money by any means,” she said. “So since a young age, I’ve always had to find sponsorships and get people to help me, whether it was buying tires, paying for entry fees, paying for the shipment of a car to an actual race. Literally knocking on doors of people or businesses in my town. So yeah, it’s definitely something I’ve always struggled with and held me back because the sport revolves so much around money. So again to get this opportunity is insane.”

Grisham credits racing pioneer Lyn St. James (an Indy 500 veteran and sports car champion) as a role model who has helped propel her career. She was hooked by the sights, smells and sounds of racing but also its competitive fire.

“There’s a zone you get in, that subconscious state of mind when you’re driving. It’s like addictive almost. I love it. Also I’m just a very competitive person as I think most race car drivers are.

“For sure I want to stay with the Heart of Racing. Obviously, I’m still getting to know everyone, but it’s a super family vibe. That’s how I grew up in the sport with just my dad and I wrenching on the cars. That’s what I love about this sport is all the amazing people you meet. And I think this is one of the most promising teams in this country. For sure, I want to learn as much as I can from them and hopefully continue. I feel so lucky and grateful to be one of those chosen.”