After putting out feelers to race during NASCAR’s inaugural weekend on the Daytona International Speedway road course, IMSA’s Jordan Taylor might have found some takers.
The Corvette Racing driver said Monday he has an offer from an ARCA team and has talked to a Cup team about driving in the Aug. 14-16 weekend that will feature ARCA, trucks Xfinity and Cup. Taylor was planning to circle back Monday on the Cup ride, which would be dependent on sponsorship.
“They’re like, ‘We need to figure out if we can raise the money for it,'” Taylor said during a Zoom media availability ahead of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race Saturday at Sebring International Raceway. “That’s kind of always the case with the teams that offer those sort of situations, so it’s tough. You don’t want to be labeled as a guy who’s going to bring money to a ride. If you get labeled as that, you’re going to get stuck in that position.
OPEN WEEKEND: IMSA drivers offer up their services for NASCAR debut at Daytona
“So I definitely don’t want to jump into a car and maybe battling for 35th to 40th, but if it gets my face in the NASCAR scene for a road-course event, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, either.”
I believe Rodney Sandstorm is free that weekend if anyone is looking for a driver. #RodneySandstorm https://t.co/Dam8cgJTGA
— Jordan Taylor (@jordan10taylor) July 8, 2020
Taylor, who won the GTLM class in the July 4 race at Daytona with teammate Antonio Garcia, has “always wanted to do a NASCAR road course race. I’m a big fan of that style of racing, that style of car.” Taylor, whose amusing alter ego is a Jeff Gordon fan named Rodney Sandstrom persona, nearly had a ride for the Xfinity races at Mid-Ohio and Watkins Glen International last year.
“It was pretty much a done deal, and then it fell through last minute,” he said. “I was getting ready to go up to see the team and meet everyone. I was really excited about that. I’d love another opportunity like that to come around. Daytona being right here is even better than Mid-Ohio or Road America for that matter.”
Daytona is a home track in many ways for Taylor, who lives near Orlando, Florida. Driving for his father’s Wayne Taylor Racing, Jordan Taylor was a part of DPi Cadillac teams that won the overall Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2017 (with Jeff Gordon) and in ’19 (with Fernando Alonso).
With NASCAR having curtailed practice time since its return during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Jordan Taylor believes that experience will matter on the 17-turn, 3.56-mile layout that annually plays host to the Rolex 24 in January.
“Obviously I’ve got a lot of laps around there,” he said. “Seeing what they’ve done these past few races where they have no practice and just going straight into the race, I think a guy with at least a little bit of track experience could have maybe a small advantage at the beginning, even though I know a lot of those have probably done a lot of simulator work as well.
“But it would obviously be a big learning curve to jump into one of those cars and figure it out at the same time. I definitely would love to try it if there was an opportunity but hopefully in a Chevrolet vehicle.”