First races of 2021, Tulsa Shootout feature lineup showcasing champions

Tulsa Shootout 2021 Bell
@CBellRacing, Twitter
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The first races of 2021 are in the books as the Tulsa Shootout at Tulsa Expo Raceway enters its final stages on Saturday, Jan. 2. On Friday, New Years Day, 75 races were run in the span of 11 hours.

As the 36th annual Shootout runs through its own long list of heats, qualifying mains, and last chance showdowns in advance of next week’s Chili Bowl Nationals, more than 250 races have been run in multiple divisions of micro sprints; 39 races remain including seven championship A-Mains.

As of Saturday morning, five drivers have locked into three A-Mains including Tyler Courtney – who sits on the front row in the Stock Non-Wing division. Eight others have made two features, including Christopher Bell, Kevin Thomas Jr., and Jason McDougal.

McDougal is the only driver to win three featured mains in the same year. He accomplished that feat in 2018.

Six former Shootout champions are locked into two events each, including the 2014 Outlaw winner Frank Flud who will attempt to win his fifth title.

Eight positions in each feature remain open for the winners of Saturday’s Last Chance Qualifiers.

RINGING THE BELL: Christopher Bell wins three straight Chili Bowls in 2019

With so many races run, drivers tend to ride a rollercoaster. Over the course of the event, Bell finished as low as 13th in a qualifier and as high as first in three other races. In one of these, he had to drive from eighth in eight laps in a nine-race field.

“This thing is rolling really good,” Bell said after the near-worst to first charge. “I’ve got two more heat races today. We’re in a really good place to get some passing points, so we’ll see what happens.”

Bell’s best starting position comes in the A-Class Main where he will line up third behind Brian Carber and McDougal. Bell is also locked into the Stock Non-Wing Main in ninth.

In addition to Carber in the A-Class, other pole sitters are TJ Smith in Stock Non-Wing, Kris Carroll in Outlaw Non-Wing, and Joe B Miller in Winged Outlaw.

 

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.