Jimmie Johnson, Tony Kanaan unveil No. 48 paint scheme for Indy 500

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Though he won’t be piloting the No. 48 Dallara-Honda in the Indy 500, Jimmie Johnson helped Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Tony Kanaan unveil the car’s paint scheme Thursday.

The American Legion colors were uncovered in a series of lighthearted social media videos by Johnson and Kanaan, who will be driving the car on ovals this season.

“I’m excited to work with The American Legion this year,” Kanaan said in a release. “Jimmie and I had some fun filming the unveil videos. This livery is really sharp looking, and I’m so happy to be running my 20th Indianapolis 500 in it. The American Legion is an important resource for veterans in helping make sure they get the benefits they have earned through their service, and I am proud to represent them, and all veterans.”

INDY 500 TESTING ON PEACOCK: How to watch the two-day session at IMS

Kanaan, who is the 2013 Indy 500 winner, will be making his 20th start in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

He drove the Ganassi entry Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where he turned his first laps since last August at World Wide Technology Raceway. The test, which will continue Friday, was cut short after 90 minutes by rain but didn’t dampen his enthusiasm.

“Awesome day,” said Kanaan, who drove for Ganassi from 2014-17. “I haven’t been in the car for nine months. This deal has been brewing for so long and seeing pictures of Jimmie and the guys at the track for so long and now it finally became my turn.

“So, a really positive day – short day – but it was a good day. The only thing we can’t control in this place is the weather. I would have loved to have done a few more laps but the car felt comfortable. It’s like riding a bike.

“Coming back to Ganassi, everybody is still here. That goes to show how solid the team is. People that were here four years ago when I left are still here. It honestly like I just came back and never left. That is a good feeling and it’s one less thing that I will have to adapt to. I’m working with Eric (Cowdin) my engineer, and we have been together for 23 years. It was a good day – every day at the racetrack is a good day.”

Kanaan also will be driving an American Legion car in the May 2 race at Texas Motor Speedway.

“Just like each one of our military branches, The American Legion will always have and utilize our traditional seal which has deep meaning to each and every Legionnaire,” Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer for The American Legion, said in a release. “Our new marketing logo on the No. 48 Honda livery looks fantastic and provides a modern and contemporary expression for the brand. The American Legion name is clearly visible and honors our nation’s veterans while still honoring who we are as an organization.”

Johnson will be driving the No. 48 in the 13 road and street course races this season with sponsorship from Carvana. He will make his NTT IndyCar Series debut in the April 18 season opener at Barber Motorsports Park.

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.