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Huge team leaves nothing behind on road to Daytona
By SHAWN A. AKERS
Published February 5, 2005
DAYTONA BEACH - The amount of resources put into the Rolex 24 by Synergy Racing, which fields three teams, is mind-boggling.
The team's three 18-wheel transporters left Virginia International Raceway on Tuesday headed for Daytona International Speedway with 1,300 bottles of drinking water, 100 gallons of drinking water in jugs, 600 cans of soft drinks, 100 gallons of distilled water for the cars, 180 wash cloths, 10 boxes of latex gloves, five jugs of degreaser and 50 bundles of bananas.
That's in addition to the food such as bagels, grapes, milk, granola, pimento cheese, potato bread, Gatorade, V8 juice and crackers, for starters.
"While the amount of work to prepare for the Rolex 24 at Daytona is tremendous, no one questions that it's worth it in the end," said Steve Marshall, co-owner and driver of the No. 86 BMW Picchio. "It's the most difficult thing that anybody could ever do. As soon as it's over, you say, "Boy, I can't wait until next year.' "
Nineteen drivers are at Daytona for Synergy Racing, with more than 50 crew members and staff. Also on hand are engineers and massage therapists. Twenty flights were booked, two vans rented, a motorhome driven and numerous personal cars used just to get everyone to Daytona.
DETERMINED: Tony Stewart makes no bones about it. The former Nextel Cup champ wants to win everything in the racing world, including the Rolex 24.
He and his team almost accomplished that last year, when with less than 17 minutes remaining their Pontiac Crawford developed a suspension problem and took them out of the race.
Stewart would like nothing more than for the team to redeem itself, then he'll concentrate on his regular job with Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nextel Cup series in search of his first Daytona 500 victory.
"I'd like to put everything on my resume," said Stewart, who also hopes to win the Indianapolis 500. "It doesn't matter whether it's the Daytona 500, the Rolex 24 or the Indy 500. I've already got a pretty good resume started, but you always want to add bigger, marquee events to it." Stewart again teams with Andy Wallace this weekend. Veteran road racer Jan Lammers replaces Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the Citgo team this year.
ACCIDENT: The throttle of the No. 59 Porsche stuck repeatedly during the morning practice session Friday, and the car hit a barrier in Turn 1 and rolled all the way over, ending up on all four tires. The driver, Timo Berhnard, was not injured and the car was expected to return for Friday night's practice.
TOPS IN PRACTICE: The Sun Trust Racing team - Max Angelelli, Wayne Taylor and Emmanuel Collard - turned in the fastest lap from each of the five practice sessions leading up to the race. The team turned a fast lap of 1:47.260 mph in its Pontiac Riley. Second fastest was the Citgo-Howard-Boss Motorsports team with Stewart, Wallace and Lammers with a time of 147.604 mph.