Gordon, No. 10 team win overall Rolex 24 title – Nascar
Taylor and teammates Jeff Gordon, Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli benefited from a no-call as the No. 10 and No. 5 Cadillac made contact late in the race, which ended with the No. 10 passing for the lead. The No. 5 Mustang Express and No. 10 teams traded leads and held top-three spots throughout the IMSA event at Daytona.
“I haven’t been this emotional for a win and an experience like this for a very long time,” Gordon told reporters. “The reason is because I know what this means to this team. Oh my gosh. This is amazing — Daytona has always been special, but this one sent me over the top. I’m just blown away right now.”
Meanwhile, the GTLM class gave Chip Ganassi yet another chance to show his Rolex 24 prowess, as the No. 66 Ford won its class and finished fifth overall with drivers Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller.
The No. 10 Wayne Taylor racing foursome of Gordon, Ricky and Jordan Taylor and Angelelli won the second and third segments of the race, entering the fourth and final 6-hour segment with a one-point lead over the No. 5 team of Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Filipe Albuquerque.
Ricky Taylor was in the seat at the end, making contact with the No. 5 driven by Albuquerque. Taylor drove down into the Turn 1 corner cleanly, but the two cars came together shortly thereafter, sending Albuquerque spinning into the grass. An official review followed, and no action (such as a time penalty for the No. 10 team) was deemed necessary for intentional contact.
“Well, it was a good fight, until I got hit, to be honest,” Albuquerque said. “There is not much to say. I had some GTs ahead of me so I could not brake so late, and I closed the door, but then I got spun. There is not much to say, and yeah, the officials took the decision. That’s what it is. We finished second.”
Ricky Taylor didn’t see it that way.
“The way I saw it, we came through GT traffic. I was closer than I had been, (and) he’d been struggling in Turn 1,” Taylor said. “Their car didn’t look very good there, and we were really strong on the brakes. … I think he saw me coming, he saw me committing, and like he said, I guess, he closed the door. But the way ‑‑ from my perspective … there’s a lot of emotions going on. I wanted to win terribly. We were either going to make a move and do something and win or sit there in second and wait for ‑‑ wait until next year, basically. I didn’t want to do that.”