Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

Felipe Nasr took the checkered flag in the 62nd Rolex 24 at Daytona, delivering team owner Roger Penske his first overall victory in 55 years at the endurance race classic.

Nasr took the lead from Tom Blomqvist during a pit stop under yellow on Lap 768. After a restart with 31 minutes remaining, Nasr fended off several challenges from the No. 31 Action Express Cadillac V-Series.R that had started on the pole position.

It was only the second overall victory in the Rolex 24 for Penske, who won on the Daytona International Speedway road course in 1969 with a Lola whose lineup included the late Mark Donohue.

“You think about 1969 we won here with a Lola, and things were a lot different in those days,” Penske told NBC Sports’ Kevin Lee in victory lane. “Just to think about today, the biggest crowd they’ve had here for a sports car race. My hat’s off to IMSA, obviously for Porsche to give us the equipment. But the drivers and at the end there with Felipe

“But just to see the competitiveness and six or seventh tenths of a second was the difference after 24 hours. That’s unbelievable. Hard to say.”

Nasr, who joined Porsche Penske Motorsport last year, earned his first overall Rolex 24 victory after winning in GTD Pro two years ago.

“It’s just incredible to think we pulled that one off,” Nasr told NBC Sports’ Kevin Lee. “It all came down to the fuel game pretty much.”

His No. 7 teammates were Matt Campbell, Dane Cameron and Josef Newgarden, who became the second reigning Indy 500 winner to win the Rolex 24 in the past three years. Helio Castroneves took the checkered flag in the 2022 Rolex 24 at Daytona after scoring his fourth Indy 500 victory eight months earlier.

“I just showed up,” said Newgarden, who was making his second Rolex 24 start but first in the premier prototype category. “Porsche and Team Penske, they delivered the biggest result. But Felipe, the way he drove at the end, and Matt Campbell. These guys won this race. I was just happy to be here. What an unbelievable group. They’re going to cherish this for a long time.”

The No. 7 Porsche had led for more than five hours after Campbell had taken the overall lead on Lap 594. But Blomqvist charged into the lead in Turn 1 on Lap 749 by outbraking Nasr in the No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsport 963.

Blomqvist came up 2.112 seconds short of a third consecutive Rolex 24 victory, nearly closing the win for the second consecutive year after winning in the Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06 last year. Blomqvist drove nearly the final three hours after taking the wheel from Jack Aitken.

Pipo Derani filled out the runner-up lineup for the No. 31, which was the only car of the 10 Grand Touring Prototype entries to use three drivers instead of four. The No. 31 was trying to open the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season on top after winning the inaugural GTP championship last year.

Other category winners were the No. 18 Era Motorsport ORECA in LMP2, the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari in GTD Pro and the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes in GTD.

Click here for updates from earlier in the race.

STORY WILL BE UPDATED

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