In a thrilling race at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, Roger Penske’s team marked a historic victory at the Rolex 24, ending a 54-year dry spell. The winning quartet of drivers—Felipe Nasr, Dane Cameron, Matt Campbell, and Indy 500 champion Josef Newgarden—celebrated in victory lane after a nail-biting finish.
A Long-Awaited Triumph
The triumph at Daytona was a significant milestone for Team Penske, breaking their losing streak since “The Captain” revived the sports car program in 2018. Previously, Penske’s only overall win at the Rolex came in 1969, emphasizing the magnitude of this victory after more than five decades.
Penske expressed his disbelief and joy, acknowledging the competitiveness of the race and the immense crowd turnout, the largest in recent history for the Rolex. The achievement was particularly sweet, with five of the top GTP class cars finishing on the lead lap and Nasr securing the win by a mere .0861 seconds.
Penske’s Winning Lineup and Newgarden’s Milestone
The winning lineup, comprised of Nasr, Cameron, Campbell, and Newgarden, showcased a blend of talent and experience. Newgarden, who secured a historic win at the Indy 500 last May, became the 16th driver in history to claim victories at both the Indy 500 and the Rolex.
Newgarden, modest in his contribution, credited Porsche and Team Penske for the result. He humorously suggested that Penske might have been shedding tears of joy up on the pit stand. The victory, however, was not without its challenges, as the team faced tough competition in the final 30 minutes, with Nasr battling it out with two-time defending race winner Tom Blomqvist.
The win at the Rolex 24 marked a remarkable period for Penske, who had enjoyed a string of victories in various motor sports categories over the past 246 days. The triumph underscored not only the team’s resilience but also the adaptability of Newgarden, who seamlessly integrated into the Porsche team, bringing a fresh perspective and contributing to their success.