Team Penske prevailed down the stretch of the Rolex 24 at Daytona to score its first overall victory in the annual round-the-clock marathon since 1969. Felipe Nasr, the last of the four Penske drivers, nipped two-time defending 24 Champion Tom Blomqvist by a scant 2.112sec. Five GTP cars finished on the lead lap, including the second Penske Porsche 963.
After a decades-long hiatus, Roger Penske reentered endurance racing in 2018 with Acura, evolving into a two-car factory Porsche effort last season. The first and only other Daytona 24 overall win for Penske was 55 years ago when Mark Donohue and Chuck Parsons – a last-minute replacement for Ronnie Bucknum who had broken a finger in a pre-race motorcycle crash – piloted a beefed-up Lola T70 to victory lane.
Penske was effusive: “To come back here and have both cars run for 24 hours, and then win the race, it’s hard for me to believe. This goes down as one of the biggest wins we’ve had.
“When we won in 1969 with a Lola, it was a lot different in those days,” Penske said. “But to think about today, the biggest crowd they’ve had here for a sports car race, just to see the competitiveness, a win by tenths of a second, that’s unbelievable. That’s what I’ll say.”