Dan Gurney Grand Marshal For Rolex 24

Daytona Beach, FL ? Dan Gurney has been known as an American racing legend for years and during weekend ceremonies this weekend at the Daytona International Speedway, the famed driver and car owner was inducted into the Goodyear Legends of Daytona. Also, he served as grand marshal for the 46th anniversary edition of the Rolex24.

?It is great to be in the company of a lot of terrific racers,? Gurney said, taking note of prior honorees Hurley Haywood, Derek Bell, Butch Leitzinger and the late Bob Snodgrass.

Gurney made history at Daytona in 1961 when he won the inaugural Daytona Continental, completing 82 laps and averaging 104.101 miles per hour in what was the fastest sports car race ever run in the United States. For years, Gurney?s driving accomplishments were unparalleled and he became the first driver to win in F1, NASCAR, Indy cars and sports cars.

Once Gurney retired from driving, he became an accomplished car owner with his All American Racers team. In 1993, his AAR Toyota operation won the Rolex24 with P. J. Jones, Rocky Moran and Mark Dismore co-driving the GTP entry. Prior to the race, Jones set a qualification record of 136.521 mph and the mark has never been broken. ?The Rolex is a very difficult one to win,? Gurney said with a smile. ?Our qualifying record still stands, and we continue to enjoy the bragging rights that go with a record.?

Another weekend pleasure for Gurney was the opportunity to see his son, Alex, race in the Rolex24. In 2007, Alex Gurney and co-driver Jon Fogarty won the Rolex Series championship and they are one of the favorites to win this year?s race. If that happens, Dan Gurney would present the winner?s trophy to his son.

?It would be a pleasure to hand the trophy to my son,? the elder Gurney said. Added Alex Gurney, ?I am glad he is here and it would be neat if he got to present the victory trophy to me. Dad only sees me race two or three times a year but he watches the others on television. At times he doles out choice morsels to me and I do listen to him.?

The Gurney name is permanently etched in the minds of race fans worldwide and the honor bestowed on him this weekend adds another jewel to his shiny crown.

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