Rolex24 Activities On Friday

48 championship drivers gather in victory lane for annual photo-shoot. [Joe Jennings Photo]

Daytona Beach, Fla. – The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship series had its final practice session today and the pole-winning car of Michael Shank Racing had the top speed, this time with NASCAR’s A. J. Allmendinger behind the wheel.

​After practice ended, 48 championship-type drivers gathered in victory lane for a photo-shoot. The four dozen represented American and international sports-car racing, the Verizon IndyCar Series, Formula 1 and NASCAR. After the photo opportunity ended, many stayed around to talk with the media.

The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America announced its 27th class of inductees into the 2015 class. The nominees included Ricky Carmichael, Tommy Kendall, Mark Martin, Duke Nalon, Walker Evans¸ Warren Johnson and Lloyd Ruby.

​The induction will take place in Detroit on June 18.

​The Motorsports Hall of Fame is racing’s Cooperstown, memorializing achievement in all forms of motorized competition. Over the years, 216 motorsports luminaries have been inducted. The 99-person nominating panel itself reads like a “who’s who” of racing with stars such as Mario Andretti, Don Garlits and Richard Petty involved in the process.

​Kendall and Carmichael were on hand for the announcement, and they talked extensively about their racing highlights. In particular, Kendall discussed his involvement with Jack Roush’s 1990 winning team, the team that included Martin, Paul Newman and Robby Gordon. According to the story, Roush yanked Gordon from the car for driving too aggressively, putting Martin in even though the team had to use car covers underneath Martin since he didn’t fit in the seat.

​A number of driver and team press conferences took place along with the opening round of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series.

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