Despite unknowns, Kyle Busch is ready to roll in first Rolex 24

IMSA Wire Service

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Kyle Busch conceded there have been some definite “lessons” preparing for his first Rolex 24 At Daytona start. But the reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion was quite optimistic about his No. 14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 and the challenge that awaited the team.

The car will start 16th among the 18 GTD cars. The team did not make a qualifying run after an eventful pre-qualifying session when the car went over a raised speed bump-type section of the bus stop turn entering the NASCAR Speedway Turn 3.

RELATED: Watch Rolex 24 on Trackpass | Pre-race guide to the Rolex 24

Scroll to continue with content

The team repaired the damage from the heavy hit, changed the engine and had limited practice Thursday evening. Busch insisted the team recovered well, and that he and driver Jack Hawksworth, who drives the car full time, were back to quicker lap times by Friday morning.

“We’d love to get that better and feel a little more competitive, but we’re also trying to make sure we stay on track and complete all 24 hours,” Busch told reporters on Friday. “Got some good laps last night and some good laps this morning. I think I ran the quickest of our cars this morning,” adding with a grin, “I’m not sure what that means.”

The team handed out driving assignments on Friday and Busch said he is tentatively scheduled to drive from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, overnight from 2-4:30 a.m. and then again Sunday morning, 7-9 a.m. Of course the schedule changes — in lineup and timeframe — as the twice-around-the-clock event goes on.

What to Read Next