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25 Daytona Prototypes will start the 46th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway tomorrow. That should give some comfort to NASCAR fans who are nervous about the future competitiveness of the Racer Formerly Known as CoT.
Daytona Prototypes were introduced to skeptical sportscar racing fans in 2002 by, basically the same folks who are force-feeding you that other car. The field for the 2002 Rolex included only a handful of DPs - and they weren't very fast - or very pretty.
The Grand Am Series' new-at-the-time stewards - that would be the Family France - said many of the same things about DPs back then as they have been telling NASCAR fans about CoTs. They'll save teams money. It's a safer car. We won't permit any cheating. You'll grow to think they're cute.
Whether or not the new NASCAR-car makes for better racing is up in the air. Way up there, in fact. But there is really no argument that the DP saved big league sportscar racing in this country. That field tomorrow is big, competitive and - with the sponsor decal-friendly broad sides, hoods and tops - colorfully NASCAR-like.
And....and.... it will be a real race - Finally
Picture credit: John Raoux/Associated Press