On Friday, we gave you our predictions for ChumpCar World Series' 14-hour race at Daytona Interational Speedway and 119 Chump teams put our hypotheses to the test.
The two favorites we pointed out--BoomPowSurprise's Ford Probe and Tired Iron Repair's Saab 9-5--did, in fact, lead much of the race, but Tiger's Wood PGA Racing took P1 with a little more than two hours remaining and brought their V8 Mercury Cougar to the checkered flag with five laps over the BimmerWorld/Red Line Oil BMW E36.
The win at Daytona is the Cougar's second win in one of ChumpCar's most grueling events, having dominated last year's 25-hour race at Nelson Ledges Road Course. Tiger's Wood PGA Racing all set the fastest lap of the race with a 2:16.637.
The BimmerWorld squad ran a fairly unassuming race, vaulting up the Top 10 late to take second place. The position looked in jeopardy at the team's final stop, but they overcome whatever temporary gremlins allayed their heap to finish runners up.
Maximum Overdrive's Acura Integra won a tough duel for the podium's final spot, battling with the BMW E30 of AC Schnitzel for the race's last hour. The gap between the two cars was just a couple of seconds at the stripe.
BoomPowSurprise led for almost the entire first half of the race with Tired Iron Repair's Saab in hot pursuit with the two being the only cars on the lead lap for most of that time. A little after the race's halfway point, the Probe clocked three slow laps well off the pace, giving Tired Iron Repair the top spot. The Probe returned to the track for four more laps before a terminal issue ended its race with 165 laps and 77th place.
Tired Iron Repair led most of the next five hours, but a 40-minute setback dropped them out of the Top 10. The plucky Saab squad, however, persevered and fought their way back to P10, where they finished the race just a few seconds behind Schultz N. Co. in P9.
In the race's first hour, Panzer Racing's BMW E36 ran a breakneck pace that included a 2:16.759 in the race's 18th lap as they found open track, having just passed BoomPowSurprise for P1. Their pace soon caught up with them, sidelining the car for 45 minutes after the very next lap with some mechanical setback.
For a 118-car field, it's somewhat surprising that only six different teams led the race: BoomPowSurprise, Flatout Racing, Panzer Racing, SRI Racing 2, Tired Iron Racing and Tiger's Wood PGA Racing, in order.
The race pace was considerably faster than the 2012 race at Daytona. Thirty-one teams exceeded 2012 winning lap total of 262 laps.
In addition, only 19 entries in 2012 (out of 94 starters) featured a best time faster than 2:25. This year, 45 teams beat that same mark.
On the same day that a bunch of people made a big deal out of some 500-mile race in Indiana, 87 ChumpCar teams drove 500 race miles or more.
And Formula One raced 190 miles at Monaco. All but 15 ChumpCar teams eclipsed that total at Daytona.
Final Top 10
1. #72 Tiger's Wood PGA Racing (Mercury Cougar) - 297 Laps (~1,131 miles driven)
2. #336 BimmerWorld/Red Line Oil (BMW E36) - 293 Laps
3. #83 Maximum Oversteer (Acura Integra) - 291 Laps
4. #319 AC Schnitzel (BMW E30) - 291 Laps
5. #190 Will Race for Beer (Saab 9-3) - 289 Laps
6. #8 Hong Norrth - Trons Am (Mazda MX-3) - 289 Laps
7. #70 Double Ohh Seven (Mazda RX-7) - 287 Laps
8. #16 FY2 Motorsports (Nissan 300ZX) - 287 Laps
9. #111 Schultz N. Co. (BMW E30) - 286 Laps
10. #184 Tired Iron Repair (Saab 9-5) - 286 Laps
Fastest Laps (Final Position)
1. #72 Tiger's Wood PGA Racing (Mercury Cougar) - 2:16.637 (P1)
2. #20 Panzer Racing (BMW E30) - 2:16.759 (P23)
3. #68 SRI Racing 2 (BMW E36) - 2:17.214 (P75)
4. #223 Flatout Racing (Nissan 300ZX) - 2:17.271 (P37)
5. #313 Speed4Sport (Toyota MR2?) - 2:17.496 (P46)