Michael Shank Racing Announces Rolex 24 At Daytona Line-Up
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(Daytona Beach, FL) 8 January 2009-Michael Shank Racing has attracted another strong driver line up for the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona as the team announced highly competitive driving rosters for a two-car Daytona Prototype effort in the Rolex Sports Car Series season-opening race on January 24th.

Michael Shank Racing enters the 2009 Rolex Sports Car Series season with tremendous momentum. The team started 2008 running the Rolex 24 with both team entries on the front row and went on to close the season on an even stronger note as the No. 60 Ford/Riley won the New Jersey Motorsports Park event before the sister No. 6 Ford/Riley scored its breakthrough win at Miller Motorsports Park.

For the 47th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley full-season drivers John Pew and Michael Valiante will be joined by experienced Michael Shank Racing pilot Ian James and NASCAR racer AJ Allmendinger.

No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley full-season drivers Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri will be joined by the 2008 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Ryan Hunter-Reay and 2008 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year Colin Braun.

I'm really excited about this line up with the guys we have in both cars, said Team owner Mike Shank. We've always been fortunate to have a lot of interest from top drivers and this year was no different. Everyone involved with this effort has a great team attitude and knows what it's going to take to win this race. We know how to finish this race and how to get on the podium here, but we're 100% focused on getting to that top step.

Despite having scored rookie accolades last season, both Hunter-Reay and Braun can boast extensive experience in Daytona Prototypes. Hunter-Reay drove to a convincing victory at Miller Motorsports Park in 2007, as Braun set a record as the category's youngest winner with his victory in the Brumos 250 at Daytona at just 17 years old.

Almendinger and James are also familiar faces around the Shank pits, with the 2009 Rolex event marking Allmendinger's fourth consecutive start with the team as he looks to go one better over his 2006 Rolex 24 debut, which saw him score second overall with co-drivers Patterson, Negri, and Wilson.

James, who has won in every current category of Rolex Sports Car and KONI Sports Car Challenge competition, made his first Daytona Prototype start with Michael Shank Racing in 2007 and was part of the No. 6 breakthrough victory in the final race of the 2008 season.
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