Jeff Gordon became only the fourth driver in history to win both the Daytona 500 and the Rolex 24 at Daytona after securing victory in the latter on Sunday in the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Konica Minolta Cadillac alongside Max Angelelli, and brothers Jordan and Ricky Taylor.
The quartet were victorious by under a second from the #5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac, in somewhat controversial circumstances, but it was an outstanding performance from everyone involved, with Gordon delighted to join AJ Foyt, Mario Andretti and Jamie McMurray in the small list of winners of both major events at Daytona.
“This is very surreal to me, this whole experience and moment, to have this on my résumé,” said Gordon. “It’s a very elite group that’s won the Daytona 500 and the Rolex 24 together. That’s something I’m very, very proud of.
“But I think more than anything is this experience for me of – not to take anything away from 2007 [where he finished third] with Max and Jan [Magnussen] and Wayne [Taylor] –what amazing racecar drivers both Ricky and Jordan are and how difficult this race is.”
Gordon was full of praise for everyone involved in the team, and despite his legend status in motorsport, he was still a relative novice when it came to endurance racing, and he was happy that those around him were eager to help him when he had questions.
“You know, this experience to me was about building this bond and this friendship that I didn’t expect to happen because of the way they welcomed me in, and we had a lot of fun along the way,” said Gordon. “They answered all my questions because I had a lot of them, and they helped me adapt, and that’s what helped us as a group, I think, to go out there and win.
“And then I was able to learn just how talented they are. I mean, I was so impressed while watching all night. I was glued to the TV every second, every lap. I couldn’t sleep because I wanted to watch these guys do what they did in the rain, in the cold, in the most treacherous conditions, and they did it at a level, that I’ll be honest, I’m not capable of doing, and I was so impressed.
“Then you go to the last stint of a 24 hour race and you see it come down to that, and it was a thrill of a lifetime, and I’m just so honoured to be sitting here and be a part of this experience.”