NASCAR driver Harrison Burton held off hard-charging sports car veteran Spencer Pumpelly by a slight 0.688 seconds to earn the overall victory in Friday’s BMW M Endurance Challenge, the season-opening IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race on the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course.
But the 22-year-old Burton – who drives the famed Wood Brothers Ford fulltime in the NASCAR Cup Series – steered mistake-free, high-pressure circuits of his own in the No. 42 PF Racing Ford Mustang GT4 to ensure he and teammate Zane Smith – the 2022 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion making his IMSA debut – became the first NASCAR regulars to take the victory in this race.
Ben Rhodes, the 2021 NASCAR trucks champion, and fellow NASCAR truck series driver Hailie Deegan finished third in the No. 41 PF Racing Mustang to complete the podium for the 32-car Grand Sport (GS) class.
— IMSA —
What a debut! @HBurtonRacing & I had a fast @FordPerformance @pf_racing Mustang & was able to put together a great race and bring home the win @DAYTONA. Amazing start to the year! (Besides the cut thumb on the champagne bottle) I ❤️ road course racing! pic.twitter.com/FMwlcbCCcy
— Zane Smith (@ZaneSmith) January 28, 2023
Congrats @ZaneSmith & @HBurtonRacing on winning the BMW M Endurance Challenge 🏁 #MichelinPilotChallenge | @IMSA pic.twitter.com/4i5XB4irZF
— Rolex24Hours (@Rolex24Hours) January 27, 2023