Interviewing Andy Lally ... using voice-to-text
@nascarcasm chats with XFINITY Series driver, gets interesting results RELATED: All content from @nascarcasm " Follow @nascarcasm 2011 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year Andy Lally returns to the NASCAR circuit this weekend, driving the No. 90 Anderson’s Maple Syrup Chevrolet for King Autosport/SS-Greenlight Racing in the XFINITY Series race at Road America . A veteran sports-car driver with an impressive resume that includes multiple wins in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Lally hope to improve on last year’s seventh-place finish at at the Wisconsin road course. In the rare moments when he’s not behind the wheel of a race car, Lally trains in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and is a practicing vegan. We had the opportunity to speak with Andy Lally using only the voice-to-text feature on our smartphones. (NOTE: Unlike previous fictitious text conversations from the author, what follows is the actual exchange with Mr. Lally .)
Myers Brothers Awards: Andy Lally
Andy Lally accepts the 2011 Rookie of the Year Award.
Gordon, Ganassi teams headline stout field at Roar Before the 24
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Four-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon will headline the list of drivers participating in this weekend's Roar Before the 24 on Daytona International Speedway 's road course. And the traditional three-day test for IMSA's WeatherTech SportsCar Series' season-opening Rolex 24 once again features a talented and diverse driver lineup. For only the second time in his renowned career, Gordon will be among those testing at Daytona in preparation for the Jan. 28-29 race, widely seen as the traditional start to America's big league motorsports season. Gordon will co-drive the No. 10 Konica Minolta Business Solutions USA Cadillac DPi-V.R prototype for Wayne Taylor Racing -- the same team he finished third overall with in his only other Rolex start in 2007. The laps this weekend will be crucial for the team -- which also includes drivers Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli -- since it got limited time on track in a less formal test session at Daytona in December. "I had so much fun the first time I did this," Gordon said. "And at this point of my life and career (winning the Rolex 24) would be huge. When I came here in 2007 I was just kind of along for the ride. When you really realize how important this race is, is on race day when you see the hype and buildup and then the challenges you face over 24 hours. That's what makes this race so thrilling. I'd be very proud (if we won)." This year's Rolex 24 will mark the debut of new racing classifications for IMSA. Gordon's car will be among 12 vying in the headline Prototype class. In all, 50 cars representing four classifications are expected at Daytona this weekend and later this month competing in the twice-around-the-clock race. Some of NASCAR's other big name drivers who previously competed in the Rolex -- Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson , for example -- are not participating. However their NASCAR team owner Chip Ganassi still has three cars entered in the GT LeMans (GTLM) class. This team won in class at LeMans last year, and Chip Ganassi Racing is already the most decorated team in Rolex history with six overall victories. Former NASCAR Cup Rookie of the Year Andy Lally as well as popular drivers Boris Said and Scott Pruett will be competing alongside IndyCar greats such as Scott Dixon and Sebastien Bourdais. Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay and IndyCar championship contender Graham Rahal will team up as well. Five-time Rolex champion Pruett will be steering the new Lexus in the 25-car GT Daytona class. A sixth Rolex watch would make him the winningest driver in the great race's history, breaking a tie with the legendary Hurley Haywood. The traditional Roar Before the 24 gets underway Friday. Teams return to the World Center of Racing on Thursday, Jan. 26 for practice and pole qualifying in preparation for the green flag at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28.
Carl Edwards' exit could put Christopher Bell on fast track to XFINITY
How long do you think it took Christopher Bell to do the math? Carl Edwards ' announcement of his abrupt exit from the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has had a ripple effect that could go far beyond the promotion of Daniel Suárez to a full-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ride. Because Suárez will fill Edwards' seat in NASCAR’s premier series, he won't defend his NASCAR XFINITY Series title. Bell will be one of the beneficiaries of the changes in Suárez's schedule. "Right now, we have a solid plan for Christopher," said Dave Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development (TRD) USA. "He exceeded our expectations. He got all the way to Miami (the championship race of the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase at Homestead-Miami Speedway ). This year, we expect him to get to Miami and win. "And if circumstances play out, we really would like to get him into an XFINITY car for a couple of races. We're working hard on that, and we're optimistic, but that could very well be a domino that falls. Those are helpful -- those couple of races where there's zero pressure, but it gives you a look at the next step." Last week at the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the 22-year-old Bell wasn't thinking about the next step. He was contemplating the next race, trying to become the first native Oklahoman to win the marquee event of midget racing since Andy Hillenburg accomplished the feat in 1994. (And, no, the Andy Hillenburg in question is not the Indiana-born driver who ran NASCAR races and later bought Rockingham Speedway . The Andy Hillenburg who won the Chili Bowl is a sprint car racer from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.) Bell was also thinking about the upcoming season in the Camping World Truck Series, where his own expectations mirror those of the Toyota brass. "I guess it could open it up for me," Bell said of Edwards' departure. "But, honestly, I haven't even really thought about it, because my schedule's already set, obviously, with Kyle Busch Motorsports. That's where my focus is, and we're going to aim really hard to win races this year. "We came close on the championship last year, but we didn't win many races -- we won one time. My goal is to win races with KBM." That doesn’t mean, however, that Bell wasn't enthused about the prospect of getting his first taste of the XFINITY Series. "That's great," he said during a break between features at the Chili Bowl. "That's good that I might get a couple of races -- that's really good." The extent of Bell's participation in XFINITY races depends to some degree on sponsorship. Wilson said Suárez's primary sponsor, Arris, which also sponsored Edwards, will be confined to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup car, even though Suárez will still run between eight and 12 XFINITY races. "If he (Bell) does what he should do in '17, then, naturally, we would love to get him into an XFINITY ride in '18," Wilson said. "Yes, this could play into Christopher's further development and get him one or two more XFINITY races that we may not have foreseen prior to the news (about Edwards)." Last Saturday night, Bell fulfilled his long-standing dream of winning the Chili Bowl, noting that competing in the Truck Series had informed his approach to dirt-track racing. Biding his time in the 55-lap "A" Main, Bell started on the front row and passed polesitter Justin Grant on Lap 26. He stayed out front the rest of the way. "In years past, it's been attack, attack, attack," Bell said. "This year, it didn't have to be that way. I just ran hard enough to stay in position but not get into trouble. I was able to ride behind Justin there for a while. I knew the bottom was slowing down quite a bit and I kept trying the top. I tried it two times and I almost got passed, so I knew it was going to be a matter of too early or too late at the top. "I started to watch the big screen. (Eventual runner-up Daryn) Pittman was running the top at the time. I knew he was in eighth, and I looked up and he was third or fourth so I knew I had to go. Once I went, I was able to squeak by Justin on the straightaway, and then it was a matter of just not screwing up." That sort of patience is emblematic of Bell's maturation as a driver. Early last season, he didn't look like a championship contender. In the second race of 2016, at Atlanta, his aggressiveness led to a wreck that collected Suárez, his teammate, and fellow Toyota driver and two-time series champion Matt Crafton . But Bell won at Gateway Motorsports Park nine races into the schedule, and he finished outside the top 10 just twice in the last 16 events.
McDowell to return to Leavine Family Racing full time in '17
CONCORD, N.C. (January 5, 2017) -- Leavine Family Racing (LFR) is excited to announce the return of veteran NASCAR driver Michael McDowell for the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. McDowell will once again pilot the No. 95 Chevrolet SS and is signed on to be the primary driver for LFR in all 36 races next season, making the team Chase eligible for the first time since its inception in 2011. Additionally, LFR is excited to welcome back championship winning NASCAR crew chief Todd Parrott for the 2017 season. Parrott, who took on the crew chief responsibilities for the team full time in October of the 2016 season with only seven races remaining, led the No. 95 to earn six Top-25 finishes. "With both Michael and Todd returning to the team this season we are looking to maintain the consistency we found towards the end of last year and continue to push forward and build off the positive momentum," said Jeremy Lange, Vice President of Leavine Family Racing . "We had great performances on the track last year and we're hoping that continuing in that direction will lead to more sponsorships for the team. We do have some partner renewals that we will be announcing soon and are excited to add more." McDowell, who is entering his 10th year competing in NASCAR, earned his first NASCAR national touring series win last year at Road America in the XFINITY Series and recorded 16 Top-25 finishes with LFR in 2016. "I'm excited to be returning full time with LFR for the 2017 season," stated McDowell. "I look forward to continuing to work with Todd as well and kicking off our season with a strong start at the Daytona 500 in February." Crew Chief Todd Parrott echoed his driver's thoughts about the upcoming season. "I can't wait for the 2017 season to get here and look forward to having a great year with Michael and the team," said Parrott. "I'm appreciative of the opportunity LFR has given me to once again assume the crew chief role for the team and am ready to get started on the upcoming season." LFR will kick off the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season with the 59th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 26. For real-time updates on and off the track, fans can follow @LFR95 on Twitter and Leavine Family Racing on Facebook.
Story lines heading into Rolex 24 at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida -- When the green flag falls on the 54th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona Saturday, history will be made on multiple fronts. The twice-around-the-clock sports car endurance race is the first major event to take place in the newly reimagined Daytona International Speedway , where a $400 million DAYTONA Rising makeover debuts this weekend. Multiple escalator-fed "injectors" plus a bevy of elevators mean that even if your seats are on the very top row of the stadium, you won't have to take more than 20 stair-steps to get to your seat. "We can't wait to show off what we've done," said Joie Chitwood III, track president. "I think our fans will be amazed." FORD GT MAKES HISTORIC RETURN: As the legend goes, Henry Ford II was so angry at Enzo Ferrari, who had rudely rebuffed Ford's attempt to buy his company, that Ford swore on the spot that he’d build a car that would trounce Ferrari at its favorite playground, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. And, with the help of the legendary Carroll Shelby, that's what happened. That was 50 years ago, and Ford is returning to Le Mans this year with a brand-new Ford GT, based on the street car that debuted at the Detroit auto show in 2015. That road to Le Mans starts this weekend at Daytona, as two Ford GTs, fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing , will make their first-ever laps in competition. And that competition is tough, with Ferrari, BMW, Porsche and the Chevrolet Corvette hoping to spoil the party. The Ford GT drivers are top-tier, with Joey Hand, Dirk Muller and Sebastien Bourdais in one car, Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Stefan Mucke in other. Hand and Bourdais are both previous overall winners of the Rolex 24. STAR CAR: While Chip Ganassi Racing has its hands full with the new GT Le Mans Ford GT effort, the overall winning team from the 2015 race returns in the Prototype class with a two-car team to defend its crown. Typically one Ganassi car has sports car veterans, while the other, often referred to as the "star car," has stars from other series who drive for Ganassi teams in IndyCar and NASCAR. And that’s no different this year. Indianapolis 500 winners and IndyCar Series champions Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan share the Ford EcoBoost-Riley they drove to victory a year ago along with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson . The six-time Rolex 24 winning team also will field a Ford-Riley Daytona Prototype for Alex Wurz, Brendon Hartley, Andy Priaulx and Lance Stroll, sports car pros in their own right. WHERE'S SCOTT PRUETT? It has been years since veteran Scott Pruett has driven anything but Ganassi cars, and most recently Fords, but for 2016's Rolex 24, he’s part of a Chevrolet-powered Prototype team. Pruett teams up with Action Express Racing in a bid for an unprecedented sixth overall win, and he definitely chose a contending team, with defending and two-time WeatherTech Championship Prototype champions Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP, as well as 2013 Rolex 24 GT winner Felix Albuquerque. For the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the next round of the WeatherTech Championship on March 19, Pruett will move to Action Express' No. 31 Corvette DP, co-driving with Dane Cameron and Eric Curran. ALL-NEW GT DAYTONA FIELD: The Rolex 24 sanctioning body, the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), changed the rules during the off-season in the largest of the four classes of cars, GT Daytona, making the production car-based class subject to global GT3 technical specifications. The cars will race in the entire IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, which kicks off at Daytona. GT3-specification cars are raced all over the world, which makes manufacturers more eager to build the cars, given the massive market. That means an all-new look for most of the 22 cars in the GT Daytona class this year, plus some new competitors. The field goes, for instance, from zero Lamborghinis in 2015 to five this year. Four teams will field a total of five Lamborghini Huracán GT3s, led by defending GTD class champions Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler, who move over from Ferrari. Porsche also has a five-car entry among four teams. Andy Pilgrim, a three-time Rolex 24 class winner, makes his return to the WeatherTech Championship with Patrick Long, Timothy Pappas and Nicky Catsburg in the No. 540 Black Swan Racing Porsche entry. Three teams have chosen Audi for the debut of the R8 LMS GT3. Stevenson Motorsports will field a pair of Audis, and Magnus Racing moves to Audi with Andy Lally , John Potter and Rene Rast from its 2012 Rolex 24 class-winning lineup in the No. 44 car. Flying Lizard Motorsports also will field an Audi R8. Turner Motorsport debuts a pair of brand-new BMW M6 GT3s. Scuderia Corsa, the 2015 GTD team champion, sticks with Ferrari but has a new lineup with Christina Nielsen, Alessandro Balzan, Jeff Segal and Robert Renauer driving the No. 63 Ferrari 458 GT3. They are joined by Spirit of Race, with the No. 51 Hublot/Global Jet entry. Riley Motorsports returns with the Dodge Viper that captured GTD honors in the 2015 Rolex 24 with two entries. And Aston Martin returns with two cars, one from TRG-AMR, one from Aston Martin Racing. The 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona is the start of the 2016 IMSA season. U.S. television coverage begins on FS1 at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 30. International coverage is available throughout the race on IMSA.tv and the IMSA mobile app.
NASCAR drivers ready to put Rolex in rearview mirror
RELATED: Best photos from Rolex 24 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona was certainly rare of late, in that none of the current NASCAR drivers entered in the great sports car race hoisted an overall winner's trophy. Since Casey Mears became the first full-time Sprint Cup Series driver to score an overall victory in this event in 2006 -- NASCAR drivers have won five more grand Rolex titles, including team owner Chip Ganassi's head-turning sixth overall victory last year. XFINITY Series driver Brendan Gaughan was NASCAR's highest finisher this year, his No. 20 ORECA FLM09 finishing third in the PC class; nine laps behind the class winner and eight laps ahead of the next car in class; 43 laps down to the overall winner. "It was a lot of fun to come back to the 24 -- my average finish is 2 now (he won in GT3 Class in 2011) so I either retire now or come back for another Rolex,’" Gaughan said. "Such a great event and what an honor to be here." Former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year (2011) Andy Lally claimed his fifth class win in the GTD classification. But as is sometimes the case in this 24-hour endurance test, some of NASCAR's biggest names didn't end up hoisting trophies, instead finding the value in turning laps on the speedway to feel prepped and ready come stock car's version of Speedweeks here in two weeks. "I'm spending Tuesday with my new spotter and we're going to watch speedway races and intermediate tracks and go over what we expect of each other,'' 2015 race winner Jamie McMurray said. "Once this race is over, your focus just goes to your real job (in NASCAR)." The defending overall Rolex race winning team of McMurray and co-drivers Kyle Larson , IndyCar champion Scott Dixon and former Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan finished 13th overall, 28 laps down after a crash with approximately three hours remaining thwarted any chance of a podium finish. Larson was driving when the car suffered its second major brake problem of the race, launching the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year straight into a tire barrier at substantial speed. "That one time, it locked early and wasn't slowing down and I didn't make the corner and I drilled the barriers," Larson said, assuring that he was fine physically. "I've never hit anything like that so I was just hoping it would be soft. It was pretty soft. I'm not hurting at all. Glad I'm going to be here in two weeks in a stock car." His No. 02 Ford prototype suffered multiple nagging problems throughout its title defense this week, forcing time off track to repair and the laps lost -- even earlier in the event -- proved too much to overcome. Still, they finished seventh in class. NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger was scored 50th in the 54-car field. His No. 60 Honda prototype -- which won the 50th anniversary of this race four years ago -- suffered engine failure about nine and a half hours into the 24-hour affair. The Michael Shank Racing team had hoped to score a victory in honor of their longtime driver Justin Wilson, who was killed competing in an IndyCar race last season. And while the overall race winning Honda team will duly and deservedly earn the world's headlines this week, the new look Daytona International Speedway will also be talked about for a great while. RELATED: Larson, McMurray react to Daytona renovations It proved a wonderful venue for the Rolex and will be packed with fans and VIPs in only two weeks as NASCAR takes over for its 2016 edition of Speedweeks. Having some time to check out the $400 million speedway makeover this week, the drivers were impressed and enthused about the new-look facility. And track executives couldn't be more ready to introduce it to the NASCAR crowd. "The Rolex 24 is a unique event but the focus has always been on the infield,'' Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood said. "We're so excited that Daytona Rising and the Rolex 24 has given fans a chance to check out the concourses, sight lines and seats, but with NASCAR coming to town, we know all the grandstand amenities on the other side of the stadium will be put to their fullest tests because we'll get maximum capacity. "So all those great NASCAR fans that never get a chance to get into the infield are going to enjoy the Daytona 500 and the events with all the great things on the outside -- 1,400 screens, we've got wifi in all concourses, vertical transportation, social zones, you name it. "That's when we'll put the Daytona International Speedway to a true test when we're at max capacity with all those NASCAR fans during Speedweeks."
Daytona, Rolex 24 get 'Lego' treatment ahead of race
Inside Groove: Racing with an attitude MORE: Complete schedule for Rolex 24 With the Rolex 24 set to kick off on Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway -- marking the unofficial start of the overall 2016 race season -- Magnus Racing has bestowed upon us one of our favorite videos of the year so far. Magnus' team consists of John Potter, Marco Seefried, Rene Rast and 2011 Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year Andy Lally . The video gives their team and DIS a "Lego makeover", showing several minutes of garage, track and driver footage all Lego-fied (?), with a few jokes baked in. Needless to say, it's pretty neat. Check it out and follow along all week as we inch toward Saturday and Sunday's 54th annual Rolex 24 at Daytona (FS1 from 2-4 p.m. ET, FS2 from 4-10 p.m., IMSA.com from 10 p.m.-7 a.m., FS1 from 7-10:30 a.m., FS2 from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., FS1 from 1-3 p.m.)
Several cars wreck on a restart in the rain
Erik Jones, Nelson Piquet Jr. and Andy Lally wreck during a restart at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
No. 2 Tequila Patron ESM wins Rolex 24 at Daytona
RELATED: Photos from Rolex 24 at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Appropriately enough, after 24 hours of seemingly non-stop action, the fastest car still running was the overall winner of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Luis Felipe "Pipo" Derani, a baby-faced 22-year-old racing prodigy from Brazil, took the checkered flag on Sunday afternoon in the No. 2 Tequila Patron ESM Honda-powered Ligier JS P2, 26.166 seconds ahead of 2005 overall winner Max Angelleli in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP. Derani brought home victory for teammates Scott Sharp, a Rolex 24 winner in 1996 (partnered, coincidentally, with Wayne Taylor), Ed Brown and Johannes van Overbeek. Derani, who also gave Honda its first win in the season-opening event in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, is the fourth youngest overall winner of the race. "The last two-and-a-half hours were pretty tough, pretty intense, with the Taylor brothers (Ricky and Jordan in the No. 10) pushing us really hard," Derani said. "So to not make any mistakes and increase the gap up to the end was amazing." In the factory-backed GT Le Mans Class, Oliver Gavin held off Corvette Racing teammate Antonio Garcia in a side-by-side battle at the stripe to win the classification by .034 seconds in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R. With two laps left, Garcia passed Gavin to the outside in the tri-oval, but with a deft crossover move, Gavin retook the top spot as the cars entered Turn 1. "To race against Antonio is a pleasure," Gavin said. "He's an amazing teammate, and I knew I was going to have my work cut out to beat him." In GT Daytona, Magnus Racing's Rene Rast nursed his No. 44 Audi R8 LMS GT3 to the finish line to hold off Nicky Catsburg in the No. 540 Porsche GT3 R by 3.048 seconds. Rast's co-drivers were John Potter, Marco Seefried and 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco rookie of the year Andy Lally , who picked up his fifth class win (and fourth in a GT car) in the Rolex 24. In a gut-wrenching late-race decision by the team, Rast let the No. 28 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 driven by Fabio Babini pass him with eight minutes left, calculating the Lamborghini wouldn't be able to finish the race on fuel. The gamble paid off. But the Audi was short on fuel, too. Rast ran out of gas on the backstretch after taking the checkered flag. "This means my little sister gets a watch," said Lally , who has won a total of eight Rolexes (and given six of the previous seven away) with his five class wins and three series titles. "This was teamwork. This was amazing. ... "We were the little engine that could today. We probably had the slowest top speeds of everybody, but we had a really good-handling car, and we had superstars that were driving this thing who were my teammates." Chris Miller, Stephen Simpson, Misha Goikhberg and Kenton Koch drove the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Chevrolet-powered ORECA FLM 09 to a convincing four-lap victory in the Prototype Challenge class. Finishing third in PC, nine laps down was the pole-winning No. 20 BAR1 Motorsports team that included full-time NASCAR driver Brendan Gaughan . The No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 was the equal of the overall race winner, if not better, but engine failure in the eighth hour sidelined the entry piloted by NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger , Oswaldo Negri, John Pew and Olivier Pla. In fact, soon after Allmendinger turned over the car to Negri as the clock approached midnight on Saturday, the car expired while leading. The defending overall champion No. 02 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Prototype raced by NASCAR drivers Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson and IndyCar stars Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan suffered brake problems while running second and lost five laps in the eighth hour. But the coup de grace to the team's hopes for back-to-back wins came with 2 hours 50 minutes left, when Larson went off course in the West Hairpin and slammed nose-first into the tire barrier. Again, brakes were the culprit. "The four laps previous we started getting brake issues again," Larson said afterward. "They said it looked like I had just lost all my rear brake, but it was locking my fronts up pretty easy, so I started braking really early. ... "It didn't slow down enough to make the corner, and I drilled the barrier. We didn't have a shot to win anyway, but it does suck that we tore up a race car, and I'm disappointed." The car left the track on a roll-back (though it did return after repairs), but Larson was unhurt in the crash. Now he can turn his attention to his full-time job, competing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in the No. 42 Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. "I'm going toward the tire barriers really fast, and you're just like, 'I've never hit anything like that,' " Larson said. "So I was just kind of hoping it was going to be soft. It was pretty soft. I don't even remember anything hurting at all or whiplash or nothing. "I'm glad I'm going to be here in two weeks in a stock car." Note: As soon as the race was over, Angelelli was taken to a local hospital for observation and evaluation. Specific information about his condition was not available, other than that Angelelli was "conscious and stable."