Set-Back for Crown Royal Team in Rolex 24 at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, FL (February 5th, 2005) – After a promising early run, the Crown Royal Multimatic Ford “Team of Champions” suffered a setback as the Rolex 24 at Daytona reached the six hour mark.

As Matt Kenseth was due to pit to hand over to Greg Biffle on lap 127, the car suffered a cv-joint failure, forcing Kenseth to roll into pitlane.

The car was pushed behind the wall into the garage where the Multimatic team fixed the rear drive problem and also performed a brake pad change and corrected the front steering alignment.

After 32 minutes in the garage, Greg Biffle climbed into the car for his first stint today and was in 39th place at the six hour mark.

Multimatic test and development driver Scott Maxwell started the race and pulled out a stunning performance to move up to sixth place before handing over to reigning NEXTEL Cup champion, Kurt Busch on lap 49.

Busch and Matt Kenseth completed a stint each before the car struck trouble with the cv-joint on lap 127.

“The problem with the rear drive has certainly hurt our chances, but I am very proud of how quickly the crew fixed the problem and got the car back out on the track,” Multimatic Vice President and Technical Director, Larry Holt said.

“Our plan is to keep pushing ahead through the night and get the Crown Royal car to the finish. There is a long way to go and anything can happen in the next 18 hours.”


Scott Maxwell

“I always find that the first stint of the race is the hardest because you’re a bit tense, it’s really crowded and you just don’t know what to expect. As you get into the second and third stints it becomes physically less draining because you’re in rhythm and everyone is spread out, but the start is pretty hectic. And, it’s probably the heat of the day right about now. It’s not that hot, but the car is hot. Even the GT cars are hard to pass. Our handling is reasonable, it’s not too bad, but we’re just lacking straight-line speed, and it’s really hard to get past the GTs. It sounds silly, but you plan to get by them on the straightaway, and all of sudden you have to dive-bomb them instead. It’s a lot of work.”

Matt Kenseth

“I was going to come in the lap before, and it was my fault, I didn’t slow down enough to get past traffic, so I had to run one more lap, and that lap it just broke the cv-joint in the back. Everything was working fine, it was shifting fine, and everything seemed normal, and apparently I pushed the clutch in and broke a cv-joint and it came apart. Somewhere along the line in the first couple of runs our front tire got bumped and our toe-in is off a little bit, so it’s steering kind of hard and I think they’re looking at that. I think just because they have time to fix the half shaft they’re just putting in new (brake) pads so they can run them longer tonight.”

Kurt Busch

“It’s fun to go around the race course and dodge the GT cars as well maintain the pace that our Crown Royal team is wanting to set. We’re having some fun. Having that driver aide really minimizes the driver impact when you do a driver change. The driver aide definitely slid us in and out as fast as we could. You just unlatch the belt as you park the car and you jump out as quick as you can. Going in you just have to help grab a couple of belts, and away you go. It is a little bit warm in the cockpit right now, but the temperature is going to continue to drop going into the morning to stay cool.”