NTT INDYCAR SERIES race winners Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin will make their Rolex 24 at Daytona debuts with INDY NXT presented by Firestone rising star Kyffin Simpson in an LMP2 prototype fielded by Tower Motorsports.
The 24-hour endurance sports car classic is scheduled for Jan. 28-29 on the 3.56-mile road course at Daytona International Speedway. The Rolex 24 is the opening event of the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
John Farano will round out the Rolex 24 lineup in the No. 8 LMP2 Oreca for Florida-based Tower, which won the 2022 LMP2 title in IMSA, including two victories. All four drivers will start their preparation at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 on Jan. 20-22 at Daytona.
This will be the first race at Daytona for two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Newgarden and 2021 series Rookie of the Year McLaughlin, teammates at Team Penske and co-hosts of the popular “Bus Bros” video series on YouTube.
“This is definitely an event that was on my bucket list, along with the 24 Hours of Le Mans, so I am beyond grateful for this opportunity,” Newgarden said. “We’re a group of very competitive people, and we all want to win. I think this is a very exciting challenge, and I believe this team can accomplish great things together. I have a close relationship with Scott, as well, and I couldn’t be happier to be doing this with him as teammates.”
McLaughlin also savors adding the Rolex 24 to his racing resume, which includes three consecutive Australian Supercars championships.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to race with this amazing group of drivers,” McLaughlin said. “This is a stellar lineup and a perfect chance to show what we can do together. This is a proven crew that clearly knows how to win races, and that’s exactly what we’re setting out to accomplish at Daytona.”
Chip Ganassi Racing development driver Simpson is only 18, but he is the veteran of the Rolex 24 and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship among the three drivers with INDYCAR ties on the Tower team. He made his Rolex 24 debut last January in the GTD class with Gradient Racing and won that class at the season-ending Petit Le Mans with that team.
“I’m proud to join Tower Motorsports in the LMP2 class at the 24 Hours of Daytona,” Simpson said. “I'm thankful for John Farano's support and am counting down the days to join him, Josef, Scott and the entire team. We're looking forward to putting our best foot forward with our eyes set on victory lane.”
Simpson is scheduled to compete in all IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup races with Tower in addition to his full schedule in INDY NXT by Firestone.