DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The Skullcandy/Nissan Performance Altima 3.5 Coupe scored its first-ever class victory today in the two hour and 30 minute Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge BMW Performance 200 at Daytona International Speedway.
The Street Tuner (ST)-class jet black VQ-powered No. 33 Altima stormed from 20th qualifying position to lead the race just past the one-hour mark, only to fall back after a refueling stop. Co-driver Vesko Kozarov stormed back to the front shortly before a full-course caution came out with just over 30 minutes left in the race, holding the position until the checkered flag flew.
“Our Nissan Altima was strong. I needed to take care of the car, nail the restarts and conserve fuel, but you can’t hold back much in this kind of racing.” said Kozarov. “This is great – the team needed this win, and I’m glad we pulled it out.”
The Salt Lake City-based Skullcandy Nissan team’s best previous finish was an eighth place at Barber Motorsports Park last April.
“We needed some help to make it to the finish without a bit of fuel, and the two caution periods late in the race worked in our favor this time,” said driver and co-owner Lara Tallman. “This is very competitive racing, and we’ve been on the bad luck end of things, so it’s gratifying to win one this time.”
For this season-opening event, the team brought two Nissan Altima Coupes to Daytona, the winning No. 33 and sister No. 34 machine, driven by newcomers Chris Lock and Pete McIntosh. The No. 34 Altima placed ninth in the ST class.
In the faster Grand Sport (GS) class, the No. 14 Doran Racing/Nissan Performance 370Z ran in the top five most of the day. Co-drivers Tim Bell and BJ Zacharias both had the Nissan as high as third overall before a gearbox issue slowed the car and dropped them to 15th position by race end.
The Continental Tire Challenge BMW Performance 200 will air flag-to-flag on SPEED TV on Saturday, February 2 at 4 p.m. Eastern / 3 p.m. Central.
# # #