Billy Johnson and Jack Roush Jr. drove the No. 61 Roush Performance Mustang to a repeat Grand Sport (GS) class victory in the BMW Performance 200 at Daytona International Speedway today. Lara Tallman became the first female Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge class winner since 2011, driving the No. 33 Skullcandy Team Nissan Altima to the Street Tuner (ST) victory alongside co-driver Vesko Kozarov.
Johnson led the final 70 minutes of the 2013 season-opening race. He finished 1.812 sec ahead of 2012 GS driver champion David Empringham in the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage. Empringham, who co-drove with John Farano to the driver title last season, swapped the lead with Johnson just after the halfway mark, but a small bobble on the team’s final pit stop gave the Johnson/Roush pairing the cushion it needed.
Matt Plumb and Nick Longhi finished third in class in Rum Bum Racing’s Porsche 997. Plumb moved from seventh to third inside the final 30 minutes.
Gregory Liefooghe and Tyler Cooke took second in ST in the No. 81 BimmerWorld Racing BMW 328i. Compass360 Racing’s Kyle Gimple and Ryan Eversley were third in the No. 75 Honda Civic Si.
An incident on Lap 11 of the 63-lap race left No. 74 Compass360 Racing Honda Civic Si driver David Thilenius with six fractured ribs on his left side. Scans and x-rays of his head, neck, and back were negative. Thilenius was awake and alert and is being held overnight at Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach for further evaluation.
The BMW Performance 200 will air at 4 p.m. ET, Feb. 2 on SPEED. The second round of the championship is Mar. 2 at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Tex.