Friday, January 29, 2010
Being behind the wheel drives T.O.'s Long » Ventura County Star
If Patrick Long could be in two places at the same time this weekend, he would. Long will be racing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway in Florida, but he also has a guaranteed starting spot in the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown in Irwindale.
As a factory driver for Porsche, Long had no choice but to race in the Rolex 24, a 24-hour endurance race that includes some of the top drivers from NASCAR, the IndyCar Series, Formula One and, of course, sports car racing.
“In the end, I’m a sports car racer and I have to focus on a race as big as the Rolex 24,” said Long, a driver from Thousand Oaks who won the GT portion of the Rolex 24 at Daytona last year as well as the American Le Mans Series GT2 driver championship. “There’s no question. It’s tough. I’d love to race the Showdown one day. Having a provisional guaranteed entry into the final is a huge advantage going to a race like that where you have Cup regulars and so many drivers from all over the country racing. Of course, Irwindale is kind of a home track of mine. All those things make we wish I could take part in that race, but unfortunately the schedules don’t line up.”