BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
As I look back at successfully covering My first ever Rolex 24 Hours Race at the Daytona International Speedway a couple weeks ago, I had a lot of time to reflect on this experience.
I came to the conclusion that I’m ready to do it again in 2024.
During the past couple of weeks, on all of my broadcasts, I’ve been telling my colleagues that this is the biggest accomplishment I’ve had in 43 years in Sports Media.
While I’ve covered a lot of great events including four Super Bowls, to cover a race for a total of 30 hours including pre and post race press conferences was incredible.
My colleague JB Ellis recently covered Super Bowl 57 and this guy is a diligent worker.
But when he made a lighthearted comment that the Rolex 24 was a one-day event and he put more time over several days, I dared him to cover this event. I told him that the 12 Hours of Sebring prepared me for the Rolex 24 as well as advice from Graham Goodwin, who has covered 89, 24 hours races.
By the end of the conversation, Ellis saw my point and backed off about the demands of both events. I look forward to the day that Ellis takes the Rolex 24 Hours plunge as I pulled this off at 60-years old.
Ellis did congratulate me on doing this. We’ve formed a great partnership with Sideline Sports!
Here are some of the things that standout about an event that will go down as the biggest accomplishment of my life.
*I’ve never been across the Big Pond, but it felt like it as the WI-Fi was taxed and I was unable to complete a podcast because of the International Presence at the Rolex 24. Being here was like going to Epcot Center because of the magnitude of the world wide event that saw the drivers go 3.56 miles combined with the road course and tri-oval.
*There was a lot of Media, Drivers, Engineers all over the world at the Daytona International Speedway.
*There were 61 entries, four drivers per car, 234 total drivers with an average drive time between 4-5 hours per-driver.
*This was a fascinating set-up with drivers racing on the street course and driving on the oval, as well as by victory lane. As I mentioned before, the race is 3.56 miles, with a combined oval and an infield road course with 12 turns.
*A total of 32 nations were represented and seven continents to go along with five different race classes.
*The notable advantage of the Rolex 24 has over the rest of the Racing World Drawing International Interest is timing: NASCAR, Indy Car Series, and Formula One, haven’t started their seasons.
*Talk about international involvement, there were 11 manufacturers from around the world. Of the 234 drivers, there were 82 American, 24 British, 18 Italians, and 11 French.
*The Communications Department was outstanding as it kept bringing in Drivers for interviews and various increments.
*This was a carnival atmosphere, with a lit-up Ferris Wheel.
*You could watch the race on an infield TV with seating.
*There was a Music Band adjacent to the TV.
*Not shortage of concession stands.
*It was interesting seeing diehard fans sleeping at night on the benches and not affected by the loud roar of the engines.
The Stage is Set, My Photographer Candy Ebling and I are ready to cover the Super Bowl of Motor Sports, THE DAYTONA 500 this weekend.
You can rest assure, there will be no shortage of content in “The Center of Racing.”
Also, check out the videos in this story, including our latest on The Sports Exchange, previewing the Daytona 500.
Scott Morganroth can be reached at email@example.com.
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