John Edwards and Stevenson Team Fight Against Adversity at Daytona

Despite facing early hardships at Daytona International Speedway, John Edwards and teammate Matt Bell fought hard to earn a sixth place finish in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge BMW Performance 200. During the second practice session of the event, the Camaro GS.R caught fire, forcing the Stevenson Motorsports team to conduct an emergency rebuild. In record timing and with the help of the GT crew, the GS team fixed the car in time for Matt Bell to qualify the No. 9 Camaro in eighth place. Bell took the green flag, and within 45 minutes he led the race before ending his stint. Edwards rejoined the field in 14th, and gained five positions in less than ten laps. Edwards consistently laid down solid lap times and worked his way up to battle back and forth with Lawson Aschenbach for fifth position. The 21 year old finished side by side at the line in sixth, just 0.059 seconds away from a top five finish. “The race was about what we expected,” said Edwards. “Given everything that happened earlier in the week, we’re definitely happy with the finish. The team did a great job getting the car ready and getting us back out there.”

In the 51st Roelex 24 at Daytona, Robin Liddell qualified the No. 57 Camaro in eighth and in his first stint, climbed up to fifth place, before pitting in 12th place. Edwards got behind the wheel and rejoined the field in 17th. His first stint in the 2013 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona showed him climb up the charts to 8th before a caution grouped the field back together. Edwards had an epic restart, gaining four positions as the field went back to green. Within less than a half hour, the 21 year old found himself leading the field before pitting to hand the wheel over to Tommy Milner, followed by Jan Magnussen. Near the end of the first round of the driver rotation, the Camaro suffered break line issues and was forced to be taken back to the garage. Although the team made quick repairs, the damage put the team 16 laps behind the leaders in 24th position. For the remaining 13 hours, the team resisted fatigue and fought a grueling battle to climb up to 13th, only seven laps off of the lead lap. Just as Jan Magnussen made the pass for 13th, the gearbox gave out, forcing the team to retire the race with just two and a half hours remaining. “We knew the gearbox was going to be an issue this year, and we did all we could to prepare,” said Edwards. “Stevenson crew is the hardest working and the best prepared team.” Despite the disappointment of not finishing after the amount of effort put into the car and track position after the early brake issues, John and the team press on to focus on the next GRAND-AM event. GRAND-AM of the Americas presented by Gainsco and Total will take place in Austin, Texas March 1-2.