Lazier A Night Rider Too

NASCAR Winston Cup stars Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are doing it. Kyle Petty is, too. So it comes as no surprise to learn that Indy Racing Northern Light Series champion Buddy Lazier is taking a stab at sports car racing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona during Speedweeks.

Lazier first got behind the wheel of his team’s No. 74 Riley & Scott-Judd on Jan. 5, when he and teammates Jack Baldwin, Irv Hoerr and George Robinson turned the fastest lap in practice.

"I'm doing this for fun," Lazier said. "This is a fun event that allows me to compete without affecting my Indy Racing Northern Light Series program."

Lazier will be a busy man at Daytona International Raceway in early February. First, he’ll compete in the Rolex 24 on Feb. 3-4 and then he’ll strap himself in to a Pontiac Firebird on Feb. 16 for the first round of the International Race of Champions series.

In November, Lazier toured the famed Daytona 2.5-mile tri-oval for the first time when he tested an IROC car. For the Rolex 24, he’ll have to make some right turns, too, as he negotiates Daytona’s 3.56-mile road course.

For that, he’ll count on the help of his veteran teammates.

"The guys on my team have a huge amount of experience and have been racing sports cars for a long time," said Lazier, who will be competing in the SportsRacing Prototype class. "They have had tremendous success."

Lazier has had his fair share of success, too, and based on early results with Robinson Racing, his venture into endurance racing may follow the same path.

On Jan. 5, the team turned the fastest lap at 1 minute, 42.280 seconds at 125.303 mph. In the night practice the team was second with a time of 1:44.211 behind Dyson Racing's No. 20 car driven by Rob Dyson and Elliott Forbes-Robinson. The next day, the team was second in the morning and afternoon sessions, turning in times of 1:43.471 and 1:42.720.

Lazier sees the times as signs of good things to come.

"It is a very exciting team for me to be a part of. I believe we have a fair chance for a victory," Lazier said. "All of the ingredients are there for a successful run."

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