Rolex 24 setting up to be a classic with stacked field, fast cars

DAYTONA BEACH — After days of testing and tuning, the laps will finally start to count. 

The clock for the 59th running of the Rolex 24 will start at 3:40 p.m. Saturday, as 49 cars from five different classes will battle not only each other, but Daytona’s 3.56-mile Road Course for a chance to win the coveted Rolex watch. 

More:How to watch this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona on TV, live stream

“I’ve knocked on the door a couple times in this race,” said Felipe Nasr, whose No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac will lead the field to green. “We expect to go for the win … I think we proved that last weekend.”

There will be a spinning Ferris wheel and lots of laps turned as the 59th Rolex 24 At Daytona kicks off five weeks of racing at Daytona International Speedway.

The annual twice-around-the-clock race will be run with a limited crowd due to COVID-19 restrictions, and while the pre-race pomp and pageantry may be toned down, the actual racing could be the most competitive in Rolex 24 history. 

“This field is so stacked,” said seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, who will drive the opening stint in the No. 48 Cadillac DPi. “It’s been a great journey to get to this point.”