Karnac.com Story by Chris

The Classic 24
Every November we converge on Daytona International Speedway for the Classic 24. A historic car race
on hallowed ground, where history comes to life again, and former pilots get to compete in their
previous machinery again.

The Classic 24 is a very young race in terms of years competed. However, the paddock swells with each
passing year. The attendance expands as well. Doe to the enormity of the Daytona facility, it is not an overcrowded event as the facility offers spacious
camping on the infield. Groups gather to spend the weekend together, huddled around camp fires in the
evening, grilling out and sharing a few refreshments and swapping stories, catching up and enjoying the

The Classic 24 is unquestionably the crown jewel of historic racing in the United States and offers unrivaled access to the paddock throughout the weekend.

(Wed-Sun) The paddock is open to all who attend and a large portion of my time is spent wandering
through there getting up close and personal with the race cars of yesteryear. As there are no secrets or
top secret technology, no one minds you getting an up-close look at these beautiful machines.
The most important, and impressive component to this access is the treatment of the young fans who
attend. And this is true weather it is the Classic 24, Pistons and Props, HSR or SRO. The young fans are
treated like royalty. There is an unrivaled understanding of making these youngsters’ lifelong
motorsports fans. Drivers and crew take the time to talk to them, answer all questions, and many
happily place the kids in the cars to check them out. Good luck finding a bigger smile on your child’s face
than when they are sitting in one of their favorite race cars. Seeing the look in their eyes as they grab
the steering wheel, imagining themselves driving that car. This alone is worth the price of admition.
One never knows what they will see here. Picture Derek and Justin Bell, father and son, sharing dad’s old
Porsche 962 and competing together for the Classic 24 overall win. Yes sir, it happened, and they pulled it

Former Rolex 24 overall winner Chris Ronson Sr. Competes in a GT class on a regular basis while his son
Chris races an Oreca PC. The pair can regularly be found on the historic racing circuit.
One particular year I will never forget was having Joao Barbosa on the grid. It was a gloomy day, misting
rain sporadically during the morning practice turned into a heavier rain near dusk. The regular driver of
the Peugeot 908 put his ego aside and wisely made the decision to not compete in the rain as he was
not comfortable with the conditions. Insert Joao and the majic begins. Yes, he is a current professional
at a high level, competing against gentlemen drivers, but that is inconsequential, we are her for
fun after all. On a rainy, cold evening, Joao was somehow able to het heat in the tires and put on an
amazing show. On this stint he was lightning in a bottle, blasting by all he came across, coming out of
the international horseshoe with a trailing spray that would make the Miss Budweiser proud.
In just a handful of years, this race has found a special place in my heart. I bring my children. I bring
friends and their children. I encourage all who will listen. There is plenty of time to plan a trip to one of
the best racing weekends of the year. I hope to see all of you there


See you at the races