Rum Bum Racing made its series debut a season ago at Daytona International Speedway, and won the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season opener. The team is in prime position to repeat.
Nick Longhi won the Grand Sport pole in the No. 13 RumBum.com BMW M3 on Thursday, with a record time of 1:56.959 (109.577mph), and will lead a 32-car GS field to the green flag this afternoon. Longhi co-drives with last year's winner, Matt Plumb.
"It was a combination of a lot of things, including the cooler weather, the new surface and getting almost a perfect draft coming out of the chicane that led to that lap," Longhi said. "One fast lap makes me feel good, but you have to do it for two and a half hours now."
Longhi joined Rum Bum Racing near the conclusion of the 2010 season, and he and Plumb won the final two races. A Daytona victory would be the first time since 2005 two drivers have won three consecutive races.
Joining Longhi on the front row will be Joe Foster in the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang Boss 302R, 1:57.228 (109.325mph). In the second row are defending series champion Charles Espenlaub in the No. 48 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3, 1:57.299 (109.259mph) and 2009 race winner Matt Bell in the No. 9 Stevenson Automotive Group Chevrolet Camaro, 1:757.546 (109.030mph).
Al Carter originally set the second quickest time, but his time was disallowed after failing post-race technical inspection. The No. 45 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3 was found to have excessive front camber; the car will start at the rear of the field.
In the Street Tuner class, Ryan Ellis – in his first race with APR Motorsport – won the pole with a time of 2:06.818 (101.058mph) in the No. 171 APR/VW Driver Gear Volkswagen GTI. Like Longhi, Ellis received some assistance on his fastest lap, an ST track record.
"We had to work the draft as well as possible," said Ellis, who will lead 45 ST cars to the start. ""It's Daytona; you have to learn how to use the draft."
Dan Ferguson qualified second with a time of 2:06.827 (101.051mph) in the No. 71 DeMan Motorsport Porsche Boxster. Both Ellis and Ferguson are competing for the first time at Daytona.
Qualifying third was last year's Daytona race winner and series champion, David Thilenius, at 2:07.349 (100.637mph), in the No. 74 Skunk2/HPD Honda Civic Si, while fourth was Jeff Mosing, 2:07.360 (100.636mph), in the No. 56 RACE EPIC/Murillo Racing BMW 328i.