Traditionally, American racing begins its season every year with a 24 hour race at Daytona. This is a very strange year, however, and IMSA is starting a new tradition: Beginning one week earlier, with a 100-minute qualifying race before the 24 hour classic.
This event, the Pole Award 100, mirrors the two-race qualifying format for the Daytona 500, but it serves a different purpose here: To ensure teams participating in next weekend's race are not using the traditional Roar Before the 24 test to convince race organizers that their car is slower than it is and earn some additional balance-of-performance breaks before the main event. IMSA and its predecessors have made some major balance mistakes in the past, but forcing the cars to race for something worthwhile will theoretically eliminate their opportunity to do that.
The race for pole, the first look at a five-class Rolex 24 field headlined by new DPi entries from IndyCar teams and former Grand-Am stalwarts Chip Ganassi Racing and Meyer Shank Racing, will happen at 2:00 p.m ET tomorrow and stream live on the NBC Sports app. The race will be aired on the outgoing NBC Sports Network on tape delay two and a half hours later.
The entire Rolex 24 at Daytona will air live on NBC and the NBC Sports Network next weekend.
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