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Taylors make 24 Hours at Daytona a family affair

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 24, 2014 at 4:57 pm •  Published: January 24, 2014
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Wayne Taylor had no intention of racing again when he climbed out of the cockpit following his last start in the Rolex 24 at Daytona four years ago.

Then he was given a rare opportunity to race with sons Ricky and Jordan.

The 58-year-old Taylor will briefly end his retirement Saturday to drive one stint in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette in the twice-around-the-clock endurance race at Daytona International Speedway. He's part of a four-driver lineup that includes his sons and team co-owner Max Angelelli.

"I'm doing this because I'm able to be with my kids, and with Max, and I'd probably never have this opportunity again," Taylor said. "How many people get this chance? It's amazing. For the family, it is truly an amazing thing and something later in life we will be able to talk about and it will never be able to be taken from me, irrespective of the result."

The chance came about late last season when Angelelli saw Ricky Taylor struggling in his first season driving for Spirit of Daytona. Ricky and Angelelli had been teammates for three seasons before Ricky moved on, and younger brother, Jordan, filled the seat.

While Jordan and Angelelli were on their way to the Grand-AM drivers' championship, Ricky wasn't having much success.

So Angelelli offered to step aside this year — he'll drive only in the four endurance races — to give his seat to Ricky and allow the brothers a chance to race as teammates.

"Max was the one who brought it up midyear last year when Ricky was having a rough year," Jordan said. "We were having such a good year, and it was hard to see Ricky having such a bad year and Max said 'You know, I'm OK to step out of the car next year if you want to have him join Jordan.' Once that kind of started it, everyone got excited about the idea."

It was a selfless gesture by Angelelli, who was a co-driver with Wayne Taylor for their 2005 Rolex victory. Wayne Taylor also won the race in 1996, and his boys — who are now 24 and 22 — celebrated wildly in Victory Lane.

"Max and I have been together for a long time, we won championships and races together and the 24 Hours together, and he's like a big brother to the boys," Wayne said. "When there was a possibility that Ricky could come back, and prior to that the boys never ever wanted to drive together but they do now, Max came to me and said 'Wayne, I know this is difficult for you, but let me make this easy for you: I am going to step aside to put Ricky in the car.'

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