Scott Dixon took control in the opening hours of the Rolex 24 at Daytona on Saturday while actor/race car driver Patrick Dempsey received an early penalty that put his Porsche team in a deep hole.
Dixon, in the No. 02 "star car" for Chip Ganassi Racing, passed pole-sitter Ozz Negri Jr. at the start of the twice-round-the-clock endurance race at Daytona International Speedway. Although Michael Shank Racing, in its new Ligier JS P2 Honda, was the fastest car in every on-track session this week, Dixon had no problem getting past Negri.
The New Zealander, hoping to lead his Ganassi squad of all-star drivers to their first Rolex win since 2006, held down the top spot through his stint of almost two and a half hours. He turned the car over to Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray, with Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan and reigning Sprint Cup rookie of the year Kyle Larson waiting for turns.