IMSA winner to run LeMans, cut mullet for charity
May 31, 2014, Scott Held, NASCAR Wire Service, NASCAR.com
DETROIT -- Jordan Taylor and Richard Westbrook were soaked in champagne after claiming the top two spots in Saturday's TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at Detroit Belle Isle, but they didn't have much time to enjoy it.
Both were due at the airport hours after leaving the podium.
Jordan Taylor teamed with older brother Ricky to win the Prototype class. Westbrook and teammate Michael Valiante were a close second. The post-race press conference was cut short because Jordan Taylor and Westbrook had to dash to Detroit Metropolitan Airport for flights to Paris.
"I leave Detroit at 6:09 p.m. and I'll be in Paris at 8:20, then it's a ride to Le Mans to get there at 11:27," Jordan Taylor said of the trip to test for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
He'll be back sometime Monday but said he won't mind the hassle.
"It's a rough trip, but we're race car drivers," he said. "This is what we love doing."
Only two TUDOR Championship classes ran this weekend at the 2.36-mile Belle Isle street circuit. Drivers in the Prototype Challenge and GT Le Mans classes had the weekend off with several GTLM teams in Le Mans and the PC class racing next weekend at Kansas Speedway.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is June 14-15. All four TUDOR Championship classes will compete in the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen June 27-29 at Watkins Glen, N.Y.
Bye Bye Mullet
Jordan Taylor will be at Watkins Glen, but a lot of his hair won't.
He's cutting off the mullet he's been cultivating since January 2013 to support a pair of charities.
"It's not going to be at Watkins Glen," Taylor said when asked about the mullet's fate.
Before he shears it off, however, he's hoping to raise at least $10,000 to support a pair of charities. Camp Boggy Creek in Eustis, Fla., provides summer activities for seriously ill children and Camp Anokijig in Plymouth, Wisc., offers positive influences for teens.
"It took so long to get some serious length out of it but now I'm pretty tired of it," he said of his hair. "Why not do something good with it."
A check of the fundraising website showed $1,900 has been raised through Saturday for the camps.
That's not to say Taylor still isn't having fun with his mane. On Thursday, he sent out the following tweet: "My life is compete. Roger Penske just touched/pulled my mullet."
Donors can learn more about the camps at Taylor's Twitter handle, @jordan10taylor.
An 80-foot section of the course between turns 12 and 13 was replaced and sealed earlier in the week but it didn't seem to affect conditions for drivers.
The worst problem for TUDOR Championship drivers actually came from a prior race, which left debris and water near a section of turn 6. The race briefly was yellow-flagged while the mess was cleaned up.
Drivers can expect a new surface on even more sections of the track when they return next spring. Race organizers announced they'll spend $4 million before the 2015 Detroit Grand Prix to replace aging pavement on the Belle Isle circuit.
The island park recently came under the control of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources under a deal with the city, which is seeking federal bankruptcy protection.