Thursday, Mar 23

Transcript: Thomas Merrill, Wayne Boyd, Anthony Mantella, Nico Varrone

Sunday, Jan 29 319

THE MODERATOR: We're joined now by the winner of the LMP3 class in the No. 17 AWA Duqueine, first class win for the organization, first Rolex 24 Daytona win for the organization; Thomas Merrill, second career win, first Daytona win in IMSA competition, second career IMSA win; Wayne Boyd, first career IMSA win, first Daytona win; Anthony Mantella, first career IMSA win, first Daytona win; and Nico Varrone, first career win, first Daytona win, first start here at Daytona for Nico. Congratulations.

Q. Wayne, you were in the car at the end. How did it feel to see that checkered flag at Daytona International Speedway?

WAYNE BOYD: Relief, I would have said. All the boys were laughing at me because every two minutes on the radio I was asking how long was left. We were just in such a fortunate position at the end with how many laps we were ahead, and it was just -- that's when everything can go wrong. It was just trying to position ourselves on the track to avoid any trouble at all and just avoid everybody.

But I can't describe the feeling of it. It was definitely relief is right up there.

Q. Anthony, can you speak about building a lead in the class and winning by 11 laps?

ANTHONY MANTELLA: Well, to be honest, it's my teammates. They're the key to building the lead. My job was just keep the car clean, stay out of trouble, hand the car off, and that was executed -- I'm not much of a nighttime driver, but it suited the team for me to drive at night and into the morning.

I got the job done. There was a little minor contact with some of the cars, but like I said, my job was just to hand it off to these guys and let them execute.

Q. Nico, you guys were in a battle royale three quarters of the race, and then all of a sudden you were out there by yourself. Building that big a lead, does the car get -- every little noise get you scared or anything like that, or are you just relieved that you have that big a lead?

NICO VARRONE: To be honest, I was at the RV when I saw the leading car pit, and I was like, okay, they are just pitting, but actually after a few minutes I double checked and I saw that they were still there and like three laps down, and I was like, what's happening. Then I see that we have a massive gap, and I think I was more nervous than before because I said, okay, now we just have to cruise around and try to finish because we were in a really good position.

But yeah, mostly I think it was more nervous than fighting the other car because at least when you are fighting, if you lose, okay, but if you lose with that so massive gap, it will hurt even more.

Q. Nico, in the near future you're going to be the latest driver for Corvette Racing. Does adding this Rolex win add even more pressure to you and you embark on this new endeavor, or does it make it even more exciting?

NICO VARRONE: Well, to be honest, I am really excited to be joining Corvette Racing in WEC. It's an honor for me and a dream, and actually, yeah, 2023 couldn't start better for me. It's really good news starting this year, and getting this fantastic win to start the season is just amazing.

I think it couldn't be better to -- I couldn't imagine it better to start the season like this, so yeah, hopefully we can keep the momentum and have some good results through the year.

THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, congratulations, we'll get you off and running.



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