DAYTONA BEACH — There are literally hundreds of interesting stories floating around the Daytona International Speedway garage area during this HSR Classic Daytona presented by IMSA weekend.

The Classic Daytona 24-hour race, which is actually several continuous sprint races for historic and vintage racing machines, concludes at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets will remain on sale until 11 a.m. Spectators are allowed to roam the garage area to get a close look at the equipment and [...]

DAYTONA BEACH — There are literally hundreds of interesting stories floating around the Daytona International Speedway garage area during this HSR Classic Daytona presented by IMSA weekend.

The Classic Daytona 24-hour race, which is actually several continuous sprint races for historic and vintage racing machines, concludes at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets will remain on sale until 11 a.m. Spectators are allowed to roam the garage area to get a close look at the equipment and chat with competitors.

One of the most popular cars in the garage is a 1956 Corvette, which started as a production car before being transformed into a racing machine — in 1959.

It carries the distinction of being the oldest racing automobile in this weekend’s racing events at the Speedway.

In the next garage over, you will find driver Johannes van Overbeek, who retired a few weeks ago as a professional driver following the Petit Le Mans final in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

In van Overbeek’s first attempt as a historic driver, he won his class at Daytona on Friday.

“I love racing old, vintage cars and Porsches in particular,” van Overbeek said. “Any time I have the chance to drive a good car at a good track, I’ll jump at it.”

The Porsche 911 is owned Martin Brauns. They were turning laps in the car Saturday with the hopes of winning class when Sunday afternoon rolls around.

“Our main priority is the Classic 24-hour,” van Overbeek said. “It’s good fun to come out, help Martin, see old friends and drive a track I have lots of laps at.”

In 2016, van Overbeek was part of the overall winning team in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. He co-drove a Ligier JS P2-Honda to victory with Ed Brown, Scott Sharp and Pipo Derani.

“To be accurate, (van Overbeek) was the first coach I ever hired when I took up driving,” Brauns said. “I have been driving this car for nine years. It started as a spec 911 and it morphed into a couple of other classes.

“Not only is he a world-class driver, he is also the best I know at car setups. So when we build these cars and want to get them right, he’s got a real intuition for that. There is no one better.”

Back over by the 1956 Corvette, which features an open cockpit, its owner Dave Roberts, 70, was watching the crew get the car ready for its next run over Daytona’s 3.56-mile road course.

The Corvette was one of six different race cars that Roberts and his teammates George Calfo and Martin Lauber planned to compete in this weekend.

“We are in six run groups with a car from each decade for each group,” Roberts said.

The other cars entered by the trio were a 1969 Camaro, 1974 Porsche, 1992 Porsche, 2012 Audi and 2016 Porsche.

NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Ray Evernham and Roberts hatched this idea last year.

“How this all started was last year here Ray Evernham and I were driving my GT4 and we decided to try this this year,” Roberts said. “We had enough cars in our garages to do that.

“On Sept. 1, I got a call from Ray. He tore his rotator cuff and had to have surgery. He was out. At that point, I called George and Martin to come down and run it.”

When the checkered flag falls on Sunday, Roberts said he will have enjoyed eight hours of seat time at Daytona.

“This place (Daytona) has the name, it has the history and being able to come down and run on the same track as the big guys, it makes it compelling to do this,” Roberts said.