DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The 2011 Daytona 500 will mark a significant moment in the history of Daytona International Speedway – the first points-paying NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event on the newly repaved 2.5-mile tri-oval.
The 53rd annual Daytona 500, NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race, is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 20 and will kick off the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Daytona International Speedway will host its second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race – the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola -- on Independence Day holiday weekend on Saturday night, July 2.
Following the recent Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, DIS began a historic repave project that will put down a new racing surface on the entire 2.5-mile tri-oval, pit road, apron and skid pad. The stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will get their first taste of the new asphalt during Speedweeks 2011 and the Daytona 500.
“For the driver who wins the Daytona 500, they will not only carry the title of champion of ‘The Great American Race’ but also have the distinction of being the first to win the Daytona 500 on the new racing surface,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III.
After a one-year schedule adjustment, Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger, which locks up the front row for “The Great American Race,” will move back to its traditional date of Sunday, Feb. 13. During Speedweeks 2010, Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger was part of a tripleheader day of racing with the Budweiser Shootout and the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200.
The remainder of the action-packed Speedweeks 2011 schedule will feature:
• The Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 29-30, America’s most prestigious sports car race and the opening event to the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16.
• The Budweiser Shootout on Saturday, Feb. 12, the non-points, no-holds barred shootout featuring the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Preceding the Budweiser Shootout will be the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards race
• Gatorade Duel At Daytona on Thursday, Feb. 17, the pair of 150-mile qualifying races that finalize the field for the Daytona 500
• NextEra Energy Resources 250 on Friday night, Feb. 18, the season opener to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
• DRIVE4COPD 300 on Saturday, Feb. 19, the kick-off event to the NASCAR Nationwide Series
NASCAR will return for its second visit to the “World Center of Racing” on the Independence Day holiday weekend. The Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola will run on Friday, July 1 and the race weekend will conclude with Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 2.
Tickets for Speedweeks 2011 and the 53rd annual Daytona 500 on are sale now and available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Tickets for the 2011 Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola will go sale later in the year.