Jan 20 | American Blade Runner Blake Leeper Named Honorary Race Official For The 56th Annual Daytona 500

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American Blade Runner Blake Leeper Named Honorary Race Official For The 56th Annual Daytona 500

American Blade Runner

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Paralympic athlete Blake Leeper, known as the “American Blade Runner,” will serve as Honorary Race Official for the 56th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 23 at Daytona International Speedway (FOX, 1 p.m. ET).

As Honorary Race Official, Leeper will be introduced at the driver’s meeting, participate in pre-race ceremonies and ride in one of the honorary race official cars ahead of the 43-car field for the 200-lap, 500-mile prestigious race.

“Blake Leeper is a true inspiration and a legend in the making,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “We are honored to have him participate in the pre-race ceremonies at the ‘World Center of Racing’ for the thrilling and historic Daytona 500.”

Leeper’s story is nothing short of remarkable.  He was born with a birth defect that stopped growth below his knees, yet he was able to build muscle above the knee and began playing sports at the age of five.

In 2008 Leeper started intensively running after the Challenged Athlete Foundation presented him with a grant for state-of-the-art blade prosthetics. He won the silver medal in the 2012 Paralympic Games and the gold medal in the 400m Relay at the IPC Worlds in Lyon, France.

Leeper is currently training for the 2016 Rio Olympics for Team USA, where he would become the first double-amputee American to compete in the Olympic Games. More information on Blake Leeper can be found online at www.americanbladerunner.com.

To purchase tickets for the 56th annual DAYTONA 500 and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access, race fans can visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter (@NASCAR) and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtags #NASCAR, #DAYTONA500 and #ROADTODAYTONA.  Stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for the latest news all season long.  Fans can also follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.


Jan 15 | Madison Rising to Sing National Anthem for DRIVE4COPD 300

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Madison Rising to Sing National Anthem for DRIVE4COPD 300

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Madison Rising, a patriotic, guitar-heavy band, will sing the National Anthem for the DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday, Feb. 22 at Daytona International Speedway (ESPN, MRN Radio and SiriusXM).

“Madison Rising’s modern take on the National Anthem is remarkable and we are excited to have them perform the National Anthem prior to the start of the DRIVE4COPD 300,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “Their popular rendition is energetic, yet true to the original version, something the fans in attendance and at home will enjoy.”

Madison Rising is fronted by lead vocalist Dave Bray, a U.S. Navy veteran who served as an 8404 FMF Corpsman for the 2nd Battalion/2nd Marines stationed out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. Drummer Sam Fishman and bassist Steve Padelski make up the rest of the New Jersey-based band.

Founded on the principles of independence, personal responsibility and liberty, the band brings American-rock back to popular culture with their passionate performances.

Madison Rising’s self-titled debut album was released in October 2011 landing them spots in the top 100 best-selling rock albums on iTunes. Their rendition of the National Anthem became a YouTube sensation in 2012 with more than 5 million views. 

Most recently, their long-awaited second album was released in November 2013 titled “American Hero,” which is dedicated to the men and women of the armed forces, police, firefighters and first responders  The album contains 10 songs, including their popular rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.”

Tickets for the DRIVE4COPD 300 on Saturday, Feb. 22 as well as other Budweiser Speedweeks 2014 events can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter (@NASCAR) and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtags #NASCAR, #DAYTONA500 and #ROADTODAYTONA.  Stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. Fans can also follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.

Jan 14 | Preseason Thunder Wraps Up with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

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Jeb Burton Fastest of the Two-Day Test; Ben Kennedy Turns First Laps at DIS

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – After six days and three different series, Preseason Thunder testing wrapped up on Tuesday at Daytona International Speedway. 

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series concluded a two-day test, all in preparation for the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 on Friday, Feb. 21, part of Budweiser Speedweeks 2014.

Testing earlier during Preseason Thunder were the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series. Next up at the “World Center of Racing” will be the Rolex 24 At Daytona Weekend on Jan. 22-26.

On Monday’s first day of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series testing, Turner Scott Motorsports driver Jeb Burton, son of 2002 Daytona 500 champion Ward Burton, posted the top speed of 191.144 mph in the No. 4 Chevrolet. Ben Kennedy, great-grandson of NASCAR and Daytona International Speedway founder William H.G. “Big Bill” France, was second fastest at 190.925 followed by John Wes Townley (190.917), Matt Crafton (190.634) and Darrell Wallace (190.634).

“There’s so much history behind Daytona and it would be really cool to get a trophy here,” Burton said. “It’s only my second time here. Last year we finished fifth and we always have a lot of speed at restrictor plate tracks so I’m excited for 2014.”

On Tuesday, showers delayed the start of testing until early afternoon and only a handful of teams remained to participate on the second day with Johnny Sauter being the fastest at 183.921 mph.

The two-day test was a moment that Kennedy had been dreaming about for many years. Entering his first full season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driving for Turner Scott Motorsports, Kennedy is the son of ISC Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy and grandson to Bill France Jr.

He was practically raised at the “World Center of Racing” and turning his first laps around the 2.5-mile tri-oval put a big smile on the rookie driver’s face.

“The first two laps or so I was grinning from ear to ear,” Kennedy said. “It was really awesome to do that. From always being around this racetrack and always watching races here and working here and doing pretty much everything here, I was sort of born and raised here. Being able to go around the track was something special, and being able to race here on the same weekend as the Daytona 500 is something awesome.”

Kennedy is campaigning for top rookie honors in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series after competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East since 2010.

Kennedy began his racing career on the short tracks of Central Florida. He has Pro-Truck championship titles at both Orlando Speedworld and New Smyrna Speedway, which he earned in 2009, followed by the Super Late Model championship at Orlando Speedworld in 2010. 

While he has competed at Daytona on the backstretch in last year’s UNOH Battle At The Beach, he had never turned laps on the 2.5-mile tri-oval and had never participated in any kind of drafting sessions until this week.

“I’ve experienced a little bit of drafting, but not to that magnitude,” Kennedy said. “It’s a little bit different from what I expected. The side draft, and all of that different stuff, it was a unique experience.”

For more information on tickets for the 56th annual DAYTONA 500 and the NextEra Energy Resources 250 on Friday, Feb. 21, race fans can go online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter (@NASCAR) and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtags #NASCAR, #DAYTONA500 and #ROADTODAYTONA.  Stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. Fans can also follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.

Jan 13 | FOX Network Leads Live Coverage Of Rolex 24 At Daytona Across Multiple Platforms

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FOX Network Leads Live Coverage Of Rolex 24 At Daytona Across Multiple Platforms

• FOX Network To Air First Two Hours Out Of 15 Total Hours Of FOX Sports Coverage
• MRN Radio To Provide Live Flag-to-Flag Coverage Of Rolex 24
• IMSA.com, FOX Sports GO, New IMSA Mobile App Anchors Online Coverage

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 13, 2014) – The 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona will make history on Jan. 25-26 as the inaugural race of  the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, and race fans can see the event in its entirety across multiple platforms including the FOX Network.

Leading the way will be a two-hour live telecast on FOX beginning at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 25. FOX’s over-the-air coverage will feature 10 minutes of pre-race action before the green flag drops at 2:10 p.m. ET. The start of the race has been moved up 20 minutes to accommodate the network telecast.

“There is no better way to introduce the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship than to televise the first moments of the new series’ existence to a national audience through FOX Network television,” said David Pettit, International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) vice president of marketing. “The Rolex 24 At Daytona will serve as the official launch of our five-year partnership with FOX Sports, and will provide fans with unprecedented access. This year’s Rolex 24 is perhaps the most anticipated North American sports car race in history, and FOX Sports will anchor our live coverage options.”

Just as every one of the 68 teams entered for the twice-around-the clock event will utilize multiple drivers, this year’s Rolex 24 broadcast will feature multiple platforms with a wide variety of ways to watch and listen. The full TV coverage plan is as follows:

Saturday, Jan. 25
2-4 p.m. ET on FOX
4-9 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 2

Overnight (Jan. 25-26)
9 p.m. – 7 a.m. ET on IMSA.com (includes live images, in-car cameras and announcers)

Sunday, Jan. 26
7 a.m. – 3 p.m. on FOX Sports 1

Live streaming of the Rolex 24 At Daytona also will be available on the FOX Sports GO mobile application for iOS devices.

Bob Varsha once again leads a broadcast booth that includes Calvin Fish, Dorsey Schroeder, Brian Till, Tommy Kendall and Justin Bell. Calling the action on pit lane will be Chris Neville, Jamie Howe, Andrew Marriott and Matt Yocum.

International television coverage of the Rolex 24 At Daytona will be available in more than 335 million households across 144 countries and territories. Networks carrying Rolex 24 coverage include SPEED (Canada), Fox Sports Latin America, Motors TV (Europe) and Network Ten (Australia), among others. 

In addition to the live telecasts, Motor Racing Network, kicking off its 45th year of broadcasting, will air live flag-to-flag radio coverage of the Rolex 24 At Daytona along with 12 races in the inaugural TUDOR Championship.  All Motor Racing Network races also are streamed live at www.MRN.com.  Live coverage of the Rolex 24 At Daytona also can be heard on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (channel 90) starting at 2 pm ET.  The entire TUDOR Championship season can be heard on Sirius channel 117.

IMSA.com will offer streaming of all MRN broadcasts as part of its impressive arsenal of live online coverage. IMSA.com and the brand-new IMSA mobile app also provide live timing and scoring data from every on-track session, social media integration and up-to-the minute news coverage. IMSA.com will have a full-race replay of the Rolex 24 available on demand 24 hours after the FOX Sports telecast.

In addition to streaming on-board coverage, SPEED: The Motors on FOX Blog covers the event all week with hourly race blog updates, photo galleries, fast-turn video and active social media participation.

The 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona kicks off the inaugural, 12-race TUDOR Championship season. The race is also the first of the four-race Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.

The IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge also launches its 2014 campaign at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, Jan. 24. FOX Sports 2 will have same-day television coverage of the season opener at 6 p.m. ET.

About FOX Sports
FOX Sports is the umbrella entity representing 21st Century FOX’s wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets.  Built with brands capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, FOX Sports includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships.  FOX Sports includes the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; FOX Sports 1; FOX Sports 2; Fox’s 22 regional sports networks, their affiliated regional web sites and FSN national programming; FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Soccer 2Go; FOX Deportes and FOX College Sports.  In addition, FOX Sports also encompasses FOX Sports Digital, which includes FOXSports.com on MSN, FOX Sports GO, Whatifsports.com and Yardbarker.com.  Also included in the Group are FOX’s interests in joint-venture businesses Big Ten Network, BTN 2Go and STATS, LLC, as well as licensing agreements that establish the FOX Sports Radio Network.

About IMSA
The International Motor Sports Association, LLC (IMSA) is the sanctioning body of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the professional road-racing series resulting from the merger of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. IMSA also sanctions two developmental series, the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge and the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda, as well as four single-make series: Porsche GT3 Cup USA by Yokohama; Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Canada by Michelin; Ferrari Challenge North America; and Lamborghini Super Trofeo.

IMSA is the exclusive strategic partner in North America with the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) which operates the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The partnership enables selected United SportsCar competitors to earn automatic entries into the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Jan 12 | NASCAR Nationwide Series Completes Two-Day Preseason Thunder Test

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2012 DRIVE4COPD 300 Champion Buescher Moves to New Team for 2014 Season; NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Next Up on Testing Calendar

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR Nationwide Series got its turn to test the high banks of Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300 on Saturday, Feb. 22, part of Budweiser Speedweeks 2014.

The stars of the NASCAR Nationwide Series such as Regan Smith, Ty Dillon, Chase Elliott, James Buescher, Trevor Bayne and Ryan Blaney participated in the two-day testing session that concluded Sunday.

With teams participating in both single-car runs as well as some drafting sessions, Chase and his father and two-time Daytona 500 champion Bill Elliott topped the charts on Saturday.

Chase Elliott, kicking off his rookie campaign in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with JR Motorsports, was fastest in the No. 9 Chevrolet with a lap of 187.993 mph followed by his father Bill in the No. 5 Chevrolet at 187.974.

Dylan Kwasniewski was fastest on Sunday for Turner Scott Motorsports in the No. 31 Chevrolet with a lap of 190.022 mph. The younger Elliott was once again near the top of the speed charts, posting the second fastest lap on Sunday of 189.950 mph.

Buescher, who captured the 2012 edition of the DRIVE4COPD 300, is entering this year’s race having made a big change in his driving career. At the end of last year’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, Buescher left Turner Scott Motorsports, which is owned by his father-in-law Steve Turner, to join RAB Racing and the No. 99 Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

Said Buescher of the change: “In some ways it was a really difficult decision from the family aspect and everything that we’ve accomplished together at Turner Scott Motorsports – the championships and race wins and poles and kind of building that organization.

“But I want to make it to the Sprint Cup level, and I want to be a Sprint Cup champion one day. I have to make the moves in my career that are best for me, and I feel like coming over to RAB Racing and Toyota and being able to bring Rheem with me as a sponsor was the best situation for me to be in right now.”

Winning the 2012 DRIVE4COPD 300, held the day before the prestigious Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, has had a major impact on the young career of Buescher, who later on that year won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship.

Buescher was running in 11th place entering Turn 4 on the final lap when a multi-car accident broke out in front of him. Buescher, who was driving for Turner Motorsports at the time, was able to maneuver his way through the accident to bring home the victory.

“It was definitely really big,” Buescher said. “At that point, I had never won a NASCAR sanctioned event. I was relieved to finally win a race, and the fact that I won one when everybody was crashing, there was a lot of doubters that said it was a fluke, and the fact that we were able to go follow that up with four more wins in the Truck Series that year and a championship I think solidified that win that we had here in the Nationwide Series. It makes this place even more special.”

Preseason Thunder will conclude on Monday and Tuesday with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series testing. Fans can watch the testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands.

For more information on tickets for the 56th annual DAYTONA 500 and the DRIVE4COPD 300, race fans can visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter (@NASCAR) and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtags #NASCAR, #DAYTONA500 and #ROADTODAYTONA. Stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. Fans can also follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.

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