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.

Jan 10 | Drivers Get On Track for Preseason Thunder Testing

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After rain showers washed out Thursday’s Preseason Thunder testing, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers were finally able to get on track Friday at the Daytona International Speedway.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – After rain showers washed out Thursday’s Preseason Thunder testing, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers were finally able to get on track Friday at the Daytona International Speedway.

Shortly before 1 p.m., cars began making testing runs around the 2.5-mile tri-oval in preparation for the 56th annual Daytona 500 scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 23, NASCAR’s prestigious season-opening event.

The majority of Friday’s testing, which concluded under the lights at 9 p.m., featured single-car runs. In the final hour, select drivers did participate in some drafting.

Fastest of the test was Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon, who posted a top speed of 195.109 mph in the No. 3 Chevrolet. Rounding out the top five were Brian Scott (194.582), Matt Crafton (194.342), Aric Almirola (193.828) and Kyle Larson (193.411).

The rain delay gave drivers plenty of time to meet with the media and discuss the upcoming NASCAR season and the Daytona 500.

Jimmie Johnson, six-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, is gunning for back-to-back victories in the Daytona 500. Last year at Daytona, he became the first driver since Bobby Allison in 1982 to sweep both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.

“There is no other sensation when you come into a race track like there is here,” Johnson said. “Driving through the tunnel and popping out in Turn 4 and looking around and realizing you’re here is always a great way to start the season.”

Tony Stewart was in attendance for the test, but he wasn’t behind the wheel of the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Chevrolet. Stewart, who is still recovering from injuries suffered in a sprint car accident back in August, had Mark Martin shaking down his car.

Stewart plans on making his return to competition in The Sprint Unlimited on Saturday Feb. 15.

He is also still searching for that first Daytona 500 victory.

“February here is high on that bucket list,” said Stewart, who is winless in the Daytona 500 in 14 starts. “We haven't won here yet. We've won here, just not on the right day. The second Sunday (of Speedweeks) would be nice. That's all that's on the bucket list right now.”

Stewart expects to be cleared by doctors to return to the track on Feb. 14, the day before The Sprint Unlimited.

NASCAR Nationwide Series testing will take center stage at DIS on Saturday and Sunday as teams prepare for the season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300 on Saturday, Feb. 22. Among the drivers expected to participate in the two-day session are Elliott Sadler, Ty Dillon, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Regan Smith and Trevor Bayne.

Tickets for NASCAR Nationwide Series testing are $10 each day and are available only at the gate. Children 12 and under will receive free admission throughout testing. Fans can also watch each day’s testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands.

For more information on tickets for the 56th annual DAYTONA 500 and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access, race fans can go online at 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

Nov 15 | Tickets for the 2014 Preseason Thunder Fan Fest Go On-Sale Monday, Nov. 18

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Beginning Monday, Nov. 18 at 9 a.m., race fans can purchase tickets as well as make their autographed session reservations for the annual Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Beginning Monday, Nov. 18 at 9 a.m., race fans can purchase tickets as well as make their autographed session reservations for the annual Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will test on Jan. 9-10 as they shake down their cars in advance of the prestigious season-opening 56th annual DAYTONA 500 on Sunday, Feb. 23. The NASCAR Nationwide Series will test on Jan. 11-12 for their season-opening event – the DRIVE4COPD 300 on Saturday, Feb. 22.

The Camping World Truck Series will wrap up Preseason Thunder on Jan. 13-14 as they prep for the NextEra Energy Resources 250 on Friday night, Feb. 21. It’s the first time since 2008 that the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series teams have participated in January testing sessions at Daytona International Speedway.

All test sessions are scheduled between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day, weather permitting. Each session includes a lunch break from noon until 1 p.m.

The Preseason Thunder Fan Fests, the companion events to the January testing sessions in the Sprint FANZONE, are scheduled on Thursday night, Jan. 9 for the Sprint Cup Series and Saturday night, Jan. 11 for the Nationwide Series. There will not be a Fan Fest or infield admissions for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series testing sessions.

The Fan Fests will include fan activities such as autograph sessions, driver fan forums, show cars and displays and a photo opportunity with the 2014 Harley J. Earl Daytona 500 trophy.

Tickets are $25 for Thursday’s Sprint Cup Fan Fest and $15 to view Friday’s testing from the Sprint FANZONE. For the NASCAR Nationwide Series testing on Saturday and Sunday, tickets are $10 each day and are available only at the gate. Children 12 and under will receive free admission throughout testing.

Preseason Thunder ticket holders receive free tent camping inside Turns 3 & 4 throughout the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide series testing sessions and fans can also watch each day’s testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands.

Advanced reservations are available (limited availability) for the autograph sessions. Among the autograph wristbands available in advance include confirmed 2013 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers, Danica Patrick and confirmed past Daytona 500 champions. Additional driver autograph sessions will be held during Fan Fest with wristbands available the day of the event.

Beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 18, tickets and autographed session reservations are available only by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or by visiting the Daytona International Speedway Tours and Ticket Office.

Tickets for the NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race – the 56th annual DAYTONA 500 on Sunday, Feb. 23 – start at $65 and are available 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, FacebookInstagram 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

Sep 25 | 2014 Preseason Thunder Dates Scheduled for Jan. 9-14

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Preseason Thunder, the annual NASCAR testing session at Daytona International Speedway featuring the Sprint Cup Series, will expand in 2014 with the addition of the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series.

Preseason Thunder

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Preseason Thunder, the annual NASCAR testing session at Daytona International Speedway featuring the Sprint Cup Series, will expand in 2014 with the addition of the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series. Preseason Thunder marks the official start to NASCAR’s “Road To Daytona.”

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will test on Jan. 9-10 as they shake down their cars in advance of the prestigious season-opening 56th annual DAYTONA 500 on Sunday, Feb. 23. The NASCAR Nationwide Series will test on Jan. 11-12 for their season-opening event – the DRIVE4COPD 300 on Saturday, Feb. 22.

The Camping World Truck Series will wrap up Preseason Thunder on Jan. 13-14 as they prep for the NextEra Energy Resources 250 on Friday night, Feb. 21.

It’s the first time since 2008 that the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series teams have participated in January testing sessions at Daytona International Speedway.

All test sessions are scheduled between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day, weather permitting. Each session includes a lunch break from noon until 1 p.m.

“We’re looking forward to hosting all three of NASCAR’s national touring series for Preseason Thunder,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “Having the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series teams join the stars of the Sprint Cup Series in testing the high banks will ignite plenty of excitement for the start of the new NASCAR season.”

The Preseason Thunder Fan Fests, the companion events to the January testing sessions in the Sprint FANZONE, are scheduled on Thursday night, Jan. 9 for the Sprint Cup Series and Saturday night, Jan. 11 for the Nationwide Series. There will not be a Fan Fest or infield admissions for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series testing sessions.

Fans can also watch each day’s testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands.

Tickets for Preseason Thunder Fan Fest for the Sprint Cup Series, which include the autograph session wristbands, will be available for purchase by calling 1-800-PITSHOP on Monday, Nov. 18 beginning at 9 a.m. The schedule of driver question-and-answer and autograph sessions will be finalized closer to the event.

Fans who would like to be contacted regarding Preseason Thunder Fan Fest ticket information can sign up online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/thunder.

The Rolex 24, the tune-up session for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge teams in advance of the 52nd anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, is scheduled for Jan. 3-5.  Ticketholders for the 2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona will be admitted free for the Roar Before The Rolex 24 testing sessions.

Tickets for the NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race – the 56th annual DAYTONA 500 on Sunday, Feb. 23 – start at $65 and are available 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, FacebookInstagram 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 | Three-Day Preseason Thunder Test At DIS Wraps Up

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The three-day Preseason Thunder test session for the 55th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race concluded on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.

Greg Biffle

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., – The three-day Preseason Thunder test session for the 55th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race concluded on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.

Teams and drivers have spent the past three days shaking down the “Gen 6” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car.

The new race car has greater brand identity for the manufacturers and will make its debut in The Sprint Unlimited, the star-studded non-points event on Saturday night, Feb. 16 that will feature the previous season’s pole winners and past champions of The Sprint Unlimited.

Budweiser Speedweeks will conclude on Sunday, Feb. 24 with “The Great American Race,” NASCAR’s signature event.

For the majority of the three-day test, teams conducted single-car qualifying runs. On Saturday, teams participated in an afternoon drafting session where speeds topped near 200 mph.

NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton provided the attending media an update on the three-day test during the Saturday lunch break and he expects another classic Daytona 500 finish in the prestigious season-opening event.

“When it comes down to the trophy, the check and the trophy queen, all bets are off,” Pemberton said. “I expect them to run hard at the end (of the race) and make sure they are around for the end of the race and make sure they are positioned where they can get (to the checkered flag). There is no telling what you’ll see.”

Fastest of the day: In the morning session on Saturday, 2012 Daytona 500 champion Matt Kenseth topped the speed charts in the No. 20 Toyota from Joe Gibbs Racing with a lap speed of 194.062 mph. Trevor Bayne, the 2011 Daytona 500 champion, was second fastest in the No. 21 Ford from Wood Brothers Racing with a lap of 193.686.

Danica Patrick, who will race the full NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule this year with Stewart Haas Racing, was third fastest with a speed of 193.648.

In the afternoon, Roush Fenway Racing’s Greg Biffle was fastest at 194.936 mph followed by Joe Gibbs Racing’s Matt Kenseth (194.717) and Kyle Busch (194.578).

Coming up: Next up at Daytona International Speedway will be the 51st anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 26-27, the kick off to Budweiser Speedweeks At Daytona. Sports car teams from around the world will battle the challenging 3.56-mile road course in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season-opening event.

The Rolex 24 Weekend At Daytona will also feature the GRAND-AM 200 for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge teams on Friday, Jan. 25 and the Ferrari Challenge North America on Friday, Jan 25 at 11:45 a.m. and Saturday, Jan. 26 at 10:30 a.m. 

During the Rolex 24 Weekend fans and visitors can also partake in the Daytona 5K & Fun Walk the morning of Jan. 26 along with all Sprint FANZONE entertainment and the Boardwalk Experience carnival festivities.

For more information and the weekend event schedule please visit: http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/Tickets-Events/Events/2013/Rolex-24-At-Daytona/Event-Info.aspx.

Two-day tickets for the Rolex 24 At Daytona start at $35 and are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.  Tickets for Budweiser Speedweeks At Daytona are currently available as well.

Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, FacebookGoogle+ and Pinterest for the latest news all season long.

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