Oct 30 | DIS President Joie Chitwood III statement on the passing of NASCAR Vice President Jim Hunter

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Joie Chitwood III's statement on the passing of NASCAR Vice President Jim Hunter.

Jim Hunter

“I am saddened by the news of the passing of Jim Hunter. Jim was a pioneer and a builder of the sport of NASCAR. From his days as a sportswriter to most recently serving as track president at Darlington Raceway and heading up the NASCAR public relations team, Jim poured his heart and soul into the sport he loved so dearly. His presence in media centers across the country will be sorely missed. The staff of Daytona International Speedway extends its deepest condolences to the Hunter family.”

-- Joie Chitwood III, President, Daytona International Speedway
 

Oct 29 | DIS Teams Up With National Fallen Firefighters Foundation For Special Daytona 500 Ticket Offer

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Daytona International Speedway has joined forces with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) in putting together a special ticket package that will deliver the excitement of NASCAR’s most prestigious race – the Daytona 500 – as well as benefit an important cause.

Daytona 500 325 160
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Daytona International Speedway has joined forces with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) in putting together a special ticket package that will deliver the excitement of NASCAR’s most prestigious race – the Daytona 500 – as well as benefit an important cause.

The NFFF ticket package, which starts at $119 for adults and $79 for children 12 and under, includes a race ticket to the 53rd annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 20, admission to the Star and Shield FIRE STATION 500 hospitality tent, and commemorative T-shirt.

A portion of the proceeds from each NFFF ticket package purchase will be donated to the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation, a tax-exempt, non-profit organization created by the United States Congress to lead a nationwide effort to remember America’s fallen firefighters. Since 1992, NFFF has developed and expanded programs to honor fallen fire heroes and assist their families and co-workers.

“This special ticket offer is a great opportunity for race fans to witness both the excitement and pageantry of NASCAR’s signature event as well as assist a worthy initiative,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “We’re proud to assist and support the NFFF’s mission of honoring America’s fallen firefighters and providing resources to assist their survivors.”

“The NFFF is excited to be collaborating with Daytona International Speedway in creating a firefighter appreciation event at the Daytona 500,” said Chief Ron Siarnicki, Executive Director for the NFFF. “Not only is this event a fundraiser to support families of our nation’s fallen firefighters, but a great way to say thank you for the service our first responders provide to our communities. The NFFF is very appreciative of the fact that Daytona International Speedway is truly interested in showing its support of the fire service community.”

To purchase this special package, race fans should call 1-877-306-RACE or visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/nfff. For more information on the Foundation, visit www.firehero.org

Oct 28 | Week 17 Daytona Repave update: Tony Stewart paints the start/finish line on the new racing surface

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Tony Stewart visited Daytona International Speedway on Thursday afternoon to tour the repaving project and participate in a milestone moment in the history of the “World Center of Racing.”

Tony Stewart

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Tony Stewart visited Daytona International Speedway on Thursday afternoon to tour the repaving project and participate in a milestone moment in the history of the “World Center of Racing.”

Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing, joined Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III in painting the start/finish line on the new racing surface.

He also received a piece of Daytona history – a core sample of the original start/finish line asphalt – and took a laps on the finished portion of the track with Chitwood and North American Testing Company’s Senior Director of Construction Bill Braniff.

Stewart was appreciative of the piece of asphalt from the start/finish line.

“As you grow up in racing and as the years go by, you learn the history where you go to and importance of the venues you go to,” Stewart said. “To think of the great champions that crossed over this piece of asphalt to win the biggest races of their career. Whether it was in the Rolex 24 Hour race, or the Daytona 500 or the Nationwide race, the Firecracker 400 even. Think of the great people that have crossed over the start/finish line. This is a piece of racing history that you can’t put a price tag on this.”

In driving around the finished portion of the track in Turns 3 and 4 and through the tri-oval in a Chevrolet Camaro, Stewart got to experience the new smooth racing surface.

“I got to rip through 3 and 4 and it’s not the same race track,” Stewart said. “This place is going to have a totally new look and a totally new feel to the drivers and teams. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I can promise you that we are going to fill every square inch of this race track with cars now because we’re going to have that flexibility because this surface is going to be in such great shape when they get done with this last layer.”

And during his drive, he also got to witness all the paving work taking place in the steep 31-degree high banks in Turns 1 and 2.

“This is not like paving a highway,” Stewart said. “If you go down there and you watch how the cranes are holding up the equipment, I told them there’s no way you could pay me to be on that roller right now.

“For a gear head like me, I like seeing what the process is and how they have to do this. To see 75 percent of this project completed already is phenomenal. They’ve had great weather down here. It’s neat to see how good a job Lane has done.”

Stewart is tied with Cale Yarborough for third on the all-time Daytona International Speedway wins list with 15 triumphs including three Coke Zero 400s Powered By Coca-Cola.

A victory in the Daytona 500, NASCAR biggest, richest and most prestigious race, has eluded him and he would love to be the first driver to win “The Great American Race” on the new asphalt.

“I just have a problem with timing,” Stewart said. “I figured out how to do it on Saturday, I’ve just got to figure out how to do it on Sunday.”

About the Daytona Repave: Lane Construction, which repaved other ISC race tracks including Talladega Superspeedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway, will use an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway and has a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011.

Speedweeks 2011 will kick off with the 49th annual Rolex 24 At Daytona GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race on Jan. 29-30 and conclude with the 53rd annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20, the prestigious season-opening event to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Race fans can view the progression of the historic repaving project from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands, which will open free to the public. Track tours will also be available through attraction admission to Daytona 500 Experience.

Daytona International Speedway also is posting updates on the project at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/repave and on its social sites on Twitter (www.twitter.com/DISUpdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/daytonainternationalspeedway). For fans interested in purchasing pieces of asphalt, they can visit www.jostens.com/Daytona

For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.

 

Oct 27 | Painting of the Start/Finish Line to be Streamed Live over the Web

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Tony Stewart will join Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III in painting the start/finish line on the new racing surface of Daytona International Speedway on Thursday afternoon and the event will be streamed live over the web.

Tony Stewart
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet for Stewart Haas Racing, will join Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III in painting the start/finish line on the new racing surface of Daytona International Speedway on Thursday afternoon.

The event will be streamed live over the web at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/stewart at 3:30 p.m. (EDT).

Stewart has 15 career victories at Daytona International Speedway, which ties him for third with Cale Yarborough on the all-time victory leaders list.

He has won three Coke Zero 400s and has captured the DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race in February five out of the last six years.

About the Daytona Repave: Lane Construction, which repaved other ISC race tracks including Talladega Superspeedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway, will use an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway and has a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011.

Speedweeks 2011 will kick off with the 49th annual Rolex 24 At Daytona GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race on Jan. 29-30 and conclude with the 53rd annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20, the prestigious season-opening event to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Race fans can view the progression of the historic repaving project from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands, which will open free to the public. Track tours will also be available through attraction admission to Daytona 500 Experience.

Daytona International Speedway also is posting updates on the project at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/repave and on its social sites on Twitter (www.twitter.com/DISUpdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/daytonainternationalspeedway). For fans interested in purchasing pieces of asphalt, they can visit www.jostens.com/Daytona

For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.

Oct 27 | 2011 Sunoco Rolex 24 At Daytona Challenge Winner Has Successful Test At VIR

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Last week, England's Ross Kaiser, the 2011 Sunoco Rolex 24 At Daytona Challenge winner, flew to the Virginia International Raceway (VIR) to test a Daytona Prototype on an American circuit for the first time.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Last week, England's Ross Kaiser, the 2011 Sunoco Rolex 24 At Daytona Challenge winner, flew to the Virginia International Raceway (VIR) to test a Daytona Prototype on an American circuit for the first time. As part of the Sunoco Daytona Challenge prize, Ross completed two days of testing for the Doran Racing team and drivers Brian Frisselle and Brad Jaeger.

Ross, jet-lagged as he only returned from the last round of the Radical Masters Sunday night before flying out to the states on the Monday, not only had to learn how to drive a left-hand-drive DP car but also a track that he had never seen. Also to be considered was that this was the first test with Continental as the control tire supplier so the team had very little data for a perfect car set up.

Despite those challenges, the test session went well for Kaiser, who posted the fourth fastest time on the Tuesday afternoon session, 1.3 seconds slower than the fastest DP car. Wednesday was hampered by rain until 3 p.m. and Kaiser only got eight laps in the afternoon session on used tires. He posted a time that was only 0.8 seconds off Brian Frisselle’s time set on new slicks and only 0.98 seconds off the fastest time also set on new tires.

Kevin Doran of Doran Racing was very impressed.

"Ross’s driving style seemed to fit the Daytona Prototype’s right off and he and the team worked on laps for familiarity and driver comfort most of the test time as Ross’s speed was right there from early on," Doran said.

At VIR, race instructor and Daytona Prototype driver Guy Cosmo was waiting to take care of Kaiser as his personal race instructor and mentor.

"This is a dream come true really," Kaiser said. "With our season all over in the UK, all of my attention is on the Rolex 24. It’s a fantastic event. Without Daytona and Sunoco this event wouldn’t be available to me so I’m looking forward to racing in one of the biggest events in the world."

Tickets for the Rolex 24 At Daytona are available online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. 


 

 

 


 

Oct 25 | 1961 Daytona 500 Champion Marvin Panch Tours The Daytona Repave Project

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The historic 2010 Daytona Repave got a special visit on Monday from Marvin Panch, the 1961 Daytona 500 champion.

Marvin Panch
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The historic 2010 Daytona Repave got another special visitor on Monday.

Marvin Panch, the 1961 Daytona 500 champion and voted one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998, took a tour of the new Daytona International Speedway racing surface.

Panch viewed all the repave work on a tour with North American Testing Company’s Senior Director of Construction Bill Braniff and received a piece of the original racing surface from Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III.

“I’ve always liked the race track but the first thing that I see that I really approve of is the widening of pit road and putting the concrete down,” Panch said.

Panch said the new asphalt of Daytona International Speedway reminds him of the track back in the early years.  He captured the 1961 edition of “The Great American Race” finishing 16 seconds ahead of runner-up Joe Weatherly with an average winning speed of 149.601 mph, which set a world record for a 500-mile race.

“It looks like it was back then,” said the 84-year-old Panch. “Matter of fact, the only thing I don’t like is that I’m not out there running. I’m looking forward to (watching it in 2011).”

The new racing surface at Daytona International Speedway will be smooth with no bumps. That means Panch’s favorite bump in Turn 4 is now gone.

“It was pretty smooth but they had a nice bump coming off of Turn 4,” Panch said of the track in the early years. “I liked it. You come off there, if you turn in before you get there, you can come straight across and jump over it.

“I always liked it. That was my favorite bump. I’m sorry to see that go.”

Nonetheless, Panch says he’s looking forward to seeing the racing on the new asphalt in the 53rd annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20 as well as celebrating the 50th anniversary of his triumph.

“It’s amazing, Panch said. “There’s a whole lot more asphalt down there now then when we ran. Naturally, the track is going to stay smooth. I understand it was starting to get a little rough naturally after all those years. The drivers have it made now. All they have to do is sit back and (enjoy) the nice smooth ride.”

About the Daytona Repave: Lane Construction, which repaved other ISC race tracks including Talladega Superspeedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway, will use an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway and has a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011.

Speedweeks 2011 will kick off with the 49th annual Rolex 24 At Daytona GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race on Jan. 29-30 and conclude with the 53rd annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20, the prestigious season-opening event to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Race fans can view the progression of the historic repaving project from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands, which will open free to the public, or a track tour.

Daytona International Speedway also is posting updates on the project at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/repave and on its social sites on Twitter (www.twitter.com/DISUpdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/daytonainternationalspeedway). For fans interested in purchasing pieces of asphalt, they can visit www.jostens.com/Daytona

For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.

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