Dec 30 | Daytona KartWeek Concludes; DIS’ David Reep Inducted into WKA Hall of Fame

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Daytona KartWeek wrapped up on Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in a very memorable fashion for Daytona International Speedway employee, David Reep.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Daytona KartWeek wrapped up on Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in a very memorable fashion for one Daytona International Speedway employee.  Early Thursday morning, 34-year DIS veteran David Reep was inducted into the World Karting Association Hall of Fame for his contributions to KartWeek throughout his long career.  Reep joins a prestigious line of inductees which include William H.G. "Big Bill" France and other legendary racing dignitaries.

“This is a tremendous honor and a great surprise,” said Reep.  “I’m thankful for my career at DIS and for working with the WKA for so many years.  My induction has been a very humbling experience and I look forward to working with WKA for years to come.”

Reep, the speedway’s Operations Track Supervisor, joined DIS in 1976 and has worked on the WKA events since 1977, back when the series raced at the dirt track in the old Memorial Stadium in Daytona Beach.  He helped construct the dirt track at Municipal Stadium when the series’ events moved there in 1988.  Reep was also instrumental in the design of the Daytona Flat Track, where the WKA currently hosts its Dirt World Championships.

WKA General Manager Buddy Long summed up Reep’s contributions over the years. “He’s the man. David has been a humongous help in getting our events set up for more than three decades and ensuring they all run smoothly.  More importantly, he is a tremendous friend.”

The annual holiday event at the “World Center of Racing” showcased hundreds of karters from the World Karting Association on two different courses – the George Kugler/Bridgestone Manufacturer’s Cup Series on the .700-mile sprint track located in Turns 3 and 4 and the Dirt World Championships on the quarter-mile dirt track outside Turns 1 and 2.

Besides attracting hundreds of karters from across the country, Daytona KartWeek also featured 2010 Daytona 500 champion Jamie McMurray and fellow NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger on the sprint track. 

Next up at Daytona International Speedway is a busy month of January testing beginning with the Roar Before The Rolex 24 on Jan. 7-9.

Also on the testing schedule for January is the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards (Jan. 11-13), AMA Pro Racing (Jan. 17-18) and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (Jan. 20-22).

Tickets are available online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Dec 29 | Taste of the 24 set for 2011 Rolex 24 At Daytona

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The second annual Taste of the 24, billed as an “outrageously unique dining event” that doubles as a fundraiser for the Daytona State College Foundation, will take place on Saturday, Jan. 29 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. high atop the Daytona International Speedway Superstretch grandstands.

DAYTONA BEACH, FL -- Motorsports professionals won’t be the only competitors during the Rolex 24 at Daytona on Jan. 29-30. The annual event that traditionally kicks off Speedweeks also will mark the crowning of a top student chef competing in the first ever Rolex 24 Grand Marshal Dinner Challenge during race activities which run Jan. 27-30.

The second annual Taste of the 24, billed as an “outrageously unique dining event” that doubles as a fundraiser for the Daytona State College Foundation, will take place on Saturday, Jan. 29 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. high atop the Daytona International Speedway Superstretch grandstands.

“This a great opportunity for folks to come out and enjoy outstanding food and the spectacle that is the Rolex 24 at Daytona, while at the same time helping to support student scholarships and campus growth initiatives at Daytona State College,” said Donna Sue Sanders, Foundation vice president.

Daytona State culinary students competing in the Rolex 24 Grand Marshal Dinner Challenge will vie for a $500 cash prize along with two VIP Rolex 24 hospitality packages, courtesy of International Speedway Corp.

“More than anything, it will be a learning experience for the students,” said Rick Florsheim, chair of the college’s Hospitality and Culinary Management program. “They will submit a three-course menu with recipes, a shopping list and a plan on how they are going to pull off a service for 175 people.”

The top three entries will be judged the week prior to the race, then the winning student chef will work with Americrown to prepare and serve the cuisine during an invitation only event at the Speedway on Jan. 28.

Meanwhile, the Taste of the 24 will feature a delicious blend of food and fast cars, with access all weekend long to the endurance race and Sprint FANZONE. Patrons can enjoy food from 24 of the area’s finest restaurants, a cigar bar, live jazz, beer and wine from around the world, and a chance to win a Rolex watch. The Taste of the 24 will take place in 24 private corporate suites located above the Superstretch grandstands. Food service will be available from 6 to 10 p.m. on Jan. 29.

Seating is limited, so make reservations early. Tickets are $75 per person and include free event parking through Gate 70, Taste of the 24 event admission and one weekend pass to the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Or, pay $95 for Taste of the 24 admission, parking, a weekend race pass and a chance to win a Rolex watch. Tickets for children 12 and under may be purchased at the door for $24.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call or e-mail the Foundation: (386) 506-3724, foundation@DaytonaState.edu

For more about the Rolex 24 Grand Marshal Dinner Challenge, contact Florsheim at (386) 506-3254, florshr@DaytonaState.edu

Dec 29 | Scott Goodyear and son learning the ins and outs of karts at Daytona

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Scott Goodyear has turned plenty of laps around Daytona International Speedway in both the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the IROC Series. Now, the open-wheel racer turned broadcaster finds himself back at Daytona helping his son’s racing efforts during Daytona KartWeek.

Michael Goodyear and Scott Goodyear

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Scott Goodyear has turned plenty of laps around Daytona International Speedway in both the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the IROC Series.

Now, the open-wheel racer turned broadcaster finds himself back at the “World Center of Racing” helping his son’s racing efforts during Daytona KartWeek.

Goodyear, a native of Toronto who now resides in Indianapolis, is assisting his 14-year-old son Michael in the George Kugler/Bridgestone Manufacturer’s Cup Series on the sprint track located in Turns 3 and 4

After trying stick and ball sports, Michael Goodyear visited a go-kart track and caught the racing bug. He’s been racing for the past three years and is competing this weekend at Daytona in the Yamaha Jr. Lite class.

“He’s done a great job,” Scott Goodyear said. “He learns tracks within 10 laps. He’s been doing it for three years and I think he’s doing a great job because he can compete against other people that have been doing it since they have been seven even though he started when he was 11.”

While his son is making gains on the race track, Scott Goodyear is finding himself a little behind in the garage when it comes to karts. He says it’s been about 30 years since he played with go-karts and the technology has changed dramatically.

“We’re not as fast as we would like to be right now,” said Goodyear, who has seven Rolex 24 At Daytona starts with a best finish of second in 1992. “It’s not a function of him but it’s a function of me knowing what the go-kart needs.”

Scott Goodyear started his racing career in the same fashion as his son in karts. He won national and North American karting championships between 1969 and 1976.

He raced in the CART Indy Car Series and the IndyCar Series and competed in 12 consecutive Indianapolis 500s with two runner-up finishes. In 1992, he was involved in the closest-ever Indianapolis 500 finish when he chased Al Unser Jr. to the checkered flag and finished second by just .043 seconds.

Scott Goodyear said it’s possible that Michael might want to pursue a career in racing but wants to make sure he continues to have fun on the race track.

“The way I look at it is that we take it a weekend at a time, a month at a time and a year at a time,” Goodyear said. “We sit down at the end of every year and see if he likes it and enjoys it and then we continue on. The biggest thing for me, because of the fight that I had to have to get to do this for a living for so many years, is that you have to enjoy it. I don’t want him to miss being a kid at the same time.”

During Daytona KartWeek, Goodyear has been so focused on his son’s kart that he hasn’t taken a whole lot of time to look around the storied racing facility.

“I’m so focused on what I’m doing here with him,” Goodyear said. “I know there’s (Richard Petty Driving Experience) cars going around and stuff like that. I’m not worried about what (Michael) is doing behind the wheel. I’m more worried about what I’m doing with the wheels and the go-kart.”

Daytona KartWeek concludes on Thursday for both the George Kugler/Bridgestone Manufacturer’s Cup Series on the sprint track located in Turns 3 and 4 and the Dirt World Championships on the quarter-mile dirt track outside Turns 1 and 2.

Tickets for Daytona KartWeek can be purchased at Ticket Booth E located above the Turn 1 tunnel.

Dec 28 | Day 1 of Daytona KartWeek: Allmendinger ready to go back racing

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The new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season hasn’t even started yet and AJ Allmendinger is already turning competitive laps at Daytona International Speedway.

AJ Allmendinger

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season hasn’t even started yet and AJ Allmendinger is already turning competitive laps at Daytona International Speedway.

For the second straight year, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star is participating in Daytona KartWeek, which showcases hundreds of karters from across the country in World Karting Association races.

“We’ve had three off weekends now so I’m bored,” said Allmendinger, who drives for Richard Petty Motorsports. “I had to get away from the house. It’s time to go racing. As soon as Christmas is over, it’s time to go racing.”

Two different courses showcase two different series during Daytona KartWeek – the George Kugler/Bridgestone Manufacturer’s Cup Series that competes on the sprint track located in Turns 3 and 4 and the Dirt World Championships on the quarter-mile dirt track outside Turns 1 and 2.

Daytona KartWeek is the beginning of what will be a two-month stretch of events for Allmendinger at the “World Center of Racing.”

“I think I might buy a condo or something here in Daytona,” Allmendinger joked. “I just love karting. I love competing. I use to be really good at it and I’m not so good at anymore and now I need to get better at it again. I feel fortunate enough being a Sprint Cup driver and doing something that I love to do every Sunday that I have the opportunity to have the equipment and have fun again and enjoy it.”

Allmendinger didn’t enjoy last year’s Daytona KartWeek as much as he wanted. He struggled on the track and packed up early and headed back home to North Carolina. This year, he comes ready for what is a competitive field that also includes 2010 Daytona 500 champion Jamie McMurray.

He recently switched over to Arrows go-karts and he has longtime friend Tim Pappas, who Allmendinger worked with at Paul Tracy Karting, assisting him in the garage.

“We’re better but we’re still not where we want to be,” Allmendinger said. “There are some fast kids here. Last year, we were so out in left field. I wasn’t even competitive. It wasn’t even fun. At least I feel like we’re in the ball game to where we can have some fun racing against some fast guys and at least contend for a decent spot. We still have work to do.”

As Allmendinger has been racing on his kart, he was also able to see the new racing surface around the legendary 2.5-mile tri-oval. He will get his first laps on the new asphalt during NASCAR Preseason Thunder testing on Jan. 20-22.

“It looks smooth,” Allmendinger said. “I’ve heard great reviews about it. It looks really cool. I read about the testing. It looks like it’s going to be a hell of a race. It’s basically going to be Talladega but a lot narrower. We’re going to still think we can go five wide but I don’t think it really holds that. Everybody that I’ve talked said it’s so smooth and it’s going to be a great race. I look forward to Jan. 20 and we can get to go test.”

Tickets for Daytona KartWeek can be purchased at Ticket Booth E located above the Turn 1 tunnel.

Dec 21 | Hundreds of karters to visit for Daytona KartWeek

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Hundreds of karters from across the country will spend their holidays at Daytona International Speedway for Daytona KartWeek.

Jamie McMurray

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Hundreds of karters from across the country will spend their holidays at Daytona International Speedway for Daytona KartWeek.

Karters will participate races on two different courses – the George Kugler/Bridgestone Manufacturer’s Cup Series will compete on the sprint track located in Turns 3 and 4 and the Dirt World Championships will race on the quarter-mile dirt track outside Turns 1 and 2.

Many of today’s NASCAR stars made their first visits to DIS during Daytona KartWeek including two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, Brian Vickers, Bobby Labonte and 2010 Daytona 500 Champion Jamie McMurray as well as IZOD IndyCar Series star Marco Andretti.

Tickets for Daytona KartWeek can be purchased at Ticket Booth E located above the Turn 1 tunnel.

For adults, a three-day pass is available for $30, $25 for a two-day pass and $15 for a one-day pass. Children seven and under are $20 for a three-day pass, $15 for a two-day pass and $10 for a single-day pass.

One-day passes will not be sold Dec. 28 or 29.

 

Dec 20 | Motorcycle teams turn their first laps on new racing surface

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With NASCAR, GRAND-AM and ARCA completing tire tests last week, motorcycles took their turn on the high banks of the newly repaved Daytona International Speedway on Sunday and Monday for their first laps on the new racing surface.

Josh Herrin and Josh Hayes
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – With NASCAR, GRAND-AM and ARCA completing tire tests last week, motorcycles took their turn on the high banks of the newly repaved Daytona International Speedway on Sunday and Monday for their first laps on the new racing surface.

Select teams and riders from SuperBike and Daytona SportBike classes of AMA Pro Racing participated in a two-day Dunlop tire test in advance of March’s Daytona 200 Week, which is highlighted by the 70th Daytona 200 AMA Pro Racing Daytona SportBike event and the opening rounds to the AMA SuperBike season.

For only the second time in its history, Daytona International Speedway’s 2.5-mile tri-oval, pit road, skid pad and apron was repaved following the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola in July.

Among the riders shaking down the new racing surface included:

• Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes and Josh Herrin

• Yoshimura Suzuki’s Tommy Hayden and Blake Young

• Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram

• Vesrah Suzuki’s Cory West

• Celtic Racing’s P.J. Jacobsen

“The race track has done a fantastic job with the paving job and Dunlop has done a real good job showing up with tires that are safe,” said Hayes, the 2010 AMA Pro SuperBike champion. “We are all going around the race track having fun and have nothing but good things to say so far. I’m looking forward to coming back in January (to test) and then coming back and racing in March.”

Hayes was impressed with the smoothness of the track during the test, which was staged on the 2.95-mile road course.

“Quite honestly, it’s so smooth that it’s kind of changed the game plan,” Hayes said. “Honestly the track feels smaller to me. It feels like it’s about  80 percent of the size that it use to be because we get around there a little bit quicker, a little bit smoother and a little more time to relax. I’m sure for the guys riding in the Daytona 200 on the 600s, it’s going to be a whole lot better.”

“It’s nice and smooth,” said Herrin, the 2010 Daytona 200 champion. “It’s easy to see now. There’s no bumps and it’s going to be make the 200 miles a lot easier up on the banking not being so bumpy. The chest isn’t sore today. It’s usually sore from all the bumps but it’s been really good.”

For Herrin, the tire test was his first time coming back to Daytona since becoming one of the youngest champions of the prestigious Daytona 200 last March.

“I know it’s something a lot of people always want to achieve,” Herrin said of winning the Daytona 200. “For me to do it so young, it’s nice to get it out of the way. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. The all the press that we have gotten from it has been really great for the whole Graves Yamaha team. It’s been nice to be called the Daytona 200 champion for the past year and hopefully we can be called for that for the year to come.”

Hayden has been turning laps around Daytona since the late 1990s and was also pleased on the changes throughout the superspeedway portion of the track.

“It’s definitely different,” Hayden said. “It’s way smoother, the bike moves around a lot less and it has a lot more grip.”

Motorcycles will return to DIS next month on Jan. 17-18 for another Dunlop tire test. Daytona 200 Week will kick off with the Daytona Supercross By Honda on Saturday, March 5 and conclude the following weekend with the Daytona 200 on Saturday, March 12.

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

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