Aug 30 | First Porsche To Win Rolex 24 At Daytona Joins 50th Anniversary Overall Champions Display

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The first Porsche to ever take the checkered flag in the Rolex 24 will join the display of past overall Rolex 24 At Daytona cars at the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 on Jan. 28-29, 2012.

Porsche 907

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The first Porsche to ever take the checkered flag in the Rolex 24 At Daytona will join the display of past overall Rolex 24 At Daytona championship cars to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the twice-around-the-clock challenge on January 28-29, 2012.

The No. 54 Porsche 907 – driven by Vic Elford of England, Hans Hermann, Jochen Neerpasch and Rolf Stommelen of Germany and Jo Siffert of Switzerland captured the 1968 Rolex 24 – the first of Porsche’s record 22 overall wins in the prestigious sports car race.

The No. 54 Porsche 907 joins the rapidly growing field of historic championship cars in the display:
• The No. 96 Arciero Racing Lotus-Climax 19B  from the inaugural Rolex 24 in 1962 (then known as the Daytona Continental)
• The No. 98 Eagle GTP car from the 1993 Rolex 24
• The Preston Henn Porsches from the 1983 and 1985 Rolex 24s

Additional cars will be announced in the coming months as they are secured to be part of this one-of-a-kind display.

Entering the 1968 Rolex 24, Porsche was still seeking its first win in the Rolex 24 and fielded five white, long-tailed Porsche 907s.

As the race neared its conclusion, the lead Porsche 907 driven by Siffert and Hermann was poised for victory but lost 22 minutes in the pits to repair a broken throttle linkage. The unscheduled pit stop cost the team 14 laps and any chance for victory.

The sister Porsche 907, No. 54, with Elford, Neerpasch and Stommelen (who was added to the driver lineup during the race when Neerpasch fell ill), was running flawlessly and toward the end of the race, Porsche racing director Huschke von Hanstein asked Elford if Siffert and Herrmann could drive a few laps in the car so they could be associated with the victory.

Elford obliged to make Porsche’s first victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona truly a team effort with five drivers on the official winner’s list for the No. 54 car.

The Rolex 24 At Daytona, the kick-off event to Speedweeks 2012 as well as the international motorsports calendar, showcases the world’s best drivers competing against each other lap after lap for 24 hours on Daytona International Speedway’s challenging and demanding 3.56-mile road course.

Tickets for the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona are on sale online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter (www.twitter.com/disupdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway).

Aug 25 | Statement from Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III on Danica Patrick’s NASCAR announcement

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Statement from Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III on Danica Patrick’s NASCAR announcement.

Danica Patrick

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Danica Patrick announced on Thursday that she will compete full time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with JR Motorsports in 2012 and run a limited Sprint Cup Series schedule with Stewart Haas Racing.

Statement from Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III on Danica Patrick’s NASCAR announcement:

“Daytona International Speedway provides an ideal backdrop for Danica Patrick to launch a full-time NASCAR career. We’re all anxious to see her take this next step in NASCAR by racing against the best drivers right here at the ‘World Center of Racing.’ ”

Tickets for the 54th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26 and other Speedweeks 2012 events can be purchased online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

New for the 2012 Daytona 500 is special youth pricing.  Children 12 and under will receive 50 percent off all Superstretch grandstand seats for the Daytona 500.  The special offer expires Feb. 1.

Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway’s social media channels on Twitter (www.twitter.com/disupdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway).

 

Aug 23 | 2012 Toyota Camry To Serve As Official Pace Car For The 54th Annual Daytona 500

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The 2012 Toyota Camry will serve as the official pace car for the 54th running of the Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 26

Toyota Camry

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The 2012 Toyota Camry will serve as the official pace car for the 54th running of the Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 26 – the first time that the manufacturer has served as the pace car for a NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway and the fourth different manufacturer to have paced a race at the “World Center of Racing” since 2010.

“NASCAR and Daytona International Speedway provide a uniquely American platform for manufacturers to display their technology, innovation and overall automotive excellence,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III.  “After nearly eight years of competing at NASCAR’s highest level, I’m pleased to have the 2012 Toyota Camry pace the DAYTONA 500.”

“We’re thrilled to be able to feature the new Camry in Daytona at the season’s biggest race,” said Ed Laukes, TMS corporate manager of motorsports marketing.  “We think the Daytona 500 is the perfect place to showcase the all-new Camry – which will go on sale this fall.  We knew when the opportunity arose to partner together with Daytona that it would be an extraordinary way to highlight our new Camry, as well as reinforce Toyota’s commitment to NASCAR and its fans.”

The Camry went on sale in 1983 and since then more than nine million Camrys have been sold in the U.S. Toyota began manufacturing the Camry in Georgetown, Ky., in 1986 and the vehicle is now also built in Lafayette, Ind.

The 2012 Camry debuts a bold, sophisticated new design with a more spacious interior, improved driving dynamics and an even quieter ride than before.  The new model features class leading safety, fuel economy and multi-media technology.

Tickets for the 54th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26 as well as other Speedweeks 2012 events can be purchased online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. New for the 2012 Daytona 500 is special youth pricing.  Children 12 and under will receive 50 percent off all Superstretch grandstand seats for the Daytona 500.  The special offer expires Feb. 1.

Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway’s social media channels on Twitter (www.twitter.com/disupdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway).

 

Aug 18 | Overall winning 1962, 1993 Rolex 24 At Daytona cars to join the 50th Anniversary overall champions display

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The campaign to display historic winning cars of the Rolex 24 At Daytona continues with two of the cars that propelled racing legend Dan Gurney secured for the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24.

1993 Rolex 24 winner

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The campaign to display historic winning cars of the Rolex 24 At Daytona continues with Daytona International Speedway officials securing two of the cars that propelled racing legend Dan Gurney to his place in the storied history of America’s most prestigious sports car race.
 
The Arciero Racing No. 96 Lotus-Climax 19B that captured the inaugural Rolex 24 in 1962 as well as the No. 98 EAGLE GTP car designed, built and campaigned by Gurney’s All American Racers team that captured the 1993 Rolex 24 At Daytona crown will be available for fans to see as part of the display of past overall winning Rolex 24 At Daytona cars at the 50th anniversary of the twice-around-the-clock challenge on Jan. 28-29.

They will join the previously announced Preston Henn Porsches that captured the 1983 and 1985 Rolex 24 At Daytona in the display.  Additional participating cars will be announced in the coming months as more champion cars are secured to be part of this one-of-a-kind display.

“When you think about the history of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, you can’t help but admire Dan Gurney and the achievements that he made in this grueling and challenging race,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “At the 50th Rolex 24 At Daytona, fans will be able to revisit that history with both of these race-winning machines, which will be an integral part of this unique display.”

Gurney captured the inaugural running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona back in 1962, which was a three-hour race known as the Daytona Continental.

The Californian held a one minute, 40 second lead in the final moments of the race when the engine blew. In order to win the race, Gurney realized he would have to cross the finish line after time expired. If he crossed the line before the three hours were up, he would have to run another lap, which he was unable to do.

Gurney waited on the high groove of the 18-degree banked tri-oval and when the watch struck three hours, he coasted the final five feet to take the checkered flag and the win.

“The flagman was perched just up above me, and I was looking at my watch and he was looking at his watch and I was wondering whether in fact we had the kind of lead we though we had,” Gurney said. “In the end, he waves the flag, and I turned left and coasted down the banking and that was the win.”

More than 30 years later, Gurney won the Rolex 24 At Daytona with his All American Racers team and the No. 98 EAGLE GTP car driven by P.J. Jones, Rocky Moran and Mark Dismore. The team regained the lead for the final time in the race with 96 minutes left and completed 698 laps, 2,484.88 miles averaging 103.503 mph.

In addition to the victory, the No. 98 Toyota remains in the record books today with Jones’ record-breaking pole-winning lap of 136.520 mph, which is the all-time fastest lap by a sports car at Daytona.

The Rolex 24 At Daytona, the kick-off event to Speedweeks 2012 as well as the international motorsports calendar, showcases the world’s best drivers competing against each other lap after lap for 24 hours on Daytona International Speedway’s challenging and demanding 3.56-mile road course.

Tickets for the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona are on sale online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter (www.twitter.com/disupdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway).

Aug 17 | Daytona International Speedway Receives FPRA Golden Image Award for Public Relations of the Historic 2010 Repave Project

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The public relations and marketing department of DIS was honored with a prestigious 2011 Golden Image Award from the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) for its 2010 Daytona Repave public relations program.

Tony Stewart

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The public relations and marketing department of Daytona International Speedway was honored with a prestigious 2011 Golden Image Award from the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) for its 2010 Daytona Repave public relations program.

The Golden Image Awards competition, which is conducted annually by the FPRA, recognizes PR professionals from around the state of Florida for programs and projects that represent the very best examples of innovation, planning and design in public relations. Daytona International Speedway earned the Golden Image Award in the Public Relations Programs category for Special Events.

“The Golden Image Awards have become a standard of public relations excellence in the state of Florida and we’re proud to accept this honor,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “The repaving of Daytona International Speedway was a historic and significant moment in the track’s history and successfully communicating updates about the project to the media and race fans was a collaborative effort by the entire team at Daytona International Speedway.”

Lane Construction used an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway between June and December of 2010. It was only the second time in the track’s history that it was repaved.

Among the special initiatives surrounding Daytona International Speedway’s repave public relations program were:

• Press conference announcement at Talladega Superspeedway with the top-two finishers of the 2010 Daytona 500 – Jamie McMurray and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

• Ceremonial ground breaking with the only brothers to win the Daytona 500 – Darrell and Michael Waltrip

• The burial of a time capsule by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Burton and Chitwood

• Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, the active all-time winning driver at Daytona, driving a completed portion of the new surface and painting the start/finish line

• David Ragan, driver of the No. 6 UPS Ford, completing the first lap around the track in November

• Two-day Goodyear tire test with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams and a press conference with drivers Bobby Labonte, Kurt Busch, Burton and McMurray.

• Weekly press releases on the project and track president media tours

• Long-format television features SPEEDMAKERS on SPEED Channel and Discovery Canada’s Daily Planet.

Tickets for Speedweeks 2012 and the 54th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 26 are available online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter (www.twitter.com/disupdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway).

 

Aug 03 | AMA Riders Participate In Two-Day Dunlop Tire Test

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As the AMA Pro Road Racing season comes to a conclusion in early September, a couple of teams made a visit to DIS on Tuesday and Wednesday for a two-day Dunlop tire test.

Tommy Hayden
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – As the AMA Pro Road Racing season comes to a conclusion in early September, a couple of teams made a visit to historic Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday for a two-day Dunlop tire test in advance of the 2012 racing season.

Among the riders in attendance included Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes and Josh Herrin, Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Blake Young and Tommy Hayden and Team M4 Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas, Chris Ulrich and Dane Westby. Both the 3.51-mile road course and the 2.9-mile road course were used during the test.

“We really didn’t get to test a whole lot with the (bikes),” Hayes said. “We’re primarily here to (test) the tires. We did a few laps, made a few setting changes early on, and from that point we had limited track time and a lot of tires to run through. We came here to do our work and earn our keep. I can’t think of a better job.”

Hayes is locked in a tight championship battle as the AMA Pro Road Racing concludes its season at New Jersey Motorsports Park on Sept. 2-4.
The defending AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike champion trails Young by five points entering the final race weekend.

“New Jersey has been a good track to me,” Hayes said. “I’ve won all four SuperBike races they have ever run there. If I can go there and play it smart, maybe I can still pull this off. It’s a really close championship. Blake is leading right now. I’ve done a lot of good work this year and will try to put together one more weekend.”

The historic 71st Daytona 200 AMA Pro Daytona SportBike motorcycle classic will once again serve as the finale for 2012 Daytona 200 Week on Saturday afternoon, March 17. The Daytona 200, America’s most historic motorcycle race, is a grueling and demanding 200-mile race staged on the twists and turns of Daytona International’s Speedway’s road course. Daytona 200 Week motorcycle racing will begin on Saturday night, March 10 with the prestigious Daytona Supercross – the only AMA Supercross event in Florida in 2012.

Tickets for the Daytona 200 and Daytona Supercross are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com

Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter (www.twitter.com/disupdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway)

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