Jan 31 | Daytona 500 Series: Trevor Bayne Becomes Youngest Champion in History

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Trevor Bayne was not very well known prior to the start of Budweiser Speedweeks 2011 and the 53rd annual Daytona 500.

Trevor Bayne

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Trevor Bayne was not very well known prior to the start of Budweiser Speedweeks 2011 and the 53rd annual Daytona 500.

But when he left Daytona International Speedway, he was a household name and a Daytona 500 champion.

In the 2011 Daytona 500, rookie Trevor Bayne, who turned 20 the day before the race, became the youngest champion of the NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious event.

Behind the wheel of the famed No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford, Bayne edged Carl Edwards by .118 seconds on the second green-white-checkered restart to become the first driver to win on the newly repaved racing surface.

“I keep thinking I am dreaming; I really do,” said Bayne after the race. “It is unbelievable. Our first 500 – are you kidding me? To win our first one? Our second-ever Cup race?”

Entering the 2011 season, Bayne was a promising driving prospect under contract with Roush Fenway Racing to compete in the Nationwide Series. He was also running a limited Sprint Cup Series schedule with the legendary Wood Brothers.

In practice sessions and the Budweiser Duel qualifying race leading up the Daytona 500, Bayne showed plenty of poise on the daunting 31-degree high banks and quickly became a popular drafting partner.

With two laps remaining in the Daytona 500, a multi-car incident brought out the caution and set up the first green-white-checkered restart.

As the field approached the green flag, race-leader David Ragan moved into the bottom lane before crossing the start/finish line and was black-flagged. Another incident entering Turn 3 on that first lap set up a second green-white-checkered restart and Ragan’s penalty gave Bayne the lead which he would never relinquish.

Bayne’s name is now engraved on the coveted Harley J. Earl trophy alongside racing legends Tiny Lund, Cale Yarborough, AJ Foyt and David Pearson - the other four drivers who have won the Daytona 500 with the legendary team.

Bayne says he didn’t understand the scope of the accomplishment until he talked to the Wood Brothers.

“(The Wood Brothers) said it was as cool as Pearson’s win and that’s when it sinks in because I don’t put myself on that kind of stage with those guys,” Bayne said. “I don’t think of myself as doing the same thing that David Pearson did or AJ Foyt or Tiny Lund or Cale Yarborough.

“When they made that comment, that this was one of the coolest 500 wins, that’s when I though, ‘Wow, this is real.’ This is something that a lot of people strive for their whole career. This is one of the biggest races in motorsports and we were the ones in Victory Lane.’ ”

Tickets for the NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race – the 55th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24 – start at $65 and are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

For the second straight year, the Speedway is offering special youth pricing for the Daytona 500.  Children 12 and under will receive 50 percent off all backstretch grandstand seats for the Daytona 500 while supplies last. In addition, children 12 and under are free in the Sprint FANZONE throughout Budweiser Speedweeks.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter (@NASCAR) and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtags #NASCAR and #DAYTONA500 and #NASCARBattle.  In addition, fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, FacebookGoogle+ and Pinterest for all the latest news all season long.

Jan 30 | Green Earth Technologies’ G-OIL® named “Official Motor Oil”

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Daytona International Speedway today announced a new partnership with Green Earth Technologies, Inc. (GET) (OTC Bulletin Board: GETG), naming the Florida-based makers of G-OIL®, the first bio-based full synthetic oil used in NASCAR competition, as the “Official Motor Oil” of Daytona International Speedway and the Daytona 500.

G Oil

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.- Daytona International Speedway today announced a new partnership with Green Earth Technologies, Inc. (GET) (OTC Bulletin Board: GETG), naming the Florida-based makers of G-OIL®, the first bio-based full synthetic oil used in NASCAR competition, as the “Official Motor Oil” of Daytona International Speedway and the Daytona 500.

G-OIL made NASCAR history here at Daytona International Speedway in February 2012 when the TriStar Motorsports Toyota Camry driven by Tayler Malsam finished sixth in the DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series event. G-OIL is the world’s first and only bio-based fully synthetic motor oil to receive American Petroleum Institute certification.

“There is no better way to communicate that G-OIL meets the rigors of competition than by becoming the Official Motor Oil of the famed Daytona International Speedway and the Daytona 500,” said Jeffrey Loch, President and CMO of Green Earth Technologies. “NASCAR fans now know that G-OIL will deliver performance for them in their own cars.”

“G-OIL has been proven here in competition at Daytona International Speedway and we are pleased to welcome a Florida-based company that shares our commitment to performance and the environment to the Daytona International Speedway family of official sponsors,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III.

Independent tests report that 5W-30 G-OIL Bio-based Advanced Full Synthetic Green Motor Oil had a carbon footprint of about two thirds (67.3%) less than the conventional 5W-30 oil.

“Replacing just 1% of conventional motor oil with G-OIL would save around 137 million pounds of carbon dioxide each year, or the equivalent of planting 2.8 million trees,” said Loch.

G-OIL products will be used in all DIS official vehicles including fan shuttles, safety, maintenance, service and landscaping equipment.

About Green Earth Technologies

Green Earth Technologies, Inc. (G.E.T.) (OTC Bulletin Board: GETG) is a "totally green" clean tech company that combines domestically sourced renewable and reusable feed stocks with proprietary technologies molded around the four ideologies of being GREEN: biodegradable, recyclable, renewable and environment safe. Branded as G-OIL®, G-CLEAN® and G-MARINE®, G.E.T. produces a full line of "clean & green" American made environmentally preferred lubricants and cleaning products that allows concerned consumers who care about the environment and American energy independence to do their part without sacrificing value or performance. Save the Earth - Sacrifice Nothing®

About the Daytona 500

Historic Daytona International Speedway is home to the DAYTONA 500 – “The Great American Race” and NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race. The DAYTONA 500 is held annually every February and many of NASCAR’s greats have captured the coveted Harley J. Earl winner’s trophy such as Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Cale Yarborough, Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Bobby Allison, Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Jamie McMurray and most recently Matt Kenseth.

About Daytona International Speedway

Known as the “World Center of Racing,” Daytona International Speedway has activity nearly every day of the year hosting stock cars, sports cars, motorcycles and karts.  Daytona International Speedway has at least eight major race weekends a year with premier events such as the DAYTONA 500, the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Independence Day holiday weekend, the Rolex 24 At Daytona sports car event, the Daytona Supercross By Honda and the Daytona 200 motorcycle classic. In addition, Daytona International Speedway showcases daily track tours and is home to the winning Daytona 500 car.

Tickets for all Daytona International Speedway events including Budweiser Speedweeks 2013 and the 55th annual Daytona 500 are available online at http://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 and #DAYTONA500 and #NASCARBattle.  In addition, fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, FacebookGoogle+ and Pinterest for all the latest news all season long.

Jan 28 | Zac Brown Band to Perform at the Daytona 500

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Grammy-award winning musicians Zac Brown Band will perform the Daytona 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show leading up to the start of “The Great American Race” at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 24 (FOX, FOX Deportes, MRN Radio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio).

Zac Brown Band

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Grammy-award winning musicians Zac Brown Band will perform the Daytona 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show leading up to the start of “The Great American Race” at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 24 (FOX, FOX Deportes, MRN Radio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio).

Zac Brown Band will perform several songs prior to the start of the 55th annual Daytona 500 – the prestigious season-opening event to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the biggest stock car race in the world.

Zac Brown Band member and Southern Ground recording artist Clay Cook will sing the National Anthem. An accomplished multi-instrumentalist with Zac Brown Band, Cook has also recorded and toured with John Mayer, Sugarland, The Marshall Tucker Band, Shawn Mullins, and as a solo artist.

All race fans that purchase a Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access pass for the Daytona 500 will be able to enjoy Zac Brown Band’s Daytona 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show, as well as driver introductions, from the grass tri-oval area.

“Zac Brown Band will kick off pre-race activities for the 55th annual Daytona 500 with a rousing, heart-pumping concert that will be sure to get everyone on their feet and ready to race at Daytona International Speedway,” said Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. “The group is renowned for their energetic live performances and they are the perfect complement to ‘The Great American Race.’ ”

Zac Brown Band's latest album “Uncaged” (Atlantic/Southern Ground) has been nominated for Best Country Album at the 2013 Grammy Awards and debuted No. 1 on Billboard 200. The album follows the Georgia seven-piece's triple-platinum major label debut 'The Foundation' (Atlantic Records/Home Grown/Big Picture) and platinum #1 follow-up 'You Get What You Give' (Atlantic/Southern Ground), which together produced a historic series of nine consecutive #1 hit singles. Since 2009, the band has garnered over 70 GRAMMY, ACM, AMA, CMA and CMT award nominations.

Zac Brown Band joins a long list of star-studded names that have performed in the Daytona 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show including Lenny Kravitz, Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Bon Jovi, Five for Fighting and Kelly Clarkson.

In addition to his concert, a special ticket package designed around the Zac Brown Band has been created that includes a Daytona 500 grandstand ticket, Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access and VIP area access to Zac Brown Band’s performance. Packages start at $164. Fans that already have race tickets can add Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access along with VIP area access for $99. This package is SOLD OUT.

Fans can still purchase a Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race pass in addition to their admission ticket to view the Daytona 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show, driver introductions and pre-race ceremonies.

For more information on tickets for the 55th annual Daytona 500 and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access, race fans can go online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.

If you are unable to attend in person, be sure to tune in to the Daytona 500 on FOX and FOX Deportes on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. ET.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter (@NASCAR) and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtags #NASCAR and #DAYTONA500 and #NASCARBattle.  In addition, fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest for all the latest news all season long.

For more information on the Zac Brown Band, please visit http://www.zacbrownband.com/ or http://shorefire.com/clients/zacbrownband/ 

Jan 27 | Chip Ganassi Racing Wins Rolex 24

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Rolex 24

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – In another nail-biting twice-around-the-clock finish, Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 01 BMW Riley and co-drivers Scott Pruett, Juan Pablo Montoya, Memo Rojas and Charlie Kimball captured the 51st anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona on Sunday at Daytona International Speedway.

The victory was Pruett’s fifth overall in the Rolex 24 and puts him alongside sports car great Hurley Haywood on the top of the Rolex 24 all-time wins list. In addition, Pruett increases his all-time Rolex 24 class victory mark to 10.

Pruett received his winning Rolex watch from Haywood, who served as the race’s Grand Marshal.

“It’s just an incredible day all the way around,” Pruett said. “Winning with these guys and winning with Chip and then at the end of it, I’ve gotten to know Hurley real well over the years by racing with him and as a friend. Having him there at the end is pretty special.”

“I can’t say enough about Hurley Haywood being there in Victory Lane,” said Chip Ganassi. “We were at the Rolex dinner the other night, and when you look at Hurley’s career and the cars he’s driven and the co-drivers he’s been with, to have a name like Scott Pruett up there tying his record is quite a feat.”

For Rojas and Montoya, it was their third overall Rolex 24 victory while it was the first for IZOD IndyCar Series driver Charlie Kimball.

“We won the championship last year and the expectations are high,” Rojas said. “We set ourselves a high goal (in the offseason) and we were going to try to win the 24 hours first, and hopefully we can go for another championship.”

Owner Chip Ganassi is now batting 50 percent in the Rolex 24 by capturing his fifth Rolex 24 triumph in 10 attempts.

The No. 01 team was labeled as the car to beat entering this weekend’s Rolex 24.  The team lived up to those expectations by leading a race-high 421 of 709 laps to capture North America’s most prestigious sports car race.

In the final hours, Montoya was locked in a tight four-car battle with defending champion No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley, the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Chevrolet Corvette and the No. 9 Action Express Chevrolet Corvette.

Montoya slipped past AJ Allmendinger’s No. 60 entry in the final hour and completed a late gas-and-go pit stop to secure a 21.922-second victory.

The winning No. 01 car had an average speed of 105.22 mph during its 709 laps and 2,524 miles, nearly equivalent of a one-way trip from Daytona Beach, Fla., to downtown Los Angeles.

There were 77 car lead changes during the race, a new record for the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

As far as which victory will rank as his favorite, Pruett said that’s too difficult to answer.

“Every event that I’ve come here is significantly different,” Pruett said. “Sometimes you are faced with rain, sometimes you are faced with incredibly hot temperatures and sometimes you are faced with a car that is down from where you hoped it would be. They are all very special.”

GT:  Audi swept the top two spots in the GT class with the No. 24 Audi Sport Customer Racing/Alex Job Racing team (Filipe Albuquergue, Oliver Jarvis, Edoardo Mortara, Dion von Moltke) taking home the class victory by 1.476 seconds over the No. 52 Audi Sport Customer Racing/APR Motorsport Ltd.UK.

Albuquergue, competing in his first race at Daytona, was struggling to get the No. 24 car to the finish line as the car was having gear box problems.

“I started to have gear problems,” Albuquergue said. “I had to use the clutch, upshifting, downshifting, but I was just getting slow and took some risks.”

Another notable from the GT class: The eighth-place finish (16th overall) by AF-Waltrip Ferrari 458, which was co-driven by NASCAR drivers Michael Waltrip and Clint Bowyer as well as Rob Kauffman and Rui Aguas.

GX:  In the inaugural race for the newly formed GX class, three GX cars battled a few laps apart, but as the clock ticked down to zero, the No. 16 Napleton Racing Porsche Cayman (Jim Norman, Shane Lewis, David Donohue and Nelson Canache) took top honors.

Said Donohue: “For us, it was a race of preparation, and our guys did a superior job when this program was conceived in early November of building a car and making it reliable and keeping the stock parts where they needed to be and the proof is in the pudding.”

Bullet Racing in the No. 22 Porsche Cayman GX.R took second, while the No. 38 Ormond Beach-based BGB Motorsports Porsche Cayman GX.R team finished third.

Tickets for Budweiser Speedweeks 2013 and the 55th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24 are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans can follow sports cars on Twitter at GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series (@RolexSeries) and the Sunoco Rolex 24 At Daytona Challenge (@SUNOCO_UK). Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest for the latest news all season long.

Jan 25 | Roush Performance Team Cruises to Second-Straight Victory in BMW Performance 200 at Daytona

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GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge drivers battled to the finish line on the 3.56-mile road course during the BMW Performance 200 Friday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway. Sports car racing will continue at the track Saturday with the 51st anniversary of the challenging twice-around-the-clock Rolex 24 At Daytona, set for 3:30 p.m. ET.

Roush Wins BMW Performance 200

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge drivers battled to the finish line on the 3.56-mile road course during the BMW Performance 200 Friday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway.  Sports car racing will continue at the track Saturday with the 51st anniversary of the challenging twice-around-the-clock Rolex 24 At Daytona, set for 3:30 p.m. ET.

The BMW Performance 200:  Jack Roush Jr. and Billy Johnson drove the GS class No. 61 Roush Performance, Gary Yeomans Ford to the overall win in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge BMW Performance 200. 

Roush Jr. was pleased to earn the race win in front of his father, Jack Roush Sr: “It is a big deal given what he’s accomplished here (at Daytona International Speedway).”

The win marks the team’s second consecutive victory at Daytona and Johnson’s third at Daytona International Speedway.

“This was awesome. The Continental Series is always exciting,” Johnson said.

In the ST class, Vesko Kozarov and Lara Tallman from Skullcandy Team Nissan celebrated their first victory in the No. 33 Nissan Altima Coupe. Tallman is the first woman to win a Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race since Sarah Cattaneo in 2011 (July 23, 2011 at New Jersey Motorsports Park).

“I couldn’t be happier, of course.  This is the best place to win and the best place to start the season,” said Tallman.

The Ferrari Challenge:  Ferrari 458s participated  in their first of two Ferrari Challenge races on Friday.  The 16-lap dash was won by John Farano from Toronto, Ontario in his No. 85 Ferrari 458CS. 

Robert Herjavec from the ABC hit show “Shark Tank” was involved in an early-race incident on Lap 6 and didn’t finish the race. Farano will be on the pole for Saturday’s race.

The Ferrari Challenge will be followed by the weekend’s main event, the Rolex 24 At Daytona, which features 69 drivers from 21 countries outside the United States. The green flag will drop at 3:30 p.m. for the fabled endurance race.

The Rolex 24 Weekend At Daytona will also be bustling off-the-track entertainment including: the Boardwalk Experience Carnival, Sprint FANZONE festivities, the Taste of the 24, and the Chili Cook-Off.  For a complete list of the Rolex 24 Weekend At Daytona activities, please visit: http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/Tickets-Events/Events/2013/Rolex-24-At-Daytona/Event-Info.aspx.

Tickets for the Rolex 24 Weekend At Daytona as well as Budweiser Speedweeks At Daytona are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

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

Jan 25 | JOSH HAYES LOOKS TO CONTINUE DOMINANCE IN 2013

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Some basketball fans that know about Josh Hayes’s recent success and pure domination of road racing might refer to him as the LeBron James of the sport.

Josh Hayes

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 25, 2012) – Some basketball fans that know about Josh Hayes’s recent success and pure domination of road racing might refer to him as the LeBron James of the sport. Some American football fans might compare him to Adrian Peterson, arguably the most exciting player to watch in the National Football League and whose accolades shoot through the roof. However, the rear of Hayes’s Yamaha R1 has been the most consistent vantage point for his competitors in recent years. The three-time AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Champion will look to put up more big numbers in 2013 and continue his streak of sheer dominance on the biggest stage GEICO AMA Pro Road Racing has to offer, but it won’t come easy.

Though the three-time king is widely considered the clear-cut favorite to four-peat this upcoming season, the 2013 AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike grid is arguably the deepest it has been in quite some time and intends to give Hayes all he can handle. Riders such as Josh Herrin, who in just his first year of SuperBike competition claimed fourth in the overall standings in 2012, expects to be a major contender as he is one of the sport’s finest young talents with seemingly unlimited potential.

Danny Eslick and Roger Hayden are the beneficiaries of renewed partnerships between Michael Jordan Motorsports and Army National Guard and will be teammates in 2013. The two will be riding lightning quick Suzuki GSX-R1000's. Hayden alone accounted for seven podium visits including a late win at Homestead-Miami Speedway to close out the season and plans to carry over that momentum in 2013 beginning in Daytona. Eslick, the 2009 and 2011 AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike Champion made his AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike debut last season and put together a solid first year which included three podium appearances en route to an eighth place overall finish in the point standings.

Another rider looking to make noise in the SuperBike ranks in 2013 is Martin Cardenas. After shredding the competition in AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike with two championships in the last three years, the Columbian product will put his talent to the ultimate test this year as he returns to the elite AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike class and intends to give Hayes a sprint for his money riding a Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000.

Between Cardenas, Hayden and Eslick, the Suzuki charge will be a force in 2013. When you mix great riders with great machines, incredible things happen. The trio will be looking to knock off a giant in Josh Hayes this season and end his streak of three consecutive AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Championships.

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