| Coke Zero 400 Champion Aric Almirola Visits DAYTONA Rising

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Almirola, a native of nearby Tampa and who attended races at “The World Center of Racing” as a youth, toured the west end of the steel structure on Friday afternoon.

Prior to his victory in Sunday’ s Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola took a tour of the DAYTONA Rising construction site with Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. 

Almirola, a native of nearby Tampa and who attended races at “The World Center of Racing” as a youth, toured the west end of the steel structure on Friday afternoon. Almirola sat in the wider and more comfortable grandstand seats and even took a “selfie” that he later posted on Twitter @aric_almirola

Aric Almirola touring DAYTONA Rising

Two days later, Almirola captured his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at his home track driving the No. 43 U.S. Air Force Ford, a victory that almost assures Almirola of a berth in NASCAR’s season-ending “playoffs,” the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. 

“I grew up two hours away from here in Tampa and I grew up in those stands watching Daytona 500s and Firecracker 400s and grew up dreaming about what it would be like to win here,” Almirola said. “I can’t believe I just took the 43 car to victory lane here at Daytona. This is amazing.”  

 Aric Almirola touring DAYTONA Rising

Aric Almirola touring DAYTONA Rising

Aric Almirola touring DAYTONA Rising

About DAYTONA Rising

DAYTONA Rising is a $400 million reimagining of an American icon – Daytona International Speedway. Five expanded and redesigned entrances, or “injectors,” will lead fans to a series of escalators and elevators, transporting them to three different concourse levels. Each level features spacious social areas, or “neighborhoods,” along the nearly mile-long frontstretch. At the conclusion of the redevelopment, Daytona International Speedway will have approximately 101,000 permanent, wider and more comfortable seats, twice as many restrooms and three times as many concession stands. In addition, the Speedway will feature over 60 luxury suites with track side views and a completely revamped hospitality experience for corporate guests. 

DAYTONA Rising: Reimagining an American Icon, expected to create 6,300 jobs, $300 million in labor income and over $80 million in tax revenue, will be completed in time for the 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona and DAYTONA 500. DAYTONA Rising was recently cited as a key source of expected job growth in Volusia County as part of the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey. 

Toyota recently became the first Founding Partner of DAYTONA Rising, joining the Speedway to help provide the very best experience for fans through over 20,000 square feet of engagement area, branding rights for the Toyota Injector and one of the new neighborhoods. 

Barton Malow is serving as the design-builder for the project. In addition to DAYTONA Rising, Barton Malow has renovated the University of Michigan “Big House” and the Rose Bowl. 

ROSSETTI, an award-winning architectural design and planning firm for the past 40 years, which headed the design for Ford Field NFL Stadium, University of Notre Dame Compton Family Ice Arena and five Major League Soccer Stadiums, is leading the master planning of the DAYTONA Rising site. 

Race fans can follow the progress of the DAYTONA Rising project by visiting www.DAYTONARising.com and connecting with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.  Also, fans can see the construction project up close by taking one of the daily tours available at the Speedway on non-event days throughout the year. Visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/tours or the Speedway Ticket and Tours Building for more information. 

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

About Daytona International Speedway

Daytona International Speedway is the home of "The Great American Race" - the DAYTONA 500. Though the season-opening NASCAR Sprint Cup event garners most of the attention - as well as the largest audience in motorsports - the approximately 500-acre motorsports complex boasts the most diverse schedule of racing on the globe, thus earning it the title of "World Center of Racing." In addition to eight major weekends of racing activity, rarely a week goes by that the Speedway grounds are not used for events that include civic and social gatherings, car shows, photo shoots, production vehicle testing and police motorcycle training.

Jul 06 | Almirola, Richard Petty Motorsports Win Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca Cola

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The green flag waved in the morning. Mid-afternoon, Richard Petty Motorsports’ famed No. 43 was back in Daytona’s Gatorade Victory Lane thanks to Aric Almirola’s rain-shortened win in the 56th Annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola.

2014 Coke Zero 400 Winner Aric Almirola

It was throwback Sunday at Daytona International Speedway with an old-school starting time, and an old-school win.

The green flag waved in the morning. Mid-afternoon, Richard Petty Motorsports’ famed No. 43 was back in Daytona’s Gatorade Victory Lane thanks to Aric Almirola’s rain-shortened win in the 56th Annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. Thirty years ago – July 4, 1984 to be exact – Petty won this race, the last of his 200 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories.

“Thirty years ago, that’s history; today is the future,” Petty said.

For Almirola, it was his first Sprint Cup victory, coming at what he considers his “home” track. He is a Tampa, Fla., native and attended Daytona races regularly as a youth, dreaming of driving on the famed track. The win almost assures Almirola of a berth in NASCAR’s season-ending “playoffs,” the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

“Obviously, this is really special,” Almirola said. “I grew up just two hours away. I sat in these grandstands watching the DAYTONA 500, watching the 400. And all the history behind the 43 car, I’m really appreciative of that.”

Rain was a recurring theme this weekend. On Saturday night it caused the race to be postponed until Sunday at 11 a.m., which actually used to be the Coke Zero 400’s starting time until 1998, when the speedway installed lights around the 2.5-mile tri-oval. (This year marked only the second postponement in the race’s 56-year history. The other postponement occurred in ‘98; what would’ve been the inaugural race under the lights was postponed until October, due to wildfires which plagued the area that summer.)

The rains came again Sunday, bringing out the first caution period on Lap 7 and leading to a red flag that lasted 25 minutes and 43 seconds. Rain also brought out the red with 112 laps (of the scheduled 160 laps) in the books. After nearly an hour and an increasingly heavy downpour, NASCAR declared the race official, giving Almirola and Petty Motorsports the historic victory that was accented by a most-appropriate sponsorship for the No. 43 Ford on the holiday weekend, from the United States Air Force.

Brian Vickers (No. 55 Aaron’s/FSU National Championship Toyota) finished second, while Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet) rounded out the top three; Busch led the most laps on the day, 36.

Fourteen cars were finished long before the race was, because of two multi-car incidents. The first, which brought out a Lap 21 caution, involved 16 cars on the frontstretch and was high-profile to say the least; the list of drivers involved included five former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions – Brad Keselowski, Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson.

That seemed almost minimal compared to what transpired on Lap 98, when 26 cars tangled in the backstretch, bringing out another red flag that lasted almost five minutes.

Almirola avoided both melees, two strokes of luck that preceded a third. And while he admittedly welcomed the rainout, he didn’t consider it an absolute necessity to win Sunday. His Ford, after all, led the second-most laps on the day, 14, including the last seven.   

Said Almirola: “We don’t feel like this race was handed to us.” 

*       *       *       * 

Tickets to next year’s 57th running of the DAYTONA 500 and other Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 events are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.

Fans can follow the latest NASCAR news on Twitter, using the hashtag #NASCAR. Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest news throughout the 2014 season. 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.

| 56th Annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola Postponed; Start Time Moved to Sunday at 11 a.m.

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The 160-lap, 400-mile race is rescheduled for Sunday, July 6 at 11 a.m.

The 56th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway has been postponed.

The 160-lap, 400-mile race is rescheduled for Sunday, July 6 at 11 a.m. (TNT, MRN Radio, SiriusXM).

Tickets for Saturday’s race will be honored on Sunday. Tickets for the Coke Zero 400 will also be on sale at the gate or the Daytona International Speedway ticket office.

Grandstand gates will open at 9 a.m. and the parking lots will open at 7 a.m..

*           *           *           *

Fans can follow the latest NASCAR news on Twitter, using the hashtags #NASCAR and #COKEZERO400. Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest news throughout the 2014 season. 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.

Jul 05 | Kahne Wins Subway Firecracker 250 In Thrilling ‘Overtime’ Finish

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Kahne, driving the JR Motorsports No. 5 Hellman’s Chevrolet owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., nipped teammate Regan Smith’s No. 7 Goody’s Chevrolet by 0.021 seconds at the finish of the NASCAR Nationwide Series event.

Kasey Kahne Victory Lane

Red, white and blue gave way to green-white-checkered Friday night, as Daytona International Speedway celebrated the Fourth of July with Kasey Kahne winning a stirring shootout in the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola.

Kahne, driving the JR Motorsports No. 5 Hellman’s Chevrolet owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., nipped teammate Regan Smith’s No. 7 Goody’s Chevrolet by 0.021 seconds at the finish of the NASCAR Nationwide Series event. That was the third-closest NNS finish at Daytona and the eighth-closest in series history. Smith’s consolation: he took over the series points lead.

Rookie Ryan Sieg finished third in the No. 39 Pull-A-Part Used Auto Parts Chevrolet followed by another rookie, Ryan Reed, in the No. 16 ADA Drive to Stop Diabetes Ford. Finishing fifth was Kyle Larson in the No. 42 Target Ticket Chevrolet.

 The green-white-checkered finish was set up by a frontstretch incident involving four cars that chewed up Laps 99-101 under caution. The two-lap “overtime” sprint on the 2.5-mile tri-oval was the expected three-wide, nose-to-tail frenzy, with Kahne getting some late help from fellow Chevy driver Sieg.

“At the end we got a push from the 39 car and we had tons of momentum coming off Turn 4,” Kahne said. “We just had a fast car … everywhere I went [on the last lap] I just kept gaining speed.”

The race started after an approximate one-hour, 10-minute delay due to rain, with pole-sitter Dakoda Armstrong leading the 40-car field to the green flag under the lights. Armstrong, a series rookie, had put the No. 43 Fresh from Florida Ford on the pole earlier Friday with a lap of 192.123 mph, in a qualifying session that was ended prematurely by the late afternoon’s inclement weather.

Elliott Sadler, who started sixth in the No. 11 SportClips Toyota, dominated the first half of the event, leading 28 of 50 laps.

Friday night’s race served as the qualifier in the Nationwide Series’ “Dash 4 Cash” bonus program. The top-four finishers in the field who earned series championship points – Smith, Sieg, Reed and eighth-place finisher Jeremy Clements (Allsouthelectric.com/BRT Extrusions Chevrolet) – will carry the “Dash 4 Cash” designation in the first race of the bonus program at New Hampshire Motor Speedway next week. The “Dash 4 Cash” rewards the highest-finishing eligible driver in four designated races (New Hampshire on July 12, Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26 and Iowa Speedway on Aug. 2) with a $100,000 bonus above and beyond the race purse. Fans can also participate via a sweepstakes that culminates with one lucky fan winning $100,000. 

*           *           *           * 

Tickets to Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.

Fans can follow the latest NASCAR news on Twitter, using the hashtags #NASCAR and #COKEZERO400. Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest news throughout the 2014 season. 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.

Jul 04 | Rain-Shortened Qualifying Rewards David Gilliland With Pole For Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola

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Knockout qualifying came to Daytona International Speedway on Friday but this fight was stopped early, waved off due to rain. The scheduled three rounds of qualifying were reduced to one, with David Gilliland the beneficiary – and the pole winner for Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola.

NASCAR’s new multi-car qualifying format, introduced this season (but not used at DIS for February’s Daytona 500 due to “The Great American Race’s” unique qualifying approach), heightened the high-banks drama … until the rains came on the 2.5-mile tri-oval.

Qualifying began with a 25-minute Round One for all 44 cars entered; 24 cars then advanced to a 10-minute Round 2 which never took place. The format would’ve then advanced 12 cars to Round 3, a five-minute sprint for the pole.

Gilliland, driving the No. 38 Love’s Travel Stops Ford, led Round One with a fast lap of 199.322 mph.  And while he was considered somewhat lucky Friday, it should not be overlooked that when it comes to high-speed restrictor-plate qualifying, he’s good. This marks his second Daytona pole; his first came in the 2007 DAYTONA 500. He has one other NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole, at 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway in October 2006. Friday’s effort also earns him a spot in the 2015 Sprint Unlimited At Daytona.

Gilliland acknowledged having extra confidence at the biggest tracks on the schedule, saying the Coke Zero 400 is “something we circled on the calendar at the start of the year. And restrictor plate racing … it’s the great equalizer and we feel like we have a 100-percent chance, as good as anybody, of winning Saturday night.”

Reed Sorensen qualified second (199.221) in the No. 36 Golden Corral Chevrolet. Qualifying third was Landon Cassill (199.194) in the No. 40 Newtown Building Supplies Chevrolet. The 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Bobby Labonte (198.970) will start fourth in the No. 33 Thunder Coal Chevrolet, while reigning and six-time series champion Jimmie Johnson (198.790) will start fifth in the No. 48 Love’s Patriotic Chevrolet.

Tickets to the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.

Fans can follow the latest NASCAR news on Twitter, using the hashtags #NASCAR and #COKEZERO400. Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest news throughout the 2014 season. 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.

Jul 02 | USG Becomes “We Built Daytona” Partner, Joins Others as Unique Marketing Platform Expands

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The “We Built Daytona” platform is designed specifically for partners involved in the construction of DAYTONA Rising and enables them to showcase their involvement through a marketing presence (once their role in the project begins). Financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

We Built Daytona

Daytona International Speedway (DIS) today announced USG Corporation (NYSE:USG), a leading building products company, has become a “We Built Daytona” partner, joining three other companies in the expanding marketing platform as part of the unprecedented $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. 

USG will help put the finishing touches on the interior of the new DIS frontstretch and their USG Securock® Glass-Mat Sheathing will be prominent throughout the exterior of the project. Approximately 30 acres of USG’s drywall and about 140,000 square feet of USG Ceilings® panels will be installed in the new interior. 

“USG is honored to be a partner in this very exciting, high profile project that is reinventing DIS just as USG is reinventing itself with a new brand, new energy, and new focus on innovation,” said Greg Salah, USG Senior Vice President of Sales and National Accounts. “The spirit that prevails at DIS echoes that of USG, heralded by characteristics like teamwork, competition, high performance, comebacks, and winning at the highest level.”

The “We Built Daytona” platform is designed specifically for partners involved in the construction of DAYTONA Rising and enables them to showcase their involvement through a marketing presence (once their role in the project begins). Financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed.  

In addition to USG, the new partners include: 

•  Sherwin-Williams, an industry leader in the development of technologically advanced paint and coatings, will supply paint materials for the new DIS frontstretch
• 

Delta T Corporation (Big Ass Fans), a ceiling fan design and engineering company, will install more than 40 fans throughout the 11 “neighborhoods” along the nearly mile-long frontstretch. The high volume, low velocity cooling fans will keep attendees comfortable through the use of high volume air movement

• 

ROSSETTI, an award-winning architectural design and planning firm for the past 40 years, is leading the master planning of the DAYTONA Rising site

The above companies join Kingspan, a market leader in sustainable building product technology, who became the first “We Built Daytona” partners in February.  Kingspan’s North American headquarters are located in DeLand, Florida.  

“We’re excited to welcome these partners as part of our ‘We Built Daytona’ platform,” said DIS President Joie Chitwood III. “As leaders in their respected industries, we are proud to have the best products, and the best manufacturers and companies, featured throughout what will be the first motorsports stadium anywhere in the world.” 

Following construction, partners can feature products in-use at the new DIS, providing them with a real-time showroom. Additionally, partners will receive special recognition as “We Built Daytona” partners within the facility, along with brand exposure opportunities via digital display boards and corporate hospitality opportunities for entertaining guests during major events.

 

About DAYTONA Rising

DAYTONA Rising is a $400 million reimagining of an American icon – Daytona International Speedway. Five expanded and redesigned entrances, or “injectors,” will lead fans to a series of escalators and elevators, transporting them to three different concourse levels. Each level features spacious social areas, or “neighborhoods,” along the nearly mile-long frontstretch. At the conclusion of the redevelopment, Daytona International Speedway will have approximately 101,000 permanent, wider and more comfortable seats, twice as many restrooms and three times as many concession stands. In addition, the Speedway will feature over 60 luxury suites with track side views and a completely revamped hospitality experience for corporate guests. DAYTONA Rising: Reimagining an American Icon, expected to create 6,300 jobs, $300 million in labor income and over $80 million in tax revenue, will be completed in time for the 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona and DAYTONA 500. DAYTONA Rising was recently cited as a key source of expected job growth in Volusia County as part of the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey. 

Toyota recently became the first Founding Partner of DAYTONA Rising, joining the Speedway to help provide the very best experience for fans through over 20,000 square feet of engagement area, branding rights for the Toyota Injector and one of the new neighborhoods. 

Barton Malow is serving as the design-builder for the project. In addition to DAYTONA Rising, Barton Malow has renovated the University of Michigan “Big House” and the Rose Bowl. 

ROSSETTI, an award-winning architectural design and planning firm for the past 40 years, which headed the design for Ford Field NFL Stadium, University of Notre Dame Compton Family Ice Arena and five Major League Soccer Stadiums, is leading the master planning of the DAYTONA Rising site.

Race fans can follow the progress of the DAYTONA Rising project by visiting www.DAYTONARising.com and connecting with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.  Also, fans can see the construction project up close by taking one of the daily tours available at the Speedway on non-event days throughout the year. Visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/tours or the Speedway Ticket and Tours Building for more information. 

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

 

About Daytona International Speedway

Daytona International Speedway is the home of "The Great American Race" - the DAYTONA 500. Though the season-opening NASCAR Sprint Cup event garners most of the attention - as well as the largest audience in motorsports - the approximately 500-acre motorsports complex boasts the most diverse schedule of racing on the globe, thus earning it the title of "World Center of Racing." In addition to eight major weekends of racing activity, rarely a week goes by that the Speedway grounds are not used for events that include civic and social gatherings, car shows, photo shoots, production vehicle testing and police motorcycle training.

 

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