Feb 13 | ARCA’s Thompson Becomes Oldest Pole Winner in DIS History

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Kurt Busch Tops 200 mph in Sprint Unlimited Practice; Menard Gets Pole Via Random Draw

Day 1 ARCA

What’s in a number?

For ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards veteran driver Mark Thompson, a history-making pole position. 

The number in question – 63 – is Thompson’s age, which made him the oldest pole winner in a major race at Daytona International Speedway, following Friday’s qualifying for the Lucas Oil 200 presented by AutoZone, set for today at DIS. Thompson won his first ARCA pole award in 17 years, with a fast lap of 187.336 mph during group qualifying in the 2.5-mile tri-oval.  

“Winning the pole at Daytona is a big deal,” said Thompson, driver of the No. 11 Phoenix Air-Ken Schrader Racing Toyota. “It’s special. There’s probably not another place I’d rather win the pole than here.” 

Thompson won three previous Menards Pole Awards in ARCA competition, all at Michigan International Speedway – two in 1996 and one in 1997.

Saturday’s race will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 4 p.m.

 

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Starting position for Saturday night’s (8:15 p.m. ET; FOX) Sprint Unlimited – the first 2015 event for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams – was determined by a random draw Friday by race fans and team’s respective crew chiefs. Paul Menard got the pole and will lead the 25-car field to the green flag in the No. 27 Peak/Menards Chevrolet. The Sprint Unlimited includes 2014 pole winners, former Sprint Unlimited winners and DAYTONA 500 pole winners who competed full time in 2014, and Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers from 2014.           

Friday night, two Sprint Unlimited practice sessions were held. The 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, Kurt Busch, led the first session (200.749 mph); four-time series champion Jeff Gordon, starting his final season, led the second session (196.764). 

Tickets for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 and all Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 events are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com. 

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtag #DAYTONA500 and #SPEEDWEEKS. Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. Fans can 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.

Feb 13 | Phillip Phillips to Sing National Anthem for 57th Annual DAYTONA 500

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“We’re excited to have Phillip Phillips be a part of the pre-race ceremonies and sing the National Anthem prior to the 57th annual DAYTONA 500,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said.

Phillips

Singer/songwriter Phillip Phillips, will sing the National Anthem prior to the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 22 at 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX.  “The Great American Race” will also broadcast live on FOX Deportes, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio with additional coverage on NASCAR.com.

“We’re excited to have Phillip Phillips be a part of the pre-race ceremonies and sing the National Anthem prior to the 57th annual DAYTONA 500,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “Phillip is a talented singer, guitarist and songwriter and we are looking forward to his rendition of the National Anthem in front of thousands of race fans and millions more watching on FOX.”

Platinum recording artist Phillips released his sophomore album Behind The Light last May. The album includes all songs that were either written or co-written by Phillips including lead single “Raging Fire” which debuted in the Billboard Hot 100.  Behind The Light is the follow-up to 2012’s The World from the Side of the Moon, a platinum plus-selling album that debuted at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 and featured the 5x platinum smash hit “Home.” Throughout the last year, the 24-year-old Georgia native has toured the U.S. and the world, joining Matchbox Twenty and John Mayer on tour and sharing a stage with Bruce Springsteen at the 2013 Rock in Rio festival.  The American Idol season 11 winner spent the summer on a co-headline tour with O.A.R. before setting out on a national headline tour this past fall. 

To learn more about Phillip Phillips, visit www.phillipphillpps.com and follow him on Twitter (@phillips).

Tickets for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 and all Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 events are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtag #DAYTONA500 and #SPEEDWEEKS. Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. Fans can 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.

Feb 13 | Daytona Rewards Stations to Offer Special Prizes For Sprint Unlimited, DAYTONA 500

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Daytona Rewards Stations to Offer Special Prizes For Sprint Unlimited, DAYTONA 500

DAYTONA Rewards Station

During Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited and the 57th annual DAYTONA 500, race fans visiting the “World Center of Racing” will be able to win numerous special prizes through the Daytona Rewards Stations. 

The Daytona Rewards Stations will be located inside the Sprint FANZONE as well as the Midway located outside Turn 4. Fan can pre-register now at http://www.disrewards.com/  or register onsite at either Daytona Rewards Station.  

Among the prizes that will be available include:

  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage tours
  • Photo with the Sprint Unlimited champion
  • Ride in the Grand Marshal for the Sprint Unlimited
  • Present the Sprint Unlimited champion’s trophy in Gatorade Victory Lane
  • Ride along for driver’s introductions for the Sprint Unlimited
  • Access to the driver’s meeting
  • Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola tickets
  • Sprint FANZONE passes
  • Sunglasses, koozies and much more

 

When a race fans arrives at either Daytona Rewards Station, they will meet a brand ambassador for a credential, which will be scanned and display an instant prizing message. Fans can scan their credential at both Daytona Rewards Stations for a chance to win a prize. 

Tickets for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 and all Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 events are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtag #DAYTONA500 and #SPEEDWEEKS. 

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

Feb 09 | Actor Vince Vaughn Named Grand Marshal for 57th Annual DAYTONA 500

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Star of 20th Century Fox’s Upcoming ‘Unfinished Business’ to Deliver Starting Command for the DAYTONA 500

Vince Vaughn

Vince Vaughn, the star of 20th Century Fox’s and New Regency’s upcoming comedy “Unfinished Business,” in theaters everywhere March 6, will serve as Grand Marshal for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday, Feb. 22 at 1 p.m. ET on FOX from Daytona International Speedway. “The Great American Race” will also broadcast live on FOX Deportes, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio with additional coverage on NASCAR.com.

As Grand Marshal, Vaughn will announce the famous four words in motorsports, “Drivers, start your engines.”  Along with the starting command, Vaughn will participate in pre-race ceremonies and ride in one of the Grand Marshal cars during the pace laps prior to the green flag of the 200-lap, 500-mile race.

“We are thrilled to welcome Vince Vaughn as Grand Marshal for the DAYTONA 500,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said.  “We look forward to hearing Vince Vaughn’s command as we kick off the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season in front of hundreds of thousands of fans and millions more watching on FOX.”

“Last year was an exciting one for NASCAR and I can’t wait to help kick off the 2015 season as the DAYTONA 500 Grand Marshal,” Vaughn said. “The DAYTONA 500 is one of the biggest events in all of sports and I feel honored to be able to be a part of it in it in such a major way.”

In “Unfinished Business,” a hard-working small business owner (portrayed by Vaughn) and his two associates (Tom Wilkinson, Dave Franco) travel to Europe to close the most important deal of their lives.  But what began as a routine business trip goes off the rails in every imaginable – and unimaginable – way, including unplanned stops at a massive sex fetish event and a global economic summit.  The film is directed by Ken Scott, written by Steven Conrad, and produced by Arnon Milchan, Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch, and Anthony Katagas.   

For more information on “Unfinished Business,” visit www.UnfinishedBusinesstheMovie.com or check out the movie through its social media channels on Facebook, Twitter #UnfinishedBusiness, YouTube and Vine.

Vaughn has starred in several hit comedies including “The Wedding Crashers,” “The Break-Up” and “Couples Retreat.”

Vaughn joins a long list of Hollywood actors who have previously served as DAYTONA 500 Grand Marshals including James Franco, Chris Evans, John Travolta, Ben Affleck, Nicolas Cage, and Matthew McConaughey.

Tickets for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 and all Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 events are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtag #DAYTONA500 and #SPEEDWEEKS. Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. Fans can 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.

Feb 06 | DAYTONA Rising February Project Update: Daytona International Speedway Prepares To Preview New Amenities

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“We look forward to providing fans with an opportunity to see what’s ahead,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. “The new amenities will elevate the overall experience and help to redefine motorsports events.”

DAYTONA Rising

Following a successful 2015 Rolex 24 At Daytona, Daytona International Speedway is now finalizing its race-ready preparations for Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 and the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 22. Fans will have an opportunity to preview some of the new amenities, including 40,000 new seats, two of the five injectors/entrances, new concessions, several of the neighborhoods or social areas and the new vertical transportation. 

“We look forward to providing fans with an opportunity to see what’s ahead,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. “The new amenities will elevate the overall experience and help to redefine motorsports events.” 

Below is a recap of key race-ready activities since the last update in January:

  • Installed temporary trailers for ushers and staff
  • Set up more than 4,000 feet of construction fencing
  • Built temporary Americrown kitchens
  • Installed temporary lighting 

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. Construction of DAYTONA Rising was recently cited as a primary source of expected growth in the Deltona, Fla., MSA as part of ManpowerGroup’s Employment Outlook Survey. 

Toyota and Florida Hospital are Founding Partners of DAYTONA Rising, joining the Speedway to help provide the very best experience for fans through more than 40,000 total square feet of engagement areas, branding rights for two of the injectors/entrances and two 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.

Feb 06 | FOX SPORTS 1 REMEMBERS TRANSFORMATIVE 1979 DAYTONA 500 WITH TWO SPECIALS AIRING FRIDAY, FEB. 13

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A PERFECT STORM & 1979 DAYTONA 500 Debut in 80-Hour Daytona Speedweeks Programming Block

The Fight

“And there’s a fight … between Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison! The tempers overflowing; they’re angry; they know they have lost, and what a bitter defeat.”

That bitter defeat in the Daytona 500, as called live by the legendary Ken Squier on CBS, Feb. 18, 1979, turned out to be a very lucky day for NASCAR. The ensuing fistfight between Cale Yarborough, Donnie Allison and Bobby Allison following Yarborough and Donnie Allison’s lastlap crash transfixed a national audience held captive in living rooms during a major blizzard on the East Coast. The race, marking the first time a NASCAR event was broadcast live flag-toflag, scored what was then a record television audience and plastered NASCAR across front pages nationwide the following morning. NASCAR, long a regional sport, had been transformed to a national sport virtually overnight.

This month, on Friday the 13th, considered by some to be an unlucky day, NASCAR’s very good fortune is remembered on FOX Sports 1 in a pair of newly produced specials, A PERFECT STORM and 1979 DAYTONA 500. In A PERFECT STORM, a one-hour documentary premiering Friday, Feb. 13 at 7:30 PM ET, FOX Sports 1 turns back the clock to the 1979 DAYTONA 500, incorporating a compilation of the race broadcast, recently uncovered archive footage and first-person accounts from broadcasters, competitors, newsmakers and the EMT who broke up the fight.

“You only get one chance to be first,” said NASCAR on FOX play-by-play announcer Mike Joy, who was the Turn 1 & 2 announcer for Motor Racing Network (MRN) that day. “In its first live telecast of the Daytona 500, CBS got a good race, a thrilling, crashing finish and a post-race brawl in front of a huge, mostly snowbound TV audience. NASCAR couldn't have asked for anything more. The buzz started right away and did not stop.”

Interviews featured in the special include: combatants Yarborough, Bobby Allison and Donnie Allison; Richard Petty (race winner); Darrell Waltrip (runner-up); Jim Hedlund (EMT who broke up the fight); Squier (CBS announcer); David Hobbs, (CBS analyst); Joy (MRN turn announcer); Jack Arute (MRN producer); Jerry Garrett (Associated Press journalist covering the race); Joe Menzer (author of The Great American Gamble); Kyle Petty (Richard Petty’s son and crew member); President Jimmy Carter; and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (watched father compete).

As for relaying that historical moment to a national TV audience, Joy says few could have done it better than Squier, whose famous words, “And there’s a fight,” are among motor sports’ most renowned ever, and helped cement NASCAR in the mainstream. “Ken is one of broadcast sports' greatest wordsmiths ever,” Joy added. “I'd put his call of the finish and the fight right alongside any call in any sport. Without being too wordy, he made these drivers into larger-than-life heroes. As he often said, they were ‘common men doing uncommon deeds.’ Ken gave the event and its aftermath such a tone of great importance and excitement. His call left no doubt that this was the biggest thing ever to happen to stock car racing, and that stock car racing had, that day, become a very big thing.”

In addition, a second special produced by NASCAR Productions, entitled 1979 DAYTONA 500 and hosted by Earnhardt Jr., premieres immediately following A PERFECT STORM at 8:30 PM ET, featuring a 30-minute, cut-down version of the iconic race supplemented with interesting “pop-up trivia” facts. For a preview of A PERFECT STORM, please visit http://foxs.pt/1yHKTtR The pair of specials is part of FOX Sports’ 80 hours of Daytona Speedweeks programming from Daytona International Speedway, which commences Thursday, Feb. 12 at 9:00 AM ET with live coverage of DAYTONA 500 MEDIA DAY on FOX Sports 1, and culminates with FOX’s live broadcast of the DAYTONA 500 on Sunday, Feb. 22 at 12:00 PM ET.
For the latest NASCAR news and information, please visit www.FOXSports.com and follow @NASCARonFOX on Twitter.

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