Feb 20 | 2012 Daytona 500 to be held on February 26, 2012
Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III announced today that the 54th Annual Daytona 500 will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2012.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III announced today that the 54th Annual Daytona 500 will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2012.
“The decision to kick-off to the NASCAR racing season one week later was made in close partnership with the sanctioning body, our broadcast partners including FOX, community partners and others within the industry,” said Chitwood. “This move shortens the racing season by one week, which is something the teams and competitors will surely enjoy, and it eliminates the off-weekend typically scheduled in March, which many fans and media partners have said created a drop in momentum in the early part of the racing season.
“We also know some of our great fans like to plan their visit to the ‘World Center of Racing’ well in advance so we are announcing the 2012 date much earlier in the season to minimize any inconveniences in planning their visit.”
The dates of Daytona International Speedway’s other racing events that comprise Speedweeks, in addition to the motorcycle events in March, will be determined in the near future.
Feb 19 | Stewart Captures Fourth Straight DRIVE4COPD
ny Stewart made a late charge with the aid of outside pole-sitter Landon Cassill to steal the win from the tandem of Clint Bowyer and Dale Earnhardt Jr. by .007 seconds in Saturday’s 53rd annual DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at historic Daytona International Speedway.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Tony Stewart made a late charge with the aid of outside pole-sitter Landon Cassill to steal the win from the tandem of Clint Bowyer and Dale Earnhardt Jr. by .007 seconds in Saturday’s 53rd annual DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at historic Daytona International Speedway.
Stewart, who led five times for 13 laps, has dominated the season-opening NASCAR Nationwide Series event – winning four straight and six of the last seven. He is now just one shy of Dale Earnhardt’s record seven wins and is tied with Bobby Allison for the second-most wins all-time at the “World Center of Racing” with 16. The late Dale Earnhardt tops the list with 34.
“This is momentum and a great way to lead into tomorrow,” said Stewart, who was 11th with six laps to go. “There’s nothing better than going back to the motorhome tonight knowing you just won the race and have a shot of doing it tomorrow.”
Stewart’s surge at the finish line gave the No. 4 Kevin Harvick, Inc. Chevrolet the closest series finish at DIS and the third-closest finish in series history.
“Tony just used me when he needed to and that’s awesome,” said Cassill, who is the series’ points leader but doesn’t have a ride in next week’s race. “He taught me something. We swapped with two (laps) to go and he knew where to take the car and I don’t know if I could have done that like he did. I’m just happy to be pushing him through it and maybe next time I’ll be the one leading him through.”
Bowyer finished second with Cassill, Earnhardt Jr., and Reed Sorenson rounding out the top five, respectively. Defending series champion Brad Keselowski kept his No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge near the front for most of the race until he was caught up in an incident on lap 106, breaking his record 102-straight races without a DNF.
Eight drivers swapped the lead a race-record tying 35 times and 12 drivers of the 43-car field completed all 120 laps around the 2.5-mile tri-oval. Danica Patrick led a lap in the No. 7 Chevrolet, making her the first woman to lead a NASCAR-sanctioned event at Daytona International Speedway.
Feb 19 | Michael Waltrip brings home emotional win in NextEra Energy Resources 250
Michael Waltrip made his way to Gatorade Victory Lane after a gripping and emotional green-white-checkered victory in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at historic Daytona International Speedway.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Michael Waltrip made his way to Gatorade Victory Lane after a gripping and emotional green-white-checkered victory in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at historic Daytona International Speedway.
The win marks Waltrip’s first in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and comes on the 10th anniversary of his 2001 Daytona 500 victory.
Waltrip and Elliott Sadler paired up early in the race and were able to make their way to the front. On the final lap, Waltrip pushed Sadler and himself to a large lead over the rest of the pack and then made his move to the outside entering the tri-oval to beat Sadler to the line by 0.061 seconds.
“I’m just so thankful,” said Waltrip who led only the final lap of the 103 laps. “I didn’t know (if I could win the race) until I saw the checkered (flag). (Sadler and I) made a deal and we raced for it just like we said we would do. He’s just a great competitor. I love racing with him.”
Sadler, who led twice for 31 laps, tried to shake Waltrip in Turn 3 of the last lap to no avail.
“When I went into Turn 3 I jammed the brakes trying to get him off my bumper,” Sadler said. “Coming off 4 he got me – made a really good move. That’s the way it is.”
Rounding out the top three was Clay Rogers who, despite some setbacks, leaves the race as the series point leader.
“We were (running out of gas),” Rogers said. “Our truck shut off hallway down the back straightaway and again in the middle of Turns 3 and 4 coming with one to go for that restart. We were trying to stretch mileage because I missed my pit stall.
“(Earlier) the gas can got stuck in the hole as we were leaving the pits, so we got a penalty. That penalty put us in front of Kyle (Busch). What seemed to be a terrible situation could have been the best thing that could have happened.”
Seven drivers of the 36-truck field exchanged the lead eight times and the race was slowed six times for 24 laps.
A 10-car incident on lap 98 collected pole winner Austin Dillon, Kyle Busch, defending series champion and two-time race winner Todd Bodine and James Buescher.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 130.025 mph. Time of Race: 1 Hrs, 58 Mins, 33 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.061 Seconds. Caution Flags: 6 for 24 laps. Lead Changes: 8 among 7 drivers. Lap Leaders: 0; J. Buescher 1-55; T. Peters 56-67; C. Rogers 68-69; R. Carmichael 70; E. Sadler(i) 71-84; J. Lofton 85; E. Sadler(i) 86-102; M. Waltrip(i) 103;. Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): J. Buescher 1 time for 55 laps; E. Sadler(i) 2 times for 31 laps; T. Peters 1 time for 12 laps; C. Rogers 1 time for 2 laps; M. Waltrip(i) 1 time for 1 lap; R. Carmichael 1 time for 1 lap; J. Lofton 1 time for 1 lap. Top 10 in Points: C. Rogers - 42; M. Paludo # - 40; J. Earnhardt # - 37; R. Carmichael - 37; J. Buescher - 37; M. Crafton - 34; T. Peters - 34; M. Papis - 32; D. Starr - 31; C. Whitt # - 30.
Feb 17 | Kurt Busch, Jeff Burton Victorious in Gatorade Duel at Daytona
The Gatorade Duel at Daytona once again provided exhilarating finishes as Kurt Busch and Jeff Burton claimed their positions on the second row for Sunday’s 53rd annual Daytona 500 with wins in their respective races today at historic Daytona International Speedway.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Gatorade Duel at Daytona once again provided exhilarating finishes as Kurt Busch and Jeff Burton claimed their positions on the second row for Sunday’s 53rd annual Daytona 500 with wins in their respective races today at historic Daytona International Speedway. Busch has proven perfect so far on the 2.5-mile tri-oval, capturing his second victory of Speedweeks in an exciting green-white-checkered finish in the first Gatorade Duel. Busch, who had not won at a restrictor-plate race before last Saturday’s Budweiser Shootout, was pushed around the track by Regan Smith who finished second. “This is sweet,” said Busch of his recent luck on the high banks of Daytona. “To start this strong with the double-deuce, I’m beside myself. It’s pretty special how Daytona can be repaved after 30 years and you see something completely different, yet it’s still the same old Daytona.” “Kurt and I worked good all day and we had good cars hooked up together,” Smith said. “He worked with me down here last week and taught me the switch. I hope we can find each other and do the same thing on Sunday. I’m real excited for Sunday. I’ve got that 22 car sitting right in front of me.” Burton captured his first-ever victory during Speedweeks with a thrilling finish, nipping Richard Childress Racing teammate Clint Bowyer at the finish line by .005 seconds – which ties Jimmie Johnson’s finish over Kevin Harvick in the first Gatorade Duel last year as the second-closest finish in the history of the Gatorade Duel since the inception of electronic timing and scoring. “It’s a shame two cars can’t fit in (victory lane),” said Burton who had paired with Bowyer through the race. “Clint and I decided we were just going to find each other early and it worked out well for both of us. I didn’t know who won, but it was a good race.” The first race saw nine drivers exchange the lead a record 20 times with 2007 Daytona 500 champion Kevin Harvick leading a race-high 20 of the extended 62 laps. That record didn’t last long though as eight drivers traded the lead 22 times with race-winner Burton keeping his No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet at the front for a race-high 17 laps. Of the 48 cars battling in today’s Duels, 13 were not guaranteed a spot in the richest and most prestigious race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Of those, two-time Daytona 500 champions Bill Elliott and Michael Waltrip, J.J. Yeley and Brian Keselowski were awarded transfer spots. Travis Kvapil, Joe Nemechek and Dave Blaney made the field based on their qualifying times and Terry Labonte received the past champion provisional. Casey Mears, Kevin Conway, 1990 Daytona 500 champion Derrike Cope, Todd Bodine and Michael McDowell did not qualify. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who captured the pole last Sunday during Daytona 500 Qualifying presented by Kroger, was forced to go to a back-up car after an incident during practice on Wednesday. He finished 13th. Jeff Gordon, who will be starting on the outside of the front row, led four times for 10 laps and finished 12th.