Jun 07 | DIS To Honor Four Medal of Honor Recipients During Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola
As the nation celebrates the Independence Day holiday weekend, Daytona International Speedway and tens of thousands of race fans in attendance for the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola will pay tribute to four Medal of Honor recipients.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – As the nation celebrates the Independence Day holiday weekend, Daytona International Speedway and tens of thousands of race fans in attendance for the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola will pay tribute to four Medal of Honor recipients.
It’s the third straight year that Daytona International Speedway will honor Medal of Honor recipients, a program that was first started by Bill France Sr. back in the 1970s.
The Medal of Honor recipients, all from the Vietnam War, to be honored are:
• Jon Cavaiani, retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant • Harold Fritz, retired U.S. Army Captain • Don Jenkins, retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant • Leo Thorsness, retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel
All four Medal of Honor recipients will be recognized during a special luncheon on Friday at the Bill France Room, will attend driver’s meetings and participate in pre-race ceremonies for both the Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night, July 1 and the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night, July 2.
During Saturday’s 53rd annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, a special salute will take place for the four Medal of Honor recipients during pre-race ceremonies.
In addition, the four Medal of Honor recipients will take part in an autograph session with race fans in the Sprint FANZONE on Saturday prior to the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola.
“We’re proud to continue the tradition of honoring Medal of Honor recipients at this year’s Coke Zero 400,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “These four individuals clearly distinguished themselves with their courageous actions and we’re looking forward to paying tribute to their heroic service.”
The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It’s bestowed on a member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself or herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States.
Jun 03 | 2012 Daytona 200 scheduled for Saturday, March 17
The historic 71st Daytona 200 AMA Pro Racing Daytona SportBike motorcycle classic will once again serve as the finale for 2012 Daytona 200 Week on Saturday afternoon, March 17.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The historic 71st Daytona 200 AMA Pro Racing Daytona SportBike motorcycle classic will once again serve as the finale for 2012 Daytona 200 Week on Saturday afternoon, March 17, Daytona International Speedway officials announced today.
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 3.51-mile road course .
Motorcycle legends that have captured the Daytona 200 include Scott Russell, Miguel Duhamel, Kenny Roberts, Dick Klamforth, Brad Andres, Roger Reiman, Mat Mladin and most recently riders Ben Bostrom, Josh Herrin and Jason DiSalvo.
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.
Top riders such as two-time defending Daytona Supercross champion Ryan Villopoto, James Stewart, Chad Reed, Ryan Dungey and Trey Canard will battle for victory on the tough and challenging course, which will be designed for the fifth straight year by five-time Daytona Supercross winner Ricky Carmichael.
The rest of the Daytona 200 Week schedule including the AMA Pro Flat Track dates and remaining dates for AMA Pro Racing road racing schedule will be announced at a later date.
Jun 02 | Preston Henn Porsches to be part of the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona overall champions display
DIS officials announced that the first two cars that will be part of a display of past overall winning Rolex 24 At Daytona cars will be a pair of Preston Henn Porsches.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – When A.J. Foyt returns to Daytona International Speedway to serve as Grand Marshal for the historic 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29, he will be reunited with the top Porsches he drove to victory in the event.
Daytona International Speedway officials announced that the first two cars that will be part of a display of past overall winning Rolex 24 At Daytona cars at the 2012 twice-around-the-clock challenge will be a pair of Preston Henn Porsches that Foyt shared with Bob Wollek, Claude Ballot-Lana and Henn in 1983, and with Wollek, Al Unser and Thierry Boutsen in 1985.
“Being able to look at this historic gathering of past Rolex 24 winners and remember the stories behind their victories is going to be a special opportunity for race fans attending next year’s historic 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “We look forward to more announcements in upcoming months about additional winning cars that will be part of this one-of-kind display.”
The stories surrounding both Rolex 24 victories for the Preston Henn Porsches are remarkable.
Foyt made his third appearance in the Rolex 24 in 1983, co-driving an Aston-Martin Nimrod prototype as part of a driver lineup that included reigning NASCAR champion Darrell Waltrip. Prior to the race, Foyt and Henn discussed the idea of driving a Porsche together someday.
When Foyt’s Aston Martin broke down near the halfway mark, Henn found Foyt and offered him the opportunity to drive his car -- the No. 6 Swap Shop Porsche 935.
“Just prior to getting in, Foyt asked me about the car,” crew chief Kevin Jeannette said. “I told him it drove just like a Porsche, only faster. A.J. asked me about the shift pattern and I told him it was an H pattern, just like a Volkswagen. He looked at me and said, ‘You think I’ve driven a Volkswagen before?’ We had a laugh and I told him the pattern.”
Wollek came in about 5 a.m. to turn the car over after a very long stint. After the car left the pits, he noticed both of his co-drivers were standing in the pits and asked crew chief Jeannette who was in the car.
Said Jeannette: “I told him A.J. Foyt was in the car and he said ‘Who the hell is A.J. Foyt?’ with obvious concern about the inexperienced Porsche driver and the lead Bob had put the car in.”
The Texan increased the team’s lead from one to two laps, and later drove the fastest lap of the race – 126 mph, in the rain – during a four hour, 10 minute shift. Wollek, by now impressed with Foyt’s ability in the unfamiliar car, finished up to win by seven laps.
Following the race, Foyt returned to his ailing father’s side and presented him with the winning trophy.
In the 1984 Rolex 24, Foyt, Wollek and Derek Bell drove Henn’s 935 to finish second but the following year, Henn upgraded to a Porsche 962 with Valvoline sponsorship and drivers Foyt, Wollek and Al Unser. With both drivers fighting the flu, Foyt and Wollek came from behind in the final two hours to win over the Lowenbrau Porsche 962 of Al Holbert, Bell and Al Unser Jr. Foyt returned to run the Rolex 24 the following three years in Porsche 962s. He finished in the top six all three times, including placing second in Henn’s entry in 1986.
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.
Jun 01 | Area Hotels Offer Discounted Rates with No Minimum Night Stays for Coke Zero 400 Weekend
Daytona International Speedway today launched a new promotion with area hotels to provide race fans with the best deals possible when they attend the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola July 1 and 2.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Daytona International Speedway today launched a new promotion with area hotels to provide race fans with the best deals possible when they attend the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola July 1 and 2.
During the month of June, fans who book their stays at participating hotels will receive at least a 10 percent discount off regular rates. Also, these hotels will not require a minimum night stay to participate in the promotion – the discounted rates are good for one night or multiple nights.
Participating hotels include the Bahama House and Best Western Aku Tiki in Daytona Beach, the Hampton Inn and Clarion Hotel in Deland (approximately 20 miles from the speedway), and the Marriott and Westin hotels in Lake Mary (approximately 35 miles from the speedway). A complete list of participating hotels and special promotional codes can be found on www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/hotels.
“Our fans continue to cite high cost as a major obstacle for attending a race,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. “Our hotel partners in this promotion are providing the best possible deals so our fans can continue to enjoy the exciting racing in the mid-summer classic at Daytona. I am especially pleased at their removal of minimum night stays. This year’s race promises to be a thriller, kicking off with a 60-minute pre-race concert by Grammy Award-winning Republic Nashville recording artist Martina McBride and ending with the largest fireworks display in the Southeast.”