Feb 24 | Budweiser to Sponsor Speedweeks and Duel At Daytona Beginning in 2013


Budweiser and Daytona International Speedway today announced the beer brand will take on an enhanced role in NASCAR’s season opening festivities.

Duel Logo

ST. LOUIS AND DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. – Budweiser and Daytona International Speedway today announced the beer brand will take on an enhanced role in NASCAR’s season opening festivities.

Beginning with the 2013 season, Budweiser will become the official title sponsor of Speedweeks –the ten-day stretch of stock-car races from the Shootout to the Daytona 500®.  Budweiser also will secure entitlement of the Budweiser Duel at Daytona, two 150-mile qualifying races that determine the starting lineup for the Daytona 500.  These enhancements to Budweiser’s partnership with DIS will replace the brand’s existing entitlement of the season-opening, non-points Shootout.

“Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway marks the official start of the NASCAR season, and the opportunity to expand our presence throughout the ten-day event puts Budweiser even more in the thick of it all,” said Brad Brown, vice president of sports & entertainment marketing, Anheuser-Busch. “The Shootout has been an important element of our NASCAR program for 34 years, but this opportunity to enhance our partnership makes Budweiser even more relevant to our consumers as well as the fans of the Daytona 500.”

As part of the sponsorship, Budweiser will also receive the presenting sponsorship of the Daytona 500 pre-race broadcast show.  The brand will also receive increased access for consumer hospitality events, including naming rights to the 5th Turn hospitality area throughout Speedweeks.

“Budweiser is the longest running active partner with Daytona International Speedway and we are incredibly excited to enter this new chapter with them in 2013,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood.  “The opportunities created by this enhanced partnership are compelling and our fans will benefit the most.  The intensity and fun atmosphere that Budweiser brought to the Shootout for so many years will be taken up several notches as they assume a much broader role during Speedweeks and ‘The Great American Race.’ ”


About Anheuser-Busch

Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch is the leading American brewer, holding a 48.3 percent share of U.S. beer sales to retailers. The company brews the world’s largest-selling beers, Budweiser and Bud Light. Anheuser-Busch also owns a 50 percent share in Grupo Modelo, Mexico’s leading brewer. Anheuser-Busch is a major manufacturer of aluminum cans and has been a leading aluminum recycler for more than 30 years. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the leading global brewer, and continues to operate under the Anheuser-Busch name and logo. For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com.


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.


Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/disupdates) and fans can also follow NASCAR (@NASCAR) and hashtags #NASCAR and #DAYTONA500.

Feb 23 | 2012 Daytona 500 Starting Lineup


Starting lineup for the 54th Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.

Starting lineup for the 54th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26 at Daytona International Speedway:

Row 1:
1, No. 99, Carl Edwards, Fastenal Ford
2, No. 16, Greg Biffle, 3M Ford

Row 2:
3, No. 14, Tony Stewart, Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet
4, No. 17, Matt Kenseth, Best Buy Ford

Row 3:
5, No. 88, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet
6, No. 78, Regan Smith, Furniture Row/CSX Play It Safe Chevrolet

Row 4:
7, No. 9, Marcos Ambrose, Stanley Ford
8, No. 48, Jimmie Johnson, Lowe's Chevrolet

Row 5:
9, No. 31, Jeff Burton, Caterpillar Chevrolet
10, No. 33, Elliott Sadler(i), General Mills/Kroger Chevrolet

Row 6:

11, No. 98, Michael McDowell, KLOVE/Curb Records Ford Ford
12, No. 20, Joey Logano, The Home Depot Toyota

Row 7:
13, No. 29, Kevin Harvick, Budweiser Chevrolet
14, No. 18, Kyle Busch, M&M's Brown Toyota

Row 8:
15, No. 22, AJ Allmendinger, Shell Pennzoil Dodge
16, No. 24, Jeff Gordon, Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet

Row 9:
17, No. 7, Robby Gordon, MAPEI/Menards/SPEED Energy Dodge
18, No. 39, Ryan Newman, U.S. ARMY/Quicken Loans Chevrolet

Row 10:
19, No. 1, Jamie McMurray, Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet
20, No. 5, Kasey Kahne, Farmers Insurance Chevrolet

Row 11:
21, No. 6, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.(i), Ford EcoBoost Ford
22, No. 55, Mark Martin, Aaron's Toyota

Row 12:
23, No. 2, Brad Keselowski, Miller Lite Dodge
24, No. 36, Dave Blaney, Ollie's Bargain Outlet Chevrolet

Row 13:
25, No. 34, David Ragan, Scorpion Truck Bedliners Ford
26, No. 56, Martin Truex Jr., NAPA Auto Parts Toyota

Row 14:
27, No. 43, Aric Almirola, Smithfield Helping Hungry Homes Ford
28, No. 51, Kurt Busch, Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet

Row 15:
29, No. 10, Danica Patrick(i), GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
30, No. 15, Clint Bowyer, 5-hour Energy Toyota

Row 16:
31, No. 11, Denny Hamlin, FedEx Express Toyota
32, No. 47, Bobby Labonte, Kroger Toyota

Row 17:
33, No. 38, David Gilliland, MHP/Power Pak Pudding Ford
34, No. 87, Joe Nemechek(i), AM FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves Toyota

Row 18:
35, No. 42, Juan Pablo Montoya, Target Chevrolet
36, No. 13, Casey Mears, GEICO Ford

Row 19:
37, No. 27, Paul Menard, Menards/Peak Chevrolet
38, No. 93, David Reutimann, Burger King Toyota

Row 20:
39, No. 83, Landon Cassill, Burger King Toyota
40, No. 21, Trevor Bayne(i), Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford T

Row 21:
41, No. 26, Tony Raines, Front Row Motorsports Ford T
42, No. 30, David Stremme, Inception Motorsports Toyota T

Row 22:
43, No. 32, Terry Labonte, C&J Energy Ford PC

Did Not Qualify:
No. 40, Michael Waltrip
No. 23, Robert Richardson Jr.(i)
No.97, Bill Elliott
No. 37, Mike Wallace(i)
No. 09, Kenny Wallace(i)

(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series



Feb 23 | Stewart, Kenseth Capture Gatorade Duels


Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth claimed victories in Thursday's Gatorade Duel At Daytona.

Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth claimed their positions on the second row for Sunday’s 54th annual Daytona 500 with wins in their respective Gatorade Duel at Daytona qualifying races at historic Daytona International Speedway.

Stewart’s win in the first Gatorade Duel was his third in the Daytona 500 qualifying races and 17th overall on the 2.5-mile tri-oval moving him ahead of racing legend Bobby Allison to take sole possession of second place on DIS’s all-time victory list. The late Dale Earnhardt Sr. holds the top spot with 34 wins.

“We have a great race car,” said Stewart, who is still seeking his first Daytona 500 win. “We’ve had a great race car since we got here. (This win is) good momentum, but it's no guarantee. It's nice to come here and have two really good, strong and solid races back to back; it’s an awesome start for us.

“There's just something magical about Daytona. When it's the most important race of your season, all the drivers and all the teams and all the crews put more pressure on themselves for that one race than they do anywhere else the rest of the year.”

Kenseth’s victory added to an already prosperous Speedweeks 2012 for Roush Fenway Racing. It marked the first-ever Duel victory for the organization and only the third for Ford since the race went to the current 150-lap format. With Kenseth rolling off fourth on Sunday, and Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle securing the front row during Daytona 500 Qualifying, RFR will have three of the top-four cars leading the pack to kick off the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

“It’s a big win for us,” remarked Kenseth. “We’ve never been able to win one of these races – Shootouts or 150s. We’ve been trying for a long time, so it feels good to have everything go right, have everything line up and be able to win that race. You feel a lot more confident.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Marcos Ambrose rounded out the top three of the first Gatorade Duel and Regan Smith and Jimmie Johnson followed behind Kenseth in the second Gatorade Duel.

Of the 49 cars battling in today’s Duels, 14 were not guaranteed a spot in NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race. Robby Gordon and Michael McDowell acquired the two transfer positions available in the first Gatorade Duel and Dave Blaney and Joe Nemechek earned the two transfer spots in the second Gatorade Duel.

Defending Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne, Tony Raines and David Stremme made the race based on their qualifying speed and Terry Labonte will qualify with a past champion’s provisional.

The drivers that did not qualify for Sunday’s race are two-time Daytona 500 champions Michael Waltrip and Bill Elliott, Kenny and Mike Wallace, Robert Richardson Jr. and J.J. Yeley.

Tickets for the 54th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26 as well as other Speedweeks 2012 events can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

If you are unable to attend in person, be sure to tune in to the Daytona 500 on FOX on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 1 p.m. ET.

Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/disupdates) and fans can also follow NASCAR (@NASCAR) and hashtags #NASCAR and #DAYTONA500.

Feb 23 | Second Gatorade Duel At Daytona Results


Results from the second Gatorade Duel At Daytona qualifying race.

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Results from the second Gatorade Duel At Daytona 150-mile qualifying race at Daytona International Speedway:
    1. (7) Matt Kenseth, Ford, 60, $55725.
    2. (18) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 60, $40725.
    3. (6) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 60, $35725.
    4. (16) Elliott Sadler(i), Chevrolet, 60, $30725.
    5. (1) Greg Biffle, Ford, 60, $28725.
    6. (9) Joey Logano, Toyota, 60, $26325.
    7. (12) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 60, $25225.
    8. (3) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 60, $24225.
    9. (8) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 60, $24200.
    10. (10) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 60, $24175.
    11. (5) Mark Martin, Toyota, 60, $24150.
    12. (14) * Dave Blaney, Chevrolet, 60, $24125.
    13. (4) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 60, $24100.
    14. (15) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 59, $24075.
    15. (24) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 59, $24050.
    16. (19) Bobby Labonte, Toyota, 59, $24025.
    17. (17) * Joe Nemechek(i), Toyota, 59, $24000.
    18. (2) Casey Mears, Ford, 59, $23950.
    19. (22) * Robert Richardson Jr.(i), Toyota, 58, $23925.
    20. (20) * Bill Elliott, Toyota, 58, $23900.
    21. (13) * Kenny Wallace(i), Toyota, 57, $23850.
    22. (11) *Tony Raines, Ford, Vibration, 9, $23825.
    23. (21) David Reutimann, Toyota, Vibration, 6, $23775.
    24. (23) * JJ Yeley, Toyota, Engine, 4, $23750.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  194.175 mph.
Time of Race:  00 Hrs, 46 Mins, 23 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.209 Seconds.
Caution Flags:  0 for 0 laps.
Lead Changes:  7 among 5 drivers.
Lap Leaders:   G. Biffle 1-3; M. Kenseth 4-12; J. Logano 13-17; Kyle Busch 18-22; G. Biffle 23-39; J. Nemechek(i) 40; G. Biffle 41-59; M. Kenseth 60;.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  G. Biffle 3 times for 39 laps; M. Kenseth 2 times for 10 laps; Kyle Busch 1 time for 5 laps; J. Logano 1 time for 5 laps; J. Nemechek(i) 1 time for 1 lap.
Top 12 in Points: M. Kenseth - 47; R. Smith - 42; J. Johnson - 41; G. Biffle - 41; J. Logano - 39; Kyle Busch - 38; J. Gordon - 36; R. Newman - 35; K. Kahne - 34; M. Martin - 33; *. Blaney - 32; M. Truex Jr. - 31.

Feb 23 | First Gatorade Duel At Daytona Results


Results from the first Gatorade Duel At Daytona 150-mile qualifying race.

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Results from the first Gatorade Duel At Daytona qualifying race at Daytona International Speedway:

    1. (6) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 60, $50000.
    2. (2) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 60, $35000.
    3. (3) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 60, $30000.
    4. (13) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 60, $25000.
    5. (1) Carl Edwards, Ford, 60, $23000.
    6. (21) * Michael McDowell, Ford, 60, $20600.
    7. (12) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 60, $19500.
    8. (10) AJ Allmendinger, Dodge, 60, $18500.
    9. (25) * Robby Gordon, Dodge, 60, $18475.
    10. (16) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 60, $18450.
    11. (4) Ricky Stenhouse Jr.(i), Ford, 60, $18425.
    12. (5) * Trevor Bayne(i), Ford, 60, $18400.
    13. (11) Brad Keselowski, Dodge, 60, $18375.
    14. (9) David Ragan, Ford, 60, $18350.
    15. (7) Aric Almirola, Ford, 60, $18325.
    16. (17) Danica Patrick(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 59, $18300.
    17. (20) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 59, $18275.
    18. (19) * Michael Waltrip, Toyota, Accident, 51, $18225.
    19. (15) * David Stremme, Toyota, Vibration, 27, $18200.
    20. (24) * Mike Wallace(i), Ford, Engine, 23, $18175.
    21. (18) * Terry Labonte, Ford, Vibration, 12, $18125.
    22. (23) David Gilliland, Ford, Accident, 8, $18100.
    23. (14) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, Accident, 8, $18050.
    24. (8) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, Accident, 8, $18025.
    25. (22) Landon Cassill, Toyota, Vibration, 3, $18000.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  159.104 mph.
Time of Race:  00 Hrs, 56 Mins, 34 Secs. Margin of Victory:  Caution.
Caution Flags:  3 for 8 laps.
Lead Changes:  8 among 5 drivers.
Lap Leaders:   C. Edwards 1; T. Stewart 2-3; C. Edwards 4; D. Earnhardt Jr. 5-9; M. Ambrose 10-14; D. Hamlin 15; T. Stewart 16; D. Hamlin 17-42; T. Stewart 43-60.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  D. Hamlin 2 times for 27 laps; T. Stewart 3 times for 21 laps; D. Earnhardt Jr. 1 time for 5 laps; M. Ambrose 1 time for 5 laps; C. Edwards 2 times for 2 laps.
Top 12 in Points: T. Stewart - 47; D. Earnhardt Jr. - 43; M. Ambrose - 42; J. Burton - 40; C. Edwards - 40; *. Mcdowell - 38; K. Harvick - 37; A. Allmendinger - 36; *. Gordon - 35; J. Mcmurray - 34; B. Keselowski - 31; D. Ragan - 30.

Feb 22 | Bill France Jr. Statue Unveiled


Members of the France family gathered today with donors, local officials and industry members to unveil the Bill France Jr. statue.

Bill France Junior Statue

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Every day for the past year, John Lajba would climb into his car, spark his engine and roll off to his studio in Omaha, Neb. During the familiar ride, his mind would wander, falling on the same topic and familiar image – Bill France Jr.

His thoughts about “The Man Who Made NASCAR” consumed him, and in turn, inspired him.
That’s the life of a sculptor. Your life quickly morphs into that of your work. It’s hard not to be envious of Lajba, especially when you learn the subject matter of his latest sculpture – former NASCAR Chairman and CEO Bill France Jr., which was unveiled Wednesday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway.

“I’ve been working on this sculpture for over a year, and every day I’d come to my studio and think about Bill France and how much class and charm he had,” said Lajba, who also sculpts the Harley J. Earl Trophy given to each year’s Daytona 500 winner. “I also knew that he was the type of man who could bring (people) together and have them do their best. And I want to do my best for him too, and that’s what I did.”

Daytona Beach, Fla.’s Mayor Glenn Ritchey came up with the idea, and Lajba was the easy choice to execute it. Lajba had already sculpted three statues that reside outside the World Center of Racing – likenesses of Bill France Sr., Annie B. France and Dale Earnhardt.

So now, outside the speedway’s tour and ticket office, France’s larger-than-life figure stands watching as masses enter his second home. The statue shows Bill Jr. wearing a sports coat over a shirt with the top button undone – relaxed, and ready to impart wisdom.

France’s frozen-in-time look struck Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III more than any other feature.

“It’s phenomenal,” Chitwood said. “It’s Bill Jr. It’s him. I can almost hear the words coming out of his mouth when I see his expression. I’m so proud we have this statue on our property and that fans are going to get to see it every day.”

Bill Jr.’s brother Jim, the chairman of International Speedway Corp. (ISC), was on hand for the unveiling. So too were his children Brian, NASCAR’s current chairman and CEO, and Lesa, the chief executive officer of ISC. And, of course, his wife Betty Jane was there, offering a unique perspective held only to those who truly knew Bill Jr.

“Bill has a painting in his dressing room which always makes me smile when I walk by it,” Betty Jane France said. “It’s a young boy looking at his image in the mirror. But instead of seeing himself as a young boy that he is, he sees a mature young man – all dressed exactly like he is – staring back at him. I think that sums up the way Bill France was always looking forward into the future. The caption under the picture reads ‘Clothes make the man’ and on this day, John Lajba [showed] how he not only made the clothes, but he made the great image of a wonderful man who stepped out of a painting and made the world a better place.”

The bronze likeness of Bill Jr. depicts him with his arms gently hanging at their side – again, relaxed. He wears glasses in the sculpture, with his hair neatly parted to the right. His lips are parted, as if ready to speak. Those who knew Bill Jr. could only imagine what words would eventually tumble out.
After numerous visits with Mrs. France, and digging through hundreds of photos, this was the image on which Lajba settled. Chitwood said it was the exact right direction, even though he could have gone any number of ways.

“We laughed about it,” Chitwood said. “Everyone has their image of Bill and how he used to act. Of course, he was a favorite of hot dogs, we all thought about the things we would love to see Bill doing. But I think his expression is so perfect. It looks like he’s thinking about something, and he’s ready to tell you what he’s thinking.”



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