Feb 21 | Kevin Harvick Racks Up Another Daytona Win in First Budweiser Duel; Kyle Busch Wins Race #2 in Second-Fastest Duel Ever

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Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch won their respective Budweiser Duels Thursday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway and will roll off the starting grid from the second row for Sunday’s 55th annual Daytona 500.

Budweiser Duel

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch won their respective Budweiser Duels Thursday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway and will roll off the starting grid from the second row for Sunday’s 55th annual Daytona 500.

Finding himself in a similar situation as in The Sprint Unlimited last Saturday, Harvick once again showed his superior blocking skills by holding off two lanes of cars to secure the win over Greg Biffle by 0.165 seconds. It is the second time in a week that Harvick and Biffle have finished 1-2; Harvick took The Sprint Unlimited over Biffle by 0.149 seconds.

“We’ve been fortunate to win the first two races of Speedweeks,” said Harvick, who now has six career wins at the ‘World Center of Racing.’ “We just have to keep a level head on our shoulders, not get too high over what we’ve done, and just do the same things that we’ve done. If (winning the Daytona 500 is) meant to be, it’s meant to be. I think we definitely have the car and team to be in contention to do that.

“To get our first win with Budweiser onboard for the first time in the Duels is really cool,” added Harvick.

“You have to be in the right place at the right time,” said Biffle. “You have to get a run and have some cars with you. A bunch of people wanted to know why I didn’t turn him. It doesn’t take any talent to wreck somebody for the win and wreck 20 cars behind you. You have to run as hard as you can and trade a little paint, but at the same time, we all have to finish.”

Busch’s win over Kasey Kahne and Austin Dillon in the second Budweiser Duel marks his second victory in the 150-mile races. Unlike Harvick, who laid back for the first half of his race, Busch kept his No. 18 Toyota near the front of the field and led two different times for a  total of 19 laps.

“This is certainly a huge confidence boost for our team, being able to set the momentum in the right direction at the start of the season,” said Busch.

Dillon, who will start eighth in his first “Great American Race” on Sunday, was thankful for such a good run behind the wheel of the No. 33 Chevrolet.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said Dillon. “I’m glad my grandfather (team owner Richard Childress) can sleep now. He was wearing me out before the race, especially when those three cars (qualified in the first Duel). It was a blast out there.”

With no cautions in the second Duel to slow the pack, the 22 drivers posted the second-highest speed in the history of the Duels with a pace of 193.966 mph – just 0.209 mph slower than the record set by Matt Kenseth in last year’s second Budweiser Duel.

Danica Patrick, who has secured the pole for Sunday’s Daytona 500, will become the first woman to lead the field to the green flag in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

“I think what I really need to do is go down to Harvick’s bus tonight and figure out what he’s got going on,” said Patrick when asked what she learned today. “He’s got it figured out here this year, so, good job to him.”

Of the 45 drivers participating in the Duels, only 12 were guaranteed a spot in NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race. Brian Keselowski – brother of defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad – and Mike Bliss were the two cars who did not make the 43-car field.

Racing action resumes Friday with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250, which will be run under the lights at 8:00 ET (SPEED, MRN Radio).

Tickets for all Budweiser Speedweeks at Daytona events are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter (@NASCAR) and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtags #NASCAR and #DAYTONA500 and #NASCARBattle.  In addition, fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, FacebookGoogle+ and Pinterest for all the latest news all season long.

Feb 21 | Daytona 500 Starting Lineup

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Check out the 2013 Daytona 500 starting lineup!

DAYTONA 500 STARTING LINEUP

Pos.
No.
Driver
Pos.
No.
Driver
Row 1
1
10
Danica Patrick
2
24
Jeff Gordon
Row 2
3
29
Kevin Harvick
4
18
Kyle Busch
Row 3
5
16
Greg Biffle
6
5
Kasey Kahne
Row 4
7
42
Juan Pablo Montoya
8
33
Austin Dillon
Row 5
9
48
Jimmie Johnson
10
15
Clint Bowyer
Row 6
11
78
Kurt Busch
12
20
Matt Kenseth
Row 7
13
14
Tony Stewart
14
55
Mark Martin
Row 8
15
2
Brad Keselowski
16
27
Paul Menard
Row 9
17
13
Casey Mears
18
31
Jeff Burton
Row 10
19
88
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
20
1
Jamie McMurray
Row 11
21
22
Joey Logano
22
34
David Ragan
Row 12
23
47
Bobby Labonte
24
9
Marcos Ambrose
Row 13
25
38
David Gilliland
26
43
Aric Almirola
Row 14
27
87
Joe Nemechek
28
17
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Row 15
29
26
Michael Waltrip
30
7
Dave Blaney
Row 16
31
95
Scott Speed
32
35
Josh Wise
Row 17
33
21
Trevor Bayne
34
39
Ryan Newman
Row 18
35
11
Denny Hamlin
36
99
Carl Edwards
Row 19
37
56
Martin Truex Jr.
38
51
Regan Smith
Row 20
39
93
Travis Kvapil
40
83
David Reutimann
Row 21
41
32
Terry Labonte
42
36
JJ Yeley
Row 22
43
98
Michael McDowell
* - Unofficial lineup; according to SPEED TV

Feb 21 | Budweiser Duel At Daytona to Move Under the Lights in 2014

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The Budweiser Duel, the 150-mile qualifying races that determine the starting lineup for the Daytona 500, will move under the lights in 2014, Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III announced.

Duel Night Racing

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Budweiser Duel, the 150-mile qualifying races that determine the starting lineup for the Daytona 500, will move under the lights in 2014, Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III announced.

The Budweiser Duel At Daytona, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 20, will start under the lights and will be televised by FOX Sports Media Group.

“To earn a coveted starting spot in the Daytona 500, the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will have to perform under the lights and in front of a primetime audience in the Budweiser Duel,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “Moving the Budweiser Duel under the lights will add another dimension to Budweiser Speedweeks.”

The Budweiser Duel joins The Sprint Unlimited and the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race as the three nighttime races held during Budweiser Speedweeks.

This year’s 55th annual Daytona 500 is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 24 on MRN Radio and FOX.  Tickets for all of the events during Budweiser Speedweeks are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

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

Feb 20 | July NASCAR Nationwide Series Race at DIS Renamed Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola

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The July NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Daytona International Speedway will bear a legendary name in 2013 – the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola.

Subway Firecracker 250

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The July NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Daytona International Speedway will bear a legendary name in 2013 – the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola.

Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III, SUBWAY® Famous Fan Carl Edwards and Jared the SUBWAY® guy joined Coca-Cola in announcing the rebranding at a press conference at the Daytona International Speedway Infield Media Center.

The Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola, which is scheduled for Friday night, July 5 and part of the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola, will feature the stars of the NASCAR Nationwide Series for 100 laps / 250 miles.

The origin of the name “Firecracker” dates back to the first year of operation of Daytona International Speedway in 1959. The inaugural NASCAR summer race was run as the Firecracker 250. The summer NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at DIS included “Firecracker” in the event name from 1959 through 1988.

“It’s great to see Subway incorporate ‘Firecracker’ into the race name for the July NASCAR Nationwide Series event,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “NASCAR racing at Daytona International Speedway on the Independence Day holiday weekend has a storied history and race fans are going to enjoy seeing the return of a classic race name.”

“Bringing back the legendary ‘Firecracker’ name should bring a smile to all longtime NASCAR fans” said Tony Pace, Global Chief Marketing Officer at SUBWAY® Franchise World Headquarters. “The name conjures up the great racing legacy of NASCAR and its linkage to our country’s birthday.”

Kurt Busch is the defending champion of the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola. Other previous race winners include Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano and inaugural winner Joe Nemechek.

Following the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will take center stage with the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 6.

Tickets for all the events that are part of the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola Weekend At Daytona are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

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

Feb 20 | Hayley Claims NASCAR K&N Pro Series Event; Park Wins Modified Race

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Cameron Hayley came from behind during a green-white-checkered finish to win the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach NASCAR K&N Pro Series race Tuesday night at Daytona International Speedway.

UNOH Battle At The Beach

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Cameron Hayley came from behind during a green-white-checkered finish to win the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach NASCAR K&N Pro Series race Tuesday night at Daytona International Speedway.

It was only fitting that the third and final race of the two-day event concluded with cars trading paint, given that the first two races ended with last-lap contact and late lead changes.

Hayley took advantage when the race leaders tangled in Turn 2 to drive to the victory.

Fifteen-year-old Gray Gaulding finished second in the Krispy Kreme Toyota, while Puerto Rican Bryan Ortiz took the third spot in the Putinka Vodka Toyota.

 “It was a tough race overall,” said Hayley, who hails from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. “When I was sitting there on that last restart, I was thinking they were going to wreck in front of me. There’s going to be something happening in front of me. My crew chief and my spotter coming over the radio telling me to be patient and when you see a hole - go.”

Tuesday’s nightcap, the feature of the UNOH Battle At The Beach, showcased 28 drivers from 11 different U.S. states, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Spain. 

Other notables included Ben Kennedy, son of International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy, who finished fifth.  Kennedy is the first France family member to race at Daytona International Speedway in a stock car.

“It was a great experience to run at DIS, really cool what the track has put together for tonight,” Kennedy said. “Unfortunately we got knocked around and messed up our rear end for the rest of the night. Really should’ve been in Victory Lane tonight but proud of the guys. We’ll go on to Bristol and set our sights on the championship.”

Feb 20 | Steve Park Wins UNOH Battle At The Beach NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Race in Another Wild Last-Lap Finish

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Steve Park raced to the finish line to capture the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Race, the first of two races Tuesday night at the UNOH Battle At The Beach at Daytona International Speedway.

UNOH Battle At The Beach

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Cameron Hayley came from behind during a green-white-checkered finish to win the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach NASCAR K&N Pro Series race Tuesday night at Daytona International Speedway.

It was only fitting that the third and final race of the two-day event concluded with cars trading paint, given that the first two races ended with last-lap contact and late lead changes.

Hayley took advantage when the race leaders tangled in Turn 2 to drive to the victory.

Fifteen-year-old Gray Gaulding finished second in the Krispy Kreme Toyota, while Puerto Rican Bryan Ortiz took the third spot in the Putinka Vodka Toyota.

“It was a tough race overall,” said Hayley, who hails from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. “When I was sitting there on that last restart, I was thinking they were going to wreck in front of me. There’s going to be something happening in front of me. My crew chief and my spotter coming over the radio telling me to be patient and when you see a hole - go.”

Tuesday’s nightcap, the feature of the UNOH Battle At The Beach, showcased 28 drivers from 11 different U.S. states, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Spain. 

Other notables included Ben Kennedy, son of International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy, who finished fifth.  Kennedy is the first France family member to race at Daytona International Speedway in a stock car.

“It was a great experience to run at DIS, really cool what the track has put together for tonight,” Kennedy said. “Unfortunately we got knocked around and messed up our rear end for the rest of the night. Really should’ve been in Victory Lane tonight but proud of the guys. We’ll go on to Bristol and set our sights on the championship.”

Tickets for Budweiser Speedweeks events are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter (@NASCAR) and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtags #NASCAR and #DAYTONA500 and #NASCARBattle.  In addition, fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, FacebookGoogle+ and Pinterest for all the latest news all season long.

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