Jan 10 | Drivers Get On Track for Preseason Thunder Testing

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After rain showers washed out Thursday’s Preseason Thunder testing, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers were finally able to get on track Friday at the Daytona International Speedway.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – After rain showers washed out Thursday’s Preseason Thunder testing, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers were finally able to get on track Friday at the Daytona International Speedway.

Shortly before 1 p.m., cars began making testing runs around the 2.5-mile tri-oval in preparation for the 56th annual Daytona 500 scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 23, NASCAR’s prestigious season-opening event.

The majority of Friday’s testing, which concluded under the lights at 9 p.m., featured single-car runs. In the final hour, select drivers did participate in some drafting.

Fastest of the test was Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon, who posted a top speed of 195.109 mph in the No. 3 Chevrolet. Rounding out the top five were Brian Scott (194.582), Matt Crafton (194.342), Aric Almirola (193.828) and Kyle Larson (193.411).

The rain delay gave drivers plenty of time to meet with the media and discuss the upcoming NASCAR season and the Daytona 500.

Jimmie Johnson, six-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, is gunning for back-to-back victories in the Daytona 500. Last year at Daytona, he became the first driver since Bobby Allison in 1982 to sweep both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.

“There is no other sensation when you come into a race track like there is here,” Johnson said. “Driving through the tunnel and popping out in Turn 4 and looking around and realizing you’re here is always a great way to start the season.”

Tony Stewart was in attendance for the test, but he wasn’t behind the wheel of the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Chevrolet. Stewart, who is still recovering from injuries suffered in a sprint car accident back in August, had Mark Martin shaking down his car.

Stewart plans on making his return to competition in The Sprint Unlimited on Saturday Feb. 15.

He is also still searching for that first Daytona 500 victory.

“February here is high on that bucket list,” said Stewart, who is winless in the Daytona 500 in 14 starts. “We haven't won here yet. We've won here, just not on the right day. The second Sunday (of Speedweeks) would be nice. That's all that's on the bucket list right now.”

Stewart expects to be cleared by doctors to return to the track on Feb. 14, the day before The Sprint Unlimited.

NASCAR Nationwide Series testing will take center stage at DIS on Saturday and Sunday as teams prepare for the season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300 on Saturday, Feb. 22. Among the drivers expected to participate in the two-day session are Elliott Sadler, Ty Dillon, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Regan Smith and Trevor Bayne.

Tickets for NASCAR Nationwide Series testing are $10 each day and are available only at the gate. Children 12 and under will receive free admission throughout testing. Fans can also watch each day’s testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands.

For more information on tickets for the 56th annual DAYTONA 500 and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access, race fans can go online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter (@NASCAR) and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtags #NASCAR, #DAYTONA500 and #ROADTODAYTONA. Stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for the latest news all season long.  Fans can also 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

Jan 10 | DAYTONA Rising January Project Update: Daytona International Speedway Kicks Off The New Year With Race-Ready Preparation

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DAYTONA Rising January Project Update: Daytona International Speedway Kicks Off The New Year With Race-Ready Preparation

Daytona Rising January Project Update

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Daytona International Speedway has shifted its focus to race-ready preparation for the 52nd Anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Budweiser Speedweeks 2014. Construction activities related to the DAYTONA Rising project will continue during this time. However, the Speedway’s main goal is to accommodate and entertain hundreds of thousands of race fans during its premier events in the early part of the year.

“We are proud of the progress thus far on the DAYTONA Rising project and equally excited to welcome fans for the start of the 2014 racing season,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “They will get an up close and personal look at all the progress we’ve made to date and hopefully, they will share in the excitement that we’ve felt since the groundbreaking in July. Our partners at Barton Malow and ROSSETTI have put us in a great position to continue momentum for the DAYTONA Rising project while preparing the facility so we can deliver unforgettable experiences for our loyal fans during our marquee events.”


Race-ready activities that are currently underway:
  • Relocating merchandise store building pad outside the frontstretch
  • Setting up hospitality village and the Budweiser 1876 Club
  • Building temporary suite tower lobby and temporary ticketing trailers
  • Mobilizing the Americrown temporary kitchen
  • Admission Gates relocation completed and ticket scanning systems tested
  • Paving within the construction site to support fan access and pedestrian traffic

Here is a recap of key construction activities since the last update in December:
  • Steel installation near the middle bowl section of the frontstretch grandstand
  • First slab on the metal deck (first elevated concrete pour)
  • Completed pile cap installation

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. DAYTONA Rising was recently cited as a key source of expected job growth in Volusia County as part of the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.

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.

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Jan 09 | Fans To Vote On Race Format For The 2014 Sprint Unlimited At Daytona

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For the second year in a row, fans will decide upon a number of competition elements for the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona, the 75-lap, non-points race that kicks off the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing season on Saturday, February 15 (8 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 9, 2014) – For the second year in a row, fans will decide upon a number of competition elements for the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona, the 75-lap, non-points race that kicks off the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing season on Saturday, February 15 (8 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Starting today, fans can cast their votes to set the overall format and determine key racing elements. Fans will again set the number of laps in each of the three segments, while also voting on how drivers will line up at the start of the race and how they will line up for the restart of the final segment.

“We are excited to build off of the success of last year’s event and give our fans another opportunity to help make key decisions that will enhance the excitement around this highly anticipated race,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition and racing development. “This interactive element is unique to NASCAR – and all of sports.”

Fans can submit their votes within the official NASCAR app, NASCAR MOBILE, or at NASCAR.com/SprintUnlimited. Voting is unlimited and all votes cast through NASCAR MOBILE will count twice. The voting window for the race format will close on Saturday, February 15 at 6 p.m. ET, while voting for the starting order and final segment restart order will close at various times during the race broadcast. Voting results will be announced live during the FOX Sports 1 race broadcast.

Voting Categories:

  • Race Format: Number of laps in each race segment (Voting ends at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 15)
    • Option A: 30 laps/35 laps/10 laps
    • Option B: 30 laps/30 laps/15 laps
    • Option C: 30 laps/25 laps/20 laps
  • Starting Order: How drivers will line up to start the race (Voting ends at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 15)
    • Option A: Most Career Poles (most to least)
    • Option B: 2013 Driver Points Standings
    • Option C: Final Practice Speeds (fastest to slowest times)
  • Restart Order for Final Segment: How drivers will line up for the final segment (Voting ends at the conclusion of the second segment)
    • Option A: Fastest lap in the race (first and second segments both count)
    • Option B: Most laps led (first and second segments both count)
    • Option C: Mandatory pit stop (drivers lineup how they come off pit road)

“Our ultimate goal is to use Sprint’s wireless technology to bring NASCAR Sprint Cup fans closer to our sport, and this is the latest example,” said Steve Gaffney, vice president of corporate marketing for Sprint. “This effort, the Sprint Unlimited, gives fans the opportunity to sit in NASCAR race control and make calls on key elements of the race. We encourage fans to grab their wireless device and seize this unique opportunity.”

“We look forward to partnering with NASCAR and Sprint to host the second Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway,” said Joie Chitwood III, Daytona International Speedway president. “Our passionate race fans helped create an exciting event last year from start to finish. With two new voting categories and real-time results, this year’s fan-driven event will be as exciting as ever.”

Twenty NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers are eligible to participate in the 2014 Sprint Unlimited at Daytona.  Each driver raced his or her way into the starting lineup by winning pole positions in 2013 or by winning past Sprint Unlimited events.

2014 eligible participants include:

  • Denny Hamlin (4 poles)
  • Kyle Busch (3 poles)
  • Joey Logano (2 poles)
  • Jimmie Johnson (2 poles)
  • Matt Kenseth (2 poles)
  • Ryan Newman (2 poles)
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2 poles)
  • Jeff Gordon (2 poles)
  • Carl Edwards (2 poles)
  • Marcos Ambrose (1 pole)
  • Kurt Busch (1 pole)
  • Kevin Harvick (1 pole)
  • Brad Keselowski (1 pole)
  • Mark Martin (1 pole)
  • Jamie McMurray (1 pole)
  • Danica Patrick (1 pole)
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (1 pole)
  • Terry Labonte (past winner: 1985)
  • Ken Schrader (past winner: 1989 and 1990)
  • Tony Stewart (past winner: 2001, 2002 and 2007)

Tickets for the Sprint Unlimited are available online at DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Fans can follow @NASCAR and @MissSprintCup on Twitter to engage in the #SprintUnlimited conversation. NASCAR MOBILE is available to download for free from the App Store on Apple devices and Google Play on Android devices. Fans can also download the newest version by logging on to NASCAR.com/mobile.

About NASCAR

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States. NASCAR consists of three national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™, NASCAR Nationwide Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), four regional series, one local grassroots series and three international series. The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) governs the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information, visit www.nascar.com and follow NASCAR at www.facebook.com/NASCAR and Twitter: @NASCAR.

About Sprint

Sprint (NYSE:S)offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint served more than 54 million customers at the end of the third quarter of 2013 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint as the most improved company in customer satisfaction, across all 47 industries, during the last five years. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.

Jan 08 | UNOH Battle At The Beach Tickets Now on Sale

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UNOH Battle At The Beach Tickets Now on Sale

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Tickets for the second annual UNOH Battle At The Beach on Tuesday, Feb. 18, part of Budweiser Speedweeks 2014 at Daytona International Speedway, are now on sale. Ticket prices start at $25 and can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

UNOH Battle At The Beach is a short-track event held on the backstretch of the “World Center of Racing” that will feature the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in a pair of 150-lap races.

For competitors in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, the 150-lap race will be a championship points event while it will be a non-points 150-lap race for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

In last year’s inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach NASCAR K&N Pro Series race, Cameron Hayley came from behind during a green-white-checkered finish to capture the victory. In the NASCAR Whelen Modifield Tour race, NASCAR veteran Steve Park finally earned his first Daytona victory.

In addition, Daytona International Speedway has reached an agreement with a number of area hotels to secure special room rates during the UNOH Battle At The Beach to make it more affordable for racers and fans to attend the UNOH Battle At The Beach. More information can be found at http://daytonahotelmotel.com/speedway-short-track.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter (@NASCAR) and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtags #NASCAR, #DAYTONA500 and #ROADTODAYTONA. Stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. Fans can also 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.

Jan 07 | Start Times Finalized For Budweiser Speedweeks 2014 Events

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The 56th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 23, NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race, will go green at 1 p.m. (TV – FOX Sports, Radio – MRN Radio, SiriusXM).

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The 56th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 23, NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race, will go green at 1 p.m. (TV – FOX Sports, Radio – MRN Radio, SiriusXM).

It’s the fifth straight year “The Great American Race” will start at 1 p.m.

Start times for the other remaining events of Budweiser Speedweeks 2014 at Daytona International Speedway are as follows:

  • The 52nd anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race, Jan. 25-26, 2:30 p.m. (FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2)
  • The Lucas Oil 200 Presented By American Real MAV TV ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, Saturday, Feb. 15, 4:15 p.m. (FOX Sports 1)
  • The Sprint Unlimited, Saturday, Feb. 15, 8p.m. (FOX Sports 1)
  • Daytona Beach Half Marathon, Sunday, Feb. 16, 6 a.m.
  • Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger, Sunday, Feb. 16, 1p.m. (FOX)
  • UNOH Battle At The Beach, Tuesday, Feb. 18, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East at 7 p.m. followed by the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at approximately 8:45 p.m.
  • Budweiser Duel At Daytona, Thursday, Feb. 20, 7 p.m. (FOX Sports 1)
  • NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, Friday, Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m. (FOX Sports 1)
  • DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, Saturday, Feb. 22, 1:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Six-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, who wheels the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, will begin pursuit of a seventh championship in the 56th annual Daytona 500, which would tie him alongside racing legends Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt.

In 2013, Johnson became the first driver since NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison in 1982 to sweep both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at the “World Center of Racing.” In this year’s Daytona 500, Johnson will attempt to be the first driver since Sterling Marlin (1994-1995) to win “The Great American Race” for a second straight year.

Tickets for NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race – the 56th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 23 – start at $65 and are available 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, #DAYTONA500 and #ROADTODAYTONA. Stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for the latest news all season long.  Fans can also 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

Jan 06 | Roar Before The Rolex 24 Wraps Up

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The annual three-day test session for the 52nd anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 25-26 – known as the Roar Before The Rolex 24 – wrapped up on Sunday afternoon.

Roar Before The Rolex 24 wraps up

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The annual three-day test session for the 52nd anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 25-26 – known as the Roar Before The Rolex 24 – wrapped up on Sunday afternoon.

More than 100 cars between the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the IMSA Continental SportsCar Challenge have been turning laps around Daytona International Speedway’s 3.56-mile road course for the past three days as they prepare for their respective season-opening events.

The fastest lap of the weekend was posted in Prototype (P) on Friday morning by the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette, driven by Christian Fittipaldi, with a speed of 129.940 mph.  The No. 8 Starworks Motorsports ORECA FLM09, driven by Sam Bird, topped Prototype Challenge (PC) Saturday morning with a speed of 125.635 mph.

In GTLM, the No. 911 Porsche North America 911 RSR, wheeled by Nick Tandy, posted the fastest lap of the class Friday afternoon with a speed of 121.405 mph.  In the same session, Spencer Pumpelly drove the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8 LMS to a top speed of 118.688 mph in GTD. 

Dempsey Racing returns: After not competing in last year’s Rolex 24, Patrick Dempsey and his Dempsey Racing team have returned to Daytona International Speedway for this year’s Rolex 24. 

Dempsey, who stars in the ABC hit drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” will drive the No. 27 Porsche 911 GT America with Joe Foster, Marc Lieb and Andrew Davis. In the team’s sister car, the No. 28, Klaus Bachler, Christian Engelhart, Rolf Ineichen, Lane Willsey and Franz Konrad will be behind the wheel.

Dempsey Racing has delivered some strong finishes in the Rolex 24 including a third-place podium finish in the GT class in the 2011 Rolex 24.

“It’s great to be back in Daytona, we missed it last year,” said Dempsey, who will co-drive the full TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season with Davis. “We’ve had a lot of great memories here and hopefully we continue to in the future.”

Dempsey is taking part in a special Rolex 24 ticket offer. Available for $64 per ticket, the Dempsey Racing ticket package includes a two-day infield and general admission grandstand ticket, a 15-minute fan forum with all the Dempsey Racing drivers, and a Dempsey Racing hero card. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Dempsey Racing charities.

“I want to win and I think we have a really great opportunity this year with the lineup we have,” Dempsey said. “To win this year with the merger and the quality of drivers and the competition that is in the field … I think if we have our first win, this would be the most satisfying. I think it would be a turning point for the team and myself.” 

Shank Racing unveils lineup: Owner Michael Shank unveiled his driver lineup on Saturday during the Roar Before The Rolex 24 and they were all familiar faces.

Shank Racing will bring back the same driver’s lineup that drove the team to victory in the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 in 2012. Ozz Negri, John Pew, AJ Allmendinger and Justin Wilson will drive the No. 60 Ford Riley. Pew and Negri will share the full-season driving duties

“We just have a great time,” Allmendinger said. “To be able to win the race two years ago with the group of guys was just something that was so special and for me one of the highlights of my career. It makes you want more.”

Scout Days: During this weekend’s Roar Before The Rolex 24, more than 1,200 Boy and Girl Scouts from throughout the state of Florida and south Georgia participated in Scout Days.

The Scouts camped overnight on Friday and Saturday in the infield in Turns 3 and 4 as well as participated in scavenger hunts, tech talks and pit stop demonstrations, and a Fan Walk. 

Tickets for the 52nd running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans can follow sports cars at www.imsa.com, go on Twitter at TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (@UnitedSportsCar) and the Sunoco Rolex 24 At Daytona Challenge (@SUNOCO_UK).

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

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