Feb 11 | 1963 Daytona 500-Winning Replica Car Built by Leonard Wood to be on Display during Budweiser Speedweeks

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During Budweiser Speedweeks, fans will be able to take a special glimpse into the storied history of Wood Brothers Racing as a replica of the 1963 Daytona 500-winning car – the No. 21 Ford Galaxie driven by Tiny Lund on display in the Sprint FANZONE.

Tiny Lund

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – During Budweiser Speedweeks, fans will be able to take a special glimpse into the storied history of Wood Brothers Racing as a replica of the 1963 Daytona 500-winning car – the No. 21 Ford Galaxie driven by Tiny Lund -- will be on display in the Sprint FANZONE. The replica car was constructed by Leonard Wood, who was recently inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

The car, which was part of Wood’s induction ceremony and will be on display for the next year at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., will make a special trip down to Daytona International Speedway for Budweiser Speedweeks to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wood Brothers’ first Daytona 500 win.

“The 1963 Daytona 500 win by the Wood Brothers and driver Tiny Lund is one of the many storied moments in the history of the Daytona 500,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “We’re grateful for the Wood Brothers and the NASCAR Hall of Fame for assisting in the display of this car and allowing race fans to look back on what was a special Daytona 500 victory.”

Before the 1963 Daytona 500, Lund didn’t even have a ride for “The Great American Race.” Ten days before the Daytona 500, Marvin Panch suffered severe burns when he crashed a sports car during testing for the 250-mile American Challenge Cup race. Among the first to arrive on the scene was Tiny Lund, who helped Panch escape from the burning car. For his efforts, Lund, along with several others, received the Carnegie Medal of Heroism.

Following the crash, Panch was unable to race in the Daytona 500 so Glen and his brother Leonard selected Lund to be his replacement and Lund went on to capture the Daytona 500, which was the first win for Ford in “The Great American Race.”

The Wood Brothers are the oldest operating team in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history and most recently won the Daytona 500 in 2011 with Trevor Bayne.

The 1963 Daytona 500 winning car replica will be on display in the Sprint FANZONE throughout the Budweiser Speedweeks At Daytona. Sprint FANZONE will be open throughout Budweiser Speedweeks with the exception of UNOH Battle At The Beach on Feb. 18-19. 

Live music, garage views, inspection viewing, driver appearances, the Sprint FANDECK, and food and beverage will all be available in the Sprint FANZONE during Budweiser Speedweeks At Daytona.  For more information on Sprint FANZONE activities please click here.

Sprint FANZONE tickets start at just $20. For more ticket information, call 1-800-PITSHOP or click here.

The 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 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 08 | Daytona International Speedway Provides Added Payment Options for its Fans

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As part of its ongoing efforts to make it easier for fans to see races, beginning with the Budweiser Speedweeks 2013, race fans can now select Bill Me Later, a PayPal service, as a payment option for ordering tickets online.

Grandstands

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – As part of its ongoing efforts to make it easier for fans to see races, Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III announced that beginning with the Budweiser Speedweeks 2013, race fans can now select Bill Me Later, a PayPal service, as a payment option for ordering tickets online.

Bill Me Later is an easy, convenient, and secure way to purchase tickets for any of Daytona International Speedway’s major motorsports events.

With Bill Me Later, race fans can buy tickets valued at $99 or more now, but pay for them over time thanks to 6 months financing* from Bill Me Later. It’s a secure, instant, and reusable credit line.

Tickets for all Daytona International Speedway events, including the prestigious 55th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24, can be purchased 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.

*Bill Me Later is subject to credit approval, as determined by the lender, WebBank, Salt Lake City, Utah. Applicable for qualifying purchases of $99 or more if paid in full within 6 months. Customers check out with PayPal and use Bill Me Later.

Feb 07 | JAMES FRANCO NAMED GRAND MARSHAL FOR 55TH ANNUAL DAYTONA 500

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Star of Disney’s Upcoming ‘Oz The Great and Powerful’ to Deliver Starting Command for ‘The Great American Race’

James Franco

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - James Franco, star of the Disney fantastical adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful,” which is scheduled for release on March 8, will serve as Grand Marshal for the 55th running of the Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 24 at Daytona International Speedway.  The race is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET on FOX and will also be broadcasted on FOX Deportes, MRN Radio and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

Franco will give the starting command, “Drivers start your engines,” in “The Great American Race.” He’ll also be introduced at the driver’s meeting, participate in pre-race ceremonies and ride in one of the Grand Marshal cars during the pace laps prior to the green flag of the 200-lap, 500-mile race.

“We’re excited to welcome James Franco and have him take part in the pre-race festivities for the Daytona 500,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “In front of thousands of race fans and millions more watching on FOX, we’re looking forward to hearing James’ enthusiastic starting command to kick off the Daytona 500 and the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.”

 “Oz The Great and Powerful,” directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved wizard character. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking—that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting.

Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry—Oscar transforms himself not only into the great wizard but into a better man as well.

Joe Roth produced “Oz The Great and Powerful,” with screen story by Mitchell Kapner and screenplay by Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire.

Franco will next be seen in Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers.”  His credits include “127 Hours,” in which he received a Best Actor Oscar® nomination, “ the “Spider-Man” trilogy, “Milk,” “Pineapple Express” and most recently “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”

 Franco joins the prestigious list of previous Daytona 500 Grand Marshals including John Travolta, Ben Affleck, Nicolas Cage, Kate Upton, Jane Lynch and Matthew McConaughey.

Tickets for the 55th Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24, as well as 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 06 | Daytona 500 Series: 1979 Race Produced Epic Fight

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The 1979 Daytona 500 is remembered as one of the most memorable and significant NASCAR races of all-time.

Cale & Donnie

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The 1979 Daytona 500 is remembered as one of the most memorable and significant NASCAR races of all-time.

For the first time in history, CBS Sports broadcasted the entire Daytona 500 flag-to-flag on live television with Ken Squier, David Hobbs and Chris Economaki serving as the booth announcers.

With a major snowstorm keeping most of the nation inside their houses, fans were able to tune in on television and watch the epic final lap battle between Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison.

Neither Yarborough nor Allison ever made it to the checkered flag. On the backstretch, Yarborough pulled out to make a pass on Allison and the two drivers began beating and banging on each other until finally crashing entering Turn 3.

Richard Petty benefited from the crash and held off Darrell Waltrip and A.J. Foyt to win his sixth Daytona 500.

As Petty celebrated, one of the landmark moments in the history of NASCAR took place in Turn 3 as Yarborough and Allison began a heated debate that turned into a fist fight with Allison’s brother Bobby jumping into the fray.

Donnie Allison, reflecting on the 1979 race prior to the 50th running of the Daytona 500 in 2008, said he never would have imagined crashing out in Turn 3 on the last lap.

 “If I had to do it over, and I know what I know now, I would have done something different,” Allison said. “But to be perfectly honest, it caught me by surprise. It caught everybody by surprise because how many times in the 50 years they run the Daytona 500 have you seen the leader and the second-place car wreck coming off of Turn 2. Turn 4 yes. I expected something to happen down there.”

Many of today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers look back on the 1979 Daytona 500 as one of those landmark moments in the history of the sport.

 “That was huge,” said Richard Childress Racing’s Jeff Burton said. “I think it has a lot to do with how big the sport is today.”

“It was a great race and a fun finish,” said two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip, who attended the 1979 race as a fan in the grandstands. “The whole East Coast obviously was inundated with a snow storm so a lot people noticed what we were doing back then.”

Tickets for the NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race – the 55th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24 – start at $65 and are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

For the second straight year, the Speedway is offering special youth pricing for the Daytona 500.  Children 12 and under will receive 50 percent off all backstretch grandstand seats for the Daytona 500 while supplies last. In addition, children 12 and under are free in the Sprint FANZONE throughout Budweiser Speedweeks.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter (@NASCAR) and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtags #NASCAR and #DAYTONA500.  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 05 | NASCAR DRIVERS TO RUN DAYTONA BEACH HALF MARATHON

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Jimmie Johnson, Michael Waltrip, Aric Almirola and Kasey Kahne Among Those Entered In Half Marathon.

Marathon

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Prior to turning two high-speed qualifying laps in Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger, several NASCAR drivers will first compete in the fifth annual Daytona Beach Half Marathon, which will start and end at historic Daytona International Speedway.

The Central Florida Sports Commission and Daytona International Speedway, in partnership with Volusia County, will host the Daytona Beach Half Marathon on Sunday, Feb. 17, just one week before the 55th running of “The Great American Race” – the Daytona 500.  The Daytona Beach Half Marathon, which will start at 6:30 a.m. ET, is being held for the first time during Budweiser Speedweeks.

Among the NASCAR drivers that have submitted applications to compete in the Daytona Beach Half Marathon are five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip, Kasey Kahne and Aric Almirola.

“My wife and I really like to run and stay fit,” Almirola said. “Sammy Johns, our Director of Competition at Richard Petty Motorsports, is really into running, triathlons and being competitive. So, we all decided this was a perfect run to do.  It’s during Speedweeks, it’s going to get the race fans involved and it just seems like a lot of fun. We are looking forward to it.”

Runners will begin the half marathon on pit road at Daytona International Speedway.  The course will circle around the first two miles of the track, exiting the track at Gate 7 and heading east on International Speedway Blvd.  Runners continue over the bridge getting their first glimpse of the Halifax River and the beach, finally reaching “The World’s Most Famous Beach” at approximately the 7.1 mile mark. Runners will then run on the beach for a 10th of a mile, getting an unobstructed view of the ocean as the sun rises on the beautiful horizon, Returning to the roads of Daytona Beach runners, will then head back to the Speedway for the finish and a trip to Gatorade Victory Lane.

The Daytona Beach Half Marathon is open to runners and walkers, at least 12 years of age or older, who can complete the course in less than 3 hours and 30 minutes.

Each participant will receive a race-themed tech shirt, finisher’s medal, access to the post-race party, and a ticket to DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented by Kroger, which includes admission to the Sprint FANZONE

Registration is currently open, with the advanced entry fee for the Daytona Beach Half Marathon set at $80 per person, until February 14th.  Travel packages are also available online, which include race entry, hotel and other exclusive perks - starting at just $190 per person.  For race and ticket information, visit the Daytona Beach Half Marathon website: http://daytonabeachhalf.com/.

Tickets for all Budweiser Speedweeks At Daytona events are also 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 04 | BOATS ARE AVAILABLE FOR "HOT RODS & REELS™” CHARITY FISHING TOURNAMENT

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NASCAR Drivers team up with Champion Racer Darrell Gwynn for a fun day of fishing to support people with paralysis.

HRR

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. –– The Darrell Gwynn Foundation will host the Hot Rods & Reels™ Charity Fishing Tournament with NASCAR Drivers at the Daytona International Speedway on Friday, February 22 at 8 a.m. The event will pair NASCAR Drivers with foundation supporters, executives and racing fans for a day of exciting fishing during the Daytona 500 Weekend in Daytona Beach, Fla. The Darrell Gwynn Foundation’s mission is to provide SUPPORT for people living with paralysis and PREVENT spinal cord injuries.

Several boats are available for sponsorships at this year’s event. The fishing tournament is a unique experience to fish with a NASCAR Driver in a private boat during the Daytona 500 Weekend. It’s a great opportunity for companies to reward employees or entertain clients. Many companies use the event as a reward built around an employee incentive program designed to increase sales with great success. For information on sponsoring a boat and the opportunity to fish with a NASCAR Driver please call (954) 792-7223 x.113 or visit www.hotrodsandreels.com

Approximately 20 fishing boats, professional fishing guide volunteers and a large-mouth/peacock bass-stocked Lake Lloyd inside the Daytona International Speedway await participants who will fish with the likes of NASCAR personalities Tony Stewart, Jamie McMurray, Carl Edwards, Darrell Waltrip, Clint Bowyer, Joey Coulter, Ryan Newman, Richard Childress, Martin Truex, Scott Wimmer, Max Papis and many more!  All tournament proceeds will benefit the Darrell Gwynn Foundation.

“The tournament is a once in a lifetime opportunity to fish with a NASCAR Driver,” says Darrell Gwynn, president of the Darrell Gwynn Foundation. “This is the perfect chance for companies looking to entertain clients or reward employees during the Daytona 500 Weekend. It’s always a lot of fun and we get great support from the NASCAR Drivers that attend and make it such a great event.”

The tournament will take place at the Daytona International Speedway on Lake Lloyd. Registration begins at 7:00 a.m. 

At the event, the Darrell Gwynn Foundation, on behalf of its donors and supporters, will donate a custom power wheelchair to an individual in need. The wheelchair donation will be made through the foundation’s national Wheelchair Donation Program. Fans can “Give the Gift of Mobility” and support the foundation’s Wheelchair Donation Program by visiting www.darrellgwynnfoundation.org.  

In addition to raising spinal cord injury awareness and purchasing custom power wheelchairs for children and young adults, a portion of the money is donated to the “Speediatrics” unit at Halifax Hospital.  This special unit, which is brightly decked out in a racing theme, helps children and families feel more comfortable amid what can be stressful circumstances. 

Gwynn, a champion racer whose career ended when he sustained a spinal cord injury in a racing accident in 1990, has dedicated his life to supporting people with paralysis and research for a cure and preventing spinal cord injuries through awareness and education. He and his wife Lisa founded the Darrell Gwynn Foundation in 2002.  

Sponsors who made the event possible include: Bass Pro Shops-Outdoor World, Sprint, Hook & Tackle, Bass Online, Coca-Cola, Rolltisserie by Southern Pride and Plano. 

Give the Gift of Mobility: https://darrellgwynnfoundation.org/the-gift-of-mobility.php  

About the Darrell Gwynn Foundation

Founded in 2002 by Champion Racer Darrell Gwynn and his wife, Lisa, the Darrell Gwynn Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to provide SUPPORT for people living with paralysis and PREVENT spinal cord injuries. The foundation’s primary support program is its national Wheelchair Donation Program. With this program the Darrell Gwynn Foundation has donated custom built wheelchairs to hundreds of individuals in need. The foundation also maintains a Patient Assistance Fund offering support services and tools at Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado with aspirations to expand this model to several hospitals nationwide. The Patient Assistance Fund also supports two Speediatrics Units the Betty Jane France Pediatric Center, at Halifax Hospital in Daytona, Fla. and Homestead Hospital in Homestead, Fla. Additionally, the Patient Assistance Fund provides financial support through its Fast Track Laboratory with the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis aimed at finding a cure for paralysis. The foundation operates an Education & Prevention Program directed to high school students to educate them on the dangers of risky behavior that can lead to spinal cord injuries. This rapidly growing program reaches over 10,000 students annually at over 50 high schools. In an effort to create more awareness about spinal cord injuries, the Darrell Gwynn Foundation successfully lobbied for and established a National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month and Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week in Florida. With tremendous fundraising partners such as Barrett-Jackson, the NHRA, NASCAR and many more generous sponsors, individual supporters and donors, the Darrell Gwynn Foundation continues to evolve as a leading foundation for those with spinal cord injuries and living with paralysis. For more information please visit www.darrellgwynnfoundation.org or www.facebook.com/darrellgwynnfoundation

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