Pre-Race Fan Q&A as Part of the UNOH Fanzone Experience That is a Hit With Fans of All Ages
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 17, 2021) – The reigning DAYTONA 500 Champion, two former Coke Zero Sugar 400 Champions, a driver who pilots a race car co-owned by an NBA legend and another who drives for a team co-owned by a Grammy Award-winning musical artist, along with a two-time DAYTONA 500 Champion crew chief, will highlight the lineup of Daytona International Speedway’s UNOH Fanzone Question & Answer Sessions prior to the start of this year’s Coke Zero Sugar 400.
As part of Welcome Back Weekend for fans, the UNOH Fanzone Question & Answer Sessions are back prior to the Coke Zero Sugar 400, the last chance for teams to make the 2021,16-driver NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, on Saturday, August 28.
Michael McDowell, who stunned the racing world in February by winning the DAYTONA 500, will be joined by 2014 and 2017 Coke Zero Sugar 400 Champions, Aric Almirola and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., respectively, along Bubba Wallace and Daniel Suarez (all three need a victory to secure their spot in the championship run), plus veteran crew chief Drew Blickensderfer, who helped propel McDowell to victory.
Each driver is set to interact with fans just hours before the drop of the green flag to the Coke Zero Sugar 400, the premier series regular season finale.
Anyone who has access to the UNOH Fanzone can ask these drivers their questions and get a personal experience with the potential victor of the 2021 Coke Zero Sugar 400. Saturday admission, where fans will also have access to the pe-race concert performed by multi-platinum country music star Chris Lane, is $60 for adults 13 years and older and FREE for kids 12 and under, who are accompanied by a paid adult. As part of the UNOH Fanzone/Pre-Race Access Experience, fans will also get to see driver introductions, stand on the famed high banks, sign the start/finish line, see teams in their garage bays, visit Ruoff Mortgage Victory Lane and take photos with the Coke Zero Sugar 400 trophy, and much more.
Below gives more detail on the group of drivers scheduled to be a part of the UNOH Fanzone on Saturday, Aug. 28:
- McDowell, driver of the No. 34 Front row Motorsports Ford, became a DAYTONA 500 Champion – his first career triumph – by leading the final lap. A seasoned veteran who began in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2008, qualified for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs as a result of the triumph.
- Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, collected his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory in the 2014 Coke Zero Sugar 400. Almirola is in the playoff hunt by virtue of his victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Earlier this year in preparation for the DAYTONA 500, he won one of the Bluegreen Vacations Duel qualifying races which landed him the third starting position for the DAYTONA 500. He is also a Daytona NASCAR Xfinity Series victor thanks to his win at the 2016 Wawa 250 Powered by Coca-Cola.
- Stenhouse Jr., driver of the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevy, had his second career NASCAR Cup Series victory at the 2017 Coke Zero Sugar 400, with his first victory being at Talladega Superspeedway earlier that season. Stenhouse Jr., who won the pole position for the 2020 DAYTONA 500, is a two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion, winning back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012. Currently, he needs to win one of the final two races in the regular season to qualify for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
- Wallace, driver of the No. 23 23XI Racing Toyota, is in his first season of the team co-owned by NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan and NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin. He made his full-time Cup Series debut by placing runner-up in the 2018 DAYTONA 500 while driving for Richard Petty Motorsports. A winner in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Wallace is searching for his initial triumph in NASCAR’s premier series. He, too, needs a win in the final two regular season races to make the Playoffs.
- Suarez, driver of the No. 99 Trackhouse Racing Team Chevy, is in his first season as part of the team co-owned by Justin Marks and Grammy Award-winning artist Armando Christian “Pitbull” Pérez. Suarez, the 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion and the 2015 NASCAR Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year, also needs a victory in the final two regular season races to have a shot at the Cup Series title.
- Blickensderfer, crew chief of the No. 34 Front row Motorsports Ford, is in his third year as the team leader for driver McDowell. Unbelievably, three of Blickensderfer’s four career wins as a crew chief have come at Daytona. In addition to his DAYTONA 500 victory earlier this year, Blickensderfer also headed Matt Kenseth’s team that captured the 2009 DAYTONA 500, as well as David Ragan’s 2011 Coke Zero Sugar 400.
*Driver availability for the DIS Pre-Race Fan Question & Answer session is subject to change and without notice. Neither NASCAR nor any of its affiliates are responsible for this event*
For UNOH Fanzone admission the day before, for the Xfinity Series Wawa 250, the cost for adults 13 years and older is $25, and kids 12 and under, once again, have FREE admission if they are accompanied by a paid adult. A Friday lineup of NASCAR personalities for Fan Q&A will be announced soon. If fans would like to visit the UNOH Fanzone before both the Coke Zero Sugar 400 and the Wawa 250 Powered by Coca-Cola (Friday, Aug. 27), they have the option of the Two-Day Pass, where access to the pre-race events for both days will be only $75.
Tickets for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 and the Wawa 250 Powered by Coca-Cola can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway and see the latest speedway news on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
About Daytona International Speedway
Daytona International Speedway is a state-of-the-art motorsports facility and was awarded the SportsBusiness Journal’s prestigious Sports Business Award for Sports Facility of the Year in 2016. Daytona International Speedway is the home of The Great American Race – the DAYTONA 500. Though the season-opening NASCAR Cup Series event garners most of the attention – as well as the largest audience in motorsports – the approximately 500-acre motorsports complex, also known as the World Center of Racing, boasts the most diverse schedule of racing on the globe. In addition to at least nine major event weekends, the Speedway grounds are also used extensively for events that include concerts, civic and social gatherings, car shows, photo shoots, production vehicle testing and police motorcycle training.