Daytona International Speedway Track News Archive

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  • 'Tickets for Troops' Program continues at Daytona: Daytona International Speedway, in partnership with the Greater Jacksonville Area USO and the Veteran Tickets Foundation (Vet Tix), is creating the "Ticket for Troops" program, providing race fans the opportunity to help send members of the military to Speedweeks 2017 events at the "World Center of Racing." Fans are able to contribute $3, $5, $10 or more, with 100 percent of all contributions going directly toward the cost of tickets given to the USO and Vet Tix for distribution to active, retired, honorably discharged veterans, reserves and Gold Star Families. Daytona International Speedway will match every dollar gifted through this program. The Ticket for Troops program is aligned with the USO and Vet Tix efforts in supporting and recognizing members of the military. Vet Tix and USO partners with major sports teams, leagues, promoters, organizations, venues and individual event ticket holders to provide tickets to currently serving and veterans of all branches of the military.(DIS)(12-17-2016)

  • Jeff Gordon tests for Rolex 24: Once again, Jeff Gordon has come out of retirement and once again he's in the Rolex 24 At Daytona field. As a high-profile part of the Wayne Taylor Racing lineup that will co-drive a new Cadillac DPi in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship's headlining Prototype class, Gordon is at Daytona International Speedway this week for a two-day test session in advance of the Jan. 28-29 sports car endurance classic. Gordon will co-drive the #10 Cadillac with Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli. It will be Gordon's second appearance in the Rolex 24; in 2007 he co-drove a Pontiac Riley with Angelelli, Wayne Taylor and Jan Magnussen to a third-place finish. "I had so much fun the first time I did this," Gordon said. "And at this point of my life and career [winning the Rolex 24] would be huge. When I came here in 2007 I was just kind of along for the ride. When you really realize how important this race is, is on race day when you see the hype and buildup and then the challenges you face over 24 hours. That's what makes this race so thrilling. I'd be very proud [if we won]." This week's test is the second of three preseason sessions for the Rolex 24, IMSA's season-opening event. The first test was Nov. 15-16. The final test will be the annual "Roar Before the Rolex 24" on Jan. 6-8.(DIS)(12-14-2016)

  • UNOH becomes entitlement sponsor of Daytona Fanzone: Daytona International Speedway announced a multi-year partnership with University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) for the school to secure the naming rights of the Fanzone, the 211,636-square foot entertainment hub located in the infield of the "World Center of Racing." UNOH, located in Lima, Ohio, invented the first high-performance motorsports degree program in the country, and in 2006, opened the largest U.S. facility dedicated to learning the science of high-performance vehicles - a seven-acre, 70,000-square foot high performance motorsports complex. The UNOH Fanzone, which first opened in 2005 at the "World Center of Racing," is located between the NASCAR premier series (sponsored by Monster Energy) garages and NASCAR XFINITY Series garages and puts fans in the middle of the event action with fan forums, historic displays, autograph sessions, entertainment and merchandise as well as access to pre-race activities. Other amenities include the Fan Deck on top of the NASCAR premier series garages and garage viewing windows with autograph slots. UNOH will also continue to serve as the Official Education Partner of Daytona International Speedway and have an on-site marketing presence at the facility including event signage, display space, tickets and hospitality.(DIS)(12-10-2016)

  • Sparks to Sing National Anthem at DAYTONA 500: Multi-platinum recording artist, actress and DAV Ambassador Jordin Sparks, whose faith-based film God Bless The Broken Road will be in theaters early 2017, will perform the National Anthem for the 59th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR premier series race at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 26. "We're thrilled to have Jordin Sparks be a part of the pre-race ceremonies and sing the National Anthem prior to the DAYTONA 500," Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile said. "Jordin is an incredible talent and we look forward to her rendition of the National Anthem before the start of the 59th 'Great American Race.' " Sparks was the season 6 winner of American Idol. In addition to a successful recording career, she has branched out to pursue an acting and Broadway career, starring in films such as the music film Sparkle, The Grace of Jakes, Left Behind and The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete. Tickets for the 59th annual DAYTONA 500 and other Speedweeks events can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(12-5-2016)

  • Rusty Wallace Finishes 10th in Trofeo Pirelli World Final: The Ferrari Finali Mondiali wrapped up its four-day, first-ever North American experience Sunday at Daytona International Speedway, with two world titles determined and a historic appearance by Formula One drivers on the DIS 3.56-mile road course. World Finals were held in the Coppa Shell and Trofeo Pirelli competitions, with two 35-minute races. German driver Thomas Loefflad won the Coppa Shell event. Venezuelan Carlos Kauffmann took the Trofeo Pirelli victory. Rusty Wallace, the 1989 champion of NASCAR's premier series and a NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, came out of retirement for the weekend and finished 10th in the 27-car Trofeo Pirelli field, driving for the Risi Competizione/Ferrari of Houston. He finished third in the Professional, North America class. Previously during the weekend, Wallace posted 15th and 32nd-place results, the latter due to brake problems late in the race. "I told myself that after the struggles we'd had, that if I could walk out with a solid top 10 in the finals I'd be happy," Wallace said. "The team did great and I learned a ton. We've been here five days, run 1,000 laps and we don't have a dent on the car. This was totally out of the box for me. It was a great opportunity from Ferrari, Risi and Daytona. We had a nice solid run and we had a lot of NASCAR fans here, too."(DIS)(12-5-2016)

  • Rusty Wallace to compete in 2016 Finali Mondiali: NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace is going to return to the driver's seat for the upcoming Ferrari Finali Mondiali on Dec. 1-4 at Daytona International Speedway. The 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will battle the twists and turns of the "World Center of Racing's" 3.56-mile road course for the Risi Competizione/Ferrari of Houston team in the North America series of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli. Wallace will practice on Thursday, Dec. 1 followed by qualifying and racing on Friday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 3. "I hope that I can run strong in it and hopefully win but I'm realistic too," Wallace said. "I haven't been in a car in a long time. I'm going to have to knock a lot cobwebs off but I got the passion for it." Wallace is going to test with the team at the Circuit of Americas in Austin, Texas to get acclimated to the car and the crew before arriving at Daytona International Speedway. While Wallace knows every inch of the 2.5-mile tri-oval from his NASCAR competition, he only competed once on the 3.56-mile road course when he made his lone Rolex 24 At Daytona start in 2006. The Ferrari Finali Mondiali, the four-day event that is being staged in North America for the first time, will bring together competitors from the European, North American and Asia Pacific series of the Ferrari Challenge for a battle for the World Championship in their Ferrari 458 Challenge EVOs. The Ferrari Finali Mondiali has been previously held in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Spain and Italy. The weekend also includes the display and running of historic Formula 1 cars and Ferrari's exclusive XX Programmes.(Daytona International Speedway)(11-27-2016)

  • Daytona offering Black Friday and Cyber Monday Ticket Specials: Those looking to give the gift of Daytona International Speedway, the world's only motorsports stadium, will find plenty of options in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday Thanksgiving holiday ticket specials. On Friday, Nov. 25 (Black Friday) and Monday, Nov. 28 (Cyber Monday), the "World Center of Racing" will offer the following $60 ticket package specials:
    " General admission stadium ticket for the 55th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29 with a Rolex 24 event hat and garage access on Sunday, a savings of 22 percent.
    " General admission stadium and infield access for The Unlimited/Lucas Oil 200 doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 18 with Fanzone/Pre-Race access or scanner rental, a savings of 24 percent.
    " General admission stadium ticket and Fanzone/Pre-Race access or scanner rental for the Can-Am Duel 150-mile qualifying races on Thursday night, Feb. 23, a savings of 24 percent.
    " General admission stadium ticket and Fanzone/Pre-Race access or scanner rental for the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday night, Feb. 24, a savings of 24 percent.
    " General admission stadium ticket and Fanzone/Pre-Race access or scanner rental for the PowerShares QQQ 300, the NASCAR XFINITY Series season-opener on Saturday, Feb. 25, a savings of 24 percent.
    " Kids 12 and under are FREE in general admission stadium and Fanzone for the above Speedweeks events.
    (DIS)(11-24-2016)

  • Coke Zero 400 tickets on sale: Tickets for the 59th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Cup Series race scheduled on Saturday, July 1 will go on sale Monday, Oct. 17 at 9:00am/et. Race fans will have the opportunity to celebrate the Independence Day holiday weekend with the stars of NASCAR battling underneath the lights in the 160-lap, 400-mile race. Guests will also enjoy all the unprecedented amenities that come with the world's only motorsports stadium including 101,500 new, wider seats, thousands of premium club seats, 40 escalators and 17 elevators, 60 luxury suites, social "neighborhoods" and three concourse levels that span the nearly mile-long frontstretch. Tickets for the Coke Zero 400 start at $60. Children 12 and under are only $20 in reserved stadium seating. Those wishing to attend should make their plans early. As part of the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola, in addition to the action on the track, Daytona International Speedway will celebrate the July Fourth holiday by recognizing Congressional Medal of Honor recipients and showcasing one of the largest fireworks shows in the Southeast.(DIS)(10-15-2016)

  • International Speedway Corp details 3rd quarter financials: International Speedway Corp. held its conference call with investor analysts Thursday morning to detail results from the third quarter. ISC hosted four Sprint Cup weekends during the third quarter, which ended Aug. 31 - two races at Michigan, Daytona in July and Watkins Glen. Among the items mentioned in the nearly hour-long conference call:
    - Admissions for comparable Cup events was up about 1 percent compared to the same time last year. This was mostly attributed to the Daytona race in July. In 2015, the seating capacity was reduced to about 50,000 for the Daytona summer race as construction continued on the grandstand. The stadium debuted at this year's Daytona 500 with 101,500 seats.
    - Watkins Glen had a second consecutive sellout this year.
    - Michigan International Speedway saw admission declines for both its Sprint Cup events.
    - The average ticket price for the four Cup races at ISC tracks in the third quarter was $83.11. That's an increase of about 8 percent from the same period last year. The increase was mainly generated by the new seating and pricing at Daytona.
    -The average ticket price for all Cup races at ISC tracks through the first nine months of the year is $96.14. That's an increase of about 8 percent, also driven by pricing at Daytona. - For the fourth quarter, ISC reported lower attendance-related revenue for Cup weekends at Darlington, Richmond and Chicagoland Speedway. Advance sales for the remaining events at ISC tracks (Kansas, Talladega, Martinsville, Phoenix and Homestead) are down 10 percent on average. ISC officials anticipate a sellout for the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    See more at NBC Sports.(10-14-2016)

  • Daytona International Speedway Statement On Hurricane Matthew: "Daytona International Speedway experienced moderate damage from Hurricane Matthew with impacts to lights, speakers, signage, fences, gates, awnings and palm trees. Daytona International Speedway Ticket Office and Tours and the Richard Petty Driving Experience will be closed on Saturday and Sunday for facility cleanup. We will provide more updates through the weekend. Pictures of a past weather event at Daytona International Speedway have been circulating on social media during the storm. Those pictures are from a weather event in 2009. There was no flood damage to the facility from Hurricane Matthew. We are working with local, regional and state officials on recovery efforts following Hurricane Matthew. Daytona International Speedway is once again serving as a staging site for Florida Power & Light crews. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been impacted by this weather system."(Daytona International Speedway PR)(10-7-2016)

  • Spectator drops lawsuit against Daytona and NASCAR: A spectator claiming to be injured by debris from the Austin Dillon wreck in July 2015 at Daytona International Speedway has dropped his lawsuit against the track and NASCAR.The attorney for spectator William Fulton filed the paperwork Thursday to voluntarily dismiss Fulton's lawsuit. The dismissal of the lawsuit would indicate a settlement in the case, although there is no reason for the dismissal specified in the filing in Florida state court in Volusia County, Fla. In the lawsuit, Fulton claimed that he was sitting in Row 6 when the crash happened at the finish of the Coke Zero 400, where Dillon's car got airborne and flew into the catch fence. Fulton claimed that as he shielded his wife, he was hit in the head and shoulder by debris. Beyond stating in the complaint that he has not fully recovered from the injuries, Fulton did not list specific injuries in his complaint nor a specific amount being sought in damages.(ESPN.com)(9-27-2016)

  • DAYTONA 500 In 2018 Returns To Traditional Date On Presidents Day Weekend: The 2018 DAYTONA 500, which will be the historic 60th running of NASCAR's biggest and most prestigious event, will return to its traditional date on Presidents Day weekend - Sunday, Feb. 18. "We wanted to let all of our fans, partners and stakeholders know about this date adjustment in advance and give them ample time to make their travel plans for 'The Great American Race,' " Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile said. "The 60th annual DAYTONA 500 is going to be a significant milestone in the event's history and we look forward to a special celebration." The DAYTONA 500 has been traditionally held on Presidents Day weekend/George Washington's birthday from 1968 to 2011. In fact, the inaugural DAYTONA 500 back in 1959 was held on George Washington's birthday. Dates for the other Speedweeks events and Bike Week At Daytona International Speedway will be announced at a later date. Tickets for the 2018 DAYTONA 500 will also go on sale at a later date after the completion of ticket renewals following the 2017 DAYTONA 500.(DIS)(7-27-2016)

  • Suit filed against NASCAR, Daytona for 2015 wreck: A Florida man who alleges he was hit in the head and shoulder while shielding his wife from flying debris after Austin Dillon's car flew into the Daytona International Speedway catch fence has filed a lawsuit against the track and NASCAR. William Fulton claims in the lawsuit, filed Monday in Florida state court in Volusia County (Fla.), that he was sitting in Row 6 when the crash happened at the finish of the July 2015 Coke Zero 400. Beyond stating in the complaint that he has not fully recovered from the injuries, Fulton did not list specific injuries in his complaint nor a specific amount being sought in damages. According to the complaint, the track, its parent company International Speedway Corp. and NASCAR, were negligent, among other things, for "failing to properly remedy known dangerous conditions following continued, numerous injuries to spectators as a result of airborne race cars crashing into the catch fences" and for "failing to conduct a thorough engineering analysis of the catch fences and pre-race inspection of the fences." Spokesmen for NASCAR, which sanctions and operates the races, and ISC said they had no comment on the lawsuit. Fulton's attorney, David Beers, declined comment.(ESPN.com)(7-20-2016)

  • Brad Keselowski wins at Daytona: #2-Brad Keselowski won the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway for his 3rd win of the season, 1st win at Daytona and 20th career win in his 250th start.
    The race's final caution flag set up NASCAR Overtime.
    #18-Busch finished 2nd followed by #6-Bayne, #22-Logano, #17-Stenhouse Jr., #42-Larson, #3-Dillon, #16-Biffle (pole winner), #15-Bowyer and #95-McDowell.
    #98-Cole Whitt finished 11th, his career best finish. #21-Blaney was the highest finishing rookie at 14th.
    There was one 'big one' wreck with 19 cars involved including points leader #4-Harvick, #48-Johnson, #20-Kenseth, #24-Elliott, #5-Kahne and #1-McMurray. Last weeks winner, #14-Stewart was running in the top ten late in the race when his car got loose and hit the wall and a couple other cars, ending his night, despite wrecking and finishing 26th, Stewart moved into 30th place in the series standings, the position he needs to maintain or improve to remain eligible for the Chase. #41-Busch was running in the top-five on the last lap when #22-Logano got into the #41, sending it spinning thru the infield grass, Busch finished 23rd.
    There were 26 lead changes among 13 drivers and 5 cautions for 28 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 150.342 mph.
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    NASCAR 120, Sunday, July 3 at 3:00pm/et on NBCSN;
    NASCAR 120, Monday, July 4 at 3:30pm/et on NBCSN;
    See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at:
    Unofficial Race Results page (pdf)
    Lap Summary Report (pdf)
    Penalty Report (pdf)
    Pit Stop Times (pdf)
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Daytona Race & Points Report (pdf).(7-2-2016)

  • No Aero Changes for Daytona: NASCAR will return to Daytona International Speedway next week with the same basic aerodynamic package that it used for the Daytona 500 and Talladega earlier this year. After three cars got airborne at Talladega, NASCAR vowed to take a look too see if it should make any changes to the cars. Six days before cars are scheduled for practice at Daytona, NASCAR opted not to make any changes, executive vice president Steve O'Donnell said. "The one car that got in the air on its own was the 20 car [of Matt Kenseth] and we looked at that. ... Based on what we saw for the initial Daytona race, we're satisfied with the race package we have," O'Donnell said Friday at Sonoma Raceway. Drivers obviously don't want their cars to get airborne, but they also don't agree on the fix needed. NASCAR has some new rules as far as the bolting on the deck lid for Daytona, but that has more to do with teams working in that area to get a speed advantage. NASCAR slightly decreased the amount of horsepower generated by Sprint Cup cars at restrictor-plate tracks for the 2016 season.(ESPN)(6-25-2016)

  • Montgomery Gentry To Perform Pre-Race Concert at Coke Zero 400: Montgomery Gentry, the multi-platinum country music duo comprised of Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry, will perform a 60-minute pre-race concert on Saturday, July 2 prior to the 58th annual Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway. A limited quantity of VIP ticket packages are available for race fans to receive special access to the pre-race concert that will be staged along pit road. Fans that have already purchased a Coke Zero 400 race ticket can upgrade their experience to the VIP Pit package for $75. Tickets for the June 30-July 2 Coke Zero 400 Weekend can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(6-21-2016)

  • 2017 DAYTONA 500 Tickets On Sale: Tickets for the prestigious 59th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening race will officially go on sale Monday, June 20 at 9:00am/et. Race fans will have the opportunity to experience the 2017 DAYTONA 500, scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 26, in the world's only motorsports stadium, experiencing unprecedented amenities that include 101,500 new, wider seats, thousands of premium club seats, 40 escalators and 17 elevators, 60 luxury suites, social "neighborhoods" and three concourse levels that span the nearly mile-long frontstretch. The 2016 DAYTONA 500 was a sellout and produced the closest finish in the event's storied 58-year history with Denny Hamlin nipping Martin Truex Jr. by .010 seconds at the start/finish line. In addition to tickets for the DAYTONA 500, fans can also purchase tickets and multi-day ticket packages for the remaining events during Speedweeks which kicks off with the 55th Rolex 24 At Daytona IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Jan. 28-29. Also on sale will be tickets for the year's first official event at Daytona International Speedway, the Roar Before The Rolex 24 and Scout Days on Jan. 6-8, the critical three-day test session for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge teams.(DIS)(6-17-2016)

  • Jaguars Linebacker named Honorary Pace Car Driver at Daytona: Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker Telvin Smith will serve as Honorary Pace Car Driver for the 58th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, July 2. Smith, who played collegiately at Florida State University before being chosen by the Jaguars in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, will lead the field around the 2.5-mile tri-oval in a Toyota Camry Pace Car prior to the start of the 160-lap, 400-mile race. Smith will also participate in a question-and-answer session in Sprint FANZONE, pre-race ceremonies and attend the drivers' meeting. In 2015, Smith started all 14 games he played in, totaling 128 tackles (99 solo), as well as registering his first NFL touchdown on a 26-yard interception return against the Buffalo Bills in the Jaguars' win in London. Smith also owns the NFL's longest active streak of 16 straight games with six-plus tackles.(DIS)(6-14-2016)

  • Daytona to again honor Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients: During the upcoming Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola June 30-July 2, Daytona International Speedway will continue the renewed tradition of honoring Congressional Medal of Honor recipients. Being recognized this year are Captain Florent Groberg, U.S. Army (Afghanistan); Staff Sergeant Ty Carter, U.S. Army (Afghanistan) and Command Sergeant Major Gary Littrell, U.S. Army (Vietnam). Over the course of the Fourth of July weekend these three recipients will also be honored at a luncheon, attend the drivers' meetings, participate in pre-race ceremonies for both Friday night's Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR XFINITY Series race and Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. In addition, they will participate in an autograph session in Sprint FANZONE prior to Saturday night's race. This will be the eighth straight year that DIS has recognized Congressional Medal of Honor recipients during the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola, a practice that was originally started by Bill France Sr. in the 1970s. The Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration given by the United States Government, is bestowed upon a member of the United States Armed Forces who distinguishes himself or herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life, above and beyond the call of duty, while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States.(DIS)(6-10-2016)

  • Patrick debuts new Daytona menu item; July ticket package: Danica Patrick visited Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday to participate in Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola Media Day. Instead of turning laps around the historic 2.5-mile tri-oval in her #10 Nature's Bakery Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing, Patrick shared one of her other interests - cooking. Patrick held court just outside the Chevrolet Injector in the FPL Solar Pavilion where she gave media members a special preview of a signature dish that will be available for race fans during the Coke Zero 400 Weekend: her Coke & Lime Cilantro Shrimp Wrap. The wrap is a perfect fit for Patrick's health-conscious personal cookbook; it's made with a garlic herb tortilla, Coke-marinated grilled and chilled white shrimp, shaved romaine hearts, cilantro and cabbage slaw and mango papaya relish. In addition, Patrick and International Speedway Corporation Chief Operating Officer Joie Chitwood III announced "Danica's Coke Zero 400 Family Pack". The package includes the following: A Coke Zero 400 adult reserved stadium seat and one kids reserved stadium seat (ages 12 and under); Admission to a question-and-answer session with Patrick in a Midway suite prior to the race; $10 in "DAYTONA Dollars" for Danica's Coke & Lime Cilantro Shrimp Wrap & a Coca-Cola product (Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite or Aquafina).(DIS)(6-2-2016)

  • Daytona International Speedway Takes Home Prestigious Sports Facility of the Year Award: Daytona International Speedway's (DIS) new $400 million motorsports stadium was named Sports Facility of the Year last night at SportsBusiness Journal's 2016 Sports Business Awards in New York City. The Sports Business Awards recognize excellence and outstanding achievement in the business of sports. DIS topped a competitive field consisting of Avaya Stadium (San Jose Earthquakes), Bill Snyder Family Stadium (Kansas State University Wildcats), Kyle Field (Texas A&M Aggies) and Petco Park (San Diego Padres). "We're honored to receive this prestigious award for our new motorsports stadium," said International Speedway Corporation Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy. "Our employees, fans and partners deserve the credit for helping us transform the vision into reality." The motorsports stadium officially debuted during the 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona and 2016 DAYTONA 500. DIS has a full calendar of events scheduled for the remainder of the year, including the Country 500 Music Festival (May 27-29), Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola (July 2) and the Ferrari World Finals (December 1-4).(NASCAR/DIS)(5-19-2016)

  • Axalta Coating Systems becomes final Founding Partner at Daytona: International Speedway Corporation and Axalta Coating Systems, a leading global manufacturer of liquid and powder coatings, announced today a multi-year partnership that will make Axalta the fifth Founding Partner at Daytona International Speedway's (DIS) new motorsports stadium. The multi-year agreement will provide Axalta with naming rights for the Center injector as well as branding rights within specific areas of the "World Center of Racing" zone, the central "neighborhood" overlooking the famed start/finish line inside the new stadium. The "World Center of Racing" zone is roughly the area of two football fields and celebrates the history and legacy of racing at DIS while featuring retail and dining areas, dozens of video screens and open sight-line views of the racetrack. Axalta will receive 32,000 square feet of branding and engagement opportunities in the Center injector that vertically span four concourse levels along with a dedicated display activation area in the redesigned Midway (located near its injector). Through the partnership, Axalta furthers its strong commitment to motorsports. Axalta serves as a primary sponsor of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet SS team as part of its longstanding, 24-year partnership with Hendrick Motorsports. Additionally, Axalta recently served as the sponsor of the Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR).(DIS)(5-9-2016)

  • Lesa France Kennedy named Honorary Chairperson for Motorsports Hall Of Fame Of America Induction: The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA) announced that International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy will serve as honorary chairperson for its 28th Annual Induction Ceremony Presented by Bridgestone on June 29 in Daytona Beach. Kennedy, also ISC's vice chairperson and executive vice president/vice chairperson of NASCAR, will be part of an illustrious list of attendees for the hall of fame's first induction ceremony in Daytona Beach since its recent move from Novi, Michigan to Daytona International Speedway. The MSHFA now will be housed in the Speedway's ticket and tours facility that greets thousands of motorsports fans each year at the "World Center of Racing." The first phase of construction and development is expected to be completed by June. That completion will coincide with this year's debut of the $400 million "DAYTONA Rising" project which has created the world's first true motorsports stadium. The site for the induction ceremony will be announced in the near future. A seven-person class of 2016 inductees will enter the MSHFA: AMA motorcycle great Everett Brashear; NASCAR champion team owner Richard Childress; land and water speed-record legend Gary Gabelich; multi-discipline auto racing champion owner Chip Ganassi; NHRA announcing legend Dave McClelland; competitor and broadcaster extraordinaire Sam Posey; and 1955 Indianapolis 500 champion Bob Sweikert.(Motorsports Hall of Fame)(5-6-2016)

  • Chitwood named Chief Operating Officer of ISC; Wile moves from Darlington to Daytona: International Speedway Corporation announced that Joie Chitwood III, Executive Vice President, ISC and President of Daytona International Speedway, has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer of ISC. Concurrently, the Company announced that Chip Wile, President of Darlington Raceway, has been promoted to President of Daytona International Speedway. "Joie has played a tremendous role in the success of our flagship racetrack at Daytona International Speedway since 2010," stated ISC CEO Lesa France Kennedy. "Most recently, his leadership of the DAYTONA Rising project, while simultaneously operating the facility, has demonstrated his operational acumen." Chitwood moves into the newly-formed role of COO following oversight of the Company's largest development to-date - the $400 million transformation of Daytona International Speedway into the world's first motorsports stadium, along with the 2010 repave of the Speedway. In his new position, Chitwood will oversee ISC enterprise facility operations, along with strengthening key industry initiatives.
    Wile, promoter of one of NASCAR's most successful events of the 2015 season - the Bojangles' Southern 500, will transition from leadership of Darlington Raceway to President of Daytona International Speedway. In just two years as President of Darlington Raceway, Wile transformed the facility's identity and impact on and off the track. He spearheaded a five-year strategy to reinvent Darlington Raceway with an inaugural Throwback Campaign during NASCAR's return to Darlington on Labor Day weekend, in addition to re-engaging the local community hosting nearly 15 annual events. In his new role, Wile will oversee promotion and operation of the new motorsports stadium beginning with its first major event, the Country 500 over Memorial Day weekend, followed by the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola.(ISC)(4-25-2016)

  • Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Receives Grant to develop Theater: The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA) announced that it has received a $2.5 million grant from the Margie & Robert E. Petersen Foundation of Los Angeles, with the money targeted to fund construction and development of the Robert E. Petersen Theater in the hall's new permanent home at Daytona International Speedway. The MSHFA, which has moved to Daytona Beach from Novi, Michigan, will be housed in the speedway's expansive ticket and tours facility that greets thousands of motorsports fans each year at the "World Center of Racing." A vital component in the relocation will be the new theater, along with a Robert E. Petersen "Tribute Room" that will greet guests entering the attraction. The first phase of construction and development is expected to be completed by June - in time for the 28th Annual MSHFA Induction Ceremony Presented by Bridgestone on June 29 and the July 2 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the speedway, the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. The Margie & Robert E. Petersen Foundation has donated more than $300 million to their namesake and renowned Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, children's charities and to various organizations and causes since its 1996 formation. In 1948 Robert E. Petersen founded HOT ROD magazine followed by many more automotive magazines including MOTOR TREND, CAR CRAFT, ROD & CUSTOM, CIRCLE TRACK, MOTORCYCLIST and 4 WHEEL & OFF ROAD.(DIS)(4-21-2016)

  • ISC advanced ticket sales down: Jeff Gordon's retirement and injured driver Tony Stewart's absence are among factors International Speedway Corp. officials cited Tuesday for advance ticket sales being down about 10 percent from a year ago for some upcoming races. ISC officials also said the focus on the Chase for the Sprint Cup may be playing a role in fans purchasing tickets for those events instead of races earlier in the season. "Star power is very impactful in our sport as it is in any sport," said John Saunders, president of International Speedway Corp. on a conference call with investor analysts. "We've got to be better going forward and think strategically about retiring drivers," Saunders said, "and how you connect their retirement to the rising stars, the young stars, such as the Chase Elliotts and Ryan Blaney drivers." There are a number of drivers in the NASCAR Xfinity Series who likely will be in Cup full-time soon, including Erik Jones, who turns 20 in May, 23-year-old Darrell Wallace Jr., 24-year-old Ty Dillon and 24-year-old Daniel Suarez. Those young drivers will compete for the championship in a Chase format this year with NASCAR adding that to the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series.
    Also, discussed on the call with investor analysts:
    - Saunders said on the digital platform they've seen consumption from the 18- to 34-year old demographic double year over year but didn't provide details.
    - Advanced ticket sales for the July Daytona race are pacing ahead of last year.
    - ISC has one of their available Sprint Cup series race sponsorships either open or not announced and two for Xfinity events this season.
    - Average ticket price for NASCAR Sprint Cup events at Daytona International Speedway was about $160.07, an increase of more than 19 percent from last year primarily related to new seats sold at higher prices with the Daytona Rising project that reduced capacity from 147,000 to 101,000.
    (NBC Sports)(4-6-2016)

  • Daytona selects Tripleplay to display content to 1400 screens: World leading IPTV, Digital Signage and Video Streaming solutions manufacturer, Tripleplay, has been selected by Daytona International Speedway (DIS) to deliver live streaming content, communications, digital menus and interactive TV services to 1,400 screens around its new motorsports stadium. Additionally, Tripleplay becomes the latest partner to join the Daytona Technology Platform Powered by CDW. The Daytona Technology Platform Powered by CDW is designed specifically for companies supporting the technological advances at the new motorsports stadium. Participation in the Platform also enables them to showcase their involvement through an onsite marketing presence. Screens will be located within hospitality and corporate suites with integration into AMX control systems, concession stands and retail units for product promotion and live digital menu boards, infield video display boards and stadium concourses for live race playback and advertising. Tripleplay's platform has been implemented by some of the world's biggest sports venues and teams including All England Lawn Tennis Association (Wimbledon), Manchester City FC, Twickenham Stadium, Stade France, Chelsea FC, New York City FC, Amalie Arena and The SSE Hydro, voted world's number 1 live music venue in 2015.(DIS)(2-29-2016)

  • Daytona could benefit from additional tax break: After scoring $40 million in tax incentives from Volusia County and Daytona Beach, International Speedway Corp. could get another $10 million in tax relief for its One Daytona project through a complex impact fee rule change that figures to only benefit the area's most deep-pocketed developers. County Council members signed off this month on an exemption to impact fees that applies only to developers who own adjoining parcels and demolish a structure on one of them while making upgrades to the other. If that scenario seems hard to envision, picture this: By demolishing its old grandstand as part of the Daytona Rising renovations at Daytona International Speedway, International Speedway Corp. earns credits that can be applied to reduce impact fees when it builds across the street at the One Daytona mixed-use complex. The council approved the change on a 5-1 vote after about 15 minutes of discussion and no public comment. The lone dissenter, Councilman Doug Daniels, said the county was being overly generous to a wealthy developer and showing favoritism toward ISC. Impact fees are a one-time tax billed to new residential and commercial development. They are intended to help cover a community's costs for roads and other infrastructure improvements that are imposed by the new development. Deputy County Attorney Jamie Seaman confirmed that ISC faced anywhere from $3 million to $10 million in financial benefits with the impact fee change, depending on how the credits are applied. If ISC used up all of the impact fee credits at One Daytona - where a P.F. Changs, Fairfield Inn, Bass Pro Shops and Cobb Theaters are going to be constructed - it would face a large impact fee bill down the road once it develops other planned parcels, including condominiums and apartments. The company could choose to hold off on using those credits until it begins work on those projects, Seaman said.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(2-24-2016)

  • 82nd Airborne Division Chorus to perform National Anthem for Daytona 500: Before the engines rev at the Daytona 500 this weekend, the All-American Chorus will take the stage to perform the National Anthem and its popular chant about airborne operations. The 82nd Airborne Division Chorus, Fort Bragg, NC, has been invited to perform at the 58th annual Daytona 500 - billed as the most prestigious auto race in America. More than 101,000 people will be watching from the speedway, and the performance will be broadcast live on Fox for millions of viewers at home. "There are going to be a lot of crazy NASCAR fans hootin' and hollerin'," said Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Severino, of Task Force All American. "No stage fright - or lip-synching, either." The chorus was formed in 1964 to sing Sunday services in the 82nd Airborne Division Chapel. Now, the chorus performs at more than 250 events annually. Each member of the chorus has a full-time Army job and must audition to be part of the chorus. Candidates are put on a probationary period, requiring them to learn about seven new songs each week for four weeks.(Fayetteville Observer)(2-18-2016)

  • Actor Gerard Butler Named Grand Marshal for the Daytona 500: Actor Gerard Butler, star of the high-octane action thriller London Has Fallen that opens in theaters nationwide March 4, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 58th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway. As Grand Marshal, Butler will deliver the most famous words in motorsports, "Drivers, start your engines." Along with the command, Butler will take part in other pre-race ceremonies including riding in one of the Grand Marshal cars during the pace laps prior to the green flag of the 200-lap, 500-mile race and attend the drivers meeting. "We're honored to have Gerard Butler serve as Grand Marshal for the DAYTONA 500," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "Gerard is a talented actor and we look forward to hearing his starting command to kick off the first DAYTONA 500 held in the new motorsports stadium."
    In Gramercy Pictures' London Has Fallen, the non-stop suspenseful sequel to "Olympus Has Fallen," Butler returns as Secret Service agent Mike Banning, alongside Aaron Eckhart as U.S. President Benjamin Asher, Angela Bassett as Secret Service Director Lynne Jacobs, and Morgan Freeman as Allan Trumbull, now the Vice President. Butler has starred in such hit films as "Machine Gun Preacher" and "300." Tickets for the 2016 DAYTONA 500 and Speedweeks can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-16-2016)

  • Stadium Tickets for Daytona 500 Sold Out: Reserved stadium tickets for the 58th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the first following the completion of the $400 million Daytona Rising redevelopment project, are sold out. Ticket holders for "The Great American Race" will enjoy 101,500 permanent and wider seats, five expanded and redesigned entrances, 40 escalators and upgraded amenities throughout the 11 football-field sized neighborhoods in the world's first motorsports stadium. Premium hospitality, infield admissions and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access still remain for the Daytona 500 and fans have an opportunity to enjoy the new motorsports stadium during other Speedweeks 2016 events including the PowerShares QQQ 300, NextEra Energy Resources 250 and the Cam-Am Duel 150-mile qualifying races. Tickets are available at Daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. "We're ecstatic to hold the first Daytona 500 since the completion of our $400 million Daytona Rising project," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "The demand for this historic race has been tremendous and we look forward to waving the green flag on February 21." This year's Daytona 500 will be attended by fans representing 44 different countries and every state in U.S.(DIS)(2-16-2016)

  • Daytona International Speedway to hold "Open House" for fans on Wed: Daytona International Speedway (DIS) will hold an "Open House" for the general public on Wednesday, February 17, giving fans the opportunity to explore the amenities featured in the new motorsports stadium during Speedweeks 2016. Tickets are not required. DIS will offer self-guided tours around the stadium to showcase the vertical transportation, wider and more comfortable seats and 11 spacious social areas/"neighborhoods." The "Open House" will take place between 3:00 pm and 7:00pm and is free of charge. Attendees will also have the opportunity to watch NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice for the Daytona 500 from 5:00 to 7:00pm/et. In addition, making a 3:30 p.m. appearance on the main concourse of the Florida Hospital Injector will be 2010 Daytona 500 champion Jamie McMurray, who drives the #1 McDonald's and Cessna Chevy for Chip Ganassi Racing and is a Florida Hospital ambassador. Tickets for the 2016 DAYTONA 500 and Speedweeks can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(2-16-2016)

  • Fanatics Revamps Trackside Superstore for 2016 Season: Fans visiting Daytona International Speedway's (DIS) new motorsports stadium during Speedweeks 2016 will enjoy more than 100,000 square feet of retail options as part of the Fanatics Trackside Superstore shopping experience. The experience will be highlighted by a Superstore located on the Speedway's revamped Midway featuring a customization area for fans to add imagery to leather products and headwear. Fans will also be able to purchase the Official Daytona 500 Champion's Hat (produced by New Era) from this location immediately following the race. In addition to the Superstore, the stadium will feature two large stores in the "World Center of Racing" Center injector/entrance (located on level one), Toyota and Chevrolet stores in their respective injectors, infield stores as well as other locations throughout the stadium. The locations will offer a variety of merchandise options for men, women and kids, in addition to tailgating gear and collectibles (DIS)(2-16-2016)

  • Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. Named Honorary Starter for Daytona 500: Newly elected Baseball Hall of Fame centerfielder Ken Griffey Jr. will serve as Honorary Starter (wave the green flag) of the 58th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Griffey received a record-breaking 99.32% of the vote (437 of 440) by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. He played 22 seasons - 13 with the Seattle Mariners, nine with the Cincinnati Reds and less than one season with the Chicago White Sox. In his 22 seasons, Griffey was a 13-time All Star, 10-time Gold Glove winner and 1997 American League MVP; he is also ranked sixth on the career home run list (630). The 2016 Hall of Fame Weekend will be held July 22-25, with the annual Induction Ceremony scheduled to take place on Sunday, July 24. Griffey will be the first player to represent the Seattle Mariners organization in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Tickets for the 2016 Daytona 500 and 2016 Speedweeks At Daytona can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-14-2016)

  • Updated Daytona International Speedway Mobile App: Daytona International Speedway (DIS) announced that a new version of its mobile app is now available for download on iOS and Android devices. As part of the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project, the updated DIS mobile app helps race fans take full advantage of the amenities and offerings at the new motorsports stadium during upcoming events such as Speedweeks 2016. The DIS mobile app offers a variety of features to help fans find their way around the new stadium including Bluetooth-based indoor and GPS-based outdoor turn-by-turn navigation. It also includes an interactive GPS facility map and the ability to drop pins to remember certain locations like a parking spot. Also included in the new version of the app is location-based proximity engagement technology. The DIS app offers dynamic experiences for fans as they enter each of the new injectors/entrances from DIS Founding Partners such as Toyota, Florida Hospital, Chevrolet and Sunoco. Additionally, the DIS app is fully integrated with the new DAYTONA Rewards program, with locations throughout the property to provide one unified mobile experience for fans. More info at DIS's website.(2-13-2016)

  • Wrestler John Cena Named Honorary Daytona 500 Pace Car Driver: WWE Superstar and actor John Cena will serve as the Honorary Pace Car Driver for the 58th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Cena will pace the 40-car field to the green flag in a Toyota Camry. Cena, a 15-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, has been at the forefront of WWE's programming for more than a decade, and most recently starred on the big screen in the Golden Globe-nominated "Trainwreck" as well as "Sisters" with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. He next will host FOX's upcoming reality competition series American Grit. Cena is also a wish ambassador for Make-A-Wish having granted more than 500 wishes. Tickets for the 2016 DAYTONA 500 and Speedweeks can be purchased online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(12-12-2016)

  • DIS Teams Up With Jeff Gordon For Special Daytona Ticket Package: Daytona International Speedway has teamed up with three-time Daytona 500 champion and new FOX Sports analyst Jeff Gordon for a special ticket package around the PowerShares QQQ 300 season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, Feb. 20. The package, which is available to adults starting at $115 and children 12 and under for $10, includes:
    · One stadium seat for the PowerShares QQQ 300
    · Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access
    · A 15-minute question and answer session with Gordon in a climate-controlled room located on Level 2 of the new motorsports stadium scheduled to occur on Feb. 20
    Gordon, a four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, recently completed his final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and will make his debut in the broadcast booth with FOX Sports with the prestigious 58th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 21. Tickets for the Jeff Gordon Ticket Package for the PowerShares QQQ 300 are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/gordon or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-3-2016)

  • Daytona finishes upgrading SAFER around track: When drivers race at Daytona International Speedway over the next few weeks, they'll notice that all outside and inside walls on the track's 2½-mile tri-oval, with the exception of pit lane, will have energy-absorbing barriers. It was nearly a year ago when Kyle Busch slammed into an unprotected concrete wall on the inside going toward Turn 1, breaking his right leg and left foot. Busch didn't race again for nearly three months after the Feb. 21 accident but rallied to win the 2015 Sprint Cup title. In reaction to that accident, DIS President Joie Chitwood pledged that night to have all walls covered by SAFER (steel-and-foam energy reduction) Barrier as soon as possible. When NASCAR teams returned in July, there were still some non-covered walls on the insides of the turns and the backstretch. DIS officials had been criticized for being slow to add more SAFER Barrier while spending $400 million on a new project to turn its grandstands into a modern stadium. Lesa France Kennedy, CEO of DIS parent company International Speedway Corp., said ISC tracks have added 54,000 linear feet of SAFER Barrier in the past year. ISC operates 12 of the 23 tracks where the Sprint Cup Series races. Virtually all tracks have added more SAFER Barrier in the past year, an issue brought to the forefront by Busch's injury as well as NASCAR's newly formed Sprint Cup drivers council.(ESPN.com)(1-28-2016)

  • Daytona International Speedway Officially Opens New Motorsports Stadium: To celebrate the completion of a massive 2.5 year, $400 million reconstruction, it took a couple of huge pairs of scissors for Lesa France Kennedy and Jim France to cut a ribbon marking the official reopening of Daytona International Speedway's grandstand complex. The Wednesday afternoon ribbon cutting marked a "new chapter" for the Speedway, said France Kennedy, CEO for International Speedway Corporation, which owns the track her grandfather built in 1958. "It's also going to usher in a new era for the future of motorsports," she said. "We're opening the first true motorsports stadium and that speaks volumes about how far this sport has come and where we see our future heading."
    It boasts a host of new amenities, including 1,400 video monitors, enhanced technology, modernized bathrooms and new food and drink vending areas. The original narrow seats were one of the first things to go, replaced with wider seats complete with cup holders. But, the one thing Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said he's proudest of are the new escalators that allow fans to get all the way to the top of the 101,500-seat grandstand area with a minimum of walking. The escalators, which the Speedway started using for races last year, have been wildly popular with fans. Even though Chitwood said they'll still be "tweaking things" behind the scenes over the next couple of weeks, fans will get their first look at the finished facility during this weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-28-2016)

  • Smaller restrictor plate at Daytona: For Speedweeks at Daytona, there will be a minor reduction in the size of the restrictor-plate holes, which will decrease by 1/64th of an inch to 57/64ths.(NBC Sports)(1-26-2016)

  • Complete DAYTONA Rising Time-lapse: For over 28 months, more than one million HD photos of DAYTONA Rising were taken by Daytona International Speedway's eight EarthCam construction cameras. See the reimagining of an American icon by checking out this time-lapse highlighting this transformation over the past 2 and 1/2 years! See the video at Daytona International Speedway's Facebook page (1-26-2016)

  • Daytona International Speedway To Hold Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony: Daytona International Speedway (DIS) will hold a special ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the new motorsports stadium on Wednesday, January 27 at 4:00pm/et (DIS)(1-26-2016)

  • Son of NASCAR founder installs last seat at Daytona: The last of 101,500 Daytona Rising stadium grandstand seats was installed by the son of NASCAR founder William H.G. France with the help of a race fan at Daytona International Speedway Tuesday. Jim France, who is the chairman of International Speedway Corp., and Ted Swartzlander, 61, who has held the same six seats for two decades near the start/finish line, completed the installation in front of a mob of media. "My partner and I did an excellent job and I hope the supervisor appreciated our quality of work," said the 71-year-old France. "This is one of the most spectacular motorsports facilities that I've ever seen in my life. I've been to many places around the world and nothing compares to this." Bill France Sr., who founded NASCAR in 1948, built the track in 1958. It opened for business in February, 1959 with the running of the inaugural Daytona 500 and several other support races. The $400 million Daytona Rising project started on July 8, 2013. The facility will open to the public on Jan. 28 for the first day of Rolex 24 At Daytona activities. "I think this is something my father would have been proud of," France said as he scanned the new facility. "This is the kind of thing he would have brought about. The process we've gone through over several years, such as improve the garage area and fan experience and repaving the track. We spent $400 million for the fan-part of this venue. This is all for the fans." Daytona Rising stretches almost a mile along International Speedway Boulevard. "The fans coming here are in for a real treat," France said. "Anybody coming to Daytona Beach for a motorsports event will find this the finest experience in the world." Swartzlander owns a fabrication shop in Sanford. He has been watching Daytona races since he was a child and with France's help, installed the seat where he will watch the Feb. 21 Daytona 500.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-21-2016)

  • Dow and Ducharme Seating join "We Built Daytona" Partners: Daytona International Speedway announced that The Dow Chemical Company and Ducharme Seating have become the latest partners to join the "We Built Daytona" marketing platform as part of the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project.
    " Dow, an integrated company at the intersection of chemical, physical and biological sciences, is providing the insulation for structures such as the Suite Tower and concourse buildings as well as closed cell spray foam and caulking applications throughout DIS.
    " Ducharme Seating, a leading spectator seating manufacturer, is providing the 101,500 permanent, wider and more comfortable seats in the new motorsports stadium.
    The "We Built Daytona" platform is designed specifically for partners involved in the construction of DAYTONA Rising and enables them to showcase their involvement through a marketing presence (once their role in the project begins). The companies join the comprehensive list of "We Built Daytona" partners including Jones Sign Company, Musco Lighting, P&S Paving, Kingspan Insulated Panels, USG Corporation (NYSE:USG), Sherwin-Williams, Big Ass Fans, ROSSETTI, Walter P Moore, M-E Engineers, Schneider Electric, CommScope, Inc., Honeywell and The Integration Factory. Following construction, partners can feature products in-use at the new DIS, providing them with a real-time showroom. Additionally, partners will receive special recognition as "We Built Daytona" partners within the stadium, along with brand exposure opportunities via digital display boards and corporate hospitality opportunities for entertaining guests during major events.(DIS)(1-14-2016)

  • Daytona expects certificate of occupancy to be issued: There won't be a marching band, ribbon cutting, fly over, or slew of dignitaries, but Tuesday is a monumental day for Daytona International Speedway and its $400 million Daytona Rising project. The city's permits and licensing department is expected to sign the Speedway's long-awaited certificate of occupancy for the newly renovated nearly mile-long structure, whose massive makeover began in July 2013. "Starting Tuesday, after two and a half years, I no longer have to put on a hard hat to visit the property," Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "We are really close to getting the property in shape and ready to go racing later this month. This is a very important milestone." Is Daytona Rising, which boasts 101,500 seats, completely finished? No. But the heavy lifting is over. "This project isn't really over Tuesday, or running the Rolex 24, or running the Daytona 500," Chitwood said. "It will be a couple of months after the Daytona 500 when we truly get through all the punch lists and all those final items. "Will the public know? No, because it's all internal. You won't see big equipment or things like that. It will really be inside stuff, small changes and tweaks through the events and after." All of the Speedway's new vertical transportation, the elevators and escalators, were certified by the state last week. The city's building department has been doing inspections on a weekly basis because of the size of the structure.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(1-12-2016)

  • 2017 Daytona 500 Race Date: A schedule on the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds' website lists the Air Demonstration Squadron as conducting a flyover of the 59th Daytona 500 on Feb. 26, 2017. Daytona International Speedway spokesperson Andrew Booth confirmed the date of the 2017 race, noting that the Great American Race currently falls on the Sunday after Presidents' Day. The Thunderbirds also will be conducting the flyover for the 2016 Daytona 500, which is on Feb. 21. The Thunderbirds' site also lists a March 5, 2017 flyover at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but track spokesman Jeff Motley said it doesn't have any firm plans for a 2017 flyover.(NBC Sports)(12-23-2015)

  • Daytona International Speedway Lights New Identification Sign: Daytona International Speedway (DIS) held a special ceremony Tuesday night to officially light its new identification sign as part of the $400 million DAYTONA Rising project. Members of the France family helped light the 355-foot sign, complete with 3,619 LED lights. Before arriving at DIS in October, the massive "supersign" traveled nearly 1,500 miles from manufacturer Jones Sign Company's headquarters in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The new sign will welcome race fans and guests near the center injector/entrance upon completion of the project in January 2016.(DIS)(12-17-2015)

  • Daytona adds more SAFER barrier to inside retaining walls: Looking ahead to 2016, [track president Joie Chitwood III] Chitwood says the track will be safer for competitors and fans thanks to additional SAFER barriers and grandstand seats built higher and away from the catch fence. The Speedway had two chilling moments in 2015. Toward the end of the Speedweeks' Xfinity Series race, driver Kyle Busch broke his leg and foot when he crashed hard into the inside retaining wall. In response to the crash, Chitwood said every inside retaining wall around the 2.5-mile tri-oval now has steel and form energy reduction (SAFER) barrier protecting drivers when racing resumes in January. Since the end of Speedweeks, the track has added >8,600 linear feet of SAFER installation, which is designed to absorb the shock of impact of a crashing race car. Then on the last lap of July's Coke Zero 400, which was delayed several hours by rain, Austin Dillon's car launched from the track surface into the catch fence, injuring 13 fans, sending one to the hospital. With the Daytona Rising design, fans will be less likely to deal with catch fence debris in the event of an incident. "With the new stadium, the set-back and raised first row provides an additional element to make sure we have our fans in a safer environment for the racing on the track" Chitwood said. "Whether it is SAFER barrier, the set-back of the seats and height of the first row, I think we have done a really good job for 2016. The goal is to make sure fans have a safe and great experience, no different for our drivers."(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(12-12-2015)

  • U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds to perform flyover for DAYTONA 500: The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will perform the flyover for the 58th annual DAYTONA 500 on Sunday, Feb. 21. It will be the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season opener after the completion of DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch redevelopment project that will transform Daytona International Speedway into the first motorsports stadium in the world. The Thunderbirds will also commence the 2017 season with a flyover before the 59th annual DAYTONA 500. These performances will mark seven straight years, and eight total, that "America's Ambassadors in Blue" - officially known as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron - will exhibit their world-class talent and precise choreography flying their signature "Delta" formation over the "World Center of Racing" at the end of the national anthem for "The Great American Race." The Thunderbirds feature six F-16 Fighting Falcons, the Air Force's premier multi-role fighter aircraft. Assigned to Air Combat Command, the squadron is composed of 12 officers and more than 120 enlisted personnel serving in nearly 30 Air Force job specialties. They have a rigorous schedule, performing hour-long demonstrations across the United States nearly 40 weekends between February and November. Since the unit's inception in 1953, more than 350 million people in all 50 states and more than 60 countries have witnessed the distinctive red, white and blue jets in thousands of official aerial demonstrations.(DIS)(12-8-2015)

  • Daytona Prepares for Final Month of Construction Activities: With nearly one month remaining until the completion of the $400 million DAYTONA Rising project, Daytona International Speedway is now finalizing key construction activities in preparation for the first event in the new motorsports stadium - the 54th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 30-31. DIS recently completed installation of the trackside tower "WORLD CENTER OF RACING" signage. "Wrapping" of the new Toyota, Florida Hospital, Chevrolet and Sunoco injectors/entrances is also underway. Later this month, DIS will hold a special ceremony to light its new massive identification sign. The "supersign" is located near the new center injector/entrance, welcoming race fans and guests to the motorsports stadium. Additional upcoming construction activities include: "Wrapping" of the "World Center of Racing" center injector, Final inspection of elevators/escalators, Completion of sports lighting testing.(DIS)(12-5-2015)

  • Tully's Coffee and Papa John's to feature new branded locations at Daytona: Daytona International Speedway announced that Tully's Coffee and Papa John's International will establish new branded locations at the Speedway as part of the amenities associated with the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. The new locations, each measuring 650 square feet, will be featured on the concourse levels and include customized branding and activation for each company. "For the first time ever, we're thrilled to offer dedicated locations for our restaurant partners," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "These leading brands will provide elevated dining options for fans at our new motorsports stadium." Papa John's, the world's third-largest pizza delivery company, will feature four locations within the stadium. The branded locations will be operated by the local Papa John's franchisee group, QS America, LLC. In addition to its new location at DIS, Tully's Coffee, a leading specialty coffee retailer and wholesaler, will become the official coffee of the "World Center of Racing." The new locations will debut in January 2016 during the Rolex 24 At Daytona Weekend.(DIS)(12-2-2015)

  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals at Daytona: Holiday shoppers looking to gift their friends and family with a first look at Daytona International Speedway's new motorsports stadium will find a wide selection of "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" Thanksgiving holiday ticket specials at the "World Center of Racing." On Friday, Nov. 27 (Black Friday) and Monday, Nov. 30 (Cyber Monday), Daytona International Speedway will have the following $55 ticket package specials available for race fans to select from as they conduct their holiday shopping:
    General admission stadium ticket for the 54th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 30-31 with a Rolex 24 event hat and garage access on Sunday, a savings of 21 percent.
    General admission stadium and infield access for The Sprint Unlimited/Lucas Oil 200 doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 13 with Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access, a savings of 27 percent.
    General admission stadium ticket and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access for the Can-Am Duel 150-mile qualifying races on Thursday night, Feb. 18, a savings of 30 percent.
    General admission stadium ticket and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access for the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday night, Feb. 19, a savings of 27 percent.
    General admission stadium ticket and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access for the PowerShares QQQ 300, the NASCAR XFINITY Series season-opener on Saturday, Feb. 20, a savings of 30 percent.
    Kids 12 and under are FREE in general admission stadium and Sprint FANZONE for the above Speedweeks events. To take advantage of the "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" ticket specials, race fans can call 1-800-PITSHOP between 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. or visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/deals.(DIS)(11-26-2015)

  • New Technology Enhancements Part of Daytona Rising Project: Daytona International Speedway (DIS) is pleased to announce several new technology enhancements as part of the unprecedented $400 million Daytona Rising redevelopment project that will help fans get and stay connected to the latest motorsports information and news. Just in time for Speedweeks 2016, fans will soon be able to connect to Wi-Fi at DIS with the help of ARRIS Group, a global telecommunications technology leader. In addition, fans will get to experience a new and improved mobile app, as well as interactive engagement stations to help guide them around the new motorsports stadium.
    "In our ever-connected world, consumers expect to be able to interact with their social circles and share their experiences in real-time from anywhere, and we are certainly seeing the same in motorsports," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "Bringing an unprecedented level of connectivity to DIS and motorsports in general was a non-negotiable when we began Daytona Rising, and we're excited to work with ARRIS to help us accomplish this goal."
    ARRIS will provide Wi-Fi access to some of the most high traffic areas of DIS to offer fans more connectivity than ever before. Through a multi-phased rollout, fans will be able to log in throughout the concourses and neighborhoods in the nearly mile-long frontstretch. Fans in the Midway and Sprint FANZONE will be able to connect to the ARRIS network as well. This installation will be complete in time for Speedweeks 2016 with additional areas of the property gaining Wi-Fi access later in the year.
    "ARRIS is providing high-speed Wi-Fi to Daytona-making it possible for fans to share, post and stream their experiences on race weekends," said Ron Coppock, President, Worldwide Sales and Marketing at ARRIS. "Daytona Rising redefines the NASCAR experience, and we're proud to support this vision. Our network technology and services will bring fans' experiences to life in and around the track, while they continue to transform the crucial communications link between drivers and crews."
    In addition, a brand new version of the DIS mobile app will launch by the end of January to help fans take full advantage of the amenities and offerings that the new motorsports stadium will provide. The updated app for iOS and Android devices will include several exciting mobile features such as Bluetooth-based indoor and GPS-based outdoor turn-by-turn navigation, location-based proximity engagement, and the ability to drop pins to remember certain locations like your parking spot powered by SPREO Indoor Location Solutions. It will also include an interactive GPS facility map and dynamic experiences with DIS Founding Partners in each of the new injectors/entrances.(DIS)(11-24-2015)

  • Anheuser-Busch Extends and Expands Partnership with Daytona: Anheuser-Busch announced today a multi-year partnership renewal with Daytona International Speedway (DIS) that extends its status as the exclusive official beer sponsor of DIS and the DAYTONA 500. The partnership will also provide Anheuser-Busch with naming rights to four locations within the new motorsports stadium as part of the DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project, which is scheduled to open in January 2016.
    Two of the bar locations to be featured in the new "World Center of Racing" central "neighborhood" zone and spacious concourses, while the other two will be located in other parts of the stadium. All four locations will enable Anheuser-Busch to advertise multiple brands from its portfolio of beers including Busch, Budweiser, Bud Light and Stella Artois. Anheuser-Busch will also retain naming rights to the infield area - the Budweiser Bistro.
    "Daytona International Speedway has been a tremendous partner for Anheuser-Busch ever since we first introduced the Busch Clash back in 1979, which was held each year at DIS the week prior to the DAYTONA 500," said Nick Kelly, director of experiential marketing, Anheuser-Busch. "We're looking forward to continuing this relationship that allows us to have a significant marketing presence at the track, and now we'll be able to deliver an elevated experience to our fans as a result of the DAYTONA Rising project."
    Anheuser-Busch's partnership with DIS continues a period of investment and rededication to the sport of racing. The Busch family of beers recently announced it is reigniting its storied past in NASCAR by sponsoring Kevin Harvick and the No. 4 team of Stewart-Haas Racing for select races during the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season beginning with the Sprint Unlimited at DIS on Feb. 13. In conjunction, Anheuser-Busch will employ a comprehensive marketing approach to celebrate Busch's return to the sport of racing, including on-track, experiential, in-market and retail activations, as well as TV spots leading up to the DAYTONA 500.
    "We're thrilled to kick off the next chapter of our longstanding partnership with Anheuser-Busch," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "Our new motorsports stadium will provide enhanced opportunities to market their brands and connect with race fans." Anheuser-Busch shares a rich history with the sport of racing as well as DIS, dating back to the late 1970s. This represents the longest-standing partnership for DIS.(DIS)(11-20-2015)

  • Jani-King named Official Cleaning Company of Daytona International Speedway: Daytona International Speedway (DIS) announced a multi-year partnership with Jani-King, the world's largest commercial cleaning franchise company. As part of the partnership, Jani-King will serve as the Official Cleaning Company of Daytona International Speedway and the Daytona 500. The partnership enables Jani-King to be associated with the historic 2016 Daytona 500, the first to be held at the Speedway's new motorsports stadium (as part of the Daytona Rising project). Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Through the partnership, Jani-King will receive brand exposure via sponsor signage at the "World Center of Racing" and the ability to use the DIS and event marks for promotional purposes. In addition, Jani-King will receive corporate hospitality opportunities for entertaining guests during Speedweeks. Tickets for the 58th annual Daytona 500 are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(11-15-2015)

  • New Solar Structures at Daytona International Speedway: Daytona International Speedway (DIS) and Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) showcased construction progress related to FPL's new Solar Pavilion, one of three new structures that make up the FPL Solar Circuit at the "World Center of Racing." The commercial-scale distributed solar power installation at DIS complements the $400 million Daytona Rising redevelopment project. The FPL Solar Pavilion and FPL Solar Patio, both of which are canopy-like structures that will offer shade for race fans, and FPL Solar Park collectively consist of more than 7,000 solar panels generating 2.1 megawatts of zero-emissions energy. The three solar structures will be located in the Midway, Sprint FANZONE and Lot 10 parking area. The total weight of the structures (900 tons) represents the equivalent of more than 500 NASCAR stock cars.
    "We're thrilled to see the new solar structures taking shape," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "These areas represent our commitment to providing a better fan experience as well as leveraging innovative ways to modernize our venue." The clean energy generated by the installation will prevent the emission of an estimated 2,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year - equivalent to an average vehicle driving more than 2 million laps around DIS. Once connected to the FPL grid, the solar energy at DIS will help to power approximately 400 Florida homes per year.
    "As an avid race fan myself, it's an honor to be part of the extraordinary redevelopment of one of Florida's most iconic sites and tourist destinations," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of Florida Power & Light Company. "The thousands of solar panels we're installing here will provide zero-emissions electricity for our customers and the Speedway's operations, helping power races that are viewed around the world. Importantly, our efforts here at Daytona are yet another example of our ongoing commitment to expanding cost-effective solar here in Florida for the benefit of our customers, both large and small." Upon completion of the installation in January 2016, DIS will become one of the top five U.S. professional sports venues in terms of solar energy capacity. The FPL Solar Circuit at Daytona International Speedway is one of several FPL solar projects that will add 225 megawatts of new, zero-emission solar energy by the end of 2016, cost-effectively tripling FPL's solar capacity and making Florida one of America's top solar energy producing states.(DIS)(11-14-2015)

  • Daytona International Speedway sign installation complete: Installation of the new Daytona International Speedway sign, which stretches 355 feet, was finished Thursday morning by a crew from primary contractor Barton Malow. The letters, which are made of steel and aluminum, stand 13-feet, 6-inches high. Each weighs about 400 pounds. They were carefully placed on the outer skin of the $400 million Daytona Rising structure, which will be finished in January. "Every day we are excited about things that are in front us and when you see things like the sign being installed, and that final letter goes up, it makes you feel like we are there," DIS president Joie Chitwood III said Thursday. "Even with 60-plus days to go until completion, that was a key element, that signature sign, and I'm really proud of the install. I think it looks fantastic." The sign was placed in the middle area of the new grandstands and be backlit at night. The "Daytona" part of the sign will have multiple illumination options using 3,619 LED lights. The Speedway plans a special lighting ceremony in the near future with the France family, who own the facility through their publicly traded International Speedway Corp.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(11-12-2015)

  • Kroger Extends Partnership With Daytona International Speedway: Daytona International Speedway announced a multi-year partnership extension with The Kroger Co. As part of the partnership, Kroger will serve as the presenting sponsor of Daytona 500 Qualifying Day and conduct in-store consumer activation programs across multiple grocery store locations to promote the Daytona 500. The partnership enables Kroger to be associated with the historic 2016 Daytona 500, the first to be held at the Speedway's new motorsports stadium (as part of the Daytona Rising project). Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Kroger will also receive brand exposure opportunities via sponsor signage and promotional display space at the Speedway during Daytona 500 Qualifying Day as well as corporate hospitality opportunities for entertaining guests during Speedweeks. In addition to Daytona International Speedway, Kroger will receive signage opportunities at the following International Speedway Corporation venues during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events: Homestead, Darlington, Talladega, Richmond, Martinsville, Watkins, Chicago and Michigan. Race fans can follow the progress of the Daytona Rising project by visiting www.DAYTONARising.com. For tickets, tours and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-11-2015)

  • DAYTONA Rising November Project Update: On Thursday, Daytona International Speedway welcomed the arrival of the LED-lit letters for its new, massive identification sign as part of the ongoing $400 million DAYTONA Rising project. The "supersign" will be located near the new center injector/entrance, welcoming race fans and guests to the "World Center of Racing." The "DAYTONA" text measures 13 feet 6 inches tall and the "INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY" text is more than 12 feet tall, while the entire length of the sign measures 355 feet. Jones Sign Company, a national specialist in the sign manufacturer and sign installation industry, built and transported the letters. During the last week, the letters traveled nearly 1,500 miles across six states (via two semi-trucks) before arriving at DIS. The completion of the sign installation is scheduled for December 2015. Upcoming construction activities include: Aluminum installation for FPL Solar Pavilion in the Midway; Paving of Midway; Step work for injectors.(DIS)(11-7-2015)

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  • New hospitality options available at Daytona: Daytona International Speedway unveiled the complete list of new hospitality options available as part of its new motorsports stadium. Beginning in January 2016, DIS will feature more than 60 luxury suites with breathtaking trackside views, patio and club seat options and a completely revamped hospitality experience. "DAYTONA Rising is enabling us to elevate our hospitality offerings," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "By moving all hospitality from a temporary outdoor village to a new climate-controlled permanent environment, we're able to deliver a world-class experience." The suites and hospitality offerings will debut during the 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona and the 58th annual DAYTONA 500. More information is available by calling 866-887-6475. New offerings include:
    MEZZANINE LEVEL SUITES - Two new premium suite products along the frontstretch have the flexibility to accommodate anywhere from 50 to 500 people. In the 31 climate-controlled High Banks Suites, seats are located directly outside of the suite, providing fans with the comfort of a private space and opportunity to see the on-track action. The 25 Midway Suites are ideal for larger groups, providing access to a fully-stocked bar and high-end concession options on the Mezzanine concourse level as well as reserved stadium seats.
    ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA LOUNGE SUITES - This exclusive lounge level suite strikes the perfect balance, offering guests the traditional race experience while treating them to modern amenities and providing access to the Rolex 24 At Daytona Lounge. The interior of the suite features a relaxing seating area with flat-screen televisions at every angle while the outdoor area offers a patio and stadium seats.
    SKY LEVEL SUITES - The indoor theater-style seating in the Sky Suites provides optimum views of the track. The relaxing, stylish atmosphere is perfect for entertaining friends, coworkers or clients.
    FRANCE LEVEL SUITES - The most upscale option at DIS, the France Suites feature unrivaled sightlines. From gourmet food options to a lavish entertainment space and private entrance, the France Suites redefine motorsports luxury.
    PREMIUM HOSPITALITY
    HARLEY J'S - Named after the influential Harley J. Earl and the trophy given to the DAYTONA 500 champion each year, Harley J's includes the essential amenities every fan enjoys: an all-inclusive fully-stocked bar and buffet. This option is available as part of an all-inclusive program with reserved stadium seats or as an addition to any stadium seat purchase.
    LOGE BOXES - These private box seats put fans right in the action; open-air seating and viewing devices with FanVision, providing in-car camera, audio and real-time stats make this a unique option for race fans.
    ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA LOUNGE - This area offers relaxed lounge-style seating, flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi and mobile streaming support as well as a top-notch buffet and premium bar. Additionally, guests can step outside and enjoy wider seating as well as a patio, all with spectacular views of the track.(DIS)(11-6-2015)

  • Daytona announces PowerShares QQQ as namesake of XFINITY season-opener: PowerShares QQQ, has entered into a multi-year partnership to serve as the title sponsor for the NASCAR XFINITY Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway (DIS), part of Speedweeks 2016. The 120-lap, 300-mile race will be known as the PowerShares QQQ 300, taking place February 20, 2016. PowerShares QQQ" is an exchange-traded fund based on the Nasdaq-100 Index. The events during Speedweeks 2016 will be the first to be held at DIS following the completion of the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. Race fans will experience new amenities such as wider and more comfortable seats, spacious concourses, escalators and elevators, twice as many restrooms and three times as many concessions and merchandise stands and two new larger video display boards.(Daytona International Speedway)(10-28-2015)

  • Tickets for 2016 Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on sale Thursday: Tickets for the 58th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the first following the completion of the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project, will officially go on sale Thursday, Oct. 29 at 9:00am/et. Fans will be able to purchase tickets to the Independence Day holiday weekend classic scheduled for Saturday, July 2 in one of three convenient ways: Online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com, by calling 1-800-PITSHOP, or visiting the Daytona International Speedway Ticket and Tours Building. The new motorsports stadium will feature 101,500 new, wider more comfortable seats, thousands of premium club seats, 40 escalators and 17 elevators, 60 luxury suites, social "neighborhoods" and three concourse levels that will span the nearly mile-long frontstretch. Reserved stadium seats for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola start at $55. Reserved stadium seats for children ages 12 and under are $20 and kids 12 and under are free in the Sprint FANZONE.(DIS)(10-28-2015)

  • Daytona & Talladega hosting country music festivals in 2016: Daytona International Speedway will host the inaugural Country 500 music festival featuring Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Kid Rock, TBA, Lady Antebellum, Willie Nelson and dozens more over Memorial Day Weekend-May 27, 28 & 29, 2016. The complete Country 500 lineup, including the Friday night headliner, will be released on November 3 and tickets, camping and VIP packages will go on sale to the public the same day. Fans should plan to take advantage of the special early bird pricing ($199) for weekend general admission passes beginning on November 3. Also called "The Great American Music Fest at Daytona," the Country 500 festival will feature the biggest stars in country music spread over three days and nights, programmed on three huge performance stages-all specially designed and built for the festival. Country 500 will take place on the infield of the world-famous Daytona International Speedway, a historic first mega-music festival inside the hallowed grounds of one of the most iconic motorsports venues in America. Just as it is for the great races at the Speedway, Country 500 will allow fans to actually camp out in the infield, literally inside the festival. A full-range of camping opportunities is available for virtually any budget, from pitching a tent to deluxe RV locations. Special VIP packages called "Crew Chief VIP Experience" and "VIP Pit Pass" allow for an exclusive upfront, golden-circle viewing area at the main stage with side stage access at the other performances areas plus access to comfortable hospitality areas, private cash bars and many other comforts and amenities. Visit Country500.com for all the Country 500 details.(DIS)
    AND: Talladega Superspeedway, one of the most storied motorsports venues in America, is set to host a huge rockin' country music festival over the most American of holidays, Fourth of July Weekend, July 1-3, 2016. Dega Jam, which will take place in the infield of the biggest and baddest race track on the planet, will feature the most popular stars in country music. Spread over three days and nights and programmed on three specially designed performance stages, the mega-music festival will offer fans a thrilling new way to celebrate the entire holiday weekend. The complete artist lineup will be announced on October 25 with tickets and VIP packages on sale to the public the same day. Just as it is for the great races at the Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR's Most Competitive track, Dega Jam will allow fans to camp in the infield, literally inside the festival. A full-range of camping opportunities is available for virtually any budget, from pitching a tent to deluxe RV locations adjacent to the stages. Special VIP packages will allow for a variety of special privileges. VIP packages will be available in limited quantities. Visit DegaJam.com to sign up for the mailing list to receive information on tickets, camping, VIP opportunities and all the Jam details, including a list of participating area hotels and travel packages. (TSS)(10-16-2015)

  • Daytona Rising project nearing completion: After breaking ground more than two years ago, the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project at Daytona International Speedway is nearing the finish line. Monday, the project reached the 100-day mark until its completion. "It's hard to believe that we're entering the final stretch of construction related to DAYTONA Rising," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "Witnessing the world's first motorsports stadium come to life has been incredible. We can't wait for our fans to see the finished product in January." Steel installation for the FPL Solar Pavilion located in the Midway is now underway. DIS also recently completed the final removal/demolition of the backstretch tower. Upcoming construction activities include:
    " Completion of the new suite tower roof
    " Initial installation of solar panels for FPL Solar Pavilion in the Midway
    " Ongoing Midway work/development
    " Arrival of letters for new supersign near center injector/entrance
    (DIS)(10-6-2015)

  • Daytona begins installation of new, larger video display boards: As part of its ongoing commitment to improving the in-venue experience for fans, Daytona International Speedway recently began the installation of two new, larger video display boards in the infield. The new boards, each measuring 40 feet tall by 80 feet wide, will accompany the two existing infield video screens and collectively provide 8,470 square feet of viewing for fans in the new motorsports stadium. Additionally, DIS will upgrade the video board and viewing experience in the Sprint FANZONE. The boards, placed using 3D modeling technology, will ensure an optimal viewing experience for fans. To hold the video boards in place, DIS will create a special structure measuring 80 feet tall by 80 feet wide. Fans in the Sprint FANZONE will now enjoy a new screen measuring 20 feet tall by 40 feet wide. Additionally, the Alert Today Florida Main Stage will be relocated to create better views of the new board as well as improve access and flow throughout the area. Construction is scheduled to be completed by December 2015, in time for the debut of the DAYTONA Rising project in January 2016.(DIS)(9-30-2015)

  • Florida Georgia Line to Perform Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show: Award-winning country music duo Florida Georgia Line, comprised of Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, will perform the Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show prior to the start of the 58th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 21, the first ever "Great American Race" to be held at Daytona International Speedway following the completion of the $400 million Daytona Rising frontstretch redevelopment project. "We are thrilled to secure Florida Georgia Line as the performers for the Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "Florida Georgia Line is country music's premier duo and will provide race fans with an energetic performance prior to the start of the Daytona 500."
    All race fans who purchase Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access for the Daytona 500 will be able to view Florida Georgia Line's Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show, as well as driver introductions, from the grass tri-oval area. A limited number of Daytona 500 Pre-Race Concert ticket packages, available starting at $235, have been designed around Florida Georgia Line and include a Daytona 500 ticket, Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access and VIP area access to the performance. Race fans who have already purchased Daytona 500 tickets can add Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access and VIP area access for $110. All VIP ticket packages will be available beginning at 9 a.m. on Sept. 28.
    Those wishing to attend the 58th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will need to act quickly as there will be a limited number of tickets available due to the reduced seating capacity in the new stadium. Fans should also note:
    · Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.Daytona500.com.
    · Hospitality and premium seat packages, including the Trioval Club, the Rolex 24 Lounge and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race wristbands are also available.
    · For all other Speedweeks events, children 12 and under are $10 in reserved grandstands and free in general admission areas and in the Sprint FANZONE.
    · Fans can also visit PrimeSport.com, the new official ticket exchange and travel package provider of Daytona International Speedway. Offering multiple options for tickets, lodging and hospitality, primesport.com/d/daytona-500-tickets is ideal for fans looking for the ultimate racing experience.(DIS)(9-26-2015)

  • Sunoco Becomes Founding Partner of Daytona Rising Project: International Speedway Corporation and Sunoco announced a multi-year partnership that will make Sunoco the fourth Founding Partner at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) as part of its historic $400 million Daytona Rising redevelopment project. The Daytona Rising project, encompassing the Speedway's nearly one-mile long frontstretch, will be complete by January 2016. Daytona Rising will transform DIS into the world's first motorsports stadium with premium amenities and attractions. The multi-year agreement will provide Sunoco with naming rights for one of five fan injectors. The massive, new and redesigned entry statement includes over 20,000 square feet of Sunoco engagement and fan experiences that vertically span four concourse levels. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Additionally, Sunoco will have branding rights for one of the fan "neighborhoods" located near its injector. A total of 11 football field-size neighborhoods will be located throughout the new frontstretch, each featuring custom bar, retail and dining areas, as well as dozens of video screens. Through the partnership, Sunoco continues to build its heritage in motorsports. Sunoco has served as the Official Fuel of NASCAR since 2004 and is the exclusive provider of Sunoco Green E15 racing fuel for NASCAR's three national series.(DIS)(9-23-2015)

  • After review of accident, Daytona will not change fencing: There have been no changes to the fencing at Daytona International Speedway following the last-lap crash in July that sent Austin Dillon's car into the barrier. Five fans were injured from debris from the accident, and it marked the third crash in three years in which spectators were hurt after last-lap airborne crashes. Daytona track president Joie Chitwood said Saturday the section of fencing ripped away in Dillon's crash has been repaired, but an analysis of the accident showed the fence did its job. "It did what it's supposed to, so we went quickly to repairing it so that we're ready for racing," Chitwood said at Chicagoland Speedway, where he announced Can-Am will sponsor the Daytona 500 qualifying races in February. Daytona rebuilt its catchfences in 2009. Two years ago, after a crash in which Kyle Larson's car sailed into the fence and debris injured more than two dozen fans, the designs of the crossover gates were altered. Since then, fans have been moved back roughly 15 feet as part of Daytona's ongoing $400 million redesign. The project included the removal of the first few rows of grandstands and the construction of a fence that prevents spectators from walking along the "rim road" that circles the track.(Associated Press)(9-20-2015)

  • Can-Am to sponsor Duel races at Daytona: BRP, the manufacturer of world renowned motorized recreational vehicles and engines, will serve as the title sponsor for the 150-mile qualifying races for the DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway, part of Speedweeks 2016. The races will be known as the Can-Am Duel At Daytona. The Can-Am Duel At Daytona, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 18, are a pair of 150-mile qualifying races that finalize the starting lineup for the 58th annual DAYTONA 500, the prestigious NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season-opening event on Sunday, Feb. 21. The Can-Am Duel At Daytona will feature every DAYTONA 500 entrant battling for a coveted starting spot in "The Great American Race."
    "We're excited about developing this new partnership with BRP, the world leader in recreational vehicles," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "With two thrilling and unpredictable 150-mile qualifying races, the Can-Am Duel At Daytona will provide a great platform for BRP to promote their Can-Am products at the 'World Center of Racing.' "
    "BRP and its Can-Am products are synonymous with innovation and performance in the powersports industry," said Anne Bélec, senior vice-president, Global Brands and Strategy. "We feel that there's a natural fit with NASCAR racers and their fans. Thanks to our association with Kappa, Cyclops Gear and the GOFAS race team, we are now a sponsor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the title sponsor of the Can-Am Duel, the ultimate test before the Daytona 500," she concluded.
    The events during Speedweeks 2016 will be the first to be held at Daytona International Speedway following the completion of the $400 million DAYTONA Rising frontstretch redevelopment project. Race fans will experience new amenities such as wider and more comfortable seats, spacious concourses, escalators and elevators, twice as many restrooms and three times as many concessions and merchandise stands.(DIS)(9-19-2015)

  • DAYTONA Rising September Project Update: Construction activities for the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project continue to heat up during the summer months. The curtain wall, the outer covering for the new suite tower, is now complete as the construction team prepares for the next phases of development. "We're happy to see these major pieces falling into place," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "The suite tower is one of the key aspects of this project and we look forward to seeing it take shape in the months ahead." During the next several weeks, the construction team will finish the Suite Tower façade, including the exterior metal paneling and glass installation.(DIS)(9-3-2015)

  • DAYTONA Rising Hits Two-Year Mark: After successfully hosting another series of events during last month's Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola, Daytona International Speedway turns its focus on the final stretch of construction activities related to the DAYTONA Rising project. To date, over 40,000 new seats have been installed near the west end of the Speedway along with 14,000 seats in the east end. In addition, new concessions, restrooms, vertical transportation options and several new "neighborhood" areas are in place. Upcoming construction activities include:
    " Completion of escalator installation
    " Initial installation of solar array structure
    " Ongoing installation of trackside suite tower glass
    " Continued development of hospitality areas/suites
    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 101,500 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.(DIS)(8-8-2015)

  • Moving Daytona summer race to morning not under consideration: Don't count on NASCAR moving the start of the July Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway back to the morning, a series official says. Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said this week on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that "I wouldn't look to us to go back to a morning race" at Daytona in July. The event, formerly known as the Firecracker 400, started at 10 or 11 am on July 4 to avoid the afternoon heat and showers. It was moved off the July 4 holiday to a Saturday afternoon start in 1988. The event has been run at night since 1998. "I don't think so," O'Donnell said. "I think the sport is so big now and there are so many partners that are involved. I know it might be easier to look at an 11 a.m. start. It's our job to look at all factors to grow the sport as much as we can and make it as fan friendly as possible."(NBCSports)(7-9-2015)

  • Fans hit by debris at Daytona hire lawyer: Two people hit by debris during the last-lap crash at the Coke Zero 400 have hired an attorney to represent them in any claims against NASCAR and Daytona International Speedway. Matt Morgan confirmed Tuesday he was hired by the spectators, who were among the four treated and released at the racetrack after Austin Dillon's car flew into the catch fence and was torn into pieces. "I have been retained by two individuals who were sitting three rows up from the point of impact at the Daytona Coke Zero 400 crash," Morgan said. "They were struck by a large piece of steel debris and various smaller objects. They were treated for their injuries in Daytona and are following up at their local hospital." Morgan, whose firm Morgan & Morgan is based in Orlando, Florida, and is well-known for its representation of accident victims, represented 13 victims of the Kyle Larson crash in the 2013 Xfinity Series opener at Daytona and reached settlements in those cases in May 2014. Since then, Morgan has been retained by an additional spectator, and no settlement has been reached.(ESPN.com)(7-8-2015)

  • Seaason-high penalties at Daytona: There were a season-high 65 penalties doled out during Sunday night's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, with the majority (35) for pitting before pit road was open. That infraction isn't unusual when multi-car crashes leave plenty of cars with damaged sheet metal, which definitely was the case at Daytona. The overall total eclipsed the previous high mark of 43 set earlier this year at Martinsville Speedway.(NASCAR.com)(7-8-2015)

  • ISC Statement on Safety: Statement from International Speedway Corporation (ISC) President John Saunders: "Following February and the completion of Speedweeks in Daytona, International Speedway Corporation, in conjunction with NASCAR, initiated a thorough review and audit of impact-absorbing technologies at our properties. Based on those findings, ISC will install approximately 54,000 linear feet of additional SAFER Barrier at its facilities. From now through the end of 2016, ISC will work with Cheaha Construction, Smith Fence Company, and North Industrial Machine, all certified organizations with the University of Nebraska, on this installation. As safety remains at the forefront, ISC will continue to work with NASCAR to evaluate specific locations inside the turns for future safety enhancements."(ISC)(7-5-2015)

  • Why the Coke Zero 400 was run on July 5th and not July 4th? For 29 years, the summer race at Daytona International Speedway was a part of the nation's birthday. The event was always run on Independence Day, no matter what day of the week. The race was in the morning, and the drivers and their families were celebrating on the beach by late afternoon. The tradition that began in 1959 ended in 1988 when the event was moved into prime time on whatever Saturday was part of the holiday weekend. Now it has been moved once more, to Sunday night, to accommodate the return of NASCAR to NBC.
    Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group, said the change was simply about audience. "The Fourth of July is annually the lowest night of television watching of the year - fewer people watch TV that night because they are all out watching fireworks," Lazarus told The Associated Press on Saturday. "In order for us to start our relationship with as big a splash as we can, we wanted to give ourselves the best chance and opportunity to have a big audience. It was simply math." The switch still comes with challenges. By moving it to Sunday night, the race now goes head-to-head against the United States playing in the Women's World Cup final. NBC's pre-race show begins at the same time as the game, but the race doesn't actually go green for another 78 minutes. Lazarus anticipates, barring overtime and penalty kicks, only about 35 minutes of direct competition. He is hopeful, though, that World Cup viewers will flip to the NASCAR race when the game ends. "It's a mixed blessing - it will bring a lot of different people to the television set," he said. "We're hopeful, if we continue to market, that we'll get some people who wouldn't be home watching TV to transfer over and check us out."
    Although both NASCAR and Daytona officials signed off on the switch to Sunday, it's not the most ideal situation for track President Joie Chitwood. Running the race a day later hurts attendance because campers usually return home on Sunday, and now the World Cup likely will cut into viewership. Chitwood understood NBC's desire for the Sunday night race, but is thankful the race will return to Saturday night in 2016. "In our conversation with them, it was just the one time," he said. "We all talked about what we could do special for NBC, and this was one of their components, and it made a lot of sense when we sat down and really talked about it. When you look at what they've done with 'Football Night in America,' they are just knocking it out of the part. They've really captured that. Hopefully, they can sprinkle a little bit of that magic on this event this Sunday. I don't think anybody a year ago, though, knew about World Cup soccer, so that's the way the breaks are."(see full article at the Associated Press)(7-5-2015)

  • ISC sees attendance increase at some tracks: International Speedway Corp., saw attendance up for its NASCAR Sprint Cup races during the second quarter of this year compared to the same time a year ago, the company stated this week. The company reported a 9% increase in attendance at Talladega Superspeedway in May and a second consecutive sellout for its Cup race at Auto Club Speedway (capacity 68,000) in March. John Saunders, president of International Speedway Corp., said Martinsville Speedway's Cup race in March also saw an increase in attendance but didn't reveal by how much. He said attendance was down 3 percent for the June 14 Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. Saunders said ticket sales were trending up until forecasts of rain for the race. Saunders said attendance was down for Cup races at Richmond and Kansas, citing the weather but did not say by how much. Saunders also said that Sunday night's Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway, the August Cup race at Watkins Glen and the August Cup race Michigan race, are on track to meet or exceed attendance expectations. Daytona's grandstand renovation continues and there will be 52,000 seats available for the Cup race. Once the project is completed - in time for next year's Daytona 500, the seating capacity will be 101,000. Preliminary plans are being made for renovations at Phoenix International Raceway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway once the Daytona project is complete, Saunders said. During the second quarter, ISC saw retention rates for ticket sales go from 55% to 58%. "So, we're getting a significant number of first timers,'' Saunders said. "And I will tell you that in our consumer strategies, we very much segment how we promote to those first timers versus returning guests, or tenured guests. But we're seeing the retention rate grow which is good, but we are seeing new entrants into the sport.''(NBC Sports), see full ISC report at internationalspeedwaycorporation.com,(7-5-2015)

  • U.S. Navy Band of the Southeast to Perform National Anthem for the Coke Zero 400: During the Coke Zero 400 Weekend on July 3-5, Daytona International Speedway will continue the tradition of saluting the nation's military service men and women. "From recognizing three Congressional Medal of Honor recipients to having the U.S. Navy Band of the Southeast perform the national anthem, we're honored to have the different branches of the military play an integral part in this weekend's activities," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. Below are some of the different military-themed activities planned for this weekend at Daytona International Speedway:
    Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients: Three Congressional Medal of Honor recipients - Gary Littrell, Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army; Salvatore Giunta, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army; and Ryan Pitts, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army - will be introduced during pre-race on Saturday prior to the Subway Firecracker 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race and on Sunday prior to the 57th annual Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Immediately following the national anthem on Sunday is a special ceremony during which the recipients will be surrounded by 36 colorful feather flags, held by representatives of each branch of the military, which will create one large American flag. The Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government.
    National Anthem: Prior to Sunday's Coke Zero 400, the U.S. Navy Band of the Southeast - a 23-member instrumental band - will perform the national anthem, with the Patrick Air Force Base Honor Guard presenting the colors. The U.S. Air Force will perform the flyover with two F-16s from the 125th Fighter Squadron, the "Tulsa Vipers", a unit of the Oklahoma Air National Guard. The U.S. Navy Band of the Southeast will also perform a 20-minute pre-race concert on the pre-race stage.
    For Saturday's Subway Firecracker 250, the Patrol Squadron Thirty, stationed aboard Naval Air Station Jacksonville, will provide the color guard.
    Honorary Pace Car Driver: Petty Officer First Class Terrell Sisk will lead Sunday's 43-car field to the green flag as Honorary Pace Car Driver for the Coke Zero 400. Sisk serves in the U.S. Coast Guard on the Aids to Navigation team out of Ponce Inlet, FL.
    Borinqueneers: The U.S. Army's 65th Infantry Regiment out of Puerto Rico will be visiting the "World Center of Racing" for the Coke Zero 400 Weekend as part of NASCAR: An American Salute, the sport's seven-week tribute to the U.S. Armed Forces. The Borinqueneers were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal last year for their service during WWI, WWII and Korea. The Borinqueneers are named such after Puerto Rico's original name, Borinquen. The group amassed 10 Distinguished Service Crosses, 250+ Silver Stars, 600+ Bronze Stars and almost 3,000 Purple Hearts.
    Military Uniform Display: On display in the Sprint FANZONE will be six uniforms representing the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps., U.S. Army, and U.S. Air Force on loan from the Military Museum of North Florida. The uniforms will represent various wars from WWII through the War in Afghanistan.
    Fireworks: Daytona International Speedway will celebrate the Independence Day holiday weekend with fireworks shows both Saturday and Sunday nights over Lake Lloyd after the checkered flag in the Subway Firecracker 250 and the Coke Zero 400. Tickets to the Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Subway Firecracker 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(7-4-2015)

  • Daytona to offer Confederate flag exchange UPDATE: Daytona International Speedway will implement a voluntary flag exchange program this weekend for any fans flying a Confederate flag during the track's traditional Independence Day race weekend. DIS President Joie Chitwood said Tuesday that because fans had purchased tickets, he would not change the flag policy for this weekend so close to the event. He said the track will offer United States flags in exchange for Confederate flags. "We want to be inclusive to everyone, and the last thing you want is for anyone to come to a sporting event and really not enjoy that experience because of symbols that really represent things we're not proud of," Chitwood told reporters after a news conference to announce a new track sponsor. "For us, we're celebrating the American flag this weekend. It's our nation's birthday. ... Going forward, we'll really have to look at where that other flag goes because it doesn't have a place in our sport and we've got to take a thoughtful process on how we get to that place."(ESPN)(6-30-2015)
    UPDATE: Daytona International Speedway, along with the rest of the tracks that host NASCAR national series races, issued a statement Thursday asking fans to refrain from displaying the Confederate flag at the racetracks. DIS had a box of U.S. flags ready to exchange for Confederate flags to anyone who asked while checking in Thursday for the race weekend. A track spokesman said that as of 3:00pm/et -- seven hours after the check-in started -- no one had asked to exchange the flag. Those checking in the campers did not ask if they wanted to exchange.(ESPN)(7-3-2015)

  • Changes made at Daytona crash scene: The section of Daytona International Speedway where Kyle Busch broke his left foot and right leg in February will look quite different this weekend. The speedway has reconfigured the inside wall with a combination of SAFER barrier and tire barriers near Turn 1, the entrance to the track's road course. That's where Busch smacked a concrete wall section Feb. 21, causing injuries that threatened to sideline him for the 2015 season. The new wall is positioned so that a skid into it would be shorter and make impact at a less dangerous angle. The speedway also paved over the grassy area that Busch slid through, as pavement offers more resistance than grass in a skid. That area isn't the only new area with SAFER barrier at the track. Daytona now has SAFER barrier around the entire outside wall, not just in the turns. It has added SAFER barrier to the inside pit wall just beyond pit road -- an area that Kevin Harvick hit in 2014 -- but needs to add some SAFER barrier in the turns to make the track completely covered.(see image of the wall at ESPN)(7-3-2015)

  • Industry asks fans to refrain from displaying Confederate flag: Statement from NASCAR Industry Members: "As members of the NASCAR industry, we join NASCAR in the desire to make our events among the most fan-friendly, welcoming environments in all of sports and entertainment. To do that, we are asking our fans and partners to join us in a renewed effort to create an all-inclusive, even more welcoming atmosphere for all who attend our events. This will include the request to refrain from displaying the Confederate Flag at our facilities and NASCAR events. We are committed to providing a welcoming atmosphere free of offensive symbols. This is an opportunity for NASCAR Nation to demonstrate its sense of mutual respect and acceptance for all who attend our events while collectively sharing the tremendous experience of NASCAR racing."(NASCAR with signatories of ALL race tracks of ISC & SMI and many others)(7-2-2015)

  • Chevy becomes Founding Partner of Daytona Rising: International Speedway Corporation and Chevrolet announced a multi-year partnership that will make Chevrolet a Founding Partner at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) as part of its Daytona Rising redevelopment project. The historic $400 million Daytona Rising project, encompassing the Speedway's nearly one-mile long frontstretch, will be complete by January 2016. Beginning in 2016, the multi-year agreement will provide Chevrolet with naming rights for one of five fan injectors. The massive, new and redesigned entry includes over 20,000 square feet of Chevrolet new vehicle displays and a fan engagement experience that vertically spans four concourse levels. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Chevrolet will also have branding rights for one of the "neighborhoods" located near its injector. Each football field-sized neighborhood will be located throughout the new frontstretch and feature retail and dining areas, as well as dozens of video screens. Additionally, Chevrolet will serve as an official partner of the Daytona 500, and receive official pace car rights in select years. In addition to the Founding Partner status with Daytona Rising, Chevrolet extended its pace car rights at several ISC facilities including Darlington Raceway, Phoenix International Raceway and Watkins Glen International for various NASCAR and IMSA events. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS / Team Chevy)(7-1-2015)

  • Daytona to offer Confederate flag exchange: Daytona International Speedway will implement a voluntary flag exchange program this weekend for any fans flying a Confederate flag during the track's traditional Independence Day race weekend. DIS President Joie Chitwood said Tuesday that because fans had purchased tickets, he would not change the flag policy for this weekend so close to the event. He said the track will offer United States flags in exchange for Confederate flags. "We want to be inclusive to everyone, and the last thing you want is for anyone to come to a sporting event and really not enjoy that experience because of symbols that really represent things we're not proud of," Chitwood told reporters after a news conference to announce a new track sponsor. "For us, we're celebrating the American flag this weekend. It's our nation's birthday. ... Going forward, we'll really have to look at where that other flag goes because it doesn't have a place in our sport and we've got to take a thoughtful process on how we get to that place."(ESPN)(6-30-2015)

  • Fifth Third Bank named Official Bank of Daytona International Speedway: Daytona International Speedway announced that Fifth Third Bank, a diversified financial services company, will become the official bank of the "World Center of Racing" and will integrate its ATMs into the redeveloped Speedway beginning in 2016. Additionally, Fifth Third Bank will serve as an official partner of the DAYTONA 500 and the Coke Zero 400.
    "The motorsports industry continues to be an important segment for Fifth Third Bank," said Brian Lamb, president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank (North Florida). "We are proud to be the official bank of this landmark racing venue and its global sports brands, and we look forward to delivering innovative financial solutions to Daytona International Speedway as it continues to grow."
    Effective immediately, the multi-year agreement will also provide Fifth Third Bank with fan engagement and corporate hospitality opportunities at the Speedway, as well as the ability to use Daytona International Speedway and its races' marks and logos in Fifth Third Bank promotions. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Lamb and Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III revealed the partnership today at the Fifth Third Bank Lake Eola building in Orlando, along with Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #17 Fifth Third Bank Ford Fusion for Roush Fenway Racing. "We are very pleased to welcome Fifth Third Bank as the official bank of Daytona International Speedway," said Chitwood. "DAYTONA Rising continues to serve as a valuable marketing platform for our growing list of partners."
    The relationship with Daytona International Speedway furthers Fifth Third Bank's commitment to motorsports. Fifth Third Bank came onboard with Roush Fenway Racing in 2012 and has served as a primary sponsor on the #17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Ford entry for the past four seasons. Last year, they signed another multi-year sponsorship agreement with the organization. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(6-30-2015)

  • Daytona 500 Tickets on sale: Tickets for the Daytona 500, NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race-and the first ever following the completion of the $400 million Daytona Rising redevelopment project-will officially go on sale Monday, June 22 at 9:00am/et. Fans will have the first opportunity to witness the 2016 Daytona 500, to be held on Sunday, February 21, 2016, in the new motorsports stadium, experiencing unprecedented amenities that include 101,500 new, wider seats, thousands of premium club seats, 40 escalators and 17 elevators, 60 luxury suites, social "neighborhoods" and three concourse levels that will span the nearly mile-long frontstretch. Those wishing to attend "The Great American Race" will need to act quickly, as there will be a limited number of tickets available due to the reduced seating capacity in the new stadium. Fans should also note:
    · Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.Daytona500.com.
    · Hospitality and premium seat packages, including the Trioval Club and the Rolex 24 Lounge, and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race wristbands are also available.
    · For all other Speedweeks events, children 12 and under are $10 in reserved grandstands and free in general admission areas and in the Sprint Fanzone.
    · Fans can also visit PrimeSport.com, the new official ticket exchange and travel package provider of Daytona International Speedway. Offering multiple options for tickets, lodging and hospitality, PrimeSport is ideal for fans looking for the ultimate racing experience.
    In addition to "The Great American Race," fans may purchase tickets and multi-day packages for the remaining events during Speedweeks, which officially kicks off with the 58th Rolex 24 At Daytona TUDOR United SportsCar Championship event on Jan. 30-31.(DIS)(6-18-2015)

  • Actor/Comedian David Spade to Serve as Grand Marshal for the Coke Zero 400: Actor, comedian and writer David Spade, who stars in Crackle's upcoming original movie "Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser" will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 57th annual Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday night, July 5 at Daytona International Speedway. In this sequel to the popular Columbia Pictures comedy "Joe Dirt," Spade returns as the mullet-headed hero in this first ever made-for-digital sequel to a major motion picture that also stars Christopher Walken, Brittany Daniel and Patrick Warburton. "Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser" will be released on the streaming network July 16. As the Grand Marshal for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, Spade will give the command "Drivers, start your engines." Along with the starting command, Spade will also attend 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 160-lap, 400-mile race. The stars of NASCAR return to Daytona International Speedway on July 3-5. Tickets to the Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR XFINITY Series race are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(6-16-2015)

  • Medal of Honor Recipients to be honored at Daytona: During the upcoming Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola on July 3-5, Daytona International Speedway will salute three Congressional Medal of Honor recipients. The Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, one from the Vietnam War and two from the War in Afghanistan, are:
    " Gary Littrell, Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army
    " Salvatore Giunta, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army
    " Ryan Pitts, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army
    This is the seventh consecutive year that the Speedway has honored Congressional Medal of Honor recipients. The program started back in the 1970s by Bill France Sr. The Congressional Medal of Honor recipients will be recognized during a special luncheon on Saturday at the Bill France Room, will attend driver's meetings and participate in pre-race ceremonies for both the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday night, July 4 and the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday night, July 5. During Sunday's 57th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, a special salute will take place for the three recipients during pre-race ceremonies. In addition, the three Congressional Medal of Honor recipients will take part in an autograph session with race fans in the Sprint FANZONE on Sunday prior to the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. The Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It's bestowed on a member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself or herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States.(DIS)(6-12-2015)

  • DAYTONA Rising June update: After several busy months of construction related to its $400 million DAYTONA Rising project, Daytona International Speedway is now shifting gears to prepare for the upcoming Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. Fans attending the event will have an opportunity to preview some of the new amenities being created by historic renovation project. Approximately 40,000 new seats will be available near the west end of the Speedway along with 10,000 seats near the east end. Fans can also access new concessions and restrooms, escalators and vertical transportation options and several new "neighborhood" areas. Construction will accelerate again following the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. Upcoming race-ready activities: Final installation of elevators and escalators; Completion of east end seating areas; Installation of temporary infrastructure.(DIS)(6-6-2015)

  • DIS adds "We Built Daytona" Partners: Daytona International Speedway announced that Jones Sign Company, Musco Lighting and P&S Paving, Inc. have become the latest partners to join the expanding "We Built Daytona" marketing platform for the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project.
    " Jones Sign Company, a national specialist in the sign manufacturer and sign installation industry, will provide nearly 3,000 signs and more than 120,000 square feet of graphics for the new injectors/entrances. The company will also produce the DIS "Supersign" LED-lit letters, measuring 13 feet 6 inches tall and 286 feet wide.
    " Musco Lighting, a global leader in the design and manufacture of sports-lighting systems, will illuminate the new frontstretch grandstand. In 1998, Musco lighted the speedway using its Mitran system specifically designed to meet the needs of drivers, spectators, and television broadcasts. The new frontstretch of the grandstand will feature more than 700 of Musco's Green Generation fixtures producing 77 million lumens of light.
    " P&S Paving, an asphalt paving, heavy highway contractor based in Daytona Beach, is providing paving and dirt services. During the past year, the company has installed more than 50,000 square yards of temporary asphalt and 13 miles of utility piping.
    The "We Built Daytona" platform is designed specifically for partners involved in the construction of DAYTONA Rising and enables them to showcase their involvement through a marketing presence (once their role in the project begins). Following construction, partners can feature products in-use at the new DIS, providing them with a real-time showroom. Additionally, partners will receive special recognition as "We Built Daytona" partners within the facility, along with brand exposure opportunities via digital display boards and corporate hospitality opportunities for entertaining guests during major events.(DIS)(5-29-2015)

  • International Speedway Corp partners with AEG Live: International Speedway Corporation announced an extension of their strategic partnership with leading sports and entertainment presenters AEG. The relationship further solidifies two organizations focused on facility ownership and management, sporting properties, live event promotion, and media production and distribution. The new partnership will include AEG's live-entertainment division, AEG Live, as ISC examines opportunities to develop music and other live events at many of its 13 motorsports entertainment facilities throughout the U.S. AEG Facilities, a stand-alone division of AEG that operates and consults with preeminent venues worldwide, will continue to advise ISC on its latest development projects including DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million renovation of Daytona International Speedway set to open in January 2016, and ONE DAYTONA, a premier retail and entertainment destination planned across from the legendary Speedway.(ISC)(5-27-2015)

  • Kip Moore to perform pre-race concert for Coke Zero 400: Country music singer/songwriter Kip Moore will perform an hour-long pre-race concert prior to the 57th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday night, July 5 at Daytona International Speedway. Multi platinum selling singer songwriter Kip Moore's debut album Up All Night spawned three #1 smash hits including "Somethin' 'Bout A Truck," "Beer Money" and "Hey Pretty Girl." Moore recently released "I'm To Blame," which was the second most added song during its debut week on country radio, marking Moore's biggest first week for a new single, ahead of his upcoming sophomore album. Earning critical acclaim for his "high energy" (Rolling Stone) live show, this summer Moore will join Dierks Bentley's 2015 Sounds of Summer Tour. A limited quantity of VIP ticket packages are available for race fans to get special access to Moore's 60-minute pre-race concert that will be staged at the exit of pit road. VIP Ticket Packages start at $150 and include: A reserved ticket for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola; Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access; Admission to the VIP viewing area in front of the stage for the pre-race concert. Fans that have already purchased a Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola race ticket can upgrade their experience with a VIP Ticket Package for $70.(Daytona International Speedway)(5-27-2015)

  • Work begins on safety initiatives at Daytona: As construction continues on the Daytona Rising project, which is designed to provide a different race-day experience for fans, work began Monday to provide a safer race-day experience for the drivers. Daytona International Speedway officials announced work has started on safety initiatives that include additional "soft wall" coverage as well as asphalt in one area formerly covered with grass. The addition of new Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) Barrier became a hot topic in the aftermath of Kyle Busch's Feb. 21 wreck, in an XFINITY Series race the day before the Daytona 500, that left him with a broken leg and foot. Daytona's next event is on Fourth of July weekend, the XFINITY Series' Subway Firecracker 250 on July 4 and the Sprint Cup Series' Coke Zero 400 on July 5. The current work is expected to be completed before then. Other than acknowledging the start of the new efforts, the Speedway declined to offer any information beyond what it addressed in a March 11 news release.
    The specifics of the work: The inside retaining wall, inside Turn 1 and beginning with the exit from the infield road course, will be realigned and fitted with the SAFER Barrier. 20,000 square feet of asphalt will be put down to replace the grass in that area of the track - the lack of traction on grass adds to the inability to slow or possibly control a wrecking car. During his deconstruction of his February wreck, Busch spoke of the inability to get tire grip and possibly save his car from its eventual hit into the wall. Installation of SAFER Barrier on the retaining wall at the exit to pit road. Installation of SAFER Barrier between the exit of Turn 4 and the pit entrance, on the section of the inside retaining wall presently uncovered. Additional coverage of the outside wall of the backstretch with SAFER Barrier. After the July 5 Coke Zero 400, the Speedway will continue covering SAFER coverage of existing concrete walls.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(5-20-2015)

  • Daytona Rising May Project Update: Daytona International Speedway recently began installing 10,000 wider, more comfortable seats near the east end of the Speedway as part of the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. These new and improved seats will be available during the upcoming Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola on July 3-5 along with an additional 40,000 new seats near the west end of the Speedway. The installation follows another recent construction milestone: the removal of the final piece of the Sprint Tower. Looking ahead, the Speedway will prepare to install the last piece of structural steel for the new frontstretch grandstand.
    Additional upcoming construction activities include:
    · Ongoing elevator installation
    · Continuing miscellaneous framing and concrete installation
    · Foam panel installation in various injectors/entrances
    Race fans can follow the progress of the DAYTONA Rising project by visiting DAYTONARising.com.(DIS)(5-2-2015)

  • New seat installation begins at Daytona: Seat installation on the east end of Daytona International Speedway began on Monday morning. Workers began installing the first of 10,000 wider, more comfortable seats that will be available for the upcoming Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola on July 3-5. Along with the 10,000 seats on the east end of the frontstretch, 40,000 new seats will be available on the west side of the stadium for the Independence Day holiday weekend. With a limited capacity of only 50,000 seats, fans will want to secure their tickets early for the 57th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race scheduled on Sunday, July 5. DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation project, is targeted for completion in January 2016 in time for the 54th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the 58th annual DAYTONA 500.(DIS)(4-28-2015)

  • Removal of Sprint Tower at Daytona completed: On Friday afternoon, Daytona International Speedway reached another crucial milestone as part of its $400 million DAYTONA Rising project. The final piece of the iconic Sprint Tower was removed by a 490-foot Manitowoc 2250 Crawler Crane. During the last several weeks, the crane disassembled the tower by removing 30 large individual sections (representing 1,000 gross tons of steel).(DIS)(4-18-2015)

  • Daytona Rising April Project Update: During the recent weeks, Daytona International Speedway continued demolition of the Sprint Tower as part of the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. Using a 490-foot Manitowoc 2250 Crawler Crane, the Speedway has already completed the removal of the Tower's iconic front façade that featured "DAYTONA." The Speedway will continue the 30-day demolition process with two additional phases. The next phases will involve the removal of elevated walkways and concessions between the Tower and the Speedway followed by general demolition of the Campbell Suites. Additional upcoming construction activities include: Ongoing elevator installation, Continuing miscellaneous framing and concrete installation, and Developing hospitality suites.(DIS)(4-8-2015)

  • Demolition of Sprint Cup Tower at Daytona begins: The iconic Sprint Cup Tower that has hovered above Daytona International Speedway for almost three decades has begun its white-flag lap. A 490-foot crane - nicknamed "Big Red" - started picking off pieces of the signature structure Wednesday as the Speedway's Daytona Rising project continued to pick up the pace after a brief layoff. For 27 years, the tower housed corporate gatherings, the media and NASCAR officials on race weekends. It provided a bird's-eye view for some of the track's greatest moments, including Dale Earnhardt's lone Daytona 500 victory in 1998. The crane's first pull was a utility shed on top of the roof. It later came back and grabbed a large support beam. The crane will lift at least 2.24 million pounds of steel - the equivalent of 684 Toyota Camry race cars - and make at least 130 pulls as part of a 30-day demolition project, superintendent Ken Stiles said. Once complete, the tower - built in 1988 as the Winston Tower - and the middle section of the frontstretch grandstands will be completely removed.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(3-26-2015)

  • Daytona begins removing backstretch seats: On Monday morning, Daytona International Speedway began to remove the backstretch grandstand as part of the DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. The full removal process will be completed later this year. By moving all seating to the frontstretch, all attendees will now have the opportunity to enjoy a full race day experience including pre-race ceremonies, pit road action and the facility's new amenities. Beginning in January 2016, Daytona International Speedway will feature approximately 101,000 permanent, wider and more comfortable seats.(DIS)(3-24-2015)

  • Daytona to make safety improvements before July races: Following the completion of the February race events, Daytona International Speedway, working closely with NASCAR and International Speedway Corporation (ISC), performed an extensive review of the facility and developed a significant plan for additional safety initiatives. Prior to the July NASCAR weekend, the following safety initiatives will be completed:
    " Additional 20,000 square feet of asphalt in Turn 1
    " Realignment of a portion of the inside retaining wall from infield road course exit to Turn 1
    " Installation of SAFER barrier (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) on realigned retaining wall and existing retaining wall in Turn 1
    " Installation of SAFER barrier on retaining wall at pit road exit
    " Installation of SAFER barrier between the exit of Turn 4 to pit road entry
    "In addition, based on material availability and timing, we will install SAFER barrier on the outside backstretch wall and will complete as much as possible prior to the July NASCAR weekend. Following the July races, we will complete any remaining installation of SAFER barrier on the outside backstretch wall, and continue to install SAFER barrier on the remaining areas of the property. We will provide additional updates regarding our safety initiatives as circumstances warrant. The safety of the competitors and our fans is our top priority." DIS president Joie Chitwood III.(DIS)(3-11-2015)

  • Daytona Rising March Project Update: Prepares to Remove Iconic Sprint Tower: After providing fans with a sneak preview of DAYTONA Rising during Budweiser Speedweeks 2015, Daytona International Speedway (DIS) is now preparing to ramp up construction once again. Shortly following the Daytona 200 Week at Daytona International Speedway, a 490-foot Manitowoc 2250 Crawler Crane will help to remove and disassemble the iconic Sprint Tower as part of a 30-day demolition process. The crane will remove 30 large individual sections of the tower (representing 1,000 gross tons of steel) and further disassemble the materials once they're placed on the ground. More than 40 tractor trailers recently transported the massive crane to DIS where it was assembled and positioned to begin the demolition. "The removal of the Sprint Tower marks another huge milestone for the DAYTONA Rising project," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "Construction will accelerate during the next few months as we continue to create the world's first motorsports stadium." Additional upcoming construction activities include: · Ongoing elevator and escalator installation · Development of hospitality areas/suites Race fans can follow the progress of the DAYTONA Rising project by visiting www.DAYTONARising.com.(DIS)(3-9-2015)

  • Deadline Approaching for Fans to Own Their Seat from Daytona: Daytona International Speedway ticket holders who want to secure a piece of history have until Friday, March 6 to purchase their own seat that they've used to watch races throughout the years before they go on sale to the general public. Daytona International Speedway ticket holders who interested in making a purchase should visit www.fanaticsauthentic.com/DAYTONA_RISING or call 1-866-578-0541. After March 6, generic seats and other Speedway relics will continue to be available through Fanatics Authentic online or via phone.(DIS)(3-6-2015)

  • ISC to review safety at all facilities: Statement from International Speedway Corporation (ISC) President John Saunders:
    "Beginning with our two superspeedway motorsports entertainment facilities, Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, ISC is developing a significant plan for the installation of additional impact-absorbing technologies including but not limited to SAFER barriers (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction). We will utilize all available tools to ensure the safety of the drivers and our fans. It will remain our top priority. A thorough review of our other ISC facilities will continue with the focus to prioritize each track's most critical areas first. This includes but is not limited to our upcoming races at Phoenix International Raceway and Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. ISC is working very closely with NASCAR and industry experts to identify areas for additional safety protections. As we finalize our plans, we will communicate them to the drivers and necessary stakeholders ahead of our races at each ISC facility."(ISC)(2-24-2015)

  • Florida Power & Light and Daytona Plan to add Major Solar Installation to DAYTONA Rising Project: Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) and Daytona International Speedway (DIS) announced plans to install commercial-scale distributed solar power at the "World Center of Racing," complementing the ongoing $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. The plan comprises the installation of more than 5,000 solar panels on multiple canopy-like structures that will offer areas of shade for race fans while generating zero-emissions energy. The solar panels will be located outside the frontstretch, in the Sprint FANZONE and in one of the Speedway's parking lots. The electricity generated will help power the Speedway's operations and FPL's 4.7 million customers via the grid.
    "A destination for hundreds of thousands of visitors to our state every year, reaching millions across the globe on television and online, Daytona International Speedway is a Florida landmark and an American icon. We are truly honored to be part of its incredible revitalization," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. "By partnering with the Speedway on this exciting project, we're building a shining example of our affordable clean energy commitment and showcasing Florida's innovation and advanced economy for the world."
    FPL is a subsidiary of Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc., the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, the Official Renewable Energy Provider of both Daytona International Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. As part of a long-term partnership agreement, NextEra Energy Resources is continuing its entitlement sponsorship of the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race that is held annually during Budweiser Speedweeks.
    "We're very excited to continue our strong relationship with all of the NextEra Energy Companies," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "FPL's solar energy solutions will help us create a modern and advanced motorsports stadium while improving the fan experience."
    When the installation is complete, DIS will rank fifth-largest among U.S. professional sports facilities for solar energy capacity, according to data from the Solar Energy Installers Association. The project's total generating capacity is expected to be approximately 1.7 megawatts, making it one of the largest distributed solar installations in Florida. The clean energy generated by the installation will prevent the emission of an estimated 2,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year - equivalent to an average vehicle driving 2,000,000 laps around Daytona International Speedway.
    FPL plans to begin construction on the solar installation by this fall, with the goal of connecting it to the grid by the end of the year. The installation will include high-tech data-gathering equipment that will provide FPL with real-time and long-term data to help the company continue incorporating more solar power into the grid in the future. Across Florida, before the end of 2016, FPL expects to triple its current solar capacity - adding a total of more than 225 megawatts of new solar power in Florida. The company currently operates 110 megawatts of solar at three large-scale plants, including the FPL Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center, part of a public-private partnership with NASA's Kennedy Space Center.(DIS)(2-21-2015)

  • Amy Purdy to pace Daytona 500: Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc. and Daytona International Speedway announced that 'Dancing With the Stars' finalist and Paralympics bronze medalist Amy Purdy will serve as the official pace car driver for the 2015 Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 22. Purdy, a top-ranked adaptive snowboarder in the U.S., will pace 'The Great American Race' in the bold, new Toyota Camry that was redesigned for 2015. "Another exciting moment in my relationship with Toyota," said Purdy. "As a race fan, I'm thrilled to be invited to be the Honorary Pace Car driver at the biggest race of the NASCAR season - the Daytona 500. This is another opportunity to try something new and be bold in my own life. I can't wait to visit my fellow Toyota athletes and step into their world by getting behind the wheel of the Camry pace car." Purdy had a typical childhood until losing her legs at the age of 19 as a result of meningitis, which led to an adulthood of extraordinary accomplishments. The Las Vegas native is a three-time World Cup Para-Snowboard winner, founded the non-profit Adaptive Action Sports organization and appeared on 'Dancing with the Stars' in 2014 where she competed in the finals. This year's Daytona 500 will mark the second time the Toyota Camry has paced 'The Great American Race' (2012, 2015). Camry drivers have combined for five wins in Daytona - one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory and four in the NASCAR Xfinity Series - but Toyota is yet to win the Daytona 500. Toyota is an official partner of Daytona International Speedway and is working closely with the track and its parent company, International Speedway Corporation, to enhance the fan experience at the famed facility. Toyota became the first founding partner of the track's 'Daytona Rising' redevelopment project when they signed an 11-year agreement for the naming rights to one of the track's new fan injectors, which will serve as primary entry points into the 2.5-mile speedway. The Toyota fan injector at Daytona will include over 20,000 square feet of Toyota engagement and fan experience that will vertically span four concourse levels.(Toyota Racing)(2-20-2015)

  • Daytona International Speedway To Hold DAYTONA Rising "Open House" For Fans On Wednesday, Feb. 18: Daytona International Speedway will hold a DAYTONA Rising "Open House" for the general public on Wednesday, Feb. 18, enabling race fans to locate their seats before next weekend's events and personally preview the new seating sections and amenities. The "Open House" will take place between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. and is free of charge. In addition to getting a preview of DAYTONA Rising, fans will also be able to witness two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice sessions (2 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. - 3:55 p.m.). Fans can enter the facility through Gate 18, 22 and 32 with parking available in the Turn 1 Plaza and on the backstretch. Earlier in the day, current DAYTONA 500 ticket holders will get an exclusive open house preview between 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ryan Newman, A.J. Allmendinger and Clint Bowyer serving as special guests. Tickets for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 and all Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 events are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(2-17-2015)

  • U. S. Women's National Soccer Team Named Honorary Starter for the Daytona 500: Abby Wambach, Kelley O'Hara and Christie Rampone will represent the U. S. Women's National Soccer Team as the Honorary Starters of the 57th annual Daytona 500. In addition to serving as the Honorary Starters for the 200-lap, 500-mile race that kicks off the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, the trio will also be introduced at the driver's meeting and participate in pre-race ceremonies. "We're honored to welcome three members of the U.S. Women's National Team as Honorary Starters for the DAYTONA 500," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "We're looking forward to having these phenomenal athletes wave the green flag on both 'The Great American Race' as well as the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season." Tickets for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 and all Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 events are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(2-16-2015)

  • Phillip Phillips to Sing National Anthem for Daytona 500: Singer/songwriter Phillip Phillips, will sing the National Anthem prior to the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. "We're excited to have Phillip Phillips be a part of the pre-race ceremonies and sing the National Anthem prior to the 57th annual DAYTONA 500," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "Phillip is a talented singer, guitarist and songwriter and we are looking forward to his rendition of the National Anthem in front of thousands of race fans and millions more watching on FOX." Tickets for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 and all Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 events are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(2-14-2015)

  • Actor Vince Vaughn Named Grand Marshal for 57th Annual DAYTONA 500: Vince Vaughn, the star of 20th Century Fox's and New Regency's upcoming comedy "Unfinished Business," in theaters everywhere March 6, will serve as Grand Marshal for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. As Grand Marshal, Vaughn will announce the famous four words in motorsports, "Drivers, start your engines." Along with the starting command, Vaughn will 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 are thrilled to welcome Vince Vaughn as Grand Marshal for the DAYTONA 500," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "We look forward to hearing Vince Vaughn's command as we kick off the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season in front of hundreds of thousands of fans and millions more watching on FOX."
    "Last year was an exciting one for NASCAR and I can't wait to help kick off the 2015 season as the DAYTONA 500 Grand Marshal," Vaughn said. "The DAYTONA 500 is one of the biggest events in all of sports and I feel honored to be able to be a part of it in it in such a major way."(DIS)(2-11-2015)

  • DAYTONA Rising February Project Update: Following a successful 2015 Rolex 24 At Daytona, Daytona International Speedway is now finalizing its race-ready preparations for Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 and the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 22. Fans will have an opportunity to preview some of the new amenities, including 40,000 new seats, two of the five injectors/entrances, new concessions, several of the neighborhoods or social areas and the new vertical transportation. Below is a recap of key race-ready activities since the last update in January:
    " Installed temporary trailers for ushers and staff
    " Set up more than 4,000 feet of construction fencing
    " Built temporary Americrown kitchens
    " Installed temporary lighting
    (DIS)(2-7-2015)

  • Daytona International Speedway All-Access and VIP Tours To Showcase DAYTONA Rising Project: For a limited time, the Daytona International Speedway Track Tours will now bring visitors closer to the DAYTONA Rising project, the $400 million redevelopment project that will transform the "World Center of Racing" into motorsports' first true stadium. Beginning Feb. 2, the All-Access and VIP track tours will include a stop at the Florida Hospital Injector on the west end of the stadium. Guests will get an up-close look at the new amenities including vertical transportation and the wider, more comfortable seats available beginning with Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 and the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 on Sunday. Feb. 22. The 90-minute All-Access Tour also includes stops at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garages and tech inspection, the driver's meeting room, Gatorade Victory Lane and Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s 2014 DAYTONA 500 winning car.
    The VIP Tour is three hours with the additional feature of a visit to the International Speedway Corporation Archives and Research Center that houses motorsports artifacts, past champion trophies, historic images and more. For complete ticket and schedule information on tours of Daytona International Speedway, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/tours.
    Tickets for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 and all Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 events are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting daytonainternationalspeedway.com.
    Fans also can follow NASCAR on Twitter and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtags #DAYTONA500 and #SPEEDWEEKS. Stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. Fans can 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. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-1-2015)

  • Schneider Electric named "We Build Daytona" partner: Daytona International Speedway announced that Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, has become the latest partner in the "We Built Daytona" marketing platform for the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. Schneider Electric will provide a single view into all critical infrastructure systems through its EcoStruxure solution, allowing for a reliable and energy efficient fan experience. Additionally, Schneider Electric will coordinate with its other partners to provide an integrated solution including power distribution, electrical metering, building management controls and further integration of elevators, escalators, lighting, fire systems and generators. The "We Built Daytona" platform is designed specifically for partners involved in the construction of DAYTONA Rising and enables them to showcase their involvement through a marketing presence (once their role in the project begins).(Daytana International Speedway)(1-16-2015)

  • Kid Rock to headline the DAYTONA 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show: Multi-platinum award-winning, American rock star Kid Rock will perform the DAYTONA 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show, the prelude to the 57th annual "Great American Race" on Sunday, Feb. 22. Kid Rock will perform several of his hits, including his brand new single "First Kiss," on pit road of the "World Center of Racing" prior to the start of the DAYTONA 500, the prestigious season-opening event of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. All race fans that purchase a Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access pass for the DAYTONA 500 can enjoy Kid Rock's DAYTONA 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show up close, along with driver introductions. Following his performance, Kid Rock will release his latest studio album First Kiss on Tuesday, Feb. 24. In addition to his concert, a special ticket package designed around Kid Rock has been created that includes a DAYTONA 500 grandstand ticket, Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access and VIP area access to Kid Rock's performance. Packages start at $169. Fans who have already purchased DAYTONA 500 tickets can add Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access along with VIP area access for just $104.(DIS)(12-19-2014)

  • Motorsports facilities get tax break: Track operators got the tax break they've been waiting for all year when the U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed a tax extenders package for the remainder of 2014. Included in the extensive list of tax breaks to be continued was a provision that allows motorsports facilities to depreciate new construction over seven years instead of the life of the project, which typically is 25 years or more. The congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the provision will result in an $11 million tax break for motorsports facilities in 2015, a total $32 million from 2015 to 2019 and $33 million from 2015 to 2024. It was part of an estimated $41.6 billion in tax breaks over the next 10 years that were approved by the House of Representatives 378-46 earlier this month and then by the Senate 76-16 (60 votes need for passage) on Tuesday. All that awaits now is the expected signature of President Barack Obama. The provision is similar to those granted to amusement parks, and track operators felt that the same break should apply to their facilities. After arguing the issue with the Internal Revenue Service, the issue became moot when Congress, as part of the Jobs Creation Act of 2004, granted the seven-year depreciation provision for new motorsports construction. The provision covers all motorsports facilities, not just NASCAR facilities.(Sporting News)(12-18-2014)

  • Workers getting Daytona grandstands ready for 2015: The $400 million Daytona Rising project has a timeline that suggests marathon, but the primary contractor is in an all-out sprint to complete a section of the grandstands before Speedweeks 2015. A growing work force at Daytona International Speedway is putting the finishing touches on the western-most area of the new grandstands near Turn 1, an area that could hold up to 40,000 race fans for events in January and February. On Wednesday, 1,002 workers - the highest head count since the project started 16 months ago - were at the Speedway. Not only do the grandstand seats need to be installed, but the concourse areas and fan amenities behind those seats need to be 100 percent operational for the 53rd Rolex 24 At Daytona sports-car race, scheduled for Jan. 24-25. The stock-car portion of Speedweeks is scheduled to get underway Feb. 14 with The Sprint Unlimited and wrap up on Feb. 22 with the 57th running of the Daytona 500.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(12-17-2014)

  • Daytona Rising Reaches 1,000 Daily On-Site Workers for First Time: Daytona Rising, the historic $400 million redevelopment project at Daytona International Speedway, reached a major milestone on Wednesday when, for the first time since the project broke ground in July 2013, the on-site daily construction worker count exceeded 1,000. Construction of Daytona Rising is cited in ManpowerGroup's Employment Outlook Survey as a primary reason the Deltona, Fla., MSA (Daytona Beach included in this area) ranks third nationwide for growth in 2015. On Wednesday, 1,002 workers were on site at the "World Center of Racing" helping to create the nation's first true motorsports stadium with the Daytona Rising project. The average daily worker count has been steadily rising since the fall. "This is another significant and important milestone in the project," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "Construction workers are moving at full speed on Daytona Rising to ensure that all the amenities within the facility are ready for the 2015 racing season." After achieving significant construction milestones related to the Daytona Rising project during the past year, including installation of the highest piece of steel in October, Daytona International Speedway is busy preparing for Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 events. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(12-12-2014)

  • Atlanta removing 17,000 seats, Charlotte 41,000 UPDATE: Atlanta Motor Speedway's parent company, Speedway Motorsports, Inc., announced Tuesday that they will remove 17,000 seats from the track's grandstands. The company anticipates using those areas for premium hospitality, advertising and other facility purposes. Their sister track, Charlotte Motor Speedway, is losing 41,000 seats.(wgxa.tv), see image of the CMS construction at Slugger Labbe's Twitter.(12-10-2014)
    UPDATE: Alterations announced this week are in line with a trend of tracks removing seats. Charlotte, after removing 41,000 seats this winter, will be down to permanent seating of 89,000 in 2015, a startlingly low capacity considering its location in NASCAR's epicenter. But it's par for the course. Atlanta is removing 17,000 seats to get down to 75,000; Dover is removing 17,500 seats to get down to 95,500; and Daytona is removing its backstretch grandstands of 46,500 next spring to go to 101,500 seats. Other tracks on the circuit have made similar changes.
    At its peak in 2007, International Speedway Corp.'s 12 major tracks had 1.1 million grandstand seats (not including suites). After the Daytona renovation, ISC will be down 30 percent to approximately 761,000 seats.
    In 2013 alone, the following ISC tracks cut seats: Talladega (from 108,000 to 78,000), Richmond (91,000 to 71,000), Chicagoland (69,000 to 55,500), Michigan (84,000 to 71,000), California (81,000 to 68,000), Darlington (60,000 to 58,000) and Homestead (56,000 to 46,000). Any additional cuts likely will be revealed when its annual report comes out in January.
    With the current Charlotte and Atlanta reductions, Speedway Motorsports has cut 101,000 seats (12 percent) across seven of its tracks since 2009, although it added 38,000 at Kentucky when it moved a Cup race to that track. SMI, which includes suites in its capacity estimates, cut capacity in 2013 at Atlanta (from 98,000 to 92,000), Bristol (158,000 to 153,000) and New Hampshire (96,000 to 95,000).
    Dover listed 135,000 seats in 2009, so its reduction in recent years is 29 percent. At one point, it reduced 20,000 seats by replacing the current seats with wider ones for more fan comfort, a move done by many racetracks. Indianapolis and Pocono, privately owned, do not have to report their capacities, but Indianapolis also has removed seats.(see full article at the Sporting News)(12-11-2014)

  • USAF Thunderbirds to Perform Flyover for the Daytona 500: For the fifth straight year, the world-renowned U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will provide the flyover for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season opener on Sunday, Feb. 22. The Thunderbirds, officially known as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, will fly their signature "Delta" formation over the "World Center of Racing" during the finale of the national anthem for "The Great American Race." The Thunderbirds have visited Daytona International Speedway to perform the flyover for the DAYTONA 500 for the past five years. In addition, the Thunderbirds also provided the flyover in 2008 for the historic 50th running of the DAYTONA 500. "The flyover by the Thunderbirds is a signature moment in the pre-race festivities for the DAYTONA 500," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "We're proud and honored to be able to host this elite flying team and the thousands of race fans and the millions more watching on FOX Sports are looking forward to seeing them soar over Daytona International Speedway."
    "We have a long-standing relationship with the Daytona 500," said LtCol Greg Moseley, the squadron's commander and lead pilot. "We're grateful to the Speedway for allowing us to share the Air Force story with race fans." The Thunderbirds feature six F-16 Fighting Falcons, the Air Force's premier multi-role fighter aircraft. Assigned to Air Combat Command, the squadron is composed of 12 officers and more than 100 enlisted Airmen serving in about 30 Air Force job specialties. Since the unit's inception in 1953, more than 350 million people in all 50 states and more than 60 countries have witnessed the distinctive red, white and blue jets in thousands of official aerial demonstrations. Tickets for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)((12-10-2014)

  • DAYTONA Rising December Project Update: After achieving significant construction milestones related to the $400 million DAYTONA Rising project during the past year, Daytona International Speedway (DIS) is now preparing for the 53rd Anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Budweiser Speedweeks 2015. "We had another great year and hit several major milestones along the way," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "We're now beginning to prepare the facility for the 2015 racing season to ensure that our fans enjoy some of its new amenities." Fans can get an early preview of DAYTONA Rising during Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 (the stadium will officially open in 2016). Approximately 40,000 new seats will be available along with two of the five injectors/entrances, new concessions, several of the neighborhoods or social areas and the new vertical transportation.
    Key DAYTONA Rising Accomplishments to Date:
    · Installed more than:
    o 470,000 bolts
    o 90,000 square feet of metal panel skin
    o 20,000 tons of structural steel and miscellaneous metals
    Upcoming Race-Ready Activities:
    · Install temporary Americrown kitchens and miscellaneous trailers
    · Prepare vertical transportation for final testing
    · Set up more than 4,000 feet of construction fencing
    For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(12-6-2014)

  • Daytona offers Black Friday and Cyber Monday Ticket Specials: Holiday shoppers looking to give the gift of horsepower on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway will find a wide selection of "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" Thanksgiving holiday ticket specials at the "World Center of Racing." Highlighting the holiday specials is a ticket package designed around six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and two-time DAYTONA 500 champion Jimmie Johnson. Included in the Jimmie Johnson DAYTONA 500 Ticket Package, which is available for $148, is:
    " One adult Daytona 500 backstretch tower seat
    " One child (ages 12 & under) Daytona 500 backstretch tower seat
    " 15-minute question and answer session with Johnson
    " Each child in attendance can participate in NASA Rockets 2 Racecars STEM education hands on activities either before or after Johnson's appearance
    " Each child in attendance will receive a Jimmie Johnson 12-page activity booklet
    " Daytona International Speedway special giveaways
    The Jimmie Johnson DAYTONA 500 Ticket Package will be available throughout the holiday shopping season and leading up to Budweiser Speedweeks 2015, while supplies last. On Friday, Nov. 28 (Black Friday) and Monday, Dec. 1 (Cyber Monday), Daytona International Speedway will also have additional ticket package specials available for race fans to select from as they conduct their holiday shopping. To take advantage of the "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" ticket specials, race fans can call 1-800-PITSHOP between 9:00am-5:00pm or visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/deals.(DIS)(11-27-2014)

  • Daytona tower will be removed before 2015 July race: Daytona International Speedway's in-progress renovation will create some unusual circumstances next year. In March, Daytona plans to remove its familiar white tower on the frontstretch - emblazoned with "DAYTONA" and filled with suites, race control and a press box - but will not have its replacement ready until the 2016 Daytona 500. That means the 2015 Coke Zero 400 on July 5 will feature a temporary race control and television booth located in a backstretch suite for NBC's first race in its return to being a NASCAR broadcaster. Daytona is removing its backstretch stands (the "Superstretch"), but not until after July's race. That means NBC will be able to transform a suite for its purposes, though announcers won't have a very good view of the start or finish. The changes are part of Daytona's $400-million "Daytona Rising" project, which is transforming NASCAR's most famous track into a stadium-style facility with NFL-quality amenities. Ninety percent of the steel for the project is currently installed, Chitwood said, and 40,000 new seats will be ready for the Feb. 22 Daytona 500. That race will also have 60,000 old seats available on the frontstretch. Daytona's seating capacity before the renovations began is listed in the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup media guide as 146,000. After the 2015 season, the backstretch grandstands - which have been closed for July races since 2009 -- will be removed, and the track will have a 101,000-seat capacity (all on the frontstretch).(USA Today)(11-16-2014)

  • DAYTONA Rising November Project Update: During the last month, Daytona International Speedway (DIS) celebrated major milestones related to the $400 million DAYTONA Rising project as well as focused on key construction activities.
    Recent project milestones:
    · Florida Hospital became the second Founding Partner of DAYTONA Rising. The organization's brand will be represented on one of five special entrances called fan injectors. Within this injector, Florida Hospital will have a presence in one of the "neighborhoods" which will encompass retail and dining areas, as well as dozens of video screens to provide fans with non-stop views of on-track action. Beginning in January 2015, Florida Hospital will also become the exclusive healthcare provider of DIS.
    · DIS held a topping out ceremony to install the highest piece of steel and celebrate the halfway point in the project. Approximately 90 percent of the total steel planned for the project has been installed to date.
    Key ongoing/upcoming construction activities:
    · Interior and exterior concrete pours for injectors/entrances
    · Continued installation of remaining steel infrastructure
    · Installation/testing of vertical transportation
    Race fans can follow the progress of the DAYTONA Rising project by visiting www.DAYTONARising.com. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-9-2014)

  • Daytona International Speedway Names Florida Hospital as a Founding Partner: Two iconic Central Florida organizations, Daytona International Speedway and Florida Hospital, announced today a multi-year partnership that will make Florida Hospital the second Founding Partner at Daytona International Speedway, as part of its historic $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. Providing high-quality medical services and new fan experiences at the "World Center of Racing," Florida Hospital will inspire the community to race toward better health.
    "Florida Hospital's mission, vision and reach make them an ideal partner," said International Speedway Corporation Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy. "We look forward to connecting them with visitors and race fans year round." Beginning in January 2015, Florida Hospital Volusia/Flagler will be the exclusive healthcare provider of Daytona International Speedway, which includes providing medical equipment and personnel for all events, managing the care center operations and providing ambulances to handle emergency situations.
    Arriving in a Toyota Camry pace car, Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III and Florida Hospital Volusia/Flagler CEO Daryl Tol shared the unprecedented announcement on the West end of Daytona International Speedway's frontstretch. The massive DAYTONA Rising project, encompassing the Speedway's nearly one-mile long frontstretch, will be complete by January 2016. The project will transform the Speedway into the world's first motorsports stadium with premium amenities and attractions unmatched in the industry.
    The Florida Hospital brand will be represented on one of five special entrances called fan injectors, including more than 20,000 square feet of engagement space. Within this injector, Florida Hospital will have a presence in one of the "neighborhoods" which will encompass retail and dining areas, as well as dozens of video screens to provide fans with non-stop views of on-track action.
    "This is more than a sign on the building; this is a true partnership. Florida Hospital will be integrated into the fan experience at the Speedway," Tol said. "Through our partnership with the Daytona International Speedway, we'll provide another key access point for health care in the Daytona Beach community where guests will experience Florida Hospital's commitment to whole person health and wellness." In addition to serving as a Founding Partner of DAYTONA Rising, Florida Hospital will be an inaugural partner in ONE DAYTONA - a premier 190-acre mixed-use retail, dining and entertainment development across from Daytona International Speedway. "Our partnership with Florida Hospital reinforces the immense appeal of the nation's first true motorsports stadium to attract brands outside of the core sports arena," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "We're pleased to welcome Florida Hospital to Daytona International Speedway."
    For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-1-2014)

  • Tickets for the 2015 Coke Zero 400 on sale: On Friday, Oct. 24 at 9:00am/et, tickets go on sale for the 57th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race scheduled for Sunday, July 5. Fans will be able to purchase tickets to the Independence Day holiday weekend classic in one of three convenient ways: Online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com, by calling 1-800-PITSHOP, or visiting the Daytona International Speedway ticket office. The 2015 Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola will be one of the most unique event experiences staged at Daytona International Speedway. Approximately 50,000 new frontstretch seats will be available for the 2015 Independence Day holiday weekend event with 40,000 seats located on the west side of the structure, from Turn 1 toward the center of the track, while 10,000 seats will be located in Turn 4. Fans seated in both locations will enjoy new amenities being created by DAYTONA Rising, including new and additional concessions and restrooms, the Speedway's first-ever escalators and vertical transportation options, and several new "neighborhood" areas where they can socialize without missing any of the on-track action. The 2015 Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola Weekend will take place during a crucial period in the DAYTONA Rising construction process, during which the bulk of the frontstretch construction initiatives are scheduled to take place. The remaining seating areas will not be available to guests as they will be under construction.(DIS)(10-24-2014)

  • Daytona Rising October Update: Highest piece of steel installed Daytona International Speedway held a topping out ceremony Wednesday to install the highest piece of steel associated with its $400 million DAYTONA Rising project and celebrate the halfway point in the project. Florida Secretary of Commerce Gray Swoope and Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Director Jesse Panuccio were in attendance for the important milestone. As part of the event' members of the France family signed and unveiled a special commemorative plaque that was placed at the center of the steel beam (previously signed by the project's construction team). International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy also spoke about the significance of the DAYTONA Rising project. Utilizing special DAYTONA Rising whistles' Barton Malow (design-builder for DAYTONA Rising) joined International Speedway Corporation employees as well as Daytona International Speedway employees and longtime ticket holders for a ceremonial command to raise the steel beam. To honor construction traditions' a tree was attached to the beam along with a massive American flag' Florida's state flag as well as flags honoring Daytona International Speedway and Barton Malow.
    DAYTONA Rising Construction Statistics At The Halfway Point
    " Surpassed one million man-hours
    " Installed 89 percent of the total steel
    " Poured more than 105 million pounds of concrete
    " Installed 26 escalators and 4 elevators
    (DIS)(10-16-2014)

  • NASCAR bans private testing in 2015: NASCAR announced a new rules package Tuesday that will ban all private testing in 2015, including the annual Daytona 500 test, and levy the stiffest penalty possible on any team caught conducting its own sessions. The only testing allowed next season will be sessions conducted by NASCAR or Goodyear. Any team caught testing on its own will receive a P6 penalty, the highest on NASCAR's new punishment scale. It carries a loss of 150 points, a minimum $150,000 fine and a six-week suspension for the crew chief and other crew members. "It will be a huge penalty if anyone is caught," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's executive vice president and chief racing development officer.
    The three-day annual Daytona 500 test each January was as much about promoting the season-opening race as it was for teams to shake off any cobwebs from the offseason. O'Donnell said that time will now be used to send drivers on a cross-country promotional tour similar to the "Chase Across North America" that NASCAR held this month with its 16 Chase championship drivers assigned to visit various race markets.(Associated Press)(9-24-2014)

  • DAYTONA Rising September Project Update: During the last month, Daytona International Speedway continued to move forward with the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. Key areas of the new motorsports stadium are beginning to take shape. Below is a breakdown of key accomplishments since the last update as well as upcoming construction activities.
    Vertical Transportation:
    · Installed escalators and elevators at West and East ends of the project
    · Ongoing masonry near the West end of the project as well as in the center
    · Continued concrete pours on metal decks
    · Ongoing steel deck and detailing throughout the project
    · Began installation of curbs in West end and just east of the start/finish line
    Injectors:
    · Began pouring concrete stairs for the far west Injector
    · Finalizing structural steel installation
    Neighborhoods:
    · Finalizing initial development of neighborhood bars, guest services, bathrooms and bistro concessions
    · Ongoing installation of HVAC systems in the West and East ends as well as just east of the start/finish line
    Miscellaneous:
    · Ongoing demolition of the Turn 1 grandstands
    Race fans can follow the progress of the DAYTONA Rising project by visiting www.DAYTONARising.com.(DIS)(9-9-2014)

  • Daytona Rising Welcomes CommScope as First Technology Partner: Daytona International Speedway (DIS) announced CommScope, Inc., a global leader in infrastructure solutions for communications networks, has become the first technology partner in the expanding "We Built Daytona" marketing platform supporting the unprecedented $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. CommScope will deploy a new communications infrastructure at DIS providing the facility with the bandwidth and flexibility to offer services that will enhance a fan's experience, as well as improve stadium operations. CommScope will deploy approximately 220 miles of Systimax GigaSPEED XL Category 6 cable, 50 miles of TeraSPEED single mode fiber optic cable and all terminations supporting digital signage and way-finding, more than 1500 HD displays, synchronized stadium-wide messaging, Wi-Fi connectivity in social areas, and an enhanced audio experience. This upgrade to DIS will offer the same amenities that sports fans have come to expect in stadiums and arenas around the country. For stadium operations staff, the new infrastructure will enable DIS to provide critical security measures such as high resolution security cameras, HVAC control, lighting control, and other fire and life safety services. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(8-28-2014)

  • Fans to Get An Early Preview of DAYTONA Rising at 2015 Coke Zero 400: Daytona International Speedway (DIS) President Joie Chitwood III unveiled the Speedway's preliminary plans for hosting next summer's 2015 Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola, which include opportunities for fans to experience the gleaming new frontstretch facility being developed as part of the historic DAYTONA Rising project. The 57th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will move from its traditional Saturday date and will be held on Sunday night, July 5 broadcast in primetime on NBC. The Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race will be held on Saturday, July 4 also in primetime on NBCSN. To mark the kick-off event for NBC's return to NASCAR, the network will work closely with the Speedway to bring enhancements to both the event and the live broadcast. Those details will be announced in the coming months. The Sunday night date for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola will be only for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The 2016 Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola will return to the traditional schedule, with the Subway Firecracker 250 on Friday night, July 1 and the Coke Zero 400 on Saturday night, July 2. Approximately 50,000 new frontstretch seats will be available for the 2015 Independence Day holiday weekend event with 40,000 seats located on the west side of the structure, from Turn 1 toward the center of the track, while 10,000 seats will be located in Turn 4. Fans seated in both locations will enjoy new amenities being created by DAYTONA Rising, including new and additional concessions and restrooms, the Speedway's first-ever escalators and vertical transportation options, and several new "neighborhood" areas where they can socialize without missing any of the on-track action. The 2015 Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola Weekend will take place during a crucial period in the DAYTONA Rising construction process, during which the bulk of the frontstretch construction initiatives are scheduled to take place.
    "Next year's Coke Zero 400 Weekend will be one of the most unique event experiences ever staged here," said Chitwood. "We are as committed as always to providing our fans with a first-class Speedway experience, so we're excited that we'll be able to give a sneak preview of what our DAYTONA Rising project will deliver to fans once it is completed. The Coke Zero 400 will also launch us into the homestretch for construction, as we put the finishing touches for January 2016, when we will officially christen a new era for this Great American icon." Ticket details and the renewal process for 2015 Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola will be directly communicated to fans in the next two weeks. Tickets will go on sale on Friday, Oct. 24. Guests with questions about 2015 Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola tickets can call the Daytona International Speedway at (877) 306-7223. Lastly, in addition to the frontstretch seating changes, the Sprint Tower suite structure will be removed for the 2015 event. Therefore, all suites, race officiating and other functions will be moved to temporary locations throughout the Speedway for that weekend only. DIS staff is working closely with every affected industry stakeholder to make sure their needs will be met. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(8-26-2014)

  • Daytona Rising August Project Update: After successfully hosting another series of events during last month's Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola, Daytona International Speedway will significantly ramp up construction activities for the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. The average number of daily construction workers will increase from 600 to 850 during the peak summer months, representing the largest construction team since the project's inception. The demolition of the Lockhart Grandstands near Turn 1 is complete. More than 30,000 seats will be removed in next 30 days. Upcoming construction activities include: " Continue installing escalators at West and East ends of the project
    " Ongoing masonry near main IT room and loading dock support areas
    " Ongoing steel installation
    " Continue installing new lights on the West end of the project
    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.(DIS)(8-2-2014)

  • No Top 10 starters finished with a top-10 in a race at Daytona: All 10 drivers that started in the top 10 at Daytona on July 6, 2014, failed to finish in the top 10. The best finisher from the top-10 starters was #24-Jeff Gordon, who started 9th and finished 12th. Race winner #43-Aric Almirola started 15th and #55-Brian Vickers who finished 2nd, started 30th. The pole sitter, #38-David Gilliland, finished 35th, after being involved in a wreck. The last race there was no top-ten starters finishing in the top-10 in a race was at Las Vegas in March 2007. And before that, the last race was on July 4, 1965....at Daytona.(7-11-2014)

  • NASCAR Explains Why Race Was Called: The day was only half over but the race was finished. NASCAR's decision to call Sunday's Coke Zero 400 at about 3:00pm/et left some competitors and fans perplexed. The decision ended NASCAR's weekend battle with showers, which caused a multi-car crash during Nationwide qualifying on Friday and forced Saturday night's Cup race to be moved to Sunday. Rain twice delayed Sunday's race before it was called after 112 of 160 laps. Aric Almirola was declared the winner. With a forecast from the National Weather Service calling for the likelihood of rain until about 8:00pm/et and the race past halfway - a day after it was scheduled to run - it tipped the scales for NASCAR to call the race. "We've seen this weather pattern and felt it was the best interest of fans getting done and getting home," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. "We put on 2 1/2 hours of solid racing. When you looked at what was in front of us weather-wise, we felt it was best for all concerned that the race was completed." Pemberton said an issue was that was so much rain in Turn 3 that water was trapped behind the SAFER barrier and coming down on the track. That could have delayed a restart if the rest of the track was dry. The later the rain persisted, the longer it would have been to dry the track because it would not have been aided by the sun.(Motor Racing Network)(7-7-2014)

  • Almirola wins rain-shortened race at Daytona: #43-Aric Almirola won the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway. It is his 1st career win and he puts him in position for a Chase spot this season. The race was called after 112 laps after persistent showers prevented NASCAR from drying the track.
    It is the 199th win for car #43 and the first since April 1999 when John Andretti won at Marstinsville. It is also 30 years since Richard Petty's 200th career win.
    #55-Vickers finished 2nd followed by #41-Busch, #13-Mears, #3-Dillon, #11-Hamlin, #95-McDowell, #10-Patrick, #15-Bowyer, and #9-Ambrose.
    The race was postponded to Sunday due to rain Saturday evening.
    There was a 25 minute red flag on lap 10 for rain.
    The first "big one" happend on lap 20 when #17-Stenhouse, Jr. got lose near the front of the field, Gordon checked up and got into Stewart, who then hit Stenhouse, Jr. and spun him into traffic, collecting 16 cars.
    The "bigger one" was on lap 98. #16-Biffle appeared to get into the back of #5-Kahne, who hooked #22-Logano. They spun into traffic. A total of 26 cars were involved in the accident. Only 13 cars running on the lead lap were not involved. There was a 5 minute red flag while the track was cleared.
    Polesitter #38-Gilliland was caught in the wreck on lap 98. He finished 35th.
    #24-Gordon (1 win) keeps the points lead after finishing 12th and extends his points lead over to 27 points. #88-Earnhardt, Jr is now in 2nd.
    #48-Johnson leads the Chase Grid with three wins, 3rd in points. #88-Earnhardt Jr. is second with 2 wins, 2nd in points then #2-Keselowski 2 & 4th, #22-Logano 2 & 6th, #99-Edwards 2 & 7th, and #4-Harvick 2 and 11th.
    There were 21 lead changes among 14 drivers. There were 6 cautions for 29 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 130.014mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Daytona Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Daytona Penalty Report (pdf).(7-6-2014)

  • USG becomes "We Built Daytona" partner: Daytona International Speedway (DIS) today USG Corporation, a leading building products company, has become a "We Built Daytona" partner, joining three other companies in the expanding marketing platform as part of the unprecedented $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. USG will help put the finishing touches on the interior of the new DIS frontstretch and their USG Securock Glass-Mat Sheathing will be prominent throughout the exterior of the project. Approximately 30 acres of USG's wallboard and about 140,000 square feet of USG Ceilings panels will be installed in the new interior. The "We Built Daytona" platform is designed specifically for partners involved in the construction of DAYTONA Rising and enables them to showcase their involvement through a marketing presence (once their role in the project begins). In addition to USG, the new partners include:
    " Sherwin-Williams, an industry leader in the development of technologically advanced paint and coatings, will provide paint and supplies for the new DIS frontstretch.
    " Big Ass Fans, a ceiling fan design and engineering company, will install more than 40 fans throughout the 11 "neighborhoods" along the nearly mile-long frontstretch. The high volume, low speed fans will keep attendees comfortable through the use of high volume air movement.
    " ROSSETTI, an award-winning architectural design and planning firm with four decades of experience in sports and entertainment, is leading the master planning of the DAYTONA Rising project. Also participating are Walter P. Moore, a consulting engineering company providing structural design solutions on DAYTONA Rising and M-E Engineers, a global mechanical and electrical engineering design firm.
    The above companies join Kingspan, a market leader in sustainable building product technology, who became the first "We Built Daytona" partners in February.(DIS)(7-5-2014)

  • Daytona installs more SAFER barrier; new crossover gates: Daytona International Speedway has installed 2,400 linear feet of new SAFER barrier and six new crossover gates in time for this weekend's NASCAR racing. SAFER barrier now lines the Speedway's outside retaining wall from the entrance of Turn 3 at the backstretch to the exit of Turn 2, plus the majority of interior retaining walls. "After each event, we sit down and talk to NASCAR about things we need to improve on and SAFER barrier is always on that list," Speedway president Joie Chitwood III said. "We added 1,900 linear feet in 2010 as part of the track repave. "What we decided to do after consulting with NASCAR was install this (additional) SAFER barrier. This is Daytona and we want to make advances where we can." Meanwhile, the Speedway's frontstretch crossover gates have all been converted to the new ramp-style design, which replaces the movable staircases. The track employed the new ramp design for two crossover gates during Speedweeks. The ramp allows for faster foot traffic to and from the main grandstands."They exceeded expectations," Chitwood said. "It will really help our fan movement from the grandstands to the football field (tri-oval grass). It will enhance the property."(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(7-2-2014)

  • Daytona to host Coca-Cola Family Track Walk July 4th: During the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola Weekend, the best way to get up close and personal with the Coca-Cola Racing Family is literally on the track. To kick off festivities on Friday morning, some of NASCAR's top drivers will give up their high-octane 800-horsepower stock cars for comfortable walking shoes as they take part in the Coca-Cola Family Track Walk. Fans can enjoy some healthy, active fun by walking a mile of the 2.5-mile track alongside Coca-Cola Racing Family drivers Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman and Austin Dillon. The event is free and open to all Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola ticket holders. Fans who wish to participate can enter at Gate 50 which is located on the backstretch off Midway Boulevard. The track walk starts at 9:00 a.m. and gates will open to fans at 8:30 a.m. Fans who are camping in the infield can enter at the west end of Lake Lloyd.(DIS)(7-1-2014)

  • NASCAR announces 2015 Daytona testing dates: As NASCAR teams prepare for next week's round two at Daytona International Speedway following Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s memorable 2014 Daytona 500 victory, plans for 2015's season launch are already underway. NASCAR and Daytona International Speedway announced that Preseason Thunder will take place one week later in 2015. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will hit the track on January 15-16 as they prepare for the 57th running of the Daytona 500 on February 22, 2015. In the event of rain, additional track time will be added on Saturday, January 17.
    "Each year, Preseason Thunder gives fans a sneak peek into the upcoming season, and specifically, NASCAR's crown jewel, the Daytona 500," said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. "In 2015, the date will change. The anticipation, and the thrill of cars returning to the race track, will not. A later starting date for January testing will be more convenient for both teams and fans," Chitwood said. "Both testing sessions are important opportunities for teams as they prepare for their season-opening events ... It's also an exciting time for fans as they get gear up for the start of the new season."
    The Preseason Thunder Fan Fest, the companion event to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing, is scheduled on Thursday night, Jan. 15. Tickets for Preseason Thunder Fan Fest as well as a schedule of driver question-and-answer and autograph sessions will be available at a later date.(NASCAR)(6-25-2014)

  • Four Medal of Honor Recipients to be Honored During Coke Zero 400 Weekend: During the upcoming Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola on July 3-5, Daytona International Speedway will pay tribute to four Congressional Medal of Honor recipients.The Medal of Honor recipients, all from the Vietnam War, are:
    · Don Jenkins, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army
    · Melvin Morris, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army
    · Gary Littrell, Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army
    · Robert Patterson, Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army
    For complete biographies on the four Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, visit www.cmohs.org. This is the sixth consecutive year that the Speedway has honored Congressional Medal of Honor recipients. The program actually started back in the 1970s by Bill France Sr. All four Medal of Honor recipients will be recognized during a special luncheon on Friday at the Bill France Room, will attend driver's meetings and participate in pre-race ceremonies for both the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night, July 4 and the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night, July 5. During Saturday's 56th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, a special salute will take place for the four Medal of Honor recipients during pre-race ceremonies. Tickets to the Coke Zero 400 and the Subway Firecracker 250 race are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(6-22-2014)

  • Largest Fireworks Show in the Southeast to Serve as Finale Coke Zero: Following the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 5, the champion driver will deliver a roaring burnout in the tri-oval celebrating the victory in the Independence Day holiday classic. High in the sky, Fireworks By Santore will deliver a thunderous patriotic celebration with the largest fireworks show in the Southeast. The Flagler-based company will illuminate the sky over Daytona International Speedway with a 15-minute show shot from 15 different locations located along the backstretch. New to the show this year will be Cube Pattern Shells that will produce a 3-D box with the letters U.S.A. It will take seven days and a crew of 10 from Fireworks By Santore to set up the show, which is electronically fired using state-of-the-art digital firing equipment. The show will begin with red and white fireworks for 30 seconds and the finale will last for approximately one minute, 30 seconds and will have over 2,000 individual pieces. The show uses enough control wire to wrap a lap and a half around the legendary 2.5-mile tri-oval. The stars of NASCAR return to Daytona International Speedway on July 3-5. Tickets to the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(6-21-2014)

  • Lee Brice to Perform Coke Zero 400 Pre-Race Concert: Country music singer and songwriter, Lee Brice, will perform an hour-long pre-race concert prior to the 56th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 5 at Daytona International Speedway. Through a special VIP Ticket Package, race fans can get unprecedented access to the 60-minute pre-race concert that will be staged on pit road in the tri-oval area of the "World Center of Racing." With packages starting at $115, the VIP Ticket Package includes: A reserved grandstand ticket for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola; Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access; Admission to the VIP viewing area in front of the stage for the pre-race concert by Brice. The stars of NASCAR return to Daytona International Speedway on July 3-5. Tickets to the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(6-19-2014)

  • Daytona looking to host football games: Daytona International Speedway is undergoing a $400 million renovation that is to be completed before the 2016 Spring Cup Series begins. The front stretch grandstand is being rebuilt with three levels and will include additional restrooms and concession areas. Once it's complete, Speedway president Joie Chitwood III has said he would like to have the speedway play host to a college football game. A Jacksonville Jaguars preseason game would be something Chitwood would be interested in staging on the speedway's infield, though he said he hasn't approached the Jaguars about that yet. "We've not had a formal discussion with the Jags here but we've got some great relationships," Chitwood said. "I know Mark Lamping, their president, and we've done some nice things where he's participated in some sports conferences in Daytona. I've come up and visited some games with those guys. There's always an opportunity."(ESPN)(6-12-2014)

  • 57th Annual Daytona 500 Tickets On Sale: Tickets to NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race - the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 on Sunday, Feb. 22 - will go on sale Tuesday, June 10 at 9:00am/et. Tickets for the Daytona 500 start at $65. For the third straight year, the Speedway is offering special youth pricing for Budweiser Speedweeks 2015:
    · 57th Daytona: Children 12 and under will receive 50 percent off all backstretch grandstand seats while supplies last. Children 12 and under are also free in the Sprint Fanzone
    · All other Budweiser Speedweeks events: Children 12 and under are $10 in reserved grandstands and free in general admission areas and in the Sprint Fanzone.
    In addition to the 57th annual Daytona 500, tickets for all Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 events will be available for purchase including the NASCAR Nationwide Series race, the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, the Budweiser Duel, The Sprint Unlimited At Daytona and Lucas Oil 200 Presented By MAV TV American Real doubleheader and Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger. Race fans can also pre-purchase weekend infield camping for The Sprint Unlimited weekend; Rolex 24 At Daytona infield car parking packages; and hospitality packages and Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE passes for all Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 events. Race fans have three different ways to purchase tickets:
    · Online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com
    · Calling 1-800-PITSHOP
    · Visiting the Daytona International Speedway ticket office
    The stars of NASCAR return to Daytona International Speedway on July 3-5. Tickets to the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(6-10-2014)

  • Daytona Rising June Project Update: As part of its commitment to safety during the construction of the $400 million DAYTONA Rising project, Daytona International Speedway participated in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) National Fall Safety Stand-Down - an initiative that emphasizes fall prevention in the construction industry. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Greg Biffle joined key officials from OSHA, Daytona International Speedway and Barton Malow (design-builder for DAYTONA Rising) at the "World Center of Racing" earlier today to discuss important safety topics with the DAYTONA Rising construction team. OSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor Jordan Barab kicked off the event by discussing the importance of effective safety and health programs at construction sites such as DAYTONA Rising.
    "The number of businesses and workers partnering with OSHA in this week is unprecedented and we want the impact to be unmatched as well," said Barab. "We're bringing everyone together, including everyone here at the Speedway today, for these events so that we save more lives and prevent more injuries than ever before."
    Earlier this year, OSHA's Jacksonville Area Office, the University of South Florida SafetyFlorida Consultation Program and Barton Malow signed a strategic partnership for DAYTONA Rising that focuses on preventing work-related injuries and controlling or eliminating serious workplace hazards. "Safety is the foundation of our business both on and off the track," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "It's important to reinforce the importance of safety as we continue to move forward with DAYTONA Rising."
    "We're committed to providing our employees with a safe working environment and will continue to take every measure to ensure that our staff is properly trained and prepared," said Barton Malow Vice President Len Moser. "Our team is proud to be associated with these great organizations to collectively promote safety management."
    After hearing remarks from Chitwood and Moser, the construction team received a special safety demonstration from Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion for Roush Fenway Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Biffle was on hand to showcase 3M harness technology as well as preview the upcoming Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 5. He also helped DIS crews install some of the first new, wider seats as part of DAYTONA Rising (more on that below). "I'm happy to help Daytona International Speedway and Barton Malow with their ongoing safety efforts for the DAYTONA Rising project," said Biffle. "It's amazing to see how the project has developed in a short time. I hope to be standing in Victory Lane when we return here for the Coke Zero 400."
    DAYTONA Rising Construction Activities: Approximately 2,000 seats were installed in the new grandstand footprint near Turn One. These seats will be available in time for Budweiser Speedweeks 2015. The Speedway expects to install a total of 40,000 new seats by 2015. The Speedway also continued escalator, elevator shaft and steel installation during the last month of construction and is now focused on race-ready preparation for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. Below is a list of key upcoming race-ready activities:
    · Asphalt paving and patching
    · Installation of existing stairway fencing and fencing
    · Set up Sprint Tower elevator tent lobbies
    · Installation of entrance chutes for ticket gates
    For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(6-5-20104)

  • "The 48 Family Experience" Daytona Ticket Package: A popular ticket package for the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event on Saturday night, July 5 at Daytona International Speedway has returned. Jimmie Johnson, six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and the two-time Daytona 500 winner, will team up once again with Daytona International Speedway for a special ticket package named "The 48 Family Experience." The special ticket package, available starting at $48 per ticket for adults and $10 for children 12 and under, includes:
    · A grandstand ticket to the Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 5
    · 15-minute question-and-answer session with Johnson inside the air-conditioned Velocitorium that is located outside Turn 4
    · Prior to the question-and-answer session, children will have the opportunity to put together a Lowe's Build and Grow race car
    · Special Daytona International Speedway giveaways
    Tickets for "The 48 Family Experience" ticket package are available at daytonainternationalspeedway.com/48 or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(5-27-2014)

  • Florida Legislature Approves Sports Stadium Funding Process Bill: on Friday, the Florida Legislature approved House Bill 7095, recommending the bill be signed by Gov. Rick Scott. The bill establishes a process by which sports franchises are able to apply to receive sales tax refunds from the state based on the amount of sales tax generated by the facility. Daytona International Speedway's DAYTONA Rising project, a $400 million reimagining of an American icon, is eligible for application under the bill to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
    International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy: "Today's decision by the Florida Legislature makes evident that the State recognizes the tremendous value that DAYTONA Rising has and continues to deliver to our area. If signed, the legislation will set the framework to potentially provide additional capital for the project, allowing us to build upon the already massive economic benefits being generated in the region - from thousands of new jobs to millions of dollars in new tax revenues. We are proud of our efforts with DAYTONA Rising, and are especially grateful to all our local community supporters who rallied on our behalf to help keep these dollars in our community and region. We're also grateful to the leaders in Tallahassee for their willingness to create a means by which to partner with us to build a better economic future together."
    Daytona International Speedway Joie Chitwood III: "The Florida Legislature sent a clear message in favor of prudent economic growth today by setting up an equitable process for sports stadium projects to compete for funds that generate a return for our communities. We are thankful for their support, foresight and leadership, and look forward to the next step in the legislative process as the bill moves to the Governor's office for signing. DAYTONA Rising is an unprecedented $400 million project that has already yielded significant economic benefits. If the bill is signed, DAYTONA Rising will stand as the model for a true private-public partnership with far-reaching advantages for Florida." For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(5-3-2014)

  • DAYTONA Rising May Project Update: Construction activities for the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project are heating up. In less than 12 months, Daytona International Speedway has installed 7,000 tons of steel and poured over 13,000 cubic yards of concrete to develop the world's first motorsports stadium. Less than one week ago, the first escalator was raised and installed on the West end of the frontstretch as part of the new vertical transportation. Additionally, the Speedway continued steel and metal stud installation during the last month of construction.
    Upcoming construction activities include:
    · Continue installing stairs and escalators at West and East ends of the project
    · Completion of elevator shaft in Injector 1 and 5 will occur in early to mid May
    · Ongoing steel installation in Injectors 2, 3 and 4
    · Interior build out of restrooms, merchandise areas, concession stands and neighborhood bar in Injector 1
    · Service level masonry work in all areas is in progress
    · Continuing Installation of litter shield, seating treads and risers in Injector 1
    · Underground cable pulling for the stadium's new power system to feed the new stadium is in progress
    Race fans can follow the progress of the DAYTONA Rising project by visiting www.daytonarising.com.(DIS)(5-2-2014)

  • Nine race fans settle over Speedway accident: Nine fans injured when a race car flew into a safety fence and sprayed debris in the grandstands at Daytona International Speedway last year have reached a settlement with the track. International Speedway Corp. will not release the amount of the settlement with the nine claimants represented by the Morgan & Morgan law firm, said Lenny Santiago, ISC senior director of public relations. Santiago declined to reveal details in the interest of the privacy of the fans involved. "I can say that we have reached settlements with several claimants related to the incident, but, as has been our practice throughout, we are not going to discuss any of the details," Santiago said. At least 28 spectators were injured including 14 who were taken to local hospitals when Kyle Larson's car crashed into the fence and sprayed a tire and other debris into the grandstands during the Nationwide Series Drive4COPD 300 on Feb. 23, 2013. Andrew Felix, an attorney with Morgan & Morgan, said the settlement covered all of the people represented by the personal injury firm, but he also declined to reveal the amount or any other details.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(5-2-2014)

  • Construction worker injured at Daytona: A construction worker employed working on the new grandstands at Daytona International Speedway had his head compressed between a steel beam and a scissor lift in a jobsite accident on the Daytona Rising project, Daytona Beach fire officials said. The 43-year-old unidentified man was working 94 feet above ground on the third floor level Saturday, said Daytona Beach fire Lt. Larry Stoney. Reports indicate that the worker was controlling and ascending the lift when incident occurred. The worker was rescued by his co-workers before firefighters arrived on scene, Stoney said. Firefighters had to immobilize and carry the worker from the third floor to the awaiting ambulance due to his injuries. The worker was transported in serious but stable condition to Halifax Health Medical Center. The Daytona Rising project is renovating the Speedway's frontstretch grandstands by the 2016 Daytona 500.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-21-2014)

  • NASCAR birthplace Streamline hotel sold and to be renovated: The Streamline Hotel, the 1940s-era beachside inn known as the birthplace of NASCAR, has sold, and the new owner plans to renovate the property. Eddie Hennessy, son of cosmetic company Pevonia International founders Phillippe and Sylvie Hennessy, bought the property at 140 S. Atlantic Ave. late last month for $950,000. He intends to restore the art deco building and turn the hotel into an upscale South Beach-style boutique inn. "My goal is to clean up the hotel, the block, the drug stuff going around," Hennessy said. "We're bringing the hotel back to its original state, only more modern." Since buying the hotel, Hennessy has installed new management and has started some work on the facelift. He said he doesn't yet know when the major renovation work will begin, but added he looks to get started "as soon as possible." Hennessy said he plans to start the restoration with the hotel's rooftop bar, which is where in 1947 Bill France Sr. met with race drivers and track owners to form NASCAR. The hotel has a second bar on the ground floor that Hennessy said he intends to turn into a NASCAR-themed lounge. The Streamline will stay open while renovation work is done, Hennessy said. After renovating the rooftop bar, Hennessy will start work on the lobby, the hotel's ground-level bar, then the guest rooms. He said he isn't yet sure how much he will invest in the hotel's renovation.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-18-2014)

  • DAYTONA Rising Creates Opportunities For Local Construction Firms: After a successful beginning to the 2014 motorsports event season, Daytona International Speedway is now ramping up construction activities for the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. More than 65 Volusia County-based businesses have been involved in the DAYTONA Rising project since its groundbreaking nearly one year ago, a number that is expected to grow as the project progresses. The Speedway and its design-builder, Barton Malow, have awarded subcontracts, sub-subcontracts and purchase orders to Volusia County firms for the following areas: demolition, fencing, metal wall panels, asphalt, grading, drywall, plumbing, lumber supply, electrical, roofing, landscaping and masonry.
    Several members of the Barton Malow team have relocated to the greater Daytona Beach area to establish personal partnerships with the many local firms working on the project. Len Moser, a Barton Malow vice president and DAYTONA Rising's project executive, moved from Gwinnett County in Georgia to Ormond Beach with his wife and two children in June 2013. Moser is impressed with the passion for the project within the community. Jason McFadden, Barton Malow's director of project management, moved from Atlanta to Ponce Inlet, Fla. with his wife in October 2012. McFadden embraces the challenges associated with this once-in-a-lifetime project and has also experienced the local enthusiasm for DAYTONA Rising.(DIS)(4-15-2014)

  • DAYTONA Rising April Project Update: Construction activities for the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project are back in full swing. During the next month, the Speedway will begin to install the infrastructure for the new escalators and vertical transportation. "Our new motorsports stadium will have the most escalators of any sports stadium in the nation," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "Fans will be able to easily navigate the new venue and access the new amenities and enhanced offerings."
    Here is a recap of key construction activities since the last update in March:
    · Began the demolition process on West end of the Petty Tower seating section.
    · Continued stair installation on West and East ends of the project.
    · Ongoing masonry at ground level including elevator tower on West end and new care center location near the existing Gate 8.
    Upcoming construction activities:
    · Begin the escalator installation process at West and East ends of the project.
    · Initial installation of aluminum grandstand system.
    · Ongoing steel installation.
    For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(4-9-2014)

  • Daytona Rising March Update: In addition to hosting successful events during Budweiser Speedweeks 2014 and the 56th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Daytona International Speedway continued momentum related to the DAYTONA Rising project. The Speedway is now gearing up for DAYTONA 200 Week (March 7-15). Here is a recap of key construction activities since the last update in February:
    • Steel installation and steel detailing in east and west ends of the project
    • Stair installation in east and west ends of the project
    • Footing installation near Injector 1 on the west end of the project; Poured wall for Injector 2
    • Poured concrete onto decks near west end of project and continued masonry work on the east end near Injector 4, which is also known as the Toyota Injector.
    Other recent project milestones:
    • Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) U.S.A., Inc. became the first Founding Partner of DAYTONA Rising. Beginning in 2015, the 11-year agreement will provide Toyota with naming rights for one of five fan injector entrances, a presence in the new "World Center of Racing" zone as well as other sponsorship rights.
    • Kingspan Insulated Panels, a market leader in sustainable building product technology based in DeLand Florida, will become the first partner in the "We Built Daytona" platform for DAYTONA Rising. Following construction, the three-year marketing agreement will allow Kingspan to feature its building panel products in-use at the new Speedway, providing them with a real-time showroom.(DIS)(3-8-2014)

  • Daytona Launches Fancam of 2014 DAYTONA 500: Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s second career victory in the DAYTONA 500 this past Sunday is the talk of the sporting world. Starting Friday, the tens of thousands of fans who were at Daytona International Speedway to witness this epic race can go online to http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/fancam and tag their image in the Fancam photo. The DAYTONA 500 Fancam is a photo technology that transforms a high-definition, 360 degree crowd image of Daytona International Speedway, the largest image ever take at a live sporting event, into a social media fan engagement experience. During last Sunday's 56th annual DAYTONA 500, the Fancam captured high-definition images of the crowd all the way down to the seat level. The images were then 'stitched' together and uploaded to a custom landing page where fans can tag themselves and share on Facebook, Twitter and e-mail.(DIS)(3-1-2014)

  • France discusses Earnhardt, Jr's win; running Daytona 500 at night: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. winning the Daytona 500 is considered a good thing for NASCAR. Its most popular driver the last 11 years winning its most prestigious event certainly should generate interest in the sport. But NASCAR Chairman Brian France says it's not just the Earnhardt win that could help the sport. "The really great thing is how authentic he's been throughout the week here as he's doing (the media tour)," France said in a phone interview Wednesday. "That's great. We'll have to see (on the impact)." Earnhardt won the Daytona 500 for the second time, with the first coming in 2004 before the world of Twitter and in the infancy of social media. Now, Earnhardt is tweeting photos during his winner's media tour and that has gotten an already enthusiastic Junior Nation looking forward to the rest of the season even more. The victory also all but guarantees him a spot in the Chase. "Anytime his fanbase gets revved up, that's a good thing," France said. "That's good for him, and that's good for us."
    With rain pushing the Daytona 500 to night for the second time in the last three years, it brings up the question of whether NASCAR would consider a move to night for that race. France says the sanctioning body already has considered it but Fox and the racetrack would also want to move it for it to happen. "We have considered it and for lots of reasons have not done that," France said. "But it's always a consideration. Of course, it's not just our decision. Fox has to believe that's the right time and all the rest."(Sporting News)(2-27-2013)

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins the Daytona 500: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the 56th Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway fir his 2nd win in the Daytona 500 (2004) and his 20th career win. There was a 6 hour and 22 minute red flag for severe weather and rain starting just after 2:00pm/et on lap 38. It was the 8th Daytona 500 win for Hendrick Motorsports. Earnhardt Jr. also led the most laps with 54 of 200.
    #11-Hamlin finished 2nd followed by #2-Keselowski, #24-Gordon, #48-Johnson, #20-Kenseth, #17-Stenhouse Jr., #16-Biffle, #3-Dillon (pole winner) and #13-Mears.
    Outside pole winner, #78-Truex Jr had an engine let go after only 30 laps and finished 43rd/last.
    There was a big wreck on lap 146 when #4-Harvick and #33-Scott made contact, moving the #33 into #43-Almirola, who bounced off the wall, came back down into the #3-Dillon and #10-Patrick. Patrick then shot up the track into the wall nose first, but she walked away and is fine. Other cars involved were #5-Kahne, #9-Ambrose, #17-Stenhouse Jr., #27-Menard, #38-Gilliland, #51-Allgaier, #66-Waltrip and #98-Wise.
    A few laps later, on lap 162, #3-Dillon got loose and into #42-Larson, who spun, collecting #5-Kahne, #7-Annett, #9-Ambrose, #31-Newman, #33-Scott, #52-Labonte and #55-Vickers. There was a wreck just behind the leaders that collected #18-Busch, #9-Ambrose, #22-Logano, #4-Harvick and #99-Edwards among others.
    Rookie report: #3-Dillon finished 9th, #23-Bowman 23rd, #51-Allgaier 27th, #26-Whitt 28th, #30-Kligerman 29th, #7-Annett 37th (accident), #42-Larson 38th (accident) and #83-Truex DNQ.
    There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers and there were 7 cautions for 39 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 145.290mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Daytona Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Daytona Penalty Report (pdf).(2-23-2014)
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Daytona Race & Points Report (pdf)

  • Kingspan Products to be Featured in Construction of DAYTONA Rising: Daytona International Speedway announced that Kingspan Insulated Panels , a market leader in sustainable building product technology, will become the first partner in the "We Built Daytona" platform for the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. The "We Built Daytona" platform is designed specifically for partners involved in the construction of DAYTONA Rising. It provides an opportunity for manufacturers to become a part of the project and showcase their involvement through a marketing presence following completion of the new facility in 2016. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Kingspan's insulated metal panels, totaling 125,000 square feet, will help to create the interior sections of the injectors - five large redesigned entrances spanning the nearly mile-long frontstretch. Approximately 400,000 square feet of the Speedway's new exterior will be constructed using metal wall systems by Morin, a Kingspan company. About 80 percent of the metal panels to be used will be manufactured at Kingspan Insulated Panel North American Headquarters in DeLand, Florida, less than 20 miles from Daytona International Speedway. Following construction, the three-year marketing agreement will allow Kingspan to feature its building panel products in-use at the new speedway, providing them with a real-time showroom. Additionally, Kingspan will receive special recognition as a "We Built Daytona" partner within the facility, brand exposure opportunities via digital display boards as well as corporate hospitality for entertaining guests during major events.
    For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-22-2014)

  • Practice Crash pierces hole in Daytona fence: A seven-car accident in Sprint Cup practice pierced a hole in the grandstand fence at Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday. During Wednesday's first practice session, #20-Matt Kenseth appeared to spark a wreck that sent Parker Kligerman's #30 Toyota on top of Paul Menard's #27 Chevy and then along the SAFER barrier, where it tore a hole in the fence that forced the cancellation of the rest of the practice. A Daytona spokesman said the fence "performed the way it was designed to," but one steel cable and some mesh fencing would be replaced. The track has received no reports of injuries. Joey Logano blamed Kenseth for drifting up the track into the nose of his #22 Ford on Wednesday as he tried to exploit a gap. "Maybe I shouldn't have been racing as hard as I was there in practice, but everybody was in a big pack there trying to make things happen," Logano said. "As soon as he came back up I checked up a little bit and then the [Trevor Bayne] hit me from behind and we spun out. It happens. That's Daytona for you." Kenseth said Logano got too close and moved him and was spun once he corrected the car. Kligerman blamed Logano for being overly aggressive. "It's a shame. He's supposed to be a veteran," said Kligerman, a rookie. "You go up to the Sprint Cup Series and it's supposed to be the best of the best. You've got a guy in practice who's racing people like it's the end of the Daytona 500. Meanwhile, I came out of truck practice, and we were running 3 or 4 wide no problem. I don't quite understand that one. I'll have to talk him about that. I'm pretty upset about how that all went down."(ESPN), also involved in the wreck were #77-Dave Blaney and #83-Ryan Truex. The teams of #22-Logano, #27-Menard, #30-Klingerman and #83-Truex pulled out backup cars for the Budweiser Duel 150 qualifying races. #77-Blaney's team didn't have a backup car and no idea if the team will be able to fix the car or secure a care from another team to run the Budweiser Duel.
    AND Four laps into the afternoon practice session, Cole Whitt scraped the outside wall after a piece of debris punctured the nose of his #26 Swan Racing Toyota. In an attempt to avoid Whitt's car, #55-Brian Vickers collected #13-Casey Mears' Chevrolet and shot nose-first into the outside wall. The impact sent parts and pieces flying, and one of the square cowl flaps from Vickers' Camry lodged edge-first into the nose and hood of Jeff Gordon's #24 Chevy. From the first wreck, Vickers went to a backup, but the teams of Whitt and Mears opted to repair their cars. Swan Racing teammates Whitt and Kligerman had but one backup car between them (NASCAR Wire Service).
    UPDATE #77-Dave Blaney has withdrawn from the Budweiser Duels / Daytona 500.(2-20-2014)

  • NASCAR pace car catches on fire during Sprint Unlimited UPDATE: With a full moon shining high above Daytona International Speedway, one of the most bizarre scenes in recent memory took place. As the field bunched up for the final 20-lap segment of the NASCAR Sprint Unlimited, smoke began billowing from one of the cars. No, not one of the race cars, it was the pace car. Pace car driver Brett Bodine pulled off the track as the trunk of the Chevrolet SS caught fire. Luckily, safety crews were quick on the scene to extinguish the fire. Come to find out, it was a battery pack used to power external lights that ignited the fire.(FoxSports)(2-16-2014)
    Statement from Chevrolet: During the closing laps of the NASCAR Sprint Unlimited race, the pace car experienced a fire in the trunk area, which contains a purpose-built auxiliary electrical kit to operate the numerous caution lights during the race. The pace car driver and passenger safely exited the vehicle. An assessment is underway.(Team Chevy)(2-18-2014)

  • Actor Chris Evans Named Grand Marshal for Daytona 500: Chris Evans, star of Marvel's latest Super Hero adventure "Captain America: The Winter Solider," scheduled for release on April 4, will serve as Grand Marshal for the 56th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 23, at Daytona International Speedway. As Grand Marshal, Evans will declare the four most famous words in motorsports-"Drivers, start your engines." In addition to delivering the command, he will 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 historic 200-lap, 500-mile race. "What better way to kick-off 'The Great American Race' than with Captain America, Chris Evans, giving the command to start engines," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "We look forward to having him be a part of our pre-race ceremonies in front of more than a hundred thousand race fans in attendance and millions more watching on FOX as we launch the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season." 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.(DIS)(2-17-2014)

  • Larry and Shawn King to Participate In The Sprint Unlimited Pre-Race Ceremonies: Legendary television and radio journalist Larry King will serve as co-Grand Marshal of The Sprint Unlimited At Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night, Feb. 15 while his wife, singer Shawn King, will perform the National Anthem. Shawn King will sing the National Anthem just prior to her husband Larry King's starting command, "Drivers, start your engines," which will be delivered alongside two race fans that will be selected earlier in day to serve as Co-Grand Marshals. "We are excited to welcome Larry and Shawn King to the 'World Center of Racing' to participate in the pre-race ceremonies for The Sprint Unlimited," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "Larry is an iconic newsman and we're looking forward to his command alongside two race fans. We are also delighted to have his wife Shawn King deliver a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem."
    The Co-Grand Marshals that will give the starting command alongside Larry King are part of the 1,000+ prizes that will be awarded to race fans on property throughout Budweiser Speedweeks. Fans can register at the DAYTONA Reward Stations powered by Windows located in Sprint FANZONE, the Midway outside Turn 4 and in front of the Daytona International Speedway Ticket and Tours Building. Fans can also pre-register online at www.DISRewards.com prior to arriving at the track. For more information on tickets for The Sprint Unlimited on Saturday as well as the 56th annual DAYTONA 500, race fans can go online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-14-2014)

  • Aloe Blacc to Sing National Anthem for Daytona 500: Singer, songwriter Aloe Blacc will perform the National Anthem prior to the 56th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. "Aloe Blacc is recognized around the globe for his smooth vocals, so it's only fitting he perform at the 'World Center of Racing' in front of more than one hundred thousand race fans and millions more watching on FOX," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "We look forward to hearing his moving rendition prior to the start of NASCAR's richest and most prestigious race." For more information on tickets for the 56th annual DAYTONA 500 and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access, race fans can go online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-14-2014)

  • Actor Gary Sinise Named Honorary Starter for the 56th Annual Daytona 500: Gary Sinise, actor, humanitarian and founder of the Gary Sinise Foundation, will wave the green flag as the Honorary Starter at Daytona International Speedway for the 56th annual Daytona 500. "It's an honor to be selected as Honorary Starter at this year's Daytona 500 on behalf of the Gary Sinise Foundation. The race is a celebrated tradition and an important occasion to raise awareness and support for the men and women who serve our country", said Sinise. In addition to Sinise's participation as Honorary Starter, a special Daytona 500 ticket package supporting the Gary Sinise Foundation is available for $90 and includes:
    " Daytona 500 backstretch ticket
    " $10 donation to the Gary Sinise Foundation
    " Access to a 15-minute fan forum with Gary Sinise prior to the Daytona 500
    To purchase the special Daytona 500 ticket package, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/gary. Acting for more than 30 years, Sinise has had many memorable roles in movies such as Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, Ransom and Truman as well as the television police drama CSI: NY. He has earned a Golden Globe Award, an Emmy Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and an Academy Award nomination.
    A long time supporter of the military and veteran community, in 2008 Sinise received the Presidential Citizens Medal from President George W. Bush, the second-highest civilian honor awarded to citizens for exemplary deeds performed in service of the nation - he's only the third actor ever to receive this honor. In 2011, he founded The Gary Sinise Foundation to honor and serve our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities. These programs include its R.I.S.E. Outreach (Restoring Independence and Supporting Empowerment), whose flagship initiative is a custom Smart Home building project for severely wounded veterans, some of who will be attending at Daytona with Sinise. Each home is customized to ease their daily challenges and help restore independence with features like retractable cook tops, cabinets and shelving, elevators and more, all accessible via an iPad. Other programs include Relief & Resiliency Outreach, Invincible Spirit Festivals, Serving Heroes and Arts & Entertainment Outreach. The Foundation has also partnered with GE on their Get Skills to Work program to help veterans translate military skills into advanced manufacturing jobs while empowering employers with tools to recruit, onboard and mentor veterans.
    Additionally, Sinise has toured in support of the troops both home and abroad with his Lt. Dan Band, his 12-member cover band. Performing pop hits to classic rock staples, they've played for over half-a-million troops and their families since 2004.(DIS)(2-11-2014)

  • DAYTONA Rising February Project Update: After a successful 2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona, Daytona International Speedway is now finalizing its race-ready preparations for Budweiser Speedweeks 2014 and the 56th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 23. Construction activities for the DAYTONA Rising project will accelerate again in March following the Speedway's upcoming premier events. "Our team has worked tirelessly to ensure that the facility continues to operate at a high level for our race fans during this busy and unique time," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "We are certainly excited about the future of Daytona International Speedway, however we are as equally focused on delivering a great experience during our upcoming events."
    Below is a recap of key race-ready activities since the last update in January:
    · Installed entrance chutes for ticket gates
    · Tested lighting and Digital Antenna System (DAS)
    · Relocated merchandise store building pad outside the frontstretch
    · Built temporary suite tower lobby and temporary ticketing trailers
    · Set up hospitality village and the Budweiser 1876 Club
    Race fans can follow the progress of the DAYTONA Rising project by visiting www.DAYTONARising.com.(DIS)(2-9-2014)

  • Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences Await Fans at The Sprint Unlimited: Presenting The Sprint Unlimited winner's trophy, being a part of driver introductions and riding in a Grand Marshal car are just a few of the unique and exciting prizes that will be available for race fans who attend The Sprint Unlimited At Daytona on Saturday night, Feb. 15 at the "World Center of Racing."
    "The Sprint Unlimited is an event that is designed around the race fans," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "As we kick off the new NASCAR season with this exciting star-studded event, fans in attendance will have the opportunity to participate in significant race roles and win some special experiences that will deliver long-lasting memories."
    Among the upgraded experiences that fans can win when attending The Sprint Unlimited At Daytona International Speedway include:
    · Presenting the winning driver with The Sprint Unlimited trophy
    · Riding in a Grand Marshal car during the pace laps of The Sprint Unlimited
    · Attending the driver's meeting
    · Honorary pit crew member
    · Photo with the winning Sprint Unlimited driver in Gatorade Victory Lane
    Race fans who already purchased tickets to The Sprint Unlimited may pre-register for the special prizes online at www.DISrewards.com beginning Feb. 3. Fans can also register on-site at DAYTONA Reward Stations powered by Windows located in Sprint FANZONE, the Midway outside Turn 4 and in front of the Daytona International Speedway Ticket and Tours Building. For the second straight year, The Sprint Unlimited will feature 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole winners and past champions of The Sprint Unlimited. Tickets for The Sprint Unlimited are available for purchase at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Children 12 and under are free in general admission grandstands and the Sprint FANZONE.(DIS)(2-9-2014)

  • Toyota Becomes First Founding Partner of Historic DAYTONA Rising Project: International Speedway Corporation announced a groundbreaking, multi-year partnership with Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) U.S.A., Inc. that will make Toyota the first Founding Partner at Daytona International Speedway as part of its unprecedented $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. DAYTONA Rising is ISC's complete reimagining of the fan and sponsor experience at its iconic Daytona International Speedway, a multi-year project encompassing the Speedway's nearly one-mile long frontstretch that, upon completion in January 2016, will create a world-class facility with premium amenities unmatched in the industry. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
    "When we started drafting the designs of DAYTONA Rising, we envisioned partnering with equally forward-thinking organizations like Toyota to bring forth the very best experience for our fans and guests," said ISC Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy. "Toyota has been a great partner for many years and we will continue to work together to enhance the fan experience at many of our facilities across the country."
    Beginning in 2015, the 11-year agreement will provide Toyota with naming rights for one of five fan injectors. The massive, new and redesigned entry statement includes over 20,000 square feet of Toyota engagement and fan experience that vertically spans four concourse levels. The Toyota brand will also have a presence in the new "World Center of Racing" zone, the central "neighborhood" overlooking Daytona's famed start/finish line inside the new frontstretch facility. The "World Center of Racing" zone is roughly the area of two football fields where Daytona International Speedway, its partners and race fans will celebrate the history and legacy of racing at the iconic motorsports venue. Fans will be able to socialize and enjoy themselves in this area prior to, during and after a race.
    Ten additional neighborhoods, each the size of a football field, will be located throughout the new frontstretch with custom bar, retail and dining areas, as well as dozens of video screens to provide fans with non-stop views of on-track action while they mingle with friends. Toyota will also have branding rights to a neighborhood near the Toyota injector. Additionally, Toyota will serve as an official partner of "The Great American Race," the DAYTONA 500®, and will receive official pace car rights in 2015.
    "DAYTONA Rising represents our commitment to delivering engaging and innovative ways for our partners to showcase their brand," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "We're proud to integrate Toyota into this historic project. Our fans and guests will now enjoy more exciting, innovative and engaging experiences from the moment they enter the new facility to the time they reach their seats and beyond."
    In addition to the Founding Partner status with DAYTONA Rising, Toyota also extended the following sponsorship rights at other ISC venues:
    Race entitlement sponsorship of the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series races at Richmond International Raceway
    Pace Car rights at Auto Club Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway, Richmond International Raceway and Watkins Glen International for each NASCAR major event weekend, as well as Official Vehicle at Route 66 Raceway.
    The partnership was announced today at the Chicago Auto Show, the same location where Toyota initially revealed its plans more than 10 years ago to participate for the first time in NASCAR, as part of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
    "This is a unique opportunity for Toyota to elevate our brand in the motorsports community, especially through the DAYTONA Rising project," said Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. "ISC and Daytona International Speedway will provide strong platforms to interact with our guests and most importantly, our race fans."
    For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-7-2014)

  • ISC Reports Financial Results For The Fourth Quarter and Full-Year Of Fiscal 2013: International Speedway Corporation reported financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter and full-year ended November 30, 2013. "2013 was a banner year for our sport with TV ratings up, the launch of the Gen 6 car, fan enthusiasm surrounding Danica Patrick's full season debut in the Sprint Cup series, and increasing diversity in the NASCAR fan base. All are signs that the Industry Action Plan is working," stated Lesa France Kennedy, ISC Chief Executive Officer. "The exciting 2013 NASCAR season was capped off at our Homestead-Miami Speedway with a sixth Sprint Cup championship for Jimmy Johnson, the eleventh for Hendrick Motorsports. We are pleased to report solid results for our fourth quarter and full year 2013. Despite softness in certain markets and inclement weather impacting fourth quarter admissions, we are seeing encouraging signs of stabilization in our core business, driven by slowly improving economic conditions and solid consumer and corporate marketing strategies. "(more info at ISC site)(2-3-2014)

  • Daytona 500 Can Be Viewed Live on Mobile Devices: For the first time ever, FOX Sports GO, the app that provides live streaming video of FOX Sports content, is set to offer live, streaming coverage of the DAYTONA 500 on Sunday, Feb. 23. FOX Sports GO features two separate live streams of the 56th running of the Great American Race: the customary FOX Sports broadcast in English and the FOX Deportes telecast in Spanish. Customers of participating video providers may access the live streams of the Daytona 500 through the FOX Sports GO app for iOS devices, as well as on desktops through FOXSportsGo.com.(FOXSports)(1-31-2014)

  • Rusty Wallace among inductees in Motorsports Hall of Fame: The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America will induct its 26th class of racing legends Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at Detroit's historic Fillmore Theater. Those being honored include Ole Bardahl, Raymond Beadle, John Bishop, Ricky Graham, Arie Luyendyk, Marshall Teague and Rusty Wallace. The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America is racing's Cooperstown, memorializing achievement in all forms of motorized competition. Over the years, 209 motorsports luminaries have been inducted. The 99-person nominating panel itself reads like a who's who of racing, including names like Mario Andretti, Don Garlits, Craig Breedlove and Richard Petty.(Motorsports Hall of Fame)(1-25-2014)
    AND: Two of the greatest names in racing soon will share the same address. The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, motor racing's Cooperstown, announced today that it will move its operations and collection of historic racing machines and memorabilia from the Detroit area to the "World Center of Racing," Daytona International Speedway by January 2016. The move coincides with the scheduled January 2016 completion of DAYTONA Rising, the speedway's $400 million frontstretch renovation project currently underway. Plans call for the Hall of Fame's displays featuring cars, images, stories and bronze sculptures of 209 icons of American motorsports to be located in the Daytona International Speedway Ticket and Tours Building, which was formerly known as the "DAYTONA 500 Experience." Vehicles and artifacts representative of the diversity of motorized competition celebrated by the Hall of Fame, including Open Wheel, Stock Cars, Motorcycles, Aviation, Drag Racing, Sports Cars and Powerboats, will be exhibited as a regular part of the tours admission at Daytona International Speedway all year long.(DIS)(1-25-2014)

  • Luke Bryan to headline Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show: The reigning Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan will electrify the crowd during the Daytona 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show, the prelude to the start of the "The Great American Race" at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 23. Bryan will perform several of his hits on pit road of the "World Center of Racing" prior to the start of the 56th annual Daytona 500 - the prestigious season-opening event to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. All race fans that purchase a Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access pass for the DAYTONA 500 can enjoy Bryan's DAYTONA 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show up close as well as driver introductions. In addition to his concert, a special ticket package designed around Luke Bryan has been created that includes a Daytona 500 grandstand ticket, Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access and VIP area access to Luke Bryan's performance. Packages start at $164. Fans that already have race tickets can add Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access along with VIP area access for $99.(DIS)(1-23-2014)

  • Blade Runner Blake Leeper named honorary race official for Daytona 500: Paralympic athlete Blake Leeper, known as the "American Blade Runner," will serve as Honorary Race Official for the 56th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 23 at Daytona International Speedway. As Honorary Race Official, Leeper will be introduced at the driver's meeting, participate in pre-race ceremonies and ride in one of the honorary race official cars ahead of the 43-car field for the 200-lap, 500-mile prestigious race. Leeper's story is nothing short of remarkable. He was born with a birth defect that stopped growth below his knees, yet he was able to build muscle above the knee and began playing sports at the age of five. In 2008 Leeper started intensively running after the Challenged Athlete Foundation presented him with a grant for state-of-the-art blade prosthetics. He won the silver medal in the 2012 Paralympic Games and the gold medal in the 400m Relay at the IPC Worlds in Lyon, France. Leeper is currently training for the 2016 Rio Olympics for Team USA, where he would become the first double-amputee American to compete in the Olympic Games.(DIS)(1-21-2014)

  • Madison Rising to Sing National Anthem for DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona: Madison Rising, a patriotic, guitar-heavy band, will sing the National Anthem for the DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday, Feb. 22 at Daytona International Speedway. Madison Rising is fronted by lead vocalist Dave Bray, a U.S. Navy veteran who served as an 8404 FMF Corpsman for the 2nd Battalion/2nd Marines stationed out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. Drummer Sam Fishman and bassist Steve Padelski make up the rest of the New Jersey-based band. Founded on the principles of independence, personal responsibility and liberty, the band brings American-rock back to popular culture with their passionate performances. Madison Rising's self-titled debut album was released in October 2011 landing them spots in the top 100 best-selling rock albums on iTunes. Their rendition of the National Anthem became a YouTube sensation in 2012 with more than 5 million views. Most recently, their long-awaited second album was released in November 2013 titled "American Hero," which is dedicated to the men and women of the armed forces, police, firefighters and first responders. The album contains 10 songs, including their popular rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner."(DIS)(1-18-2014)

  • Daytona 500 tickets most expensive in 5 years: In a little over two weeks, the two best teams in the NFL will face off in the Super Bowl and come February 3rd, there will be a new owner of the Lombardi Trophy. The 3rd will also mark three weeks until the SuperBowl of stock car racing, also known as the Daytona 500. If we want to compare the respective SuperBowls, at an average price of $263, Daytona 500 tickets on the secondary market are 93% less than the current average price for Super Bowl tickets.
    Because of its prestige and importance, as well as the atmosphere of excitement that comes with the beginning of a new season, the Daytona 500 tickets are almost always the most expensive NASCAR tickets. Over the next three years, however, Daytona is looking to eliminate 46,000 seats, which means that ticket prices will be a lot more expensive in 2016 when the renovation is complete. If you have not already purchased tickets for the 2014 event, there are some tickets left in the primary market as well as a large selection on the secondary market. The price for tickets in the primary and secondary market, however, are pretty close to each other. This year's average secondary market ticket price of $263 is the highest of the past five years, since TiqIQ began tracking pricing data for the race. Prices for this year's event are up 4.4% over last year's average price of $253, but up substantially more from the 2011 and 2010 average prices of $195 and $171.(Forbes)(1-16-2014)

  • Daytona unveils new pedestrian crossover gate: Daytona International Speedway will use a redesigned crossover gate for the Daytona 500 after a crash during a Nationwide race last year scattered debris injuring at least 28 fans. Track president Joie Chitwood stressed the gate was in development for several years before Kyle Larson's Chevrolet sailed into the catchfence and struck a gate on the last lap of the Feb. 23 race. Daytona and Talladega Superspeedway reinforced its crossover gates with extra cables after an engineering firm reviewed data from the crash and made recommendations. Chitwood said the new gate, which shuttles fans beneath the fence instead of using a staircase to go through it, was as safe as any of the reinforced gates, and its primary goal was to help usher a crowd of 10,000 more quickly off the infield grass after prerace concerts and festivities.(USA Today)(1-10-2014)

  • Daytona Rising January Project Update: 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
    Daytona Rising is a $400 million reimagining of the 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. Race fans can follow the progress of the Daytona Rising project by visiting www.DaytonaRising.com. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(1-4-2014)

  • Sir Malcolm Campbell's Bluebird V has returned home to Daytona International Speedway: The historic 28-foot, three-inch, 10,000-pound Bluebird V departed the "World Center of Racing" back in June to go on display at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, the world's biggest and most diverse celebration of the history of motorsport held on the grounds of the Goodwood House, West Sussex, England. The historic land speed record was later on display at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, England before returning back to the United States at Charleston, S.C. on Dec. 12. After a short drive down I-95, Campbell's Bluebird V, which set a land speed record of 276.82 mph in Daytona Beach back in 1935, was loaded back into the Daytona International Speedway Ticket and Tours Building on Wednesday. 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.(DIS)(12-19-2013)

  • Johnson Appearance Highlights "The 48 Family Experience" Ticket Package for Daytona 500: Daytona International Speedway has teamed up with six-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and the two-time defending Daytona 500 champion Jimmie Johnson for a special ticket package - "The 48 Family Experience" - for the 56th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 23. "The 48 Family Experience" package, which is available for $148 and will go on sale Dec. 17, includes:
    · One adult Daytona 500 backstretch tower seat
    · One child (ages 12 & under) Daytona 500 backstretch tower seat
    · 15-minute question and answer session with Johnson
    · Children attending the question and answer session will have the opportunity to put together a Lowe's Build and Grow race car
    · Daytona International Speedway special giveaways
    Tickets for "The 48 Family Experience" are available at daytonainternationalspeedway.com/48 or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)12-18-2013)

  • Thunderbirds to perform flyovers at Daytona 500 and Las Vegas: The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds have finalized their 2014 show schedule. In its 61st season, the team is slated to perform 66 demonstrations at 34 locations. The flying unit, officially known as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, will perform its first public flyover of 2014 at the opening of the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 1. Two of the shows include the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb 23, 2014 and at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 9, 2014. The announcement of the schedule confirms the Defense Department's commitment to supporting community engagement. Last October, in an internal memo to military service chiefs, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel stressed a continuing need to maintain military demonstration teams. Charged with demonstrating the professionalism of Airmen and the capabilities of modern airpower, the Thunderbirds were formed in 1953. The 2014 season marks the 32nd year the squadron has performed in the F-16 Fighting Falcon.(U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds)(12-10-2013)

  • Daytona Rising December Project Update: Although 2013 will soon come to a close, construction activities related to the DAYTONA Rising project continue to accelerate. Daytona International Speedway is also preparing for the 52nd Anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Budweiser Speedweeks 2014 to ensure that the facility is "race ready" for fans. Here is a recap of key construction activities since the last update in November:
    • Initial steel installation near the east end of new grandstand footprint
    • Completed pile cap installation
    • Operationalized domestic water and fire lines
    • Began asphalt paving near the west end of new grandstand footprint
    Upcoming construction activities:
    • Ongoing steel installation
    • First Slab on Metal Deck (First Elevated Concrete Pour)
    • Masonry work commences
    (DIS)(12-8-2013)

  • Daytona could host soccer, football games: One day, the rebuilt and improved Daytona International Speedway may be the world center of more than just racing. Lesa France Kennedy, chief executive officer of Daytona's parent company International Speedway Corp., said NASCAR's most famous race track could host other events such as international soccer and college football games once the Daytona Rising project is completed in 2016. "NASCAR is always going to be our primary revenue driver, but we're going to look at some other things," Kennedy said Tuesday at the NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum, which kicked off Champion's Week. "International soccer friendlies, for instance. Might want to host some of those, or concerts. It's going to be more flexible than the current speedway that we have, and it's going to offer a lot more options. We are also in discussions with several universities about NCAA football. That might be kind of exciting."
    "Today's fans also want the latest in technology, and Daytona is no different," she said. "In addition to the WiFi we will have in each neighborhood, we're also going to be installing additional infrastructure to support 4G services. How often do you go to a sporting event or an event of another type, and you're not connected to the outside world? It's just not a great experience. People don't like that. I don't like that, I know that much, and we're going to change that." Kennedy said the rebuilt Daytona, which will be completed in time for Speedweeks in 2016, will "redefine motorsports entertainment in North America." The project, five years in the planning, is also slightly ahead of schedule.(NASCAR.com)(12-4-2013)

  • Daytona Offers "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" Ticket Specials: Holiday shoppers can give the gift of racing at Daytona International Speedway as the "World Center of Racing" has put together several $49 "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" Thanksgiving holiday ticket specials. On Friday, Nov. 29 (Black Friday) and Monday, Dec. 2 (Cyber Monday), Daytona International Speedway will have the following $49 ticket package specials available for race fans to select from as they conduct their holiday shopping:
    • An infield/grandstand ticket for the 52nd anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 25-26 with a Rolex 24 event hat and $10 DAYTONA Dollars (good at any DIS concession stand), a savings of 11%.
    • General admission grandstand ticket for The Sprint Unlimited /Lucas Oil 200 presented by MAV TV American Real doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 15 with a Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race pass, a savings of 24%.
    • General admission grandstand ticket for the Budweiser Duel At Daytona 150-mile qualifying races on Thursday night, Feb. 20 and a Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race pass, a savings of 24%.
    • General admission grandstand ticket for the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday night, Feb. 21 and a Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race pass, a savings of 24%.
    • General admission grandstand ticket and trackside access for the Daytona Supercross By Honda on Saturday, March 8 and $10 DAYTONA Dollars (good at any DIS concession stand), a savings of 11%
    • Kids 12 and under are free in general admission seating for the Budweiser Speedweeks events. For the Daytona Supercross By Honda, kids 5 and under are free in general admission seating and kids 6-12 are $10.
    • If race fans purchase on either Friday, Nov. 29 or Monday, Dec. 2, they will also receive free shipping (a savings of $14) for all tickets purchased (phone orders only).
    To take advantage of the "Black Friday" and Cyber Monday" ticket specials, race fans can call 1-800-PITSHOP between 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. or visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/deals.(DIS)(11-26-2013)

  • Tickets for the 2014 Preseason Thunder Fan Fest Go On-Sale Monday, Nov. 18: Beginning Monday, Nov. 18 at 9:00am/et, race fans can purchase tickets as well as make their autographed session reservations for the annual Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will test on Jan. 9-10 as they shake down their cars in advance of the prestigious season-opening 56th annual DAYTONA 500 on Sunday, Feb. 23. The NASCAR Nationwide Series will test on Jan. 11-12 for their season-opening event - the DRIVE4COPD 300 on Saturday, Feb. 22. The Camping World Truck Series will wrap up Preseason Thunder on Jan. 13-14 as they prep for the NextEra Energy Resources 250 on Friday night, Feb. 21. It's the first time since 2008 that the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series teams have participated in January testing sessions at Daytona International Speedway. All test sessions are scheduled between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day, weather permitting. Each session includes a lunch break from noon until 1 p.m. More info at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-17-2013)

  • Daytona International Speedway Honors Longtime Ticketholders As "Fans Of Steel": As part of the ongoing effort to recognize Daytona's loyal fans for their dedication and support throughout the DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project, Daytona International Speedway today recognized longtime Speedway account holders as the "fans of steel" during a special ceremony at the construction site. Nearly two dozen race fans and guests, some from as far away as Colorado and Ohio, kicked off the day by taking a "hot lap" around Daytona International Speedway in a pace car and then received a personal DAYTONA Rising project update from Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. The fans literally became part of history after personally signing a massive 30-foot, 1,300-pound steel beam that will be used to build the new frontstretch grandstands. The day concluded with a guided tour of the DAYTONA Rising construction site, highlighted by the recent steel installation, pile cap installation and completion of water and fire lines. Key November construction activities include:
    Ongoing steel installation
    Completion of pile cap installation
    Continued asphalt paving and other "race-ready" preparation for the 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona and Budweiser Speedweeks 2014.(DIS)(11-7-2013)

  • ISC to install video screens, improve wireless at tracks: International Speedway Corporation unveiled its plan to provide race fans with the sport's first fully-integrated multi-media race-day experience across all its motorsports facilities over the next few years. In addition to the thrilling live on-track racing action, fans will be able to enjoy rich multi-media content directly on their Sprint smartphones and other handheld devices, and on new high-definition video screens located throughout the racetrack. They will also enjoy enhanced connectivity to instantly share their raceday experience with friends inside and outside the track via Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms. These enhancements, which began in 2013 and will continue in 2014 and 2015, focus on several key areas:
    -- Digital High-Definition Video Screens: Beginning with Talladega Superspeedway in 2014, new large high-definition video boards will be installed across all ISC tracks. These video boards will be located throughout each facility to ensure all fans in attendance have a clear view of the screens to enjoy all the great content that it will deliver. -- Unique At-Track Content: ISC has deployed a fully-integrated multi-media content strategy to deliver up-to-the-second live in-race and in-car cameras views, instant race data and other interactive race-day content to enhance the live on-track action and provide fans with a raceday experience unlike any other in the industry.
    -- Enhanced Connectivity: Wi-Fi service will be provided in premium camping and fan areas, as well as in high-traffic areas. These services were already installed at Michigan International Speedway and Auto Club Speedway of Southern California in 2013, and will be rolled out to other venues in the ISC family in 2014 and 2015. In addition, ISC is working with American Tower Corporation to provide improved cellular coverage to include 4G connectivity for fans during race weekends.(ISC)(10-30-2013)

  • Tickets for Daytona Coke Zero 400 weekend on sale: NASCAR fans have their first opportunity to purchase tickets for the 56th annual Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 5 at Daytona International Speedway. Fans can purchase tickets to the mid-summer classic in one of three convenient ways: Online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com, by calling 1-800-PITSHOP, or visiting the Daytona International Speedway ticket office. Frontstretch grandstand seats for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola start at $45 and tower seats begin at $89.50. Reserved grandstand seats for children ages 12 and under are $10 and kids 12 and under are free in the Sprint FANZONE. Infield camping packages start at $345 and reserved site infield guests will be able to drive in and out of the infield.(DIS)(10-24-2013)

  • Talladega, Daytona get official moonshine: Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway announced a new partnership with Ole Smoky Moonshine that will make the Tennessee distillery the "Official Moonshine" of both racing facilities. This new agreement, which begins with the upcoming Camping World RV Sales 500 NASCAR weekend at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 18-20, marks the first partnership in the "Official Moonshine" category for both tracks and parent company International Speedway Corporation. Race fans will be able to purchase four different featured Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine cocktails at Talladega. There will be ten concession bars around the concourses, including the Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler, Talladega Bar in the Tri-Oval Tower and the Ole Smoky Bar at the intersection of Talladega and Eastaboga Blvd. in the track's infamous infield. Ole Smoky Tennessee is the first legal distillery in the state of Tennessee.(TSS)(10-16-2013)

  • Daytona Rising October Project Update: The recent DAYTONA Rising construction activities have helped pave the way for steel installation which is scheduled to begin in late October. Here is a recap of key construction activities since the last update in September:
    Began reinforcing steel columns underneath existing black & white seating sections
    Continued installation of pile caps in areas on both east and west ends of new grandstand footprint
    Power distribution to all relocated ticketing gates along frontstretch
    Began pile installation at base of existing Sprint Tower
    Initial paving of areas near DIS Tours Building
    Upcoming construction activities:
    Steel arrival at marshaling yards near the Speedway
    Mobilization of cranes for steel installation
    Completion of augercast pile installation
    Initial steel installation
    Asphalt paving of grandstand access at the ticket entrances
    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. The project is expected to be completed in time for the 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona and DAYTONA 500.
    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 DAYTONARising.com.(DIS)(10-8-2013)

  • 2014 Preseason Thunder Dates Scheduled for Jan. 9-14: Preseason Thunder, the annual NASCAR testing session at Daytona International Speedway featuring the Sprint Cup Series, will expand in 2014 with the addition of the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series. Preseason Thunder marks the official start to NASCAR's "Road To Daytona." NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will test on Jan. 9-10 as they shake down their cars in advance of the prestigious season-opening 56th annual DAYTONA 500 on Sunday, Feb. 23. The NASCAR Nationwide Series will test on Jan. 11-12 for their season-opening event - the DRIVE4COPD 300 on Saturday, Feb. 22. The Camping World Truck Series will wrap up Preseason Thunder on Jan. 13-14 as they prep for the NextEra Energy Resources 250 on Friday night, Feb. 21. It's the first time since 2008 that the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series teams have participated in January testing sessions at Daytona International Speedway. All test sessions are scheduled between 9:00am and 5:00pm/et, each day, weather permitting. Each session includes a lunch break from noon until 1 pm.
    The Preseason Thunder Fan Fests, the companion events to the January testing sessions in the Sprint FANZONE, are scheduled on Thursday night, Jan. 9 for the Sprint Cup Series and Saturday night, Jan. 11 for the Nationwide Series. There will not be a Fan Fest or infield admissions for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series testing sessions. Fans can also watch each day's testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands. Tickets for Preseason Thunder Fan Fest for the Sprint Cup Series, which include the autograph session wristbands, will be available for purchase by calling 1-800-PITSHOP on Monday, Nov. 18 beginning at 9 a.m. The schedule of driver question-and-answer and autograph sessions will be finalized closer to the event. Fans who would like to be contacted regarding Preseason Thunder Fan Fest ticket information can sign up online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/thunder.(9-25-2013)

  • Eight area firms awarded subcontractor contracts to work on Speedway project: The general contractor for Daytona International Speedway's $400 million renovation has taken steps toward making good on its pledge to hire local companies to work on the project dubbed "Daytona Rising." Barton Malow, the Michigan-based general contractor for Daytona Rising, has awarded contracts for work on the project to eight Volusia County companies and plans to award more after an October outreach forum for companies interested in becoming subcontractors, said Lenny Santiago, a spokesman for the Speedway. "It's quite a bit of work," said Joe Zapert, president of Port Orange surveying firm Sliger & Associates, which has been hired to do surveying for the planned overhaul of the Speedway's frontstretch grandstands. Improvements include new seating throughout the frontstretch grandstands, and more food venues, restrooms and concession stands, as well as construction of five new fan entryways. The Speedway broke ground on the project July 5 and estimates it will generate about 4,000 jobs before it is completed in early 2016. More contracts for work will be awarded in coming months. Barton Malow and the Speedway, which held a Daytona Rising subcontractor outreach forum in July that drew more than 200 people, decided to hold a second one in October because of the large number of companies expressing interest in working on the project, Santiago said. As was the case in July, Barton Malow and the Speedway say they will be giving preference to Volusia-Flagler companies and women- and minority-owned businesses.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(8-27-2013)

  • Daytona to be featured on Travel Channel show: Daytona International Speedway and the Daytona 500 form the background for the series premiere of "Adam Richman's Fandemonium" on the Travel Channel. The show will air 10pm/et Sunday. In the series, Richman is on a mission to explore the world of ultimate super fans and the extremes they go to in order to celebrate their passion. According to a Travel Channel release, during Sunday's episode, Richman cultivates the Speedway infield to experience the "wild festivities, atmosphere and environment that the fans create and revel in."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(7-12-2013)

  • ISC to continue cutting track seats: International Speedway Corporation already has decreased the capacity of its tracks by 17 percent from 2007-2012, cutting capacity from 1.1 million to 909,000. And it pledges more cuts. Daytona International Speedway, which once had 168,000 grandstand seats and currently seats 147,000, will seat a mere 101,000 (not including suites) by 2016. ISC, whose stock is primarily controlled by the NASCAR-owning France family, told financial analysts last week that it plans to decrease capacity at several more racetracks. Other tracks cutting capacity points to at least a 25 percent reduction from 2007. Company officials said seats without views of pit road don't deliver as good of an experience. Or seats too far from many of the midway areas or the prerace activities don't allow fans to take advantage of those amenities.
    In order to create urgency and worry among ticket buyers, ISC will cut the number of seats available. They don't want fans to wait on the weather. They want fans nervous that if they don't buy early, at best they will end up disappointed with their seat, or at worst, out of luck because the race sold out. ISC's answer is to decrease the number of seats. In some ways, that is an acknowledgment that fewer people attend live sporting events overall-purchasing habits of sports fans have changed and packed grandstands at facilities that can hold 125,000 will never again exist.(Sporting News)(7-10-2013)

  • Football at Daytona International Speedway? Is NASCAR's most famous race track ready for some football? Or basketball? Or even hockey? Daytona International Speedway president Joie Chitwood III thinks it will be after a $400 million renovation, and he is more than a little bit interested in making it happen. "We're spending $400 million improving our facility," Chitwood told Yahoo! Sports Saturday. "Why wouldn't we? We can look at soccer, football, music," he said. "We can do anything. The opportunities are limitless." The idea of football at the place made famous by the Daytona 500 seems far-fetched, with the emphasis on far: The Speedway is so mammoth - it seats more than 100,000 in the frontstrech - that it's tough to imagine being able to making out the numbers on the backs of players' uniforms from the sweeping grandstand. Yet Chitwood points out that when it holds Supercross events, fans are seated on the track here. So once the renovation is complete and the place is more intimate, he says, "the door is wide open."(Yahoo Sports)(7-7-2013)

  • Ground Broken on Daytona International Speedway redevelopment project: #16-Greg Biffle and #21-Trevor Bayne have each recorded major career milestones at Daytona International Speedway, but today they achieved a racing distinction that will never again be matched. The team of Biffle, who won the Coke Zero 400 here in 2003, and Bayne, who became the youngest-ever winner of the DAYTONA 500 in 2011, captured the first-and only-DAYTONA Rising 500, a competition featuring massive construction equipment in place of stock cars that bestowed upon the winners the honor of being the first to officially break ground on the DAYTONA Rising project, a historic, multi-year redevelopment of the nearly mile-long, 54-year-old frontstretch at the "World Center of Racing."
    The DAYTONA Rising 500-the 500, in this case, signifying the approximate size of the race course (500 feet)-pitted pairings of current and former NASCAR drivers, as well as crew chief Larry McReynolds, in a test of competitive driving skills by guiding branded, 20-ton Cat 950K Wheel Loaders through a series of obstacles and construction-site skill tests. In addition to Biffle and Bayne, the teams included drivers #31-Jeff Burton and #39-Ryan Newman, as well as McReynolds and NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip.
    The winners of the DAYTONA Rising 500 earned the honor of breaking ground on the Speedway's unprecedented redevelopment project, which will officially begin on Monday, July 8 following this weekend's Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola and is expected to be completed for January 2016, in time for the 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona and the 58th DAYTONA 500.
    "An historic project like DAYTONA Rising, which will reimagine an iconic American venue like Daytona International Speedway, demands a groundbreaking like no other," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "In keeping with the Speedway's tradition, we wanted to find an innovative way to honor history and create memorable moments for our fans, which is ultimately what the DAYTONA Rising project is all about. We can't wait to get started."
    The DAYTONA Rising project, which was officially approved by International Speedway Corporation on June 18, is designed to enhance the overall experience for the Speedway's fans, marketing partners and the motorsports industry by creating a world-class facility with premium amenities. The vision for the frontstretch redevelopment places an emphasis on enhancing the complete fan experience, beginning with five expanded and redesigned fan entrances, or injectors, along International Speedway Boulevard. Each injector will lead directly to a series of escalators and elevators that will transport fans to any of three different concourse levels, each featuring spacious and strategically-placed social "neighborhoods" along the nearly mile-long frontstretch.
    A total of 11 neighborhoods, each measuring the size of a football field, will enable fans to meet and socialize during events without ever missing any on-track action, thanks to an open-sightline design throughout each concourse and dozens of added video screens in every neighborhood. The central neighborhood, dubbed the "World Center of Racing," will celebrate the history of Daytona International Speedway and its many unforgettable moments throughout more than 50 years of racing.
    Every seat in the Speedway frontstretch will be replaced with wider and more comfortable seating, with more restrooms and concession stands throughout the facility. At the conclusion of the redevelopment, Daytona International Speedway will be comprised of approximately 101,000 permanent seats with the potential to increase permanent seating to 125,000. For more information, please visit www.DaytonaRising.com and redevelopdaytona.com.(DIS)(7-6-2013)

  • "Troops to the Track" Program at Daytona: The Armed Forces Foundation and NASCAR continue the 2013 Troops to the Track TM program on Saturday, July 6th, by bringing service members of the USS Gettysburg ported at Mayport Navy Station in Jacksonville, FL. The USS Gettysburg and her sister ships are designed to protect carrier battle-groups from all threats - air, surface, or subsurface - while being capable of striking land targets. The Gettysburg's primary mission is to be prepared to conduct prompt, sustained combat operations at sea in support of a carrier battle group or amphibious assault group, protecting those groups from saturation attacks and contributing to power projection ashore. Troops to the Track will be expanded to include service member's families during NASCAR: An American Salute, which begins at the Coca-Cola 600 and runs through the Coke Zero 400 on July 4th weekend. NASCAR: An American Salute is a six-week industry-wide effort to honor and celebrate the service of current Armed Forces members, veterans, and their families.(AFF)(7-4-2013)

  • Changes coming to Daytona after the Coke Zero 400: Following the Coke Zero 400, Daytona International Speedway will embark on a journey to create a world-class facility with premium amenities, one that will redefine the event experience for motorsports fans and provide unparalleled amenities for its guests and partners. In early June, the Speedway received approval to redevelop its historic frontstretch through a multi-year project which is targeted for completion in January 2016, in time for the 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona and the 58th Daytona 500. While construction for the redevelopment project will begin after the 2013 Coke Zero 400 NASCAR weekend, the Speedway on Friday, July 5, will kick-off the redevelopment project with a ceremonial groundbreaking event - the DAYTONA Rising 500. The DAYTONA Rising 500 is the first and only event of its kind- a competition featuring current and past drivers to earn the right to become the official "groundbreakers" of this highly anticipated project. Three teams of drivers are trading in their familiar stock cars for branded CAT 950 Wheel Loaders (featuring stylized numbers) to complete a series of challenges on a unique course behind the frontstretch grandstands near the Sprint Tower. The winning driver(s) will then head to a staged excavator for a ceremonial first dig, complete with confetti, fireworks and flashbulbs.(DIS)(7-3-2013)

  • Flyover set for Daytona: Coke Zero 400 fans won't hear the roar of high-powered military jets over the Speedway at the end of the national anthem, but they will be entertained with vintage warbirds. As the sequester budget cuts continue to keep military jets grounded, Daytona International Speedway has secured a group of eight World War II-type aircraft to perform the pre-race flyover at the July 6 race. "It will be a little different than a typical military flyover," Speedway President Joie Chitwood said. "It will be fun and appropriate. At the end of the day, we have to make sure our fans like it, and I know they will." The Speedway didn't have to pay for the military flyovers, and officials won't say how much they paid the Florida-based squad known as the "Affordable Warbird." For Bill "Pirate" Mills of Palm Coast, a former decorated U.S. Navy pilot who flew F-18 fighter jets, the performance is extra special since he is based locally. "It's a real nice honor," said Mills, 50, owner of Blue Sky Yakrobatics who has performed in air shows since 2002 and derives his nickname from his former squadron in Operation Desert Storm. For the Coke Zero 400, the warbirds will fly in formation from the west side of the Speedway at Turn 1 and Turn 2, trailing smoke as they head out to the east. The flyover will be "more visual for fans and you can really hear the engines" of the vintage planes, said Mills, president of the technology company TBD Partners and an organizer of the Wings over Flagler air show. Lead pilot, Hank "Hoot" Gibson, a former decorated Navy pilot who flew with Mills in the first Gulf War, said flying at the Coke Zero 400 is even more special for veterans because it's near "Independence Day and celebrating freedom and everything the country stands for." "When NASCAR calls, we pay attention," the 51-year-old from Orange Park said. "This is about the biggest (stage) we've done." The group has performed since 2009 at other sporting events, including American Le Mans Series events; the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville; the Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins football games; and the Players Golf Championship.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(7-1-2013)

  • Bobby Allison named Grand Marshal for the Subway Firecracker 250: Three-time Daytona 500 champion Bobby Allison will serve as Grand Marshal for the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night, July 5 at Daytona International Speedway. Allison will give the starting command to the 43-car field that will do battle in the 100-lap, 250-mile race. Allison, a NASCAR Hall of Famer, is one of the most successful drivers in Daytona history. In addition to his three victories in "The Great American Race," Allison won the July NASCAR Sprint Cup Series summer race another three times. Overall, Allison has 16 career victories at Daytona, which puts him third on the all-time list. "We're honored to have Bobby Allison serve as Grand Marshal for the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola," President Joie Chitwood III said. "Bobby has won his share of 'Firecrackers' at Daytona and we're looking forward to hearing his command and kicking off an exciting NASCAR Nationwide summer race." The July NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Daytona is bearing a legendary name in 2013 - the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola. 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 from 1959 through 1988. The Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola is also the first "Dash 4 Cash" race, which is bonus program where the top four drivers to receive NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship points are eligible for a $100,000 bonus. The stars of NASCAR return to Daytona International Speedway on July 5-6. Tickets to the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(6-29-2013)

  • "Grown Ups 2" Stars named Grand Marshals for the Coke Zero 400: Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Shaquille O'Neal, the stars of the upcoming comedy "Grown Ups 2," in theaters July 12, will serve as Grand Marshals for the 55th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 6 at Daytona International Speedway. Sandler, James and O'Neal will give the starting command - "Drivers, start your engines" - in the Independence Day holiday classic. They will also be introduced at the driver's meeting, participate in pre-race ceremonies, and ride in the Grand Marshal cars during the pace laps prior to the green flag of the 160-lap, 400-mile race.
    "We're pleased to welcome three of the stars of 'Grown Ups 2' and have them take part in the pre-race ceremonies for one of NASCAR's most exciting nighttime races," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "Combining Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Shaquille O'Neal, we're expecting a boisterous and powerful starting command in front of thousands of race fans and millions more watching on TNT."
    This marks the fourth time that Sandler has served as Grand Marshal for a NASCAR event, having previously served at Talladega once and Michigan twice. This will also mark Kevin James' return to Daytona and his third time as NASCAR Grand Marshal; James also previously paced the Toyota All Star showdown and did a few test laps at Texas Motor Speedway. In addition, the film's producer, Jack Giarraputo, is chairman of the board of Fuel, a NASCAR management company.
    The stars of NASCAR return to Daytona International Speedway on July 5-6. Tickets to the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(6-28-2013)

  • Daytona reinforcing crossover gates: With racing action returning to Daytona International Speedway in just under two weeks, a project to reinforce crossover gates in the track safety fencing that failed to stop crash debris from injuring fans in a February race started this week. The work will be completed prior to the Coke Zero 400 weekend July 5-6, Speedway spokesman Andrew Booth said Friday. The reinforcements were prompted by a last lap crash in the DRIVE4COPD Nationwide Series race on Feb. 23 that destroyed a car driven by rookie Kyle Larson. Pieces of Larson's car slammed into the fence, sending a wheel and other parts flying into the stands through one of the crossover gates, injuring more than 30 spectators. Additional steel cables were recommended to create a "redundant system to enhance continuity to the gate area," Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said in April. The track also planned to add tethering between the gate frame and posts of the crossover areas. Chitwood said the key was "how that whole system was in place and creating some redundancy with it to make sure that it's as strong as possible." Chitwood said track officials did not discuss removing the crossover gates, adding they served a purpose for fans and industry personnel.(Dayonta Beach News-Journal)(6-22-2013)

  • Fireworks to Serve as Finale for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona: Following the 55th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 6, there will be a big celebration in Gatorade Victory Lane for the winning team and driver of the mid-summer classic. There will also be a massive celebration in the sky thanks to Fireworks By Santore, which will once again deliver race fans the largest fireworks show in the Southeast. Fireworks By Santore will illuminate the sky of Daytona International Speedway with a 15-minute show shot from 15 different locations located along the backstretch. It will take seven days and a crew of 10 from Fireworks By Santore to set up the show, which is electronically fired using state-of-the-art digital firing equipment. The show will begin with red and white fireworks for 30 seconds and the finale will last for approximately one minute, 30 seconds and will have over 2,000 individual pieces. The show uses enough control wire to wrap a lap and a half around the legendary 2.5-mile tri-oval.(DIS)(6-21-2013)

  • ISC approves Daytona frontstretch redevelopment: International Speedway Corporation approved funding to redevelop the frontstretch of Daytona International Speedway, the Company's 54-year-old flagship motorsports facility, to enhance the overall experience for its fans, marketing partners and the motorsports industry. This historic, multi-year project will break ground on July 5, 2013, and is targeted for completion in January 2016, in time for the 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona and the 58th DAYTONA 500. The redevelopment is expected to cost between $375 million to $400 million, excluding capitalized interest. The Company expects to fund the redevelopment from cash on hand, cash from its operations and may use borrowings on its credit facility for a limited period of time to even out cash flow.
    The vision for the redevelopment of the Daytona International Speedway frontstretch places an emphasis on enhancing the complete fan experience, beginning with five expanded and redesigned fan entrances, or injectors, along International Speedway Boulevard. Each injector would lead directly to a series of escalators and elevators that would transport fans to any of three different concourse levels, each featuring spacious and strategically-placed social "neighborhoods" along the nearly mile-long frontstretch.
    A total of 11 neighborhoods, each measuring the size of a football field, will enable fans to meet and socialize during events without ever missing any on-track action, thanks to an open-sightline design throughout each concourse and dozens of added video screens in every neighborhood. The central neighborhood, dubbed the "World Center of Racing," would celebrate the history of Daytona International Speedway and its many unforgettable moments throughout more than 50 years of racing.
    Every seat in the Speedway frontstretch will be replaced with wider and more comfortable seating, with more restrooms and concession stands throughout the facility. At the conclusion of the redevelopment, Daytona International Speedway will be comprised of approximately 101,000 permanent seats with the potential to increase permanent seating to 125,000.
    There will be no capacity changes for the 2014 DAYTONA 500. The eventual decrease in capacity could occur in stages following the 2014 DAYTONA 500 and will include the complete removal of the backstretch grandstand by the start of the 2016 motorsports season. By moving all seating to the frontstretch, all attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy a full race day experience including pre-race ceremonies, pit road action and the facility's new amenities.(DIS)(6-18-2013)

  • Four Medal of Honor Recipients to be Honored During Coke Zero 400 Weekend: For the fifth consecutive year, Daytona International Speedway will honor four Congressional Medal of Honor recipients during the 55th annual Coke Zero 400 Weekend on July 4-6. The Medal of Honor recipients, all from the Vietnam War, are:
    · Walter J. (Joe) Marm, Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army
    · Gary Littrell, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army
    · Robert Patterson, Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army
    · Bruce Crandall, Major, U.S. Army
    While it's the fifth straight year that Daytona International Speedway has honored Medal of Honor recipients during the Coke Zero 400 Weekend, the program was actually first started back in the 1970s by the Bill France Sr. All four Medal of Honor recipients will be recognized during a special luncheon on Friday at the Bill France Room, will attend driver's meetings and participate in pre-race ceremonies for both the Subway Firecracker 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night, July 5 and the Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night, July 6. During Saturday's 55th annual Coke Zero 400, a special salute will take place for the four Medal of Honor recipients during pre-race ceremonies. In addition, the four Medal of Honor recipients will take part in an autograph session with race fans in the Sprint FANZONE on Saturday prior to the Coke Zero 400. The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It's bestowed on a member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself or herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States. Tickets to the Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Subway Firecracker 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(6-18-2013)

  • Area Hotels Offer Discounted Rates with No Minimum Night Stays for Coke Zero 400 Weekend: Daytona International Speedway launched a special promotion with area hotels to provide race fans with the best deals possible when they attend the upcoming Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola on July 5-6. During the month of June, fans who book their stays at participating hotels will receive at least a 10 percent discount off regular rates. In addition, these area hotels will not require a minimum night stay to participate in the promotion - the discounted rates are good for one night or multiple nights.
    Participating hotels include the Bahama House and Best Western Aku Tiki in Daytona Beach, the Holiday Inn Express Orange City and Clarion Hotel in DeLand (approximately 20 miles from the speedway), the Marriott and Westin hotels in Lake Mary (approximately 35 miles from the speedway) and the Legacy Vacation Club Palm Coast (approximately 35 miles from the speedway). A complete list of participating hotels and special promotional codes can be found on daytonainternationalspeedway.com/hotels.
    Tickets to the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(6-6-2013)

  • Daytona 500 tickets on sale: Tickets to the 56th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 23 - NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race - will go on sale Thursday, May 30 at 9:00am/et. Tickets for the Daytona 500, which was won earlier this year for a second time by Jimmie Johnson, will start at $65. The Speedway will once again offer special youth pricing for the 56th annual Daytona 500. Children 12 and under will receive 50 percent off all backstretch grandstand seats for the Daytona 500 while supplies last. In addition to the 56th annual Daytona 500, tickets for Budweiser Speedweeks 2014 events will be available for purchase including the DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, the inaugural nighttime running of the Budweiser Duel, The Sprint Unlimited At Daytona and Lucas Oil 200 Presented By MAV TV American Real doubleheader and Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger.(DIS)(5-29-2013)

  • "The 48 Experience" Daytona Ticket Package: Jimmie Johnson, five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and the two-time Daytona 500 winner, has teamed up with Daytona International Speedway for a special ticket package named "The 48 Experience" for the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event on Saturday night, July 6 at the "World Center of Racing." The special ticket package, available starting at $48 per ticket for adults and $10 for children 12 and under, includes:
    · A grandstand ticket to the Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 6
    · 15-minute question-and-answer session with Johnson inside the air-conditioned Velocitorium that is located outside Turn 4
    · Prior to the question-and-answer session, children will have the opportunity to put together a Lowe's Build and Grow race car
    · Special Daytona International Speedway giveaways
    Tickets for "The 48 Experience" ticket package are available at daytonainternationalspeedway.com/48 or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(5-23-2013)

  • Daytona offers #88 package for July race: Daytona International Speedway will offer a special ticket package for the upcoming Sprint Cup Series event on Saturday night, July 6 at the "World Center of Racing" that includes a question and answer session with #88 National Guard driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. The #88 Package, available starting at $88 per ticket for adults and $35 for children 12 and under, includes:
    " A grandstand ticket to the 160-lap, 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 6 at Daytona International Speedway
    " 15-minute question-and-answer session with Dale Earnhardt Jr. inside an air-conditioned tent in the frontstretch hospitality village
    " $10 in Daytona Dollars that can be used for food and non-alcoholic beverages at any Daytona International Speedway concession stand
    " Special Daytona International Speedway giveaways
    Tickets for No. 88 Package are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/88 or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(5-13-2013)

  • Daytona launches mobile ticketing site: Daytona International Speedway, which will next showcase the stars of NASCAR on July 5-6 for the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola, launched a new, mobile-friendly option that makes it even easier for race fans to purchase tickets to a wide variety of events directly from their smartphones. The new mobile ticketing site gives race fans the ability to easily purchase event tickets at the "World Center of Racing," Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access and much more. Fans can simply visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com on a mobile device and select the "Tickets" link next to an event. Moovweb helped launched the new mobile ticketing site at Daytona International Speedway as well as the other 12 International Speedway Corporation facilities.(DIS)(5-11-2013)

  • Sheryl Crow to perform pre-race concert for Coke Zero 400: Nine-time Grammy winner Sheryl Crow, whose long list of hits include "All I Wanna Do," "Soak Up The Sun" and her latest single "Easy," will perform a hour-long pre-race concert prior to the 55th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 6 at Daytona International Speedway. Through a special VIP Ticket Package, race fans can get unprecedented access to the 60-minute pre-race concert that will be staged on pit road in the tri-oval area of the "World Center of Racing." With packages starting at $115, the VIP Ticket Package includes: A reserved grandstand ticket for the Coke Zero 400, Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access, Admission to the VIP viewing area in front of the stage for the pre-race concert by Crow. VIP Ticket Packages can be purchased online.(DIS)(5-10-2013)

  • Daytona upgrades in doubt after bill's failure: The Florida Legislature has ended its 2013 session, passing the largest budget in state history. But the legislature did not deliver tax subsidies that would have benefited Daytona International Speedway's ambitious development plans. Indeed, Speedway President Joie Chitwood said that the failure to pass the legislation is sending the flagship track for the International Speedway Corporation back to the drawing board to decide the feasibility of the track's plans. "We are clearly disappointed by the outcome last week in the Florida Legislature," Chitwood said in a statement released on Tuesday. " We made a very compelling case for what could have been a successful public/private partnership with the State of Florida to create jobs and generate real economic growth. We also had substantial local, regional and statewide support. However, given this setback to our project, we are forced to reassess the proposed redevelopment and closely examine a number of factors such as its timing, size and scope, before we decide on next steps." Last October, Chitwood announced plans that would develop the area around the Speedway as a business and entertainment complex. And last January, he unveiled additional plans for the Speedway itself, adding a new tower, additional entrances and a fourth tier of seats along the front straight.(Autoweek)(5-8-2013)

  • Talladega, Daytona to reinforce crossover gates: Two NASCAR tracks will reinforce their crossover gates with extra cables following the February Nationwide Series crash at Daytona International Speedway that injured at least 28 fans. Talladega Superspeedway, which hosts a pair of NASCAR races next weekend, has implemented the changes to all of their gates after an engineering firm hired by Daytona made the recommendations after reviewing data from the Feb. 23 crash. Kyle Larson's car made contact with a gate opening on the last lap, sending an engine, tire and debris flying into the stands and injuring several fans. Daytona track president Joie Chitwood III said the additional cables will be added for redundancy in the system. The track will also put tethers between the gate frame and the posts. That work will be completed in time for the July 5-6 races there. Chitwood said the removal of the gates was not considered, nor was it an option to move seats back further from the fence area. Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's senior vice president of operations, said Larson's car is still being evaluated and there will be no immediate changes made in regard to safety. In addition, O'Donnell said no changes are expected with the restrictor plate at Talladega next week - including a smaller plate that would slow the cars down.(USA Today)(4-25-2013)

  • Daytona Beach Half Marathon Returns To Speedweeks: The Daytona Beach Half Marathon returns to the Budweiser Speedweeks lineup in 2014. Scheduled for Sunday, February 16, the sixth annual Daytona Beach Half Marathon, hosted by Volusia County, Daytona International Speedway and the Central Florida Sports Commission will take place one week before the 56th annual "The Great American Race" - the Daytona 500. Registration will open on Wednesday, April 17, with the advanced entry fee for the Daytona Beach Half Marathon set at $85 per person. The half marathon will start at 6:30am/et, just hours after The Sprint Unlimited At Daytona finishes up under the lights on Saturday night, and lead into DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger on Sunday afternoon. The Daytona Beach Half Marathon's route, named one of the seven most scenic half marathons in America by Active.com, features one of the most unique courses in the running world. With the legendary pavement and historic grandstands of Daytona International Speedway serving as the backdrop, runners will start on pit road and run the first two miles on the track. The course then winds through the streets of Daytona Beach, finally reaching "The World's Most Famous Beach" at approximately the 7.1 mile mark. Runners will then run on the beach for approximately two-tenths 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 then head back to the Speedway for the finish and a trip to Gatorade Victory Lane.(DIS)(4-12-2013)

  • ISC pays insurance deductible on Nationwide crash: Daytona International Speedway parent company International Speedway Corporation has paid a $1.1 million deductible in insurance costs related to the treatment of injuries for more than 30 fans hurt by debris Feb 23. On the final lap of the Nationwide Series race, the car driven by Kyle Larson got airborne and hit the catch fence in the area that can be unattached to allow fans and officials to go to and from the stands before and after a race. Fourteen people were admitted to the hospital following the accident. All have been released, ISC President John Saunders told financial analysts Thursday. In discussing its financial results for the first quarter of 2013 (December-February), ISC chief financial officer Dan Houser said the company had paid $1.1 million for the insurance deductible because of the Larson accident. The actual amounts expected to be paid out by insurance were not disclosed. According to the standard NASCAR sanctioning agreement filed by Dover International Speedway with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, tracks are required to carry $50 million in insurance to cover costs of injuries and lawsuits arising from NASCAR races.(Sporting News)(4-5-2013)

  • Daytona crash investigation continues: The investigation into a last-lap crash at Daytona International Speedway that resulted in injuries to at least 28 fans has yet to be completed, according to NASCAR officials and those affiliated with the 2.5-mile facility. The car of development driver Kyle Larson was launched into the catchfence along the frontstretch on the final lap of the Drive4COPD 300, and debris from Larson's car was thrown into the grandstands. "As far as the accident at Daytona, we're still in the middle of it and trying to see how everything falls together," Wayne Auton, NASCAR Nationwide Series director, said March 26. Thus far, he said, a determination has not been made as to whether changes will be required before the series returns to the facility later this year. "As we do at any venue that we go to, if we see that any changes need to be made, then we'll check into it," he said. Lenny Santiago, Senior Director of Public Relations for Daytona International Speedway, said the track's examination of the fencing and whether modifications might be necessary was also yet to be completed. "We are working with an outside engineering firm," Santiago said via e-mail, "to help us determine what, if any changes we should implement going forward." A representative with Turner Scott Motorsports said it is also the organization's understanding that the investigation has not been completed at this time.(NASCAR.com)(3-28-2013)

  • NASCAR promoter lobbies for tens of millions in tax breaks: International Speedway Corp. and NASCAR promoter just won an extension of a lucrative tax break from the federal government. The company says interest among its most avid fans is at a five-year high. And it has signed a new television deal with Fox Sports valued at more than $2.4 billion over eight years - a 36% jump over its current TV-rights deal. ISC is lobbying the state Legislature for a package of tax breaks that could save it close to $100 million during the next 30 years. ISC says the tax breaks would help persuade it to go forward with a sweeping renovation and expansion of Daytona International Speedway, home of the storied Daytona 500 and other racing events. The company's tentative plans call for everything from the installation of escalators, concourses and wider seats in the grandstand itself to a mixed-use commercial development just across the street. Adding pressure to get a deal done, ISC executives say the amount of money they ultimately decide to invest in the project is directly tied to whether the Legislature gives the company its tax breaks. "It's definitely going to affect whether or not it [the project] gets approved or at what size or scope," said Joie Chitwood III, an ISC vice president and the president of Daytona International Speedway. The legislation (HB 1049, SB 1394) was initially written by ISC lobbyists. It is being sponsored in the Legislature by a pair of Volusia County Republicans: Sen. Dorothy Hukill of Port Orange and Rep. David Santiago of Deltona.(Orlando Sentinel)(3-20-2013)

  • Two more Daytona fans get lawyer: Two more fans injured in the Feb. 23 Nationwide Series crash at Daytona have retained an Orlando, Fla.-based attorney to seek personal injury claims. Attorney Matt Morgan now represents six of the people who were injured when Kyle Larson's car went airborne into the catch fence, sending debris flying into the front-stretch stands on the last lap of the race. At least 28 fans were injured in the wreck. NASCAR and International Speedway Corporation have retained a Miami-based law firm to handle the claims. Morgan said he is working "diligently'' with NASCAR and ISC legal representation -- Cole, Scott & Kissane, Pa. -- to settle the issue without going to trial. Meanwhile, one of the two who had remained at Daytona Beach's Halifax Health in stable condition has been released. According to a hospital spokesman and Twitter, the 14-year-old brother of Becket McGinn was released and had headed home.(ESPN)(3-9-2013)

  • NASCAR retains law firm for Daytona crash: NASCAR and International Speedway Corporation have retained a Miami-based law firm to handle claims from fans injured in a Feb. 23 Nationwide Series crash. At least 28 fans were injured when Kyle Larson's car went airborne into the catch fence, sending debris flying into the front stretch stands on the last lap of the race. NASCAR is conducting an investigation to see if the catch fence did its job, focusing on the area around a crossover gate where the engine of Larson's car ripped through. Orlando, Fla., based attorney Matt Morgan told ESPN.com a fourth client recently retained him to seek compensation for burns suffered as a result of the crash. Morgan said he is working "diligently" with NASCAR and ISC legal representation -- Cole, Scott & Kissane, Pa. -- to settle the issue without going to trial. Meanwhile, the two most seriously injured fans remain at Halifax Health in stable condition, according to a hospital spokesperson.(ESPN)(3-6-2013)

  • Gate area a concern after crash: The Daytona crash investigation will focus on the gate area of the fencing and how improvements can be made before the next superspeedway race at Talladega, Ala., in May, NASCAR senior vice president Steve O'Donnell said Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway. A terrifying last-lap crash one week ago in the Nationwide race at Daytona caused parts of a car to break through the frontstretch catch fence, injuring 28 spectators, including two critically. O'Donnell said those two individuals are the only people who remain hospitalized, but added, "We are optimistic of their release, as well." O'Donnell said Dr. Dean Sicking, designer of the SAFER barrier, along with engineers from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, have been brought in as part of the investigation. "We've had multiple meetings this week," O'Donnell said. "Superspeedway racing at Daytona and Talladega is the first concentration for us. We have a race coming up in May at Talladega, so anything we can learn to apply at Talladega, we will do that."(ESPN.com)(3-3-2013)

  • Racing officials huddle on safety fencing: The engineer behind the most significant safety initiative of this motor sports era - the energy-absorbing SAFER barrier that covers the concrete walls of major race tracks - said Thursday that an alternative to steel debris fencing will eventually be designed. But it will take time and money, highway safety expert Dean Sicking stressed. "None of it is trivial," he said. "But this problem will be solved." Attention to racetrack fencing started after SAFER barriers were first installed at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2002. A group of industry experts have been meeting regularly, most recently last week at the IndyCar office. Coincidentally, that meeting was held two days prior to Saturday's crash in NASCAR's Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway. At least 28 spectators were struck by debris from Kyle Larson's car that smashed into the fence. Fences are charged with many tasks, led by keeping a race car from flying into grandstands. They also must collect as much debris as possible while not forcing the car into a sudden stop - known as pocketing - that subjects the driver to extra forces. Then there is the issue of fence posts, which were the contributing factor in Dan Wheldon's fatal crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011. Sicking has said the next generation of fences should hang from cables that cars can't reach. Complicating matters is visibility for spectators. A Plexiglas material is used in hockey arenas, but Kevin Forbes, director of engineering at IMS, said there are distortion issues when placing the material over a large area. "Plexiglas is just going to completely and totally ruin the sight lines," he said. "When you start looking left and right a half of a mile, the distortion in Plexiglas is unacceptable. Then you're introducing something else that can break (when struck) and become flyable, and the cost is enormous." Sicking said there's a similar material that has been used along highway bridges for noise reduction and visibility, but that's expensive, too. A more likely option, he said, is using a combination of materials in the current fences to make the system flex better.(in part from the Indianapolis Star)(3-2-2013)

  • Two fans injured in Daytona crash released from hospital UPDATE: Two fans injured in the crash at Daytona International Speedway Saturday were released from Halifax Health on Tuesday, leaving five remaining from the more than 30 fans that were injured from flying debris in the Nationwide Series crash. Hospital spokesman Byron Cogdell said five patients injured in the crash remain in the hospital and are still being treated for injuries related to the incident. The patients have been stable since Monday.(Sporting News)
    UPDATE: Five of the seven injured fans taken to Halifax Health in Daytona Beach, Fla. following Saturday's horrific Nationwide Series crash have been released from the hospital. The two that remain are in stable condition, a hospital spokesperson told ESPN.com on Thursday. At least 28 fans were injured by debris when Kyle Larson's car went airborne into the catch fence on the last lap of the Nationwide opener at Daytona International Speedway. Fourteen were treated and released at the track. The most serious were transported to Halifax Health. Two were listed in critical condition, one life-threatening with head trauma, upon arrival. They remain hospitalized (ESPN)(2-28-2013)

  • NASCAR, Speedway to oversee Daytona NNS crash probe: An investigation into the crash that injured 28 fans when debris flew into the grandstands at Daytona International Speedway will be conducted by the track and NASCAR, and not by any outside agency. NASCAR and Speedway officials said Monday they would dedicate significant time and resources into investigating what could be done to prevent a repeat of the crash and determine if any safety improvements are needed to protect fans -- their "number one priority." The Speedway and NASCAR, which governs and sanctions stock car racing, said they have no timetable for completing the investigation. But they said no government agency would be called in nor would they be required to file reports with any public agency. NASCAR will dedicate "significant time and resources into getting the right answer," said David Higdon, NASCAR's managing director, integrated marketing communications, adding it may take days, weeks or even months to complete the review.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-26-2013)

  • Injured planning to sue DIS: Three spectators injured by the wreck at Daytona International Speedway have contracted with the personal injury law firm of Morgan and Morgan, and four more have made appointments, firm founder John Morgan said Monday. Morgan said of the three under contract, one has a broken leg and another has a head injury. He was checking with his firm on the third person's injuries. None of the injuries of those seeking legal help with the firm were life-threatening, he said. A Speedway attorney said he would not comment on possible litigation. The potential legal fight to come will involve the "assumption of risk" when someone attends a sporting event, whether it's a race at the Speedway or a basketball game with players driving toward the hoop, said Morgan of Ponce Inlet, whose firm has offices in four states. "When you go to a sporting event, if you are underneath the basket that's where your seat is and Shaquille O'Neal comes after a loose ball and dislocates your shoulder, you sat there knowing that was a risk," Morgan said. But Morgan said in the case of the Speedway fans, they expected the fence to keep them safe when Kyle Larson's car slammed into the wall near the finish line of the NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 on Saturday. The car broke apart, spraying a car tire and debris through a 22-foot grandstand fence into the crowd. At least 28 fans were injured.(in part from the Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-26-2013)

  • Hendrick willing to help delvelop better fence tech: Winning Daytona 500 team owner Rick Hendrick wants to find out what allowed the front clip of Kyle Larson's car to be sheared off in Saturday's Nationwide Series race. He is willing to work with NASCAR to develop technology that will help prevent another such incident that left 28 fans injured when debris flew into the stands. Larson's car went airborne into the catch fence on a horrific last-lap crash. The engine, built by Hendrick Motorsports, was separated from the car and landed on the concrete in front of the Campbell grandstands between sections H and I. One of the tires with the hub attached sailed over the fence and hit two fans, sending both to nearby Halifax Heath with critical injuries, one life-threatening. Both, according to a hospital representative on Monday, are stable and no longer critical. "I think the fence did its job,'' Hendrick said during Monday's Daytona 500 champion's breakfast for driver Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team. "I've never seen the clip come off before. They say they haven't found parts of the transmission. "What happened to the clip, there might be something else we can do. I've never seen that happen.''(ESPN)(2-25-2013)

  • Updates on the Nationswide Series Wreck at Daytona: posted many updates and retweets of the news on the Jayski twitter page;
    Some news and updates:
    A horrific multicar crash moments before the end of the Nationwide Series race Saturday at Daytona International Speedway caused Kyle Larson's car to become airborne into the frontstretch catch fencing, shearing off the front half of the car and leaving large pieces of the vehicle inside the fencing.
    Sergeant John Creamer of the Daytona Beach Police said 17 fans were injured with two suffering "major injuries." Eleven were sent to Halifax Medical Center, with one adult in surgery with head trauma and listed in critical condition. The other major injury is to a 14-year-old. Six fans were transported to Florida Memorial Hospital with minor injuries, and are expected to be treated and released.
    At least one tire from Larson's car flew into the seating area at Daytona. Police officers and NASCAR safety officials quickly ran to the location where part of the car went through the fencing, destroying one section of the catch fence.(see much more at ESPN.com)
    AND A violent 12-car crash at the end of the DRIVE4COPD 300 sent a tire and other debris flying over the grandstand fence at Daytona International Speedway, injuring at least 15 bystanders, some critically, among the crowds watching the race from the grandstands. A Halifax Health Medical Center official confirmed just before 6 p.m. that 11 spectators are being treated in the hospital's emergency room and two of them are critically injured. Four others are on trauma alert and five are being treated as non-trauma cases, the official said. Lindsay Rew, spokeswoman for Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center, confirmed that one patient was being treated there and three more were on the way. NASCAR just announced that they would conduct a press conference at 7 p.m.
    Dozens of safety workers went into the stands and carried several people out on stretchers to a line of at least eight ambulances waiting below and behind the stands. Safety workers appeared to carry patients from at least two sections of the grandstands on the upper deck and from a section of the lower deck.
    At 5:30 p.m., NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said "we are continuing to assess the situation, taking care of those involved."
    (Daytona Beach News Journal)
    Statement at 7:00pm/et: Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood and NASCAR SVP Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell are scheduled to address media at approx 7:00pm/et in the media center at DIS.
    AND SPEED remains live from Daytona International Speedway and surrounding facililities following a major last-lap crash at the conclusions of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Debris from the incident made it into the grandstands and several fans are reported injured. SPEED will cut into regularly scheduled program to provide live coverage of any press conference from NASCAR and/or track officials throughout the evening.
    UPDATE: Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood and NASCAR SVP Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell held a press conference at 7:00pm/et:
    the STATEMENT: Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III provided the following statement Saturday evening: "First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with our race fans. Following incident, we responded appropriately according to safety protocols and had emergency medical personnel at incident immediately. We transported 14 people off property and 14 were treated at our on-track care center. We are in the process of repairing the facility & will be ready to go racing tomorrow."(Compiled from Daytona International Speedway's Twitter)
    Latest UPDATE: Two fans are in critical condition, including one child, after a horrific crash on the final lap of the Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday. Twenty-eight people suffered some sort of injury. Fourteen were treated at the track, and 14 others were taken to hospitals. Halifax Health spokesman Byron Cogdell said 12 people were brought in, seven for treatment from the crash and five for heat exhaustion and other issues. Two of the seven were in critical condition, including one child. The other has life-threatening injuries because of head trauma. Daytona Beach Police public information officer Jimmie Flynt said another six people were transported to Halifax Urgent Care in Port Orange for minor injuries, and one additional person was transported to Florida Memorial for minor injuries.(USA Today)
    AND from SPEED's Twitter: "Reports say 2 fans in critical condition have now been stabilized w/ no life-threatening injuries". Updates about the race on my Nationwide Series site
    UPDATE 9am Two fans previously listed in critical condition, including one child, have been upgraded Sunday morning after a horrific crash on the final lap of the Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday. Twenty-eight people suffered some sort of injury. Fourteen were treated at the track, and the others were taken to hospitals. Halifax Health spokesman Byron Cogdell said 12 people were brought in there, seven for treatment from the crash and five for heat exhaustion and other issues. Two of the seven had been in critical condition, including one with life-threatening injuries because of head trauma. But Codgell said Sunday morning that the patients were no longer listed in critical condition. Daytona Beach Police public information officer Jimmie Flynt said another six people were transported to Halifax Urgent Care in Port Orange for minor injuries, and one additional person was transported to Florida Memorial for minor injuries.(USA Today)
    Catch Fence update: Daytona International Speedway has repaired the front stretch catch fence that was severely damaged in Saturday's horrific Nationwide Series crash and is prepared to run Sunday's Daytona 500. "We met with NASCAR,'' Daytona Speedway president Joie Chitwood said on Sunday. "We reviewed all the repairs we made last evening. We worked late into the evening and are prepared to go racing today.'' Repairs to the fence were completed around 2:00am/et. A track-access gate that was destroyed was not replaced. Chitwood said there were no concerns for the safety of fans in the 500. He said the 22-foot high catch fence was installed in 2010 after recommendations by engineers following the 2009 crash at Talladega Superspeedway in which Carl Edwards' car sailed into the fence and injured fans. Chitwood said the track worked well into the night helping those injured, from transporting those released to their hotels to making sure they had accommodations for the 500. Chitwood said the track is willing to relocate any fans sitting on the front stretch that are uncomfortable with their seats.(ESPN)(2-24-2013)

  • ISC teams up with Drive to End Hunger: International Speedway Corporation (ISC) announced a year-long commitment to help fight older adult hunger in support of Drive to End Hunger, an initiative by AARP and AARP Foundation to help the nearly nine million older Americans who face the threat of hunger every day.
    "Today's announcement means that there will still be good news coming out of ISC tracks after the checkered flag falls on raceday," said Jeff Gordon, four-time NASCAR Cup series champion and driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS for Hendrick Motorsports. "The commitment by ISC and Americrown will help a lot of people who struggle to put food on the table."
    "We are privileged to support the great work of Jeff Gordon and the AARP Foundation with their Driver to End Hunger efforts," stated ISC Chief Executive Office Lesa France Kennedy. "Their programs represent the compassion of ISC's family of motorsports facilities and our commitment to being a good neighbor. We want to do everything we can to support our communities. They are important to us, they are important to the sport, and solving the hunger epidemic should be important to everyone in America."
    All twelve ISC member tracks, led by ISC's primary food and beverage concessions operator, Americrown Services Corporation, as well as Levy Restaurants at Chicagoland Speedway, will donate extra food from NASCAR race weekends to local food banks on behalf of Drive to End Hunger throughout the 2013 season. AARP Foundation and Americrown will work with local food banks to receive the donations, which are expected to include bread, produce and other food items. This week, Americrown and the Daytona International Speedway will donate extra food from the Daytona 500 to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. "We're pleased to extend our partnership with Drive to End Hunger," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood. "In addition to helping to increase awareness for the issue of senior hunger, we're thrilled to be a part of a program that will assist individuals right here in Volusia County, and many more across the nation."
    ISC and Americrown began working with Drive to End Hunger on food donation efforts in 2011. Since then, the collaboration has donated more than 70,000 pounds of food - the equivalent of approximately 54,000 meals - to local food banks near ISC tracks. "Millions of older Americans are forced to make impossible decisions about whether they can afford to eat, see a doctor, or stay in their home," said Jo Ann Jenkins, AARP Foundation president. "We are so proud to be working with ISC and Americrown to help make those choices a little easier in communities across the country."
    Drive to End Hunger is AARP and AARP Foundation's national effort to help the nearly 9 million older Americans who are facing hunger across the United States. Drive to End Hunger is not only raising awareness of the problem, but also the funds to fight it. Drive to End Hunger engages corporate sponsors and individuals across the country, as well as funds innovative programs with promising results that can be applied elsewhere to prevent hunger. All contributions to Drive to End Hunger go to support the hunger solutions of AARP Foundation.
    Since AARP and AARP Foundation launched Drive to End Hunger, it has donated nearly 16 million meals and driven corporate and individual donor commitments with an expected value of $18.1 million. All contributions to Drive to End Hunger go to support the hunger solutions of AARP Foundation.(HMS/DIS)(2-24-2013)

  • MIS part of the ServiceMaster Clean crew at the Daytona 500: The focus of NASCAR is on Daytona International Speedway for the 55th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday. And Michigan International Speedway's maintenance team will take on a significant role as part of the spectacle as proud members of the ServiceMaster Clean crew. The ServiceMaster Clean crew works with NASCAR and helps ensure the track stays clean, dry and ready for racing, driving and maintaining trucks and other track cleaning equipment. Four MIS team members and three of its ServiceMaster Clean jet dryers are at the Great American Race to assist. MIS Senior Director of Facilities Craig Hatch is getting first-hand experience at operating the new Air Titan track drying system NASCAR developed this year. While he hopes to not see action on Sunday, Hatch will be ready if necessary. Hatch will focus his efforts on operating the system to dry the track on the backstretch. In the group of three Air Titans on the backstretch, Hatch will be in the middle truck using a high-pressure air system to dry the track. He will be traveling 3-5 mph while watching the equipment behind him on a video monitor inside his vehicle. He will have three different angles to monitor the progress of the drying and to adjust to the circumstances. The three Air Titans operated by Hatch will be attached to three Ring Power CAT generators by a hose blowing compressed to air to the equipment. He will work in conjunction with a driver in semi hauling the generators to get the racing surface prepared. Specially built trucks will circle the bottom of the track and sweep up the excess water that is blown off by the Air Titan. ServiceMaster Clean jet dryers will continue to follow the entire system to complete the drying process. The entire system is to aid in preparing the track and returning to racing quicker. Hatch will not be the only member of the MIS Maintenance staff working on the ServiceMaster Clean crew. Tim Lamb, Ryan Clark and Gary Cox will each be operating ServiceMaster Clean jet dryers to aid in the clean-up process. Being a part of the ServiceMaster Clean crew is an important and historical significance for MIS. The jet dryer was invented at MIS, initially used as a mechanism to melt snow off the racetrack in wintertime in the 70s. Over time, MIS track officials began using the jet dryer to dry the track after rain delays during racing events. The new Air Titan track drying system debuted during Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. This innovative technology, steeped in science and created by the NASCAR Research & Development Center, will reduce track drying time, improve the racing product and enhance the fan experience. Tickets are on sale at MISpeedway.com or by phone at 800-354-1010.(MIS)(2-24-2013)

  • Ray Lewis to serve as Daytona 500 honorary starter: The retired Baltimore Ravens star, Ray Lewis, will serve as honorary starter for the Daytona 500. Lewis will wave the green flag to start the Daytona 500. Lewis ended his playing career in perfect fashion this month, directing a successful goal-line stand that provided him a second Super Bowl title. A 13-time Pro Bowl linebacker, Lewis announced his retirement Jan. 2.(Associated Press)(2-23-2013)

  • Mark Reuss Named Honorary Pace Car Driver for the 55th Annual Daytona 500: Mark Reuss, General Motors North America president, who was instrumental in bringing the new Chevrolet SS to NASCAR, will be the honorary pace car driver for the 55th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24. He will be behind the wheel of a 2014 production Chevrolet SS. "Leading the Daytona 500 starting field to green driving a 2014 Chevrolet SS pace car on one of the most famous race tracks in the world will be a special honor for me," Reuss said. "I can't wait to drive across the start/finish line and on into Turn 1. I know it will be difficult to turn down onto pit road when it's over because I will want to make that moment last as long as possible." The 2014 Chevrolet SS pace car has been busy during its Speedweeks debut, earlier pacing The Sprint Unlimited and both Budweiser Duels. The 2014 Chevrolet SS is the first V-8, rear-wheel drive performance sedan for Chevrolet since 1996. "The Chevrolet brand was largely built on the strength of rear-drive performance sedans, yet it's been 17 years since we've offered one," Reuss said when the production car was unveiled at the track last weekend. "The all-new Chevrolet SS fills that void and fills it better than any other vehicle in the brand's rich history. The comfort, convenience, spaciousness and V-8 power make the SS a total performance package unlike any other on the road today." Tickets for all Budweiser Speedweeks at Daytona events are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-23-2013)

  • Daytona International Speedway reveals more of Proposed Redevelopment Project: Daytona International Speedway (DIS) President Joie Chitwood this morning conducted the first in-depth, virtual "walk through" of what the iconic Speedway would look like as part of a proposed redevelopment project, one that Chitwood emphasized would be designed to reaffirm the Speedway's standing among race fans as "the world center of racing for years to come."
    The proposed project is subject to approval by senior management of the International Speedway Corporation (ISC), which owns Daytona International Speedway, pending several economic stability factors as well as construction design and costs. The project may also be impacted by state legislation that would include incentives for surpassing significant private investment levels.
    Speaking to nearly 300 media members and motorsports industry leaders this morning at the Speedway, Chitwood guided attendees through three-dimensional video renderings of what the redeveloped frontstretch structure would look like. The vision for the redevelopment places an emphasis on enhancing "the complete fan experience," beginning with five expanded and redesigned fan entrances ("injectors") along International Speedway Boulevard.
    Each injector would lead directly to a series of escalators that would transport fans to any of three different concourse levels, each featuring spacious and strategically-placed social "neighborhoods" along the mile-long frontstretch. The 11 neighborhoods, each measuring the size of a football field, would enable fans to meet and socialize during events without ever missing any on-track action, thanks to an open-sightline design throughout each concourse and dozens of added video screens in every neighborhood.
    The central neighborhood, the "World Center of Racing," would celebrate the history of Daytona International Speedway and its many historic moments throughout more than 50 years of racing. In addition, the redevelopment would see every seat in the Speedway frontstretch replaced with new and more comfortable seating, as well as the addition of more restrooms and concession stands within easier access points for all fans.
    To learn more about the potential project, fans can visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/redevelopment. Fans can also visit RedevelopDaytona.com to learn how they may be able to get involved in helping make this potential project a reality.(DIS)(2-22-2013)

  • Budweiser Duel moves to night in 2014: Daytona International Speedway announced Thursday that the Budweiser Duel 150-mile qualifying races for the Daytona 500 will be moved next year to a night-time start and be televised by Fox. "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,'' DIS president Joie Chitwood III said. "Moving the Budweiser Duel under the lights will add another dimension to Budweiser Speedweeks.'' The qualifying races join the Sprint Unlimited and the Camping World Truck Series race as night-time events during Speedweeks.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-21-2013)

  • July Daytona Nationwide race now named Subway Firecracker 250: 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. 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.(DIS)(2-20-2013)

  • Daytona International Speedway Provides Added Payment Options for its Fans: 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 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.(DIS)(2-11-2013)

  • Grand Marshal for Daytona 500 named: 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. 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 daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-8-2013)

  • Green Earth Technologies' G-OIL named Official Motor Oil of Daytona Daytona International Speedway announced a new partnership with Green Earth Technologies, Inc., naming the Florida-based makers of G-OIL, the first bio-based full synthetic oil used in NASCAR competition, as the "Official Motor Oil" of Daytona International Speedway and the Daytona 500. G-OIL made NASCAR history here at Daytona International Speedway in February 2012 when the TriStar Motorsports Toyota Camry driven by Tayler Malsam finished sixth in the DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series event. G-OIL is the world's first and only bio-based fully synthetic motor oil to receive American Petroleum Institute certification. G-OIL products will be used in all DIS official vehicles including fan shuttles, safety, maintenance, service and landscaping equipment.(DIS)(2-3-2013)

  • Future Daytona construction could impact Cup schedule: Daytona International Speedway could look vastly different in two or three years. Exactly how and when is still to be determined. And along those construction lines, comes the inevitable question of whether the track can spend a couple of years re-doing the entire frontstretch grandstands and façade without disrupting its traditional NASCAR race dates. DIS President Joie Chitwood, who unveiled some preliminary drawings last week of the project but has not yet gotten approval to build from the board of parent company International Speedway Corp., said he thinks 2014 would be too soon for any construction impact on the schedule. In discussing future schedules last week, NASCAR Senior Vice President Steve O'Donnell said the Daytona construction schedule would have to be considered when developing a schedule. Chitwood wouldn't rule out a change in Daytona race dates but without a proposed construction schedule, he couldn't predict whether one would be necessary. "Obviously we don't want to really change anything," Chitwood said. "We've got really good event weekends. They work for us. We love our July event - wrap ourselves with the American flag and celebrate the nation's birthday. And who doesn't love Daytona in February and starting off the season? But, look, if we get the opportunity to make some massive redevelopment in our property, we'll have to see how that all shakes out. It's way too early to see if that will change our schedule, and the goal would be not to have to do that."(Sporting News)(2-1-2013)

  • Daytona International Speedway unveils renderings for proposed redevelopment project: Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood unveiled the first conceptual renderings of a proposed multi-year redevelopment of the historic facility. During an address to the motorsports community this afternoon at NASCAR's annual "state of the sport" media event in Charlotte, N.C., Chitwood revealed the first images of what the redeveloped Daytona International Speedway could look like. The proposed project is designed to provide a better overall race experience for fans, including upgraded concession areas, entrances, ticket gates, grandstands and seating, as well as interactive common areas that allow for opportunities to watch a race from several vantage points (DIS).(1-24-2013)

    Images Courtesy of Daytona International Speedway

  • Zac Brown Band to Perform at the Daytona 500: Grammy-award winning musicians Zac Brown Band will perform the Daytona 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show leading up to the start of "The Great American Race" at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 24. Zac Brown Band will perform several songs prior to the start of the 55th annual Daytona 500 - the prestigious season-opening event to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the biggest stock car race in the world. Zac Brown Band member and Southern Ground recording artist Clay Cook will sing the National Anthem. All race fans that purchase a Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access pass for the Daytona 500 will be able to enjoy Zac Brown Band's Daytona 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show, as well as driver introductions, from the grass tri-oval area. In addition to his concert, a special ticket package designed around the Zac Brown Band has been created that includes a Daytona 500 grandstand ticket, Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access and VIP area access to Zac Brown Band's performance. Packages start at $164. Fans that already have race tickets can add Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access along with VIP area access for $99.(DIS)(1-29-2013)

  • ISC reports dip in profits: International Speedway Corp. saw a year-over-year decline in both its 2012 fourth-quarter and full-year earnings and revenues, but the narrowing of the revenue decline for its core business operations to less than 1 percent has company officials encouraged. "We experienced leading signs of revenue stabilization this year," stated Lesa France Kennedy, ISC's chief executive officer, in both a news release and Thursday morning conference call with stock analysts. ISC, which operates Daytona International Speedway and a dozen other tracks around that country that host NASCAR races and other motorsports events, generated a net profit of roughly $54.6 million for its fiscal year, which ended Nov. 30, down from $69.4 million in fiscal 2011, and a fourth-quarter net profit of about $24.7 million, down from $26.5 million the same period the previous year. Its revenues totaled $612.3 million in 2012, down from $629.7 million in 2011, and in the fourth quarter it generated $189.4 million in sales, down from $191.9 million the same period the previous year. Kennedy said ISC had year-over-year increases in both revenues from broadcast fees, corporate sponsorships and food, beverage and merchandise sales at races, but "we continue to experience modest headwinds with admissions, not to the degree experienced in 2011, but enough to know we still have further inroads to make with our consumer."(full article at the Daytona Beach News-Journal)(1-25-2013)

  • New track dryers to be unveiled at Daytona: NASCAR will unveil next month at Daytona International Speedway a new piece of equipment that could revolutionize track drying. Twenty-four machines will be ready for Speedweeks events leading up to the Feb. 24 Daytona 500, executive Steve O'Donnell said. The equipment will rely on compressed air moving water off the track in a squeegee effect as opposed to traditional jet dryers that blow hot air onto the track. It also will include vacuums that will work in conjunction with the compressed air that would help dry a 2.5-mile track such as DIS in about 30 minutes -- 20% of the current time. DIS typically takes about 2.5 hours to dry. Last year's Daytona 500 was delayed until Monday night because of rain. "There's a few faces out here that will remember when we used to dry tracks off with just a fleet of vehicles going around the racetrack, or dragging tires behind pickup trucks,'' NASCAR president Mike Helton said. "And then someone came along with the jet dryer that expedited it quite a bit and served its purpose for a long period of time. "But in today's world with the expectations of getting the show done and getting it on, there was a high priority placed by [chairman] Brian [France] and the rest of us to come up with a way that we could expedite that. The R & D Center responded to that and come up with ideas, and this one seems to have quite a bit of validity to it.''
    O'Donnell said the new device does not have a name yet. Unlike jet dryers, which were owned by individual tracks, he said the governing body has a patent on the new machine that gives it proprietary rights. O'Donnell said the equipment isn't quite to the level of efficiency that France asked for. Because of that, jet dryers also will be used at Daytona and perhaps ensuing races to help with the drying process. O'Donnell said the equipment could revolutionize the drying procedure for other venues in sports.(ESPN)(1-23-2013)

  • "The 48 Experience" Ticket Package for the Daytona 500: Jimmie Johnson, five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and the 2006 Daytona 500 winner, has partnered with Daytona International Speedway to provide fans with "The 48 Experience," the ultimate race fan package for the 55th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 24.
    "The 48 Experience" package, which is available for $148, includes:
    · One adult Daytona 500 backstretch tower seat
    · One child (ages 12 & under) Daytona 500 backstretch tower seat
    · 15-minute question and answer session with Johnson near the backstretch grandstands
    · Children attending the question and answer session will have the opportunity to put together a Lowe's Build and Grow race car
    · Daytona International Speedway and SPEED Channel special giveaways
    · Separate adult tickets for "The 48 Experience" are available for $115
    Between 2006 and 2010, Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, won an unprecedented five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships. Johnson, who owns 60 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories, was also the first race car driver to be named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year in 2009. Tickets for "The 48 Experience Package" are available at daytonainternationalspeedway.com/48 or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(1-15-2013)

  • NASCAR doesn't foresee major changes after successful Daytona test: The search for speed continued Saturday during the third day of Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway -- among NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers with their race cars still intact. After Friday's 12-car accident during drafting practice sent many teams packing, single-car runs were the order of the day among those who stayed for the duration. On NASCAR's part, this year's season-opening test was a sharp contrast to that of 2012, when the sanctioning body spent three days tinkering with the superspeedway rules package in an attempt to break up two-car drafts and to scale down speeds that exceeded 206 mph. Even though the Cup series is transitioning to a new Gen-6 race car, the 2013 sessions required little manipulation on NASCAR's part. Average lap speeds in the draft topped out at the 199.650 mph achieved Friday afternoon by 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, and NASCAR was comfortable with the results.
    "We're in the ballpark," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition. "We know the teams will go back, and they'll work and they'll bring a little bit better 'this' and better 'that.'...We're right in the ballpark, and we don't foresee any changes." Pemberton acknowledged that one consideration in designing the Gen-6 cars was breaking up the tandem racing, which was not a fan favorite. "When it was new, it was cool," Pemberton said of the aggressive two-car push-drafting. "When it was a couple races old, the coolness wore off of it. It was something that wasn't very normal for us. If you saw us last year at this time, we left this race track drafting at 206 miles an hour and went back and made rule changes based on trying to minimize the advantage of doing that (tandem drafting) and to minimize the appetite to do that, knowing that -- if it was the fastest way around -- you would do that late in the race to win the race."(NASCAR Wire Service)(1-13-2013)

  • 2013 Daytona Preseason Thunder - Day 3, afternoon: Single runs continued in the Day 3 afternoon session of Daytona Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway, the final day of testing at DIS. #16-Biffle was the fastest at 194.936mph, the fastest single car run of the three-day test. #20-Kenseth was 2nd fastest followed by #18-Busch, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #42-Montoya, #39-Newman, #99-Edwards, #14-Stewart, #10-Patrick, #48-Johnson; 11th was #21-Bayne, #13-Mears, #17-Stenhouse Jr., #38-Wise and #83-Kvapil/Reutimann. 15 cars made runs in the afternoon session. There were no incidents.
    See speeds, number of laps run, best 10 consecutive lap ave and more on the Daytona Testing Speeds - Day 3 afternoon session speeds page pdf.(1-12-2013)

  • 2013 Daytona Preseason Thunder - Day 3, morning: Single runs continued in the Day 3 morning session of Daytona Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway, the final day of testing at DIS. #20-Kenseth was the fastest at 194.062mph followed by #21-Bayne, #10-Patrick, #27-Menard, #14-Stewart, #33-Dillon, #31-Burton, #16-Biffle, #18-Busch and #39-Newman. 21 teams/drivers tested in the morning session. Reports have the following teams leaving after the morning session: #78-Busch, #27-Manard, #29-Harvick, #31-Burton, #33-Dillon.
    See speeds, number of laps and more on the Daytona Testing Speeds - Day 3 morning session speeds page pdf.(1-12-2013)

  • 2013 Daytona Preseason Thunder - Day 2, afternoon: Drafting runs in packs of as many of 20 cars were done for the first hour of practice with #21-Bayne being the fastest in the pack with a speed of 199.850mph. But about an hour into the drafting test, #9-Ambrose was 2nd in the pack with #88-Earnhardt Jr. behind the #9. The #9 got loose or came down and the #88 tapped the #9, spinning the #9. #1-McMurray hit the #9 and spun, collecting #2-Keselowski, #5-Kahne, #18-Busch, #22=Logano, #43-Almirola, #51-Smith and #99-Edwards; a total of 10 cars. After the wreck, no one else. Testing still has three hours to go, the drivers/cars left, will continue to test, probably single car runs, but there will be 8-10 less cars testing.
    SPEEDS fastest in the afternoon session was #21-Bayne at 199.650mph followed by #22-Logano, #56-Truex Jr,, #55-Martin, #99-Edwards, #43-Almirola, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #16-Biffle, #18-Busch and #13-Mears. The first 22 cars drafted. #29-Harvick was the fastest in single car runs at 193.150mph.
    See speeds, number of laps and more on the Daytona Testing Speeds - Day 2 afternoon session speeds page pdf.(1-11-2013)

  • 2013 Daytona Preseason Thunder - Day 2, morning: Single runs continued in the Day 2 morning session of Daytona Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway. #31-Burton was the fastest at 194.805mph followed by #29-Harvick, #27-Menard, #20-Kenseth, #16-Biffle, #18-Busch, #78-Busch, #9-Ambrose, #10-Patrick and #33-Dillon. 34 teams/drivers tested on Friday. #83-Kvapil joined the test and #11-Hamlin is not testing Friday/Saturday. Darafting testing is expected in the Day 2 afternoon session for some drivers/team. #36-Blaney wrecked midway thru the AM practice, doing damage to the right front of the car. Tommy Baldwin Racing didn't have a backup and will not test anymore on Friday/Saturday.
    See speeds, number of laps and more on the Daytona Testing Speeds - Day 2 morning session speeds page pdf.(1-11-2013)

  • 2013 Daytona Preseason Thunder - Day 1, afternoon: Speeds picked up a bit as four drivers ran in a draft late in the afternoon session in the day 1 of Daytona Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway. #11-Hamlin was the fastest in the 4-car pack at 195.712mph, followed by #20-Kenseth, #18-Gibbs and #55-Martin. The rest of the cars were single car runs with #31-Burton fastest (5th overall) at 194.620 then #27-Menard, #10-Patrick, #9-Ambrose, #15-Bowyer and #43-Almarola. 34 teams/drivers tested on Thursday. See speeds, nymber of laps and more on the Daytona Testing Speeds - Day 1 afternoon session speeds page pdf.(1-10-2013)

  • 2013 Daytona Preseason Thunder - Day 1, morning speeds: #20-Matt Kenseth was the fastest in the day 1 morning session of Daytona Preseason Thunder. Kenseth ran a fast lap of 192.757mph in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. 34 cars made single lap runs at Daytona International Speedway. Team did not run in packs or do any drafting. #9-Ambrose was 2nd fastest, followed by #10-Patrick, #31-Burton, #27-Menard, #15-Bowyer, #18-Busch, #24-Gordon, #42-Montoya and #33-Dillon. See speeds, nymber of laps and more on the Daytona Testing Speeds - Day 1 morning session speeds page pdf, see images of some cars testing on my 2013 Manufacturer News and Images page.(1-10-2013)

  • 35 teams testing at Daytona: NASCAR fans will get their first glimpse of the new sixth-generation NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars on the storied Daytona International Speedway for three days this week at Preseason Thunder, the unofficial on-track start of the 2013 NASCAR season. This week's sessions will be the only test for the new car at Daytona prior to Speedweeks, which begins with The Sprint Unlimited on Feb. 16 and culminates with the 55th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 24.
    "This test is an opportunity for the teams to prepare their cars for Speedweeks and the 55th running of the Daytona 500," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. "This is the teams' test and provides an excellent lead in to the upcoming 2013 season. There has been a lot of work put into the development of the Gen-6 car by the manufacturers, teams and NASCAR. It will be exciting to see the new cars on the track for Daytona Preseason Thunder."
    After several tests for the new car, including one restrictor plate test at Talladega Superspeedway, the rules package has been set heading into Preseason Thunder.
    The rules package for Daytona includes:
    • Plate size - 29/32" (same plate size as 2012)
    • Spoiler size - 4" high x 53" wide
    • Spoiler angle - 70 degrees
    • Front Grille size - 1-3/4" high x 23" wide
    • Radiator Relief valve - 32 psi
    Teams participating in the test are:

    Car # Team Name Driver
    1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Jamie McMurray
    2 Penske Racing Brad Keselowski
    5 Hendrick Motorsports Kasey Kahne
    9 Richard Petty Motorsports Marcos Ambrose
    10 Stewart Haas Racing Danica Patrick
    11 Joe Gibbs Racing Denny Hamlin
    13 Germain Racing Casey Mears
    14 Stewart Haas Racing Tony Stewart
    15 Michael Waltrip Racing Clint Bowyer
    16 Roush Fenway Racing Greg Biffle
    17 Roush Fenway Racing Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
    18 Joe Gibbs Racing Kyle Busch
    20 Joe Gibbs Racing Matt Kenseth
    21 Wood Bros Racing Trevor Bayne
    22 Penske Racing Joey Logano
    24 Hendrick Motorsports Jeff Gordon
    27 Richard Childress Racing Paul Menard
    29 Richard Childress Racing Kevin Harvick
    31 Richard Childress Racing Jeff Burton
    33 Circle Sport / Joe Falk Austin Dillon
    36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Dave Blaney
    38 Front Row Motorsports Josh Wise
    39 Stewart Haas Racing Ryan Newman
    42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Juan Pablo Montoya
    43 Richard Petty Motorsports Aric Almirola
    47 JTG-Daugherty Racing Bobby Labonte
    48 Hendrick Motorsports Jimmie Johnson
    51 Phoenix Racing Regan Smith
    55 Michael Waltrip Racing Mark Martin
    56 Michael Waltrip Racing Martin Truex
    78 Furniture Row Racing Kurt Busch
    83 BK Racing Travis Kvapil/David Reutimann
    88 Hendrick Motorsports Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    95 Leavine Family Racing Scott Speed
    99 Roush Fenway Racing Carl Edwards
    (1-8-2013)

  • Sprint will sponsor Shootout: Sprint has partnered with Daytona International Speedway to sponsor the Sprint Unlimited At Daytona, the fan-favorite non-points event formerly known as the Daytona Shootout that traditionally kicks off the stock car portion of Budweiser Speedweeks 2013 and the NASCAR season. The race will once again be held under the lights on Saturday night, Feb. 16 (FOX 8 pm/et) but will feature several new elements that will make this event even more of a fan favorite. Fans in attendance will be eligible to receive special upgraded race experiences from Sprint including roles as Grand Marshal, Honorary Starter, and trophy presenter. Fans can also help deliver the trophy to Gatorade Victory Lane or participate in driver introductions during pre-race ceremonies. As announced earlier in the year, the format for selecting the field of drivers in the invitation-only event will return to its roots for 2013. The eligible field of drivers will consist of pole winners from the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and past winners of The Sprint Unlimited who have attempted to qualify for at least one race during the 2012 season. The field for The Sprint Unlimited is currently at 22 drivers and features a who's who of NASCAR stars.(DIS)(1-7-2013)

  • NASCAR credit included in "fiscal cliff" deal: UPDATE: The "fiscal cliff" deal reached by the Senate and the White House on New Year's Eve, and passed in legislative form by the Senate early New Year's Day, includes many giveaways to special interests--including an extension of a perk enjoyed by "motorsports entertainment complexes" otherwise known as the "NASCAR tax credit." The provision, under section 168(i)(15) of the federal tax code, allows speedways to write off their costs over seven years. Typically, such expensing occurs over a much longer period of time, from 15 to 39 years. The cost of the NASCAR tax credit to taxpayers has been estimated at some $40 million--over and above any tax incentives provided by state and local authorities. Hollywood films also enjoy a tax incentive extension in the "fiscal cliff" deal.(Breitbart)(1-2-2013)
    UPDATE: Buried in the 154-page American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was a section renewing 31 business tax extenders, including a seven-year recovery period for motorsports entertainment complexes. The extension allows car, truck and motorcycle racing facilities across the nation to continue fully depreciating new capital assets - such as grandstands, concession stands and parking lots - over seven years. And that could be good news for the Daytona Beach area economy, an International Speedway Corp. official said Wednesday. It's a "very positive development," said Dan Houser, the company's chief financial officer, especially given the changes being proposed at the ISC-owned Daytona International Speedway. Last year, Speedway officials announced plans for a massive renovation and expansion on their 663-acre complex, including the demolition and reconstruction of the grandstands, and an entertainment complex that could include up to 2 million square feet of retail space, nightclubs and movie theaters. The measure helps keep ISC's plans on track, lessening the upfront tax hit of new construction.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(1-3-2013)

  • Daytona sets start times for Speedweeks 2013: For the fourth consecutive year, NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race; the 55th annual Daytona 500 is scheduled for a 1 pm/et start time on Sunday, Feb. 24. Start times for the other remaining events of Budweiser Speedweeks 2013 at Daytona International Speedway are as follows:
    The 51st anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race, Jan. 26-27, 3:30 pm/et
    The Lucas Oil 200 ARCA Racing Series, Saturday, Feb. 16, 4:30 pm/et
    The Daytona Shootout non-points event, Saturday, Feb. 16, 8 pm/et
    Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger, Sunday, Feb. 17, 1 pm/et
    Budweiser Duel At Daytona, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2 pm/et
    NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, Friday, Feb. 22, 7:30 pm/et
    DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, Saturday, Feb. 23, 1 pm/et
    Tickets for 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.(DIS)(12-20-2012)

  • Preseason Thunder Fan Fest tickets on sale Monday: Race fans can purchase tickets for the annual Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway beginning on Monday, Dec. 10 at 9 a.m. The stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will take to the legendary 2.5-mile tri-oval at Daytona International Speedway for three days of testing on Thursday, Jan. 10 through Saturday, Jan. 12 in advance of the 55th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24. The test sessions mark the first time the new 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars, which highlight greater brand identity for the manufacturers, will turn laps on Daytona International Speedway's 2.5-mile tri-oval. Dubbed "G6," the new-look sixth generation cars will conduct test sessions between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day, weather permitting. Each session includes a lunch break from noon until 1 p.m. The Preseason Thunder Fan Fest is scheduled on Thursday night, Jan. 10 and will include autograph sessions, driver fan forums, show cars and displays, music and a photo opportunity with the 2013 Harley J. Earl Daytona 500 trophy. Tickets for Daytona Preseason Thunder Fan Fest are $20 on Thursday and $10 for Friday and Saturday. Children 12 and under will receive free admission. Preseason Thunder ticket holders receive free tent camping inside Turns 3 & 4 for all three days of testing and fans can also watch each day's testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands.(DIS)(12-7-2012)

  • ISC steps up to help Staten Island storm victims: The multi-pronged campaign to provide relief for the many Staten Islanders devastated by Superstorm Sandy got a sizable boost this week from an unexpected source - the International Speedway Corp (ISC). You'll recall that ISC and Staten Island did not part company on the best of terms, after borough residents and most elected officials soundly reject the company's effort to build a massive, 82,500-seat NASCAR racetrack in Bloomfield. But that's all ancient history now. Florida-based ISC finally gave up on its plan in 2006 and walked away from its goal of having a track on Staten Island. Most Staten Islanders have forgotten the controversy. The company's leaders didn't forget about Staten Island, however. As soon as they learned of the devastation caused here by Hurricane Sandy, they made inquiries about who was helping the victims on Staten Island. And, then the company donated $5,000 to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which has been heavily involved in the relief effort. ISC President John Saunders told the Advance the damage to the borough "was shocking to see. What happened on Staten Island was catastrophic. We felt we had to do something."(Staten Island Live)(11-25-2012)

  • Daytona offers "Cyber Monday" Ticket Specials: Special $49 ticket packages and a unique ticket package with the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars highlight Daytona International Speedway's "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" Thanksgiving holiday ticket specials. On Friday, Nov. 23 (Black Friday) and Monday, Nov. 26 (Cyber Monday), Daytona International Speedway will have specla $49 ticket package specials available for race fans to select from as they conduct their holiday shopping. Additionally, the Speedway has partnered with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the "Jags and Checkered Flags" ticket package, which is available for $99. More info at daytonainternationalspeedway.com/deals.(DIS)(11-24-2012)

  • 2013 Daytona Preseason Thunder Dates: Daytona Preseason Thunder, the annual three-day NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test session at Daytona International Speedway in advance of the prestigious season-opening 55th annual Daytona 500, will be held on Jan. 10-12. The test sessions mark the first time the new 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars, which highlight greater brand identity for the manufacturers, will turn laps on Daytona International Speedway's 2.5-mile tri-oval. The new-look cars will conduct test sessions between 9am and 5pm each day, weather permitting. Each session includes a lunch break from 12noon until 1pm.
    Race fans can also rev up their new year at the Daytona Preseason Thunder Fan Fest - the companion event to the January test sessions. Along with watching Daytona Preseason Thunder track activity from the Sprint FANZONE, fans can enjoy Fan Fest on Thursday, Jan. 10 from 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm.
    The schedule of driver question-and-answer and autograph sessions will be finalized closer to the event. Tickets for the Daytona Preseason Thunder Fan Fest, which include autograph session wristbands, will be available for purchase at a later date. For fans who would like to be contacted regarding Daytona Preseason Thunder Fan Fest ticket information can sign up online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com/thunder. Fans can also watch each day's testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands. Information on tickets for both the Daytona Preseason Thunder and the Roar Before The Rolex 24 will be available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-7-2012)

  • Daytona gets final approval to move forward on site changes: Daytona International Speedway and International Speedway Corporation got the final yes vote they needed out of City Hall to charge forward with their plan to tackle a major overhaul of the Speedway's front stretch grandstands. The unanimous approval of the site plan Thursday night from the city's Planning Board was the last of several hurdles ISC and DIS had to clear before they could move from engineers' drawings to bulldozers in their hopes of redesigning the front stretch grandstands, adding new vendors, creating five new fan entrances, possibly doubling seating and renovating restrooms. The sprawling complex could include up to 2 million square feet of retail space, 1,785 hotel rooms, 1,500 multi-family residential units and movie theaters with a combined 5,000 seats. Speedway officials say it could take decades to reach that full vision, and they're just now beginning to talk to potential developers and businesses. Those future phases of the project will also require the city to approve additional site plans.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(10-27-2012)

  • Tickets for Coke Zero 400 on sale October 27: On Saturday, Oct. 27, at 9 am/et, race fans will have their first opportunity to purchase tickets for the 55th annual Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 6 - one of NASCAR's most exciting nighttime races of the season. Fans can purchase tickets to the mid-summer classic in one of three convenient ways: Online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com, by calling 1-800-PITSHOP, or visiting the Daytona International Speedway ticket office. Fans who act fast can take advantage of the best pricing available during the public on-sale period. Daytona International Speedway will transform into the largest lighted sports facility in America as the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series battle for 160 laps, 400 miles on the historic 31-degree high banks. Tickets to the Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night, July 5, are also available for purchase on Saturday, Oct. 27. Prior to Oct. 27, only ticket renewals for the 55th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola were taken by the ticket office at Daytona International Speedway.(DIS)(10-24-2012)

  • City council approves rezoning around Daytona Speedway: Mayor Glenn Ritchey knew something historic was happening at City Hall Wednesday night, and decided to slow down before the vote that is now allowing Daytona International Speedway and International Speedway Corp. to create a sprawling racing and entertainment complex that will straddle International Speedway Boulevard. He let each city commissioner explain why they supported the rezoning that will free DIS and parent company ISC to overhaul the grandstand area and chase after dreams of putting hotels, restaurants, shops, new housing, movie theaters, nightclubs and maybe even a casino or two around and near the track in coming decades. "It's the largest project ever proposed and approved for the city of Daytona Beach," Ritchey said Wednesday night. "It's a historical event. It will pay great dividends to the city and Speedway." The new development will happen over the next few decades, and will likely be driven by developer interest and the economy as it recovers, city leaders have said. Improvements to the 53-year-old Speedway facilities and grandstands will probably happen first, and could be completed within two years. Those improvements could include new metal panel screening on the exterior of the Speedway, five new colorful metal entranceways, escalators and a doubling of seating. The new development could include up to 2 million square feet of retail space, 1,785 hotel rooms, 1,500 multifamily residential units, movie theaters with 5,000 seats total and 950,000 square feet of industrial uses.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(10-19-2012)

  • No more Daytona Duel qualifying races? word is Daytona International Speedway is dropping those two Thursday 150s [Duel qualifying races]. Lack of sponsorship.(MikeMulhern.net).
    BUT in February Budweiser and Daytona International Speedway 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.(Daytona International Speedway)(10-14-2012)

  • U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds return to the Daytona 500: The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, known around the globe for their precision aerobatics, will perform the flyover for the 55th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season opener on Sunday, Feb. 24, at Daytona International Speedway. It's the third consecutive year that the flying team, officially known as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, will perform the flyover for "The Great American Race." The Thunderbirds also provided the flyover in 2008 for the 50th running of the Daytona 500. The Thunderbirds flyover will feature six F-16 Fighting Falcons, the Air Force's premier multi-role fighter aircraft, soaring over the Speedway at the end of the playing of the national anthem. This week, the USAF Thunderbirds are visiting Daytona Beach for the second time in 2012, this time to perform in Embry-Riddle's "Wings and Waves Air Show," which takes place on the Daytona Beach shoreline Oct. 13-14. The Thunderbirds team is an Air Combat Command unit composed of eight pilots (including six demonstration pilots), four support officers, four civilians and more than 100 enlisted Airmen serving in about 30 Air Force job specialties. Since the unit's inception in 1953, more than 350 million people in all 50 states and 61 countries have witnessed the distinctive red, white and blue jets in thousands of official aerial demonstrations. Tickets for 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.(DIS)(10-12-2012)

  • ISC reports $1 million net loss in quarterly earnings: Changes in NASCAR's race schedule, a reduction in revenues from corporate sponsors and a broadcast partner and, of course, the struggling economy combined to sharply reduce both quarterly earnings and revenues for International Speedway Corp., the company announced Thursday morning. Daytona Beach-based ISC reported a $1 million net loss for its fiscal third quarter, which ended Aug. 31, down from a $9.7 million profit for the same quarter a year ago. Revenues also fell sharply to $115.9 million, from $150.3 million in fiscal third quarter 2011 - a 22.9 percent year-over-year drop. ISC officials said NASCAR's shifting of its races at Kansas Speedway to the second quarter this year, as opposed to the third quarter last year, and the elimination of a NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Montreal, Canada, were big reasons for the lower revenues in its latest quarterly earnings report. "Adjusting for the schedule changes, . . . total revenues were down only slightly, approximately 3 percent, from the comparable period delivering core business results within our range of expectations," said Lesa France Kennedy, ISC's chief executive officer, in a conference call with stock analysts. ISC officials said other factors contributing to the drop in revenues and earnings included NASCAR's new multiyear contract with Sirius XM Radio Inc., signed at the start of the year, which has resulted in $8 million less in annual revenues for ISC compared to its previous contract with the satellite radio broadcaster, which expired at the end of last year. See more at Daytona Beach News-Journal.(10-5-20120)

  • Daytona 500 travel packages available: Want to attend the DAYTONA 500 but aren't from the area? myRacetravel, the Official Travel Provider of Daytona International Sepedway is standing by to make your trip to the DAYTONA 500® hassle-free. Packages, which start at $415, include race tickets, hotel accommodations, race day transportation, on-site staff for assistance, hospitality options and much more. All-inclusive race weekend packages for 2013 Speedweeks and the 55th annual DAYTONA 500 race weekend on Feb. 21 -24 are now available for purchase. Quantities are limited. To book a DAYTONA 500 travel package, click here or call 866.990.7223.(DIS)(9-27-2012)

  • DIS Track Services and Fire Rescue Team honored: Troy Willrick, Director of Emergency Services, and the entire Daytona International Speedway Track Services and Fire Rescue Team were honored at the second annual SPORTYS held on Saturday night at Full Sail University in Orlando. The DIS Track Services and Fire Rescue Team, represented by Willrick, were honored as Employee of the Year for their outstanding performance during the 54th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in February. "On behalf of the entire DIS Track Services and Fire Rescue team, I am honored to accept this SPORTY," Willrick said. "The coordination, professionalism and calm-under-extreme-pressure demonstrated by our Track Operations and Fire Rescue team during this unprecedented challenge were nothing short of spectacular." On Lap 160 of the Daytona 500, under caution, a car lost control and struck a jet dryer resulting in a fuel spill and fire. The Track Services and Fire Rescue Team responded immediately and suppressed and extinguished the fire. The crew then removed the damaged vehicles, cleaned up the remaining fuel and repaired the track surface. All of the rescue, fire, clean-up and repair work was completed in two hours and the race was able to resume to the checkered flag, which was taken by Matt Kenseth for a second time in his career. The SPORTYS, produced by the Central Florida Sports Commission, honors the top area teams, high school, collegiate and professional athletes, coaches, deserving local residents and businesses throughout Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia Counties. 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.(DIS)(9-25-2012)

  • Daytona board gives thumbs up to Speedway plans: The Speedway's proposed sports and entertainment complex project cleared another key hurdle Thursday night. The city's Planning Board unanimously approved a rezoning measure that's needed for Daytona International Speedway and its parent company to push ahead with plans to dramatically improve the track facilities and add new hotels, restaurants, shops, movie theaters and nightclubs. The board's nod of approval Thursday was for 483 acres around the Speedway, a thumbs up that comes just a few weeks after board members OK'd a similar measure for 180 acres of International Speedway Corporation land just north of the track on the other side of International Speedway Boulevard. If city commissioners agree in a series of meetings this fall with the requests to rezone the full 663 acres on both sides of the bustling thoroughfare from major sports district to planned master development, the Speedway will be able to chase its dream for the sprawling complex. If the Speedway is able to move ahead with its plans over the next few decades, it will assure the track a spot on the top of the heap. The planned master development rezoning for both properties would allow the Speedway to build up to 2 million square feet of shops, restaurants and nightclubs; up to 1,785 hotel rooms; movie theaters with a combined maximum 5,000 seats; up to 1,600 multi-family residential units and 950,000 square feet of industrial uses. If it's legalized in Florida, the Speedway wants to add casino gambling on the two sites straddling International Speedway Boulevard. The Speedway also has a list of improvements it would like to make around the track, including adding new metal panel screening to the exterior of the grandstands, five new track entrances with sponsors such as Pepsi that would have vendors inside the track, thousands of additional seats for fans and elevators. The Speedway is also looking at extending the pedestrian bridge over International Speedway Boulevard so it connects more directly with the track and adding hotels, shops and restaurants on the east, west and south sides of the track.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(8-24-2012)

  • Woman sues Daytona after tram crash: A woman who claims she was hurt badly in a wreck while a guest during the 2011 Rolex 24 is suing Daytona International Speedway. The suit filed by Dena Barton of Longwood states she was visiting the Speedway on Jan. 29, 2011, as a passenger in a tram towed by a new Chevy pickup. The suit alleges the pickup driver, Angela Warren, a Speedway employee, "negligently operated" the truck while going through a tunnel at the race track, causing a crash. A Daytona Beach Police Department report found Warren, of Holly Hill, rear-ended a recreational vehicle driven by Feliz Joaquin Gonzalez of Miami after Gonzalez slowed. Police found Warren at fault in the accident for "careless driving," though police did not issue a citation, the report shows. Barton said she suffered permanent injury, pain and suffering, physical impairment and, among other things, required hospitalization and medical or nursing care.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(8-3-2012)

  • Harley J. Earl Trophy, American Flag featured on Daytona 500 Ticket: NASCAR fans have spoken and the design of the commemorative ticket for the 55th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24 will showcase the Harley J. Earl trophy and the American flag. Between July 12-19 on Daytona International Speedway's Facebook, Twitter and Google + sites, race fans selected their favorite commemorative Daytona 500 ticket among three different choices. The race fans' selection of the commemorative ticket with the Harley J. Earl trophy is a fitting choice for 2013 Daytona 500 as the Harley J. Earl trophy, for the first time, is proudly featured on the race logo.
    Awarded to the champion of the Daytona 500, the Harley J. Earl trophy is named after Harley J. Earl, a famous General Motors designer and friend of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. The trophy, one of the most prized possessions in motorsports, weighs 54 pounds and has a black base with a scaled-down replica of the Firebird One that Earl created in 1954 at the peak of his career with General Motors. Richard Earl, a former Wall Street broker, makes his living selling Harley Earl-designed cars. " 'Motoramic masterpieces' is how I like to refer to them," he said. He maintains the official Harley Earl Web site, carofthecentury.com, and is working on a biography of his grandfather.
    Tickets for 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.(DIS)(7-31-2012)

  • Fans can help design Daytona 500 ticket: Race fans can have a voice in the design of the commemorative ticket for the 55th annual Daytona 500, NASCAR's prestigious season-opening race scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 24. Through Daytona International Speedway's Facebook, Twitter and Google + sites -- race fans will be able to select their favorite commemorative ticket among three different choices. Voting began on Thursday, July 12 and will run through Thursday, July 19 at 5 pm/et. Two of the commemorative tickets feature the Harley J. Earl trophy - awarded annually to the Daytona 500 champion - while the third commemorative ticket showcases Matt Kenseth celebrating his second triumph in the "Great American Race" earlier this year. 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.(DIS)(7-17-2012)

  • Colonel Greg Gadson named Grand Marshal for Subway Jalapeno 250: Highly decorated U.S. Army Colonel Greg Gadson will serve as the Grand Marshal for the Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night, July 6 at Daytona International Speedway. Gadson, who lost both of his legs when he was injured by an Improvised Explosive Device, will give the starting command, "Drivers start your engines," in the 120-lap, 250-mile race. He'll also be introduced at the driver's meeting, participate in the driver introductions and ride in one of the Grand Marshal cars during the pace laps prior to the green flag. Gadson has served in every major conflict of the past two decades including Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm (Kuwait), Operation Joint Forge (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), and Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq). Through his service, Gadson has been awarded the Legion of Merit, three Bronze Star medals and a Purple Heart among nearly two dozen medals and honors. Gadson, has continued to serve on active in various command and staff positions.(DIS)(7-4-2012)

  • Paty Cantú to sing National Anthem for Daytona Nationwide race: Houston, TX-native and Latin crossover singer-songwriter Paty Cantú will sing the National Anthem for the 11th annual Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night, July 6 at Daytona International Speedway. Cantú rose to fame as one of the founding members of the successful Mexican pop duo LU. In 2008, she began to pursue a solo career and released her debut album Me Quedo Sola in 2009 and No Eres Tú in 2010. Cantú, who is a Subway Artista Fresco of the Year, is currently working on her third solo album that will be released in the fall of 2012.(DIS)(7-4-2012)

  • Fireworks extravaganza to follow Coke Zero 400: Fireworks By Santore is adding a new twist to the largest fireworks show in the Southeast, which takes place immediately following the conclusion of the 54th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night, July 7. During the 15-minute show that will illuminate the sky above Daytona International Speedway, Fireworks By Santore will use specially developed shells to produce the letters "U S A" high above the speedway. The show will be shot from 16 different locations spread across the infield along the Superstretch. The finale will last for approximately one minute, 30 seconds and will have over 2,000 individual pieces.(DIS)(7-1-2012)

  • ISC submits plan for redevelopment of Daytona: International Speedway Corp. on Thursday filed a "planned master development" with the city, the first step in a 50-year redevelopment project for Daytona International Speedway. "It's been a great property for 50 years. We want to make it better for the next 50 years," Speedway President Joie Chitwood III told The News-Journal Thursday. The Speedway plan could include a "complete overhaul of the entire frontstretch grandstand" and creation of "a world class motorsports entertainment facility including features such as new seats, suites and guest amenities," according to a press release. Chitwood said the master plan could include "new entry points, improved fan conveyance, a modern exterior, first-class interior areas and a redesigned midway for fans." The planned master development is the second one filed this month by ISC, the Speedway's parent company. The first was for the property north of the Speedway across International Speedway Boulevard. Plans for that property are up in the air but could include a hotel, theater, restaurants, bars and possibly one day a casino, if Florida law were to change. Chitwood said the goal is to tie together the two properties and develop them into a sports and entertainment venue. Chitwood estimates the approval process will take six to eight months. Once the zoning gets an official OK, the track can start detailing changes to the property.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(6-29-2012)

  • Train to perform pre-race concert for Coke Zero 400: Multi-platinum Grammy-winning superstars Train, whose hits include "Hey Soul Sister" and the smash hit "Drive By" from their new album California 37, will be performing an hour-long pre-race concert prior to the 54th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 7 at Daytona International Speedway. Through a special VIP Ticket Package, fans can get unprecedented access to the 60-minute pre-race concert that will be staged on pit road in the tri-oval area of the "World Center of Racing." With packages starting at $115, the VIP Ticket Package includes:
    -- A reserved grandstand ticket for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola
    -- Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access
    -- Admission to the VIP viewing area in front of the stage for the pre-race concert by Train.
    (DIS) (6-29-2012)

  • Bobby Bowden named grand marshal for Coke Zero 400: Legendary college football coach Bobby Bowden will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 54th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 7 at Daytona International Speedway. The Hall of Fame football coach will give the starting command, "Gentlemen start your engines," in the 160-lap, 400-mile race. He'll also be introduced at the driver's meeting, participate in the driver introductions and ride in one of the Grand Marshal cars during the pace laps prior to the green flag. Coke Zero invited the coaching icon to take part in the festivities to help launch its upcoming fall football program, which rewards fans online and in person with college football prizes and one-of-a-kind VIP experiences. During his 34-year tenure as the head coach at Florida State University, Bowden coached the Seminoles to more than 300 victories, two National Championships and 12 Atlantic Coast Conference championships. Under Bowden's leadership, the Seminoles also finished in the top five in the country in 14 straight seasons and qualified for Bowl Games in 28 consecutive seasons.(DIS)(6-28-2012)

  • Daytona International Speedway Grandstands Smoke-free: Teens from across Northeast Florida came together to recognize Daytona International Speedway for its bold move to make the speedway's grandstands smoke-free. The teens from 21 surrounding counties are part of Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT). They also challenged other sporting and entertainment venues in the state to follow the example set by the speedway and protect more Floridians and visitors from secondhand smoke. The SWAT members, along with NASCAR driver Jeffrey Earnhardt, the Volusia County Health Department, and representatives from Daytona International Speedway held a press conference outside of the Gate 7 Grandstand Entrance of the speedway on Tuesday [June 19th]. "I'm proud that leading race organizations like Daytona are protecting our fans from tobacco smoke and are showing young fans that smoking is no longer acceptable," said NASCAR driver and Tobacco Free Florida spokesperson Jeffrey Earnhardt. "Families see drivers and venues like Daytona as legendary and this sends a healthy message to race fans." The grandstands of Florida's prestigious and historic sporting venue will officially be smoke-free starting with the Subway Jalapeño 250 Powered By Coca-Cola on Friday night, July 6.(DIS)(6-21-2012)

  • DRIVE4COPD renews title sponsorship at Daytona: The COPD Foundation's DRIVE4COPD national public health initiative announced today that it has renewed its title sponsorship for the DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway through 2014. "Since 2010, DRIVE4COPD has joined efforts with the NASCAR Nationwide Series race during Budweiser Speedweeks to raise national awareness about COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "DRIVE4COPD has been an outstanding partner. It has increased awareness, and promoted early detection of the disease that kills one out of four Americans. This is a cause we fully support and I look forward to continuing this relationship for years to come."(Daytona International Speedway PR)(6-18-2012)

  • Daytona to honor Medal of Honor Recipients: During the upcoming Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola, Daytona International Speedway, along with the thousands of race fans in attendance, will pay tribute to four Congressional Medal of Honor recipients. It's the fourth straight year that Daytona International Speedway will honor Medal of Honor recipients, a program that was first started by Bill France Sr. back in the 1970s. The Medal of Honor recipients, all from the Vietnam War, to be honored are:
    • Michael Fitzmaurice, Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army
    • Jack Jacobs, Captain, U.S. Army
    • Robert Patterson, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army
    • James Taylor, Captain, U.S. Army
    All four Medal of Honor recipients will be recognized during a special luncheon on Friday at the Bill France Room, will attend driver's meetings and participate in pre-race ceremonies for both the Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night, July 6 and the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night, July 7. During Saturday's 54th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, a special salute will take place for the four Medal of Honor recipients during pre-race ceremonies.(DIS)(6-8-2012)

  • Daytona 500 tickets on sale Friday: Tickets to NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race - the 55th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24 - will go on sale Friday, June 1 at 9 a.m. (ET). Tickets for the Daytona 500, which was won earlier this year by Matt Kenseth, start at $65. For the second straight year, the Speedway is offering special youth pricing for the 55th annual Daytona 500. Children 12 and under will receive 50 percent off all Superstretch grandstand seats for the Daytona 500 while supplies last. In addition, children 12 and under are free in the Sprint FANZONE throughout Budweiser Speedweeks. In addition to the 55th annual Daytona 500, tickets for all Budweiser Speedweeks 2013 events will be available for purchase. Race fans can also now pre-purchase weekend infield camping for the Daytona Shootout weekend as well as Rolex 24 At Daytona infield car parking packages.(DIS)(5-30-2012)

  • Daytona adds half marathon to Speedweeks: In 2013, a new race will be a part of the Budweiser Speedweeks lineup, but competitors won't need a helmet. Scheduled for Sunday, February 17, the Central Florida Sports Commission and Daytona International Speedway will host the fifth annual Daytona Beach Half Marathon just one week before the 55th running of "The Great American Race" - the Daytona 500. The half marathon will start at 6:30 am, just hours after the Daytona Shootout finishes up under the lights on Saturday night, and lead into DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented by Kroger on Sunday afternoon. Previously held in October, the Daytona Beach Half Marathon's move to February means there will be no race in 2012. The integration of the race into Budweiser Speedweeks will allow organizers to further incorporate the racing theme into the already unique event. The Daytona Beach Half Marathon's route, named one of the seven most scenic half marathons in America by Active.com, features one of the most unique courses in the running world. With the legendary pavement and historic grandstands of Daytona International Speedway serving as the backdrop, runners will start on pit road and run the first two miles on the track. The course then winds through the streets of Daytona Beach, including a run along the boardwalk of "The World's Most Famous Beach," before returning to the Speedway for the finish and a trip to Gatorade Victory Lane. For more information about the Daytona Beach Half Marathon, visit www.daytonabeachhalf.com.(Daytona Speedway)(4-26-2012)

  • Train to Perform Pre-Race Concert for the Coke Zero 400: Train front-man Pat Monahan and the rest of the three-time Grammy-winning band will return to Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, July 7 for the 54th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. From the legendary pit road in the tri-oval area of the "World Center of Racing," Train will perform a 60-minute pre-race concert prior to the Independence Day holiday classic. All race fans that purchase a Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access pass for the Coke Zero 400 in addition to a race ticket will be able to view Train's Coke Zero 400 Pre-Race Show as well as the driver introductions from the grass tri-oval area. Tickets for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(4-24-2012)

  • Daytona / NASCAR honor local First Responders for their role in hosting the Daytona 500: Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood, NASCAR President Mike Helton and Daytona Beach Mayor Glenn Ritchey, along with representatives of the France Family, International Speedway Corporation and Volusia County, hosted a special reception last night at the Velocitorium inside the Daytona International Speedway Ticket and Tours Building to honor local first responders including police, fire and safety rescue workers, and others for their efforts during the 54th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on February 27, 2012. The race was originally scheduled to run on Sunday, February 26, but was delayed for the first time in history due to rain. With approximately 40 laps remaining, a bizarre fiery accident involving a jet dryer caused a two-hour red flag delay. Ultimately, the area of Turn 3 where the accident took place was repaired and the race was able to be completed.(DIS)(4-18-2012)

  • Daytona track section burned by jet dryer repaired: The operations team at Daytona International Speedway put the finishing touches on Turn 3 at Daytona International Speedway by painting the yellow lines on the surface April 5th. Lane Construction has completed repaving the area affected by the jet dryer incident during the 2012 Daytona 500.(DIS)(4-9-2012)

  • Postponed Daytona 500 Champion's Event Rescheduled for April 11, 2012: 2012 Daytona 500 Champion Matt Kenseth and Roush Fenway Racing team owner Jack Roush will return to the "World Center of Racing" for a special fan forum and lunch event to celebrate their victory in the 54th "Great American Race." Doors open at 10:45 a.m. Fans can have their photos taken with the #17 Best Buy Ford, which is currently on display in the Daytona International Speedway Ticket and Tours building. Lunch will be available for guests as well. The fan forum Q&A session will begin at 11:30 a.m., during which time Kenseth and Roush will discuss what it's like to win their second Daytona 500 and hoist the Harley J. Earl trophy in Gatorade Victory Lane. In addition to the lunch and Q&A, guests will get a tour of Daytona International Speedway. Tickets to the Champion's Breakfast originally scheduled for February 27, 2012, will be honored for the Champion's Lunch on April 11. Tickets are also available for $40 by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(3-30-2012)

  • Daytona starts repairs on burned track section: Daytona International Speedway is scheduled to begin repairs Thursday (March 22nd) on the infamous Turn 3 track scar that was caused by a frightening crash, fuel spill and blaze during the Feb. 27 Daytona 500. Speedway spokesman Lenny Santiago said preliminary work -- collecting measurements and survey data -- began Wednesday afternoon. Santiago said once the engineers were satisfied with the data, the repaving process would begin. Fuel-soaked pavement, measuring 10 feet wide by about 50 feet long, is scheduled to be milled 2 inches deep, he said. Lane Construction -- which repaved the entire 2.5-mile tri-oval in 2010, a job that cost $20 million -- is working with engineers from ISC Design and Development. When asked about the cost of today's repaving, Speedway president Joie Chitwood III said, "This is going to cost us some money. It will be a significant cost to fix that area." The new blacktop has four layers of asphalt and is 7 inches deep. Santiago said the Speedway is still assessing the damage and does not have a timeline for the repairs. The area was contaminated with jet fuel after #42-Juan Pablo Montoya struck a jet dryer in his car during a caution period. Neither Montoya nor the jet dryer driver was injured. Bill Braniff, a senior engineer for Daytona's parent company International Speedway Inc., is scheduled to brief the media on the repair this morning.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-22-2012)

  • Daytona to repave area related to jet dryer crash & fire: The following statement can be attributed to Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III: "We're looking forward to a successful Daytona 200 on Saturday. Since the jet dryer incident occurred on Feb. 27 [in the Daytona 500], we have washed and cleaned the affected area of the racetrack in Turn 3 multiple times, and applied street bond. We have worked closely with AMA Pro Racing officials and we're both very confident it will not present any issues during the Daytona 200. Once we complete our motorcycle events, we are going to conduct long-term repairs to that area of the asphalt, which will include removing and repaving the affected areas. Lane Construction, the team who worked on the track repave in 2010, will handle the repave project. Once this work is complete, we expect to have no further issues related to the jet dryer crash and we'll be ready to go for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola in July."(DIS)(3-16-2012)

  • 2012 Daytona 500 Brand Exposure: Total media value for NASCAR sponsors receiving brand exposure in the rain-delayed 2012 Daytona 500 increased by over 50% vs. when compared to last year's live racing broadcast, according to Repucom International. Race winning primary sponsor Best Buy received just over $1.8 million in adjusted media value during the broadcast but crossed the finish line 13th in exposure value across all brands analyzed in the event. A number of factors contributed to the overall increase in exposure time and value, most notably a longer broadcast duration with the red flag. Average household viewership of the event decreased slightly while the cost of media saw a slight uptick vs. last year. Repucom International tracks every brand within every race of 12 motorsports series globally including all three NASCAR series, IndyCar, Grand-Am and NHRA in the United States.(Repucom)(3-13-2012)

  • Homestead-Miami, Daytona, Phoenix featured in "Smoke Your Tires" Game: Picturesque Homestead-Miami Speedway is one of the first tracks featured in a new downloadable application, Smoke Your Tires. Coinciding with the start of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing season, International Speedway Corporation has lent the marks to its 12 tracks to a new iTunes app, Smoke Your Tire. Homestead-Miami Speedway is among the first featured in the app, along with other iconic ISC facilities Daytona International Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway. This application for the iPhone is available now in the iTunes store with an Android version forthcoming. The app allows players to customize a stock car to feel as if they are smoking tires on the actual 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway track in never-before-seen-on-apps 360 degree spins, the difficulty of which increases by graduating levels. The first two levels, with backdrops at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Daytona International Speedway, respectively, are free with multi-level tiers added with each new event of the stock car racing season hosted at an ISC track. Each level will be a unique experience with new challenges and varying degrees of difficulty.(HMS)(3-8-2012)

  • Tide runs commercial featuring Daytona track clean up: A new Tide TV commercial ... seeks to capitalize on the detergent's brand unexpected product placement during Fox's telecast of the Daytona 500. The Procter & Gamble laundry detergent is not a NASCAR or Daytona sponsor. But Tide got millions worth of free exposure when Fox viewers saw safety workers using Tide to clean the track after a fiery crash at Daytona International Speedway covered Turn 3 with 200 gallons of burning jet fuel. Tide was smart enough to capitalize on the free product placement immediately. A new spot ran during Fox's telecast of the The Subway Fresh Fit 500 Sunday. The ad shows footage of Daytona workers using Tide to clean up the track. "You keep inventing stains. We'll keep inventing ways to get them out," says the commercial.(USA Today), commercial can be seen at the link.(3-5-2012)

  • NASCAR to use extra pace car behind jet dryers: NASCAR officials announced a change to have an extra pace car with flashing lights behind the last jet-dryer truck on the track in all races in all three series -- Sprint Cup, Nationwide and the Camping World Trucks Series. The change, which was explained to the Sprint Cup teams during the drivers' meeting Sunday morning at Phoenix International Raceway, comes after Juan Pablo Montoya's car spun into a jet-dryer truck during a caution period in the Daytona 500 Monday night. The drivers of the jet-dryer trucks also will wear helmets and fire suits during each race, but that is a change agreed upon by officials at race tracks that play host to NASCAR events, not a rule instituted by NASCAR.(ESPN)(3-5-2012)

  • Update on jet dryer driver from Daytona 500 accident: Michigan International Speedway had three jet dryers and two employees at Daytona International Speedway assisting with Monday's Daytona 500. The jet dryer driven by Duane Barnes, 52, of Addison, Mich., was hit from behind by #42-Juan Pablo Montoya during a caution. Barnes was released from Halifax Medical Center after a precautionary evaluation by doctors late Monday night. He returned to the racetrack to watch the end of the race. Barnes has worked in the Maintenance Department at Michigan International Speedway for 24 years. He has frequently assisted other International Speedway Corporation-owned racetracks, driving jet dryers at those events. MIS supports other racetracks by sending staff and equipment to events. Barnes is surprised at the outpouring of well wishes, and thanks everyone for their concern. "I appreciate everyone for taking the time to write, call and ask how I am. I am OK and I am amazed at how many people have wished me well. I am also glad Juan Pablo Montoya is OK, and thank him for his concern," Barnes said.(MIS)(2-28-2012)

  • Cena forced to back out: John Cena, the former WWE champion, had originally planned to honor his commitment as the honorary starter for Monday's Daytona 500 before hoping on a plane to fly to Portland, Oregon for his appearance on Monday Night Raw. However, with the race starting at night, Cena was forced to back out of his commitment but not before stopping by the media center to promise to pay for a charter plane back to Daytona if the race is postponed until Tuesday. "I've never seen a more stand-up guy," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood. "He has an open invitation to come back to any of our events, anytime."(Orlando Sentinel), Cena was scheduled to wave the green flag on Sunday, then when it was postponed, he was to also give the command to start engines.(2-28-2012)

  • 2013 Daytona 500 is Feb 24th: The 2013 Daytona 500 will remain the last Sunday in February at Daytona International Speedway. Track president Joie Chitwood confirmed Friday that "The Great American Race" would start on Feb. 24 of next year. The race was moved from its traditional second or third week of February this year for the first time since 1971 as NASCAR eliminated its weekend off in early March (ESPN)(2-24-2012)

  • No more Budweiser Shootout BUT the will have the Budweiser Duel: Budweiser and Daytona International Speedway 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.' "(Daytona International Speedway)(2-24-2012)


    Alongside the Bill France Jr. statue -- Betty Jane France, wife of Bill France Jr., Jim France, ISC Chairman and brother of Bill France Jr., Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and son of Bill France Jr. and Lesa France Kennedy, Chief Executive Officer of International Speedway Corp.

  • Bill France Jr. statue unveiled at DIS: Members of the France family gathered Wednesday with donors, local officials and industry members to unveil the Bill France Jr. statue outside the Daytona International Speedway Ticket and Tours Office. The statue was produced by sculptor John Lajba. William (Bill) Clifton France is remembered - and revered - as the man who followed his visionary father at NASCAR's helm, in the process becoming a visionary himself, as he guided NASCAR to unprecedented levels of popularity. He combined pragmatism with optimism, an approach that resulted in a calculated - and adventurous - road to success.(DIS)(2-23-2012)

  • After Daytona 500, no more smoking in DIS grandstands: Smoking will no longer be allowed in the Daytona International Speedway grandstands starting with the Coke Zero 400 in July. "It is the year 2012," said Chitwood, the Speedway's president. "I am not aware of any other sporting venue in Florida that allows smoking in their seats." When the ban takes effect, fans will be required to use designated smoking areas behind the grandstands. In the meantime, smokers will be encouraged to refrain from lighting up in seating areas during Speedweeks, Chitwood said. The ban is not mandatory yet because smokers purchased their tickets under the presumption they could smoke, he said. Las Vegas Motor Speedway banned smoking in seating areas about four years ago. Smoking policies vary for International Speedway Corp. tracks. Michigan International and Richmond International Speedway also recently announced smoking bans for grandstands.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-23-2012)

  • Pat Monahan to sing National Anthem for Daytona 500: Pat Monahan, lead singer of the three-time Grammy-winning group Train, will sing the National Anthem for the 54th running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. "Pat has one of the most amazing voices in music today and we are ecstatic to have him perform the National Anthem for the Daytona 500," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "He will deliver a rousing rendition of the National Anthem before hundreds of thousands of fans in attendance and millions more watching live on FOX Sports." Train, which consists of Monahan, Scott Underwood and Jimmy Stafford, has earned three Grammys, two Billboard Music Awards for Top Rock Artist and Top Rock Song and an ASCAP Pop Music Award for Song of the Year. Tickets for the 54th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26 as well as other Speedweeks 2012 events can be purchased online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-22-2012)

  • Olympic gold medalist swimmer Ryan Lochte to serve as Grand Marshal for the first Gatorade Duel: Ryan Lochte, three-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer and Daytona Beach native, will serve as Grand Marshal for the first of two Gatorade Duel At Daytona 150-mile qualifying races on Thursday, Feb. 23 at Daytona International Speedway. Lochte, who won his first gold at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and two more at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, will deliver the starting command "Drivers, start your engines" to begin the first Gatorade Duel. "We are looking forward to welcoming one of Daytona Beach's most decorated athletes as Grand Marshal for the first Gatorade Duel," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "His achievements are inspiring to those around the world and are great point of pride in the Daytona Beach community. We are honored to have him play an integral part in the Gatorade Duel." The Gatorade Duel At Daytona features two 150-mile, 60-lap races that will finalize the starting lineup for NASCAR's most prestigious race - the 54th annual Daytona 500. Tickets for Speedweeks 2012 events, including the 54th annual Daytona 500, are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-22-2012)

  • Romney to visit DIS before the race: Mitt Romney won't be coming to Daytona Beach for a fundraiser on Friday after all -- but the Republican presidential hopeful expects to be at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday before the Daytona 500. Romney's campaign planned to be in town Friday for a fundraising reception hosted by International Speedway Corp. CEO Lesa France Kennedy, but Tuesday's primary in Michigan -- where Romney's father was a three-term governor in the 1960s -- is too close for him to get away. Polls show a surprisingly tough race between Romney -- who won Michigan four years ago against John McCain -- and Rick Santorum. "They're going to reschedule it because he's so hard-pressed in Michigan," said Don Kane, a volunteer in the local campaign effort. Instead of a fundraiser, Romney will come for a quick visit Sunday on the morning of the 500, Kane said. Speedway officials said formal plans weren't in place yet.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-22-2012)

  • UFC's Jon "Bones" Jones named Honorary Race Official for the Daytona 500: UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones will serve as Honorary Race Official for the 54th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 26 at Daytona International Speedway. As Honorary Race Official, Jones will be introduced at the driver's meeting, participate in pre-race ceremonies and ride in one of the honorary race official cars ahead of the 43-car field for the 200-lap, 500-mile historic race. Tickets for Speedweeks 2012 events, including the 54th annual Daytona 500, are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-20-2012)

  • Daytona International Speedway to add short track races in 2013: There will be no gap in the 2013 Speedweeks stock-car schedule. Beginning next year, Daytona International Speedway's "dark days," or the Monday and Tuesday before the Daytona 500, will be filled with a mega national event on a short track carved from the backstretch area fronting the Lund Grandstands. "When I think about adding a short track event here, it's just an opportunity to connect with that local racer supporting NASCAR," Speedway president Joie Chitwood III said. "Thinking about them, getting the chance to run at the World Center of Racing, it felt like the right thing to do. Whether it's a hobby or profession, everybody should have the chance to race at Daytona." The lineup includes drivers from NASCAR's K&N Pro Series East and West; Whelen Modified Tour North and South; and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I, or weekly track. While all the details are not known -- the official announcement is Friday -- The News-Journal has learned Daytona will create a defined, 0.4-mile, flat oval using the newly paved racetrack and skid pad surfaces. Removable concrete barriers will be used to identify the short track course. The two-day racing program will run under the lights. Any K&N or Whelen race winner throughout the 2012 season will get an automatic ticket to Daytona's event. NASCAR's top 10 weekly track drivers (the Whelan All-American Series) will also get a Daytona invitation. In addition NASCAR champions from Canada, Mexico and Europe will receive invites to this inaugural short track competition.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-16-2012)

  • Eleven years since pole winner won Daytona 500: The first two spots in the Daytona 500 will be determined on Sunday as a 10th different driver attempts to take the season-opening Coors Light Pole Award. Hendrick Motorsports has won three of the last four poles. The pole-winner appears to be due for a victory in The Great American Race. The record for seasons between pole-sitters winning the Daytona 500 is 12 from Cale Yarborough in 1968 to Buddy Baker in 1980 and Bill Elliott in 1987 to Jeff Gordon in 1999. Dale Jarrett is the last pole-sitter to win the 500 in 2000. Danica Patrick will attempt to become the fourth rookie to win the Daytona 500 pole, following Loy Allen (1994), Mike Skinner (1997) and Jimmie Johnson (2002). If she does so, she'll also become the first woman to win a pole in NASCAR's top series. A female driver has not competed in the Daytona 500 since 1980. Janet Guthrie finished 11th to better her best previous finish of 12th in 1977.(NASCAR)
    CORRECTION: actually Shawna Robinson ran in the 2002 Daytona 500 finishing 24th.(2-15-2012)

  • Little Big Town to perform National Anthem for Budweiser Shootout: Country vocal quartet Little Big Town will perform a pre- and post-race concerts as well as the National Anthem for the 34th annual Budweiser Shootout on Saturday, Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway. Little Big Town will perform three songs prior to the non-points event on the pre-race stage located on pit road as well as the National Anthem, which will be carried live on FOX Sports. After the checkered flag waves on the 75-lap race, the group will perform a 60-minute post-race concert from the Sprint FANZONE Main Entertainment Stage. Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access holders will be able to view the pre-race concert from the tri-oval grass while all ticket holders will have access to the post-race concert, which will start in the Sprint FANZONE approximately 30 minutes after the end of the race. In addition to their Budweiser Shootout pre- and post-race concerts and National Anthem, a special $84 ticket package designed around the Little Big Town has been created that includes a Budweiser Shootout ticket, Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access and VIP area access to the Little Big Town pre-race performance. Tickets for all Speedweeks 2012 events, including the Budweiser Shootout, are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-13-2012)

  • Lenny Kravitz to perform the Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show: Rock superstar Lenny Kravitz will perform the Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show, the pre-race extravaganza leading up to the start of "The Great American Race" at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 26. Kravitz, who has sold more than 35 million albums and is the only musician in history to win the Grammy for best male vocals in rock music four times consecutively, will perform three songs prior to the start of the 54th annual Daytona 500 - the season-opening event to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the biggest stock car race in the world. All race fans that purchase a Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access pass for the Daytona 500 will be able to view Kravitz's Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show, as well as driver introductions, from the grass tri-oval area. Kravitz joins a long list of star-studded names that have performed in the Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show including Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Bon Jovi, Kelly Clarkson, Mariah Carey and Brad Paisley. In addition to his Daytona 500 Pre-Race Concert, a special ticket package designed around Kravitz has been created that includes a Daytona 500 ticket, Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access and VIP area access to Kravitz's performance. Packages start at $164. For more information on tickets for the 54th annual Daytona 500 and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access, race fans can go online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(Daytona International Speedway)(2-10-2012)

  • The Three Stooges Co-Stars Named Grand Marshals for the Daytona 500: As Grand Marshals, co-stars from the new Three Stooges movie Jane Lynch and Kate Upton will deliver the four most famous words in motorsports - "Drivers, start your engines." Sean Hayes, Chris Diamantopoulos, and Will Sasso -- starring as Larry, Moe & Curly - in the all new The Three Stooges movie from Twentieth Century Fox, will start the action by delivering the green flag at the Daytona 500.
    "We look forward to Jane and Kate's participation in the pre-race ceremonies, adding to the star power of NASCAR's biggest and richest race of the year," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "Also, the thousands of race fans in attendance and the millions more watching on FOX Sports are eagerly waiting to experience 'Stoogemania,' when The Three Stooges deliver the green flag"
    In The Three Stooges, which hits theaters everywhere April 13, 2012, newborns Larry, Moe and Curly are left on the doorstep of an orphanage run by nuns. The boys grow up finger-poking, nyuk-nyuk-nyuking and woo-woo-wooing their way to uncharted levels of knuckleheaded misadventure. Out to save their childhood home, only The Three Stooges could become embroiled in an oddball murder plot...while stumbling into starring in a phenomenally successful TV reality show. Earl Benjamin, President and CEO of C3 Entertainment, Inc. (The Three Stooges brand owner) and Executive Producer of the new movie, said "The Three Stooges as a part of the Daytona 500 gives both comedy and racing fans a truly unique blend of two of America's most enduring cultural icons - The greatest comedy team of all time and the aptly named The Great American Race. Tickets for Speedweeks 2012 events, including the 54th annual Daytona 500, are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-8-2012)

  • WWE's John Cena to serves as Honorary Starter of Daytona 500: WWE Superstar John Cena will wave the green flag as Honorary Starter of the 54th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 26 at historic Daytona International Speedway. Cena was invited to participate in this year's big race by 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series runner-up Carl Edwards last night on WWE's Monday Night Raw. Edwards got out of his official #99 Fastenal Ford and told Cena, "NASCAR asked me to come to Monday Night Raw and personally invite you to drop the green flag and officially start the Daytona 500 on February 26." An appreciative John Cena enthusiastically accepted with an emphatic "Yes!" Cena, who made his WWE debut in 2002, is a ten-time World Champion. He can be seen each week on the hit cable series Monday Night Raw on USA Network. The avid NASCAR fan will headline WrestleMania against The Rock® at Sun Life Stadium in Miami on Sunday, April 1, 2012. Cena, like many NASCAR drivers, has a long standing relationship with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He is on pace to grant his 300th wish, making him the first celebrity wish granter ever to reach that lofty goal. The Make-A-Wish Foundation recently dedicated a room to WWE at the foundation's headquarters in Phoenix, AZ, in honor of Cena's unwavering dedication to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Past Honorary Starters for the Daytona 500 include NASCAR Hall of Famers Bobby Allison and Richard Petty, actor Ashton Kutcher, comedian Whoopi Goldberg and singer Mariah Carey. Tickets for Speedweeks 2012 events, including the 54th annual Daytona 500, are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-7-2012)

  • Daytona 500 will have purse of more than $19 Million: The 54th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26 will carry a record purse of more than $19 million as well as a new contingency award that will payout $200,000 to the driver leading at the completion of Lap 100. The posted awards for "The Great American Race" are $19,142,601 with the winner collecting a minimum of $1,431,325. The second, third, fourth and fifth-place finishers in the Daytona 500 will receive a minimum of $1,050,075, $759,600, $609,900 and $486,550. The Daytona 500 Mid-Race Leader Award will reward the driver leading the midway point of the historic 200-lap, 500-mile race with a $200,000 bonus. If the race is under caution at Lap 100, the leader of the race at the completion of the fifth consecutive green flag lap following the caution will receive the award.(DIS)(2-2-2012)

  • NASCAR starting Speedweeks with restrictor plate that ended test: NASCAR will return to Daytona International Speedway in February with the same restrictor plate that it left with when testing ended earlier this month. Teams were informed Friday of the rules configuration for Daytona, which includes a restrictor plate with holes 29/32nds of an inch in diameter. In hopes of limiting the use of the two-car draft used by the Sprint Cup cars during the Daytona 500, NASCAR officials have made changes that they hope would result in overheating if the two-car draft is used for an extended period of time during the race. The biggest change is the rear bumper has been moved two inches closer to the ground. Teams will have a front grille opening of 50 square inches - it was 40 square inches by the time testing ended last week at the 2.5-mile trioval. The radiator pressure release valve will be set at 25 psi, the same as it was when teams left Daytona on the final afternoon of testing.(Scene Daily)(1-23-2012)

  • NASCAR close to finalizing Daytona package: Sprint Cup preseason testing ended at Daytona International Speedway Saturday afternoon with NASCAR saying it has a good handle on a workable rules package for February Speedweeks. Officials made numerous modifications during three days of testing at the 2.5-mile track with the aim of lessening driver dependence on the tandem drafting that have ruled racing at Daytona and Talladega in recent events. NASCAR and track officials seemed pleased with the results of the three days after drivers ran in single-car, double-car and pack formations. NASCAR compiled stacks of data during the test runs and expects to issue a final rules package for Speedweeks soon. There is the expectation that Speedweeks events - particularly the featured Feb. 26 Daytona 500 - will see more traditional pack racing and less tandem drafting, although the cars' setups remain such that the two-car draft could decide the race over the closing laps.(SPEED)(1-15-2012)

  • Thunderbirds to perform flyover for Daytona 500: The world-renowned U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will provide race fans with the flyover during the National Anthem for the 54th annual Daytona 500 - the prestigious season-opening event for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 26 at Daytona International Speedway. It's the third time the flying team, officially known as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, will perform the flyover for the Daytona 500. The Thunderbirds previously flew over the race in 2008 and 2011. The Thunderbirds flyover will feature six F-16 Fighting Falcons, the Air Force's premier multi-role fighter aircraft, soaring over the speedway at the moment the final notes of the Star-Spangled Banner are sung.(DIS)(1-14-2012)

  • NASCAR makes more rule changes: UPDATE - additional changes: If NASCAR's objective was to eliminate tandem drafting at restrictor-plate racetracks, it remains a work in progress, based on Thursday's first Preseason Thunder test session at Daytona International Speedway. Accordingly, in a meeting with crew chiefs at approximately 5:30 p.m. Thursday, NASCAR announced additional modifications to a restrictor-plate competition package that already had undergone major changes in the offseason. Even though Kyle Busch topped the speed chart in Thursday afternoon's Preseason Thunder test session at Daytona International Speedway at 202.402 mph-in a tandem draft with Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Joey Logano-NASCAR will make the cars faster, less stable and more prone to overheating on Friday. The sanctioning body increased the diameter of restrictor-plate openings 1/32nd of an inch to 15/16ths inches, adding an estimated 26 horsepower to the engines. In addition, NASCAR has lowered the pressure relief valve settings from 30 pounds per square inch to 25 psi and narrowed the grille openings of the cars, thereby decreasing airflow to the engine. Both measures are designed to decrease the number of laps one car can push another without overheating.(Sporting News)(1-12-2012)
    UPDATE: NASCAR announced more changes for Sprint Cup Series teams after the second day of testing at Daytona International Speedway on Friday. Teams will receive a smaller restrictor plate with an opening of 29/32nd of an inch, down from 15/16ths, to decrease the amount of air intake to the engine. The radiator opening was shrunk from 3.5-by-18 inches to 2-by-20 inches, or from 63 square inches to 40. And the pressure relief valve is now 21 pounds per square inch from the 25psi they used Friday. The top speed in Friday's test session was set 90 minutes into the afternoon by Kurt Busch. He ran a 206.058-mph average lap working in tandem with his regular drafting partner, Regan Smith. Busch hit 210.9 mph down the backstretch, the fastest portion of the track.(Fox Sports)(1-13-2012)

  • DIS Promotes Two Long-Time Executives: Daytona International Speedway announced today the promotion of two long-time executives at the "World Center of Racing." Pete D'Agresta has been named Senior Director of Facility Operations and John Power has been named Senior Director of Security. Both executives report to Daytona International Speedway Vice President of Operations Andrew Gurtis. The promotions became effective earlier this month. Information on all Daytona International Speedway events is available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(12-24-2011)

  • Daytona teams up with Harvick and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation for special Daytona 500 offer: Daytona International Speedway has once again joined forces with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) for a special ticket package that will deliver the excitement of NASCAR's most prestigious race - the Daytona 500 - as well as benefit an important cause. And this year, Daytona has upped the ante by also partnering with 2007 Daytona 500 Champion Kevin Harvick. The NFFF ticket package, which starts at $119 for adults and $79 for children 12 and under, includes a race ticket to the 54th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 26, admission to the FIRE STATION 500 hospitality tent, and an appearance by Harvick. A portion of the proceeds from each NFFF ticket package purchase will be donated to the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation, a tax-exempt, non-profit organization created by the United States Congress to lead a nationwide effort to remember America's fallen firefighters. Since 1992, NFFF has developed and expanded programs to honor fallen fire heroes and assist their families and co-workers. To purchase this special package, race fans should call 1-877-306-RACE or visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com. For more information on the Foundation, visit www.firehero.org offer expires on 2/23.(DIS)(12-21-2011)

  • Changes for restrictor plate racing at Preseason-Testing: Preseason Thunder Testing for the Sprint Cup Series is Jan. 12-13-14 at Daytona International Speedway for final preparations for 2012 Speedweeks, in particular, the running of the 54th annual Daytona 500 - Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012. Rules package is a result of information gathered during recent tests at Talladega (October) and Daytona (November) the new rules package includes:
    Smaller radiator - Maximum of 2 gallon capacity
    Smaller overflow tank - Maximum capacity of ½ gallon
    Radiator inlet is moved up closer into the front center bumper area
    Rate reduction in the springs - softer springs
    Smaller rear spoiler
    Base line restrictor plate of 29/32 inch (1/64 inch larger than plate size for the 2011 Daytona 500)(NASCAR)
    AND NASCAR has issued a new technical bulletin to its Sprint Cup teams, detailing major changes to cooling systems for 2012 Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway in an effort to better regulate tandem drafting. According to Chris Paulson, president and owner of C&R Racing Inc. -- which manufactures nearly all of the radiators used in NASCAR's premier series -- the sanctioning body will be significantly reducing the size of the radiators and changing the location of the grille openings before the cars return for Daytona testing in January. "[Sprint Cup Series director] John Darby is implementing a two-gallon maximum radiator size," Paulson said. "So in other words, the big, huge five-gallon radiators everybody's running will be down to two. And that accumulator can was a one-gallon max volume. It's going down to a half-gallon-sized can." The idea is to make the cooling systems less efficient, Paulson said, forcing the cars to run in open air to keep water temperatures down. "We'll probably see some result from that, but it's not going to be huge, mainly because they've got these things figured out now," Paulson said. "But it's still going to have an effect. The bigger effect is going to be moving the grille opening up to the bumper fascia area. Because now when they're tucked up behind another car, they're really going to kill all the air. So I think they're on the right track with that. They'll get the result that way."(NASCAR.com)(12-16-2011)

  • Daytona Preseason Thunder Fan Fest tickets on sale Wednesday: Race fans can purchase tickets for the popular Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 9 a.m. The stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will take to the legendary 2.5-mile tri-oval at Daytona International Speedway for three days of testing on Thursday, Jan. 12 through Sunday, Jan. 14. The Preseason Thunder Fan Fest sessions are scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 12 and Friday, Jan. 13 and include autograph sessions, driver question and answer sessions, show cars and displays, music and a photo opportunity with the 2012 Harley J. Earl Daytona 500 trophy. In addition, fans can ride the high banks under the lights by purchasing a Richard Petty Driving Experience ride along. Tickets for Daytona Preseason Thunder Fan Fest are $20 and available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com. Children 12 and under will receive free admission.(DIS)(11-29-2011)

  • Daytona International Speedway Offers "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" Ticket Specials: Race fans can give the gift of racing excitement at Daytona International Speedway with the "World Center of Racing's" "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" Thanksgiving holiday ticket specials. On Friday, Nov. 25 (Black Friday) and Monday, Nov. 28 (Cyber Monday), Daytona International Speedway will have the following $49 ticket package specials available for race fans to select from as they conduct their holiday shopping: To take advantage of the "Black Friday" and Cyber Monday" ticket specials, race fans can call 1-800-PITSHOP between 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. or visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com/deals.(DIS)(11-22-2011)

  • Nemechek runs 203mph at Daytona test....alone: #87-Joe Nemechek, a driver/car owner, reached 203 mph without a drafting partner during Tuesday's test session at Daytona International Speedway. The day was supposed to belong to NASCAR as it tested various setups in an effort to break up the two-car tandem draft. But instead, Nemechek was the talk of the garage and what it might mean for qualifying if Tuesday's changes are implemented for the Feb. 26 Daytona 500. "We were changing the restrictor plates and all kinds of stuff," Nemechek said. "I mean, (the speed is) just the product of putting more horsepower to the back tires. I think we're going to be quite a bit faster when we come back here for qualifying day. It's going to be interesting. All the teams are going to have to do some more homework." Nemechek was testing with Triad Engine Development, a North Carolina-based company. "We were using a 1 1/16-inch plate and a 3-inch radius spoiler," Triad Racing Development head engine builder Jon Dysinger said. "This was better than we expected."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(11-16-2011)

  • Aerodynamic testing at Daytona UPDATE comments: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams are scheduled to test at Daytona International Speedway in an effort to evaluate and prepare aerodynamic baseline packages for the January 12-14, 2012 Preseason Thunder Test at DIS. Testing is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 15th from 10 am - 5 pm/et. Teams scheduled to participate include: Hendrick Motorsports (two cars with drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Aric Almirola); Roush Fenway Racing (two cars with drivers David Ragan and Marcos Ambrose); Joe Gibbs Racing (one car with driver Joey Logano), Michael Waltrip Racing (one car with driver Martin Truex Jr.), and NEMCO Motorsports (one car with driver Joe Nemechek). A section of the Oldfield Grandstands will be open free to the public with access available through the lobby of the Daytona International Speedway ticket office.(DIS)(11-11/15-2011)
    UPDATE: Seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams turned laps at the high banks of Daytona International Speedway Tuesday, seeking the best baseline aerodynamic package for next January's Preseason Thunder Test at "The World Center of Racing."
    Teams participating in Tuesday's test included Hendrick Motorsports (Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Aric Almirola); Roush Fenway Racing (David Ragan and Marcos Ambrose); Joe Gibbs Racing (Joey Logano); Michael Waltrip Racing (Martin Truex Jr.); and NEMCO Motorsports (Joe Nemechek).
    After the track was dried following an early morning rain shower, teams first got on the track at 11:45 a.m. The initial restrictor plate size was 29/32 inch and the initial spoiler size was 4 ½ inches tall, 63 inches wide, which was the same spoiler size for last July's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona. By day's end, the size of the rear spoiler had been reduced to 3 inches tall by 62 inches wide. The smaller spoiler results in less down force and drag, but still allows the cars to maintain high speeds and remain under control.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. (#88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevy), a 13-time race winner at Daytona, said Tuesday's test session was a "positive step in finding a solution to the drafting style at Daytona."
    "I did not anticipate finding a magical solution here today, but we will be much better off and a lot smarter about things by having tested," said Earnhardt. "This is just part of the work that needs to get done. There are a lot of creative minds out here. We're learning what we need to know. I think we're all in agreement that we probably won't totally rid ourselves of the tandem racing, but I'm confident we can get to the point where it will not be the norm."
    Martin Truex Jr. (#56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota), a two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion and solid restrictor plate racer, said there was a lot of mixing and matching going on in the garage this afternoon. "We tried several different packages out there today and what we're trying to do is put an end to this two-car draft, or at least make it so we can only get together for a lap or two and have to switch or run in a pack," said Truex. "NASCAR is being smart about all of this and they are going through some steps to see if the changes that we're making will result in what they think they will be."
    John Darby, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director, said that Tuesday's test should allow NASCAR the ability to formulate a solid baseline aerodynamic package that teams can work on heading into next January's three-day test session at DIS, Jan. 12-14. "One of our goals is to give the teams more options when it comes to how they draft and we believe we're headed in the right direction on that," said Darby. "We want to be able to reduce the difference in the speeds between the tandem style of racing and more of the pack style of racing and we made a lot of good progress on that here today."
    Both Earnhardt and Truex agreed that the transition to Electronic Fuel Injection in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is right on track. The sport's premier series will implement EFI beginning at Daytona next season. "The computer guys like what they've seen so far with the EFI test and I'll tell you what, when I've tested the EFI car, it drives as well or better than the carburetor cars," said Earnhardt. "To be honest with you, if you didn't know it when you got into the car, you couldn't tell a difference," said Truex. "The only thing that's different is the way it starts. You don't have to pump the gas like a normal carburetor. You just flip the switch and crank it up like a street car."(NASCAR)(11-15-2011)
    AND: Toyota NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Daytona Test -- Notes & Quotes from #20-Joey Logano:
    Q) What have you learned so far from today's test session at Daytona?
    Logano: "We learned that when you take a spoiler out of a race car at Daytona it makes the car go faster. We were going 206 or 207 or so. We've been doing that, taking the rear spring out of the car and just taking downforce away from these things. Trying to get away from that two-car draft. We're slowly getting away from the two-car draft, making it harder to do it. I guess we've made gains today because that's what NASCAR is looking for."
    Q) Have you noticed a difference with the new electronic fuel injection in the race car?
    Logano: "No, we can't really tell much at all, but that's a good thing.(Toyota Racing)(11-16-2011)

  • Auto Racing could be Florida's state sport: This summer, The News-Journal asked readers what Florida's official state sport should be. We have an official state reptile, pie and bird -- why not an official state sport? Sen. Evelyn Lynn, R-Ormond Beach, immediately knew the answer. She said she would file legislation to make auto racing the official state sport, and she's done just that. Senate Bill 266 designates "automobile racing" as the official state sport. If the Legislature adopts it during the session that begins Jan. 10, it would take effect next July 1 -- just in time for NASCAR's summer return to Daytona International Speedway.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(11-6-2011)

  • Daytona fans tired of tandem racing: A post-race survey following July's Coke Zero 400 suggested a growing number of race fans are becoming weary of tandem racing, Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said Wednesday. After the race, the Speedway sent surveys to 1,000 race fans, asking them to rate 12 points of their experience. The survey covers everything from the quality of food to restrooms to parking and the race itself. Chitwood said the results from the Guest Experience Management survey showed two-thirds of fans would recommend a race to friends and only 8 percent were dissatisfied. While overall the marks were high, the survey showed the number of fans who were dissatisfied with the race itself grew from 3 percent last year to 10 percent this year. Chitwood attributed that to fans growing bored with tandem racing, in which two cars run nose to tail to increase speed, instead of racing in a pack. "The two-by-two racing was a novelty that has worn off," Chitwood told The News-Journal editorial board.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-14-2011)

  • Daytona testing dates set for January: NASCAR Preseason Thunder, the annual three-day NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test session at Daytona International Speedway in advance of the prestigious season-opening 54th annual Daytona 500, will be held on Jan. 12-14. All NASCAR Preseason Thunder test sessions begin at 9 am and end at 5 pm, weather permitting. Each includes a lunch break from noon until 1 pm. Race fans can also rev up their new year at the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest - the companion event to the January test sessions. Along with watching NASCAR Preseason Thunder track activity from the Sprint FANZONE, fans can enjoy two Fan Fest driver sessions - from 5-9 p.m., on Thursday, Jan. 12 and from 5-7 p.m., on Friday, Jan. 13.
    The schedule of driver question-and-answer and autograph sessions will be finalized closer to the event. Tickets for the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest, which include autograph session wristbands, will be available for purchase at a later date. For fans who would like to be contacted regarding NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest ticket information can sign up online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/thunder. Fans can also watch each day's testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands. Information on tickets for both the NASCAR Preseason Thunder and the Roar Before The Rolex 24 will be available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(9-29-2011)

  • Daytona International Speedway Receives FPRA Golden Image Award: The public relations and marketing department of Daytona International Speedway was honored with a prestigious 2011 Golden Image Award from the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) for its 2010 Daytona Repave public relations program. The Golden Image Awards competition, which is conducted annually by the FPRA, recognizes PR professionals from around the state of Florida for programs and projects that represent the very best examples of innovation, planning and design in public relations. Daytona International Speedway earned the Golden Image Award in the Public Relations Programs category for Special Events. Lane Construction used an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway between June and December of 2010. It was only the second time in the track's history that it was repaved. Tickets for Speedweeks 2012 and the 54th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 26 are available online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(8-22-2011)

  • Will two-by-two racing continue at Daytona/Talladega?: from a NASCAR Transcript of a Q&A held at Kentucky Speedway
    Q. Last week was another two-by-two race at a restrictor plate track. Some drivers were critical of that style of racing again. Are you satisfied enough with it to the point where there's still no changes planned or do anything that would break that up, or is that being looked at or considered at all?
    ROBIN PEMBERTON: That's a good question and it's a tough question. I think if you look over time, whether it was two-by-two, single-file, pack racing, whatever you want to call it over the last number of years, you will always have critics no matter what you do. But we have had great statistics. We've had a lot of leaders, a lot of lead changes. The competition is great. I think it's too close to the checkered flag from the Coke Zero 400 other than us gathering our thoughts about that, you know. But I'm sure we'll put some folks together and we'll talk about it. But there will always be those that will be critical. I never saw anybody or a driver get out of a car after a wreck and compliment how things were going. I haven't seen it yet.
    So, you know, there's elements of that that are different. It takes a while to digest that. There's quite a few folks that opinions have changed over the course of time. It's only been since we started the repaved racetracks. It's a backhanded compliment to how smooth the surfaces are at Daytona and Talladega that this type of racing has evolved. It's not necessarily anything new on the cars, whether it be the Nationwide or the Cup cars. The Trucks haven't had any change in the last few years, and they're starting to master that drafting technique. It's going to continue to evolve and we'll keep an eye on it and see what comes out of this. But we talk about all types of racing, not just restrictor plate stuff, when events get done.(NASCAR)(7-9-2011)

  • Daytona to donate extra food from Coke Zero 400: On behalf of Drive to End Hunger, AARP and AARP Foundation's nationwide initiative to end hunger among older Americans, Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III today announced that Daytona will donate all extra food items from the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Volusia County. The donation is expected to include breads, produce and other food items and will be delivered on Tuesday, July 5 with help from Americrown, the catering and concessions subsidiary of parent company International Speedway Corporation. Drive to End Hunger is a national effort that also includes an innovative grant program that will provide more resources to address this problem at the local level; mobilization of NASCAR fans, sponsors, their customers, AARP and AARP Foundation volunteers to address the problem of senior hunger through community service and direct donations to food banks; and research on the causes and the consequences of hunger in older Americans.(DIS)(7-2-2011)

  • Daytona International Speedway To Recognize Space Shuttle Program: In honor of the final flight of the Space Shuttle program - STS-135 Space Shuttle Atlantis scheduled for July 8 - Daytona International Speedway will pay tribute to NASA's Space Shuttle program during the 53rd annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 2. United States Navy Commander and Astronaut Dominic "Tony" Antonelli, who has served as pilot of both STS-119 Space Shuttle Discovery in 2009 and STS-132 Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2010, will serve as Honorary Starter for the mid-summer classic.
    As Honorary Starter, Antonelli will be introduced at the driver's meeting, participate in the driver introductions and wave the green flag for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. Antonelli will also make appearances in the Coke Zero Club and 31 Degrees hospitality venues prior to the start of the race. Antonelli has logged a total of 24 days, 3 hours, 57 minutes and 35 seconds in space. In his first mission as pilot of STS-119 Space Shuttle Discovery in March 2009, he was part of the crew that delivered the S6 Integrated Truss Segment and the final pair of power-generating solar array wings to the International Space Station.
    Aboard STS-132 Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2010, Antonelli was part of the crew that delivered an Integrated Cargo Carrier and a Russian-build Mini Research Module to the Station. In addition to Antonelli's role as Honorary Starter, Daytona International Speedway will show a video tribute to NASA's Space Shuttle program during pre-race ceremonies. To purchase tickets for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(7-1-2011)

  • Daytona 500: The Inside Story to premiere Thursday night: NASCAR comes to HD Theater [check listings for channel number] this summer with the heart-pounding special, Daytona 500: The Inside Story. The one-hour documentary, produced by award-winning NASCAR Media Group, will offer viewer's an exclusive look back at the unforgettable 53rd installment of motorsports' most iconic race. This year's running was one of the most emotionally-charged in NASCAR history, as it marked the tenth anniversary of the legendary Dale Earnhardt's death on the track's final turn at the 2001 Daytona 500. While race fans reflected upon this tragic event, the upset victory of an unlikely rookie emerged as the serendipitous backstory to this tale of the track. Daytona 500: The Inside Story on June 30 at 9:00pm/et/pt. With Daytona 500: The Inside Story , NASCAR Media Group captures an unforgettable week of tributes to the late Earnhardt that ended with Trevor Bayne's unthinkable drive into Victory Lane. This one-hour documentary delivers never-before-seen footage, extensive pit-to-car radio communication and exclusive interviews with some of NASCAR's biggest names.(Discovery)(6-30-2011)

  • Florida State Head Football Coach Named Grand Marshal For The Coke Zero 400: Jimbo Fisher, head football coach for the Florida State Seminoles, will serve as Grand Marshal for the 53rd annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night, July 2. Fisher will give the starting command, "Gentlemen start your engines," in Saturday's 160-lap, 400-mile race. He'll also be introduced at the driver's meeting, participate in the driver introductions and ride in one of the Grand Marshal cars during the pace laps prior to the green flag. Fisher just completed his first season as head coach at Florida State with a 10-4 record. Fisher led the Seminoles to their first 10-win season since 2003, a victory over in-state rival Florida, an appearance in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game and a victory in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl in Atlanta. Between 2007-09, Fisher served as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for the Seminoles. Prior to joining Florida State, Fisher served as offensive coordinator at Louisiana State between 2000-06 and helped lead the Tigers to the National Championship in 2003. Fisher has also served as an assistant at Samford, Auburn and Cincinnati. The Coke Zero brand selected Coach Fisher for this honor, as Florida State will be one of many prominent schools featured in the brand's fall program around college football rivalries. "I'm extremely honored and excited," Fisher said. "I've been a huge NASCAR fan my entire life. Being able to go to Daytona, where it all started in racing, is a very special privilege and something I'm really looking forward to. I consider this a great honor and I want to thank Coca-Cola for allowing me to represent Florida State." To purchase tickets for the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(6-29-2011)

  • Fireworks at Daytona: Following Saturday's Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, Daytona International Speedway will showcase the largest fireworks show in the Southeast. The 15-minute show will be shot from 15 different locations spread across the infield along the Superstretch. Here are some interesting numbers behind the show:
    -- Shell size ranging from 1" to 8"
    -- 10,000+ lbs of explosive powder
    -- 11,000 individual explosions
    The type of shells range from traditional type shells such as Chrysanthemum, Peonies, Dahlias, Willows and Salutes and specialty shells such as, Smiley Faces, Star Patterns, Double Rings, 4 Color Changing, Shell of Shells, Crossettes, Strobing Diadems, Twilight Glitters and vibrant new pastel colors. The finale will last for approximately one minute, 30 seconds and will have over 2,000 individual pieces. The show uses enough control wire to wrap a lap around the 2.5-mile track. To purchase tickets for the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(6-29-2011)

  • Bubba The Love Sponge Named Honorary Pace Coke Zero 400 Car Driver: The renowned nationally syndicated radio personality Bubba The Love Sponge will serve as Honorary Pace Car driver for the 53rd annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 2 and will participate in a special ticket package built around the Independence Day holiday weekend. As Honorary Pace Car driver, Bubba will be behind the wheel of the Dodge Charger pace car as he leads the 43-car field to the green flag for the 160-lap, 400-mile Independence Day holiday classic under the lights at Daytona. In addition to Bubba's role as Honorary Pace Car driver, a special Bubba Army Tailgate ticket package has been created for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. With packages starting at $104, admission to the outdoor infield tailgate area includes:
    o Grandstand ticket for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 2
    o Designated infield tailgate parking
    o Three drink tickets for beer, wine, soda or water
    o NASCAR celebrity appearances and special giveaways
    o Appearances by Bubba The Love Sponge and Bubba The Love Sponge Show personalities
    o Happy hour specials
    o Live entertainment and games
    Race fans that have already purchased a Coke Zero 400 ticket can upgrade their experience with the tailgating package for $60. An avid motorsports enthusiast and supporter of NASCAR, Bubba hosts the popular Bubba the Love Sponge Show, broadcast nationwide on terrestrial radio. He owns four Radio & Records DJ of the Year awards and six Billboard Rock Air Personality of the Year honors. To purchase tickets for the special Bubba Army Tailgate ticket package for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(6-24-2011)

  • Martina McBride to return to Daytona in July: Fresh off her stirring rendition of the National Anthem for the season-opening 53rd running of the Daytona 500, country music star Martina McBride will return to Daytona International Speedway when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series makes its second visit to the "World Center of Racing" McBride will perform a 60-minute pre-race concert prior to the 53rd annual Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night, July 2. All race fans that purchase a Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access pass for the Coke Zero 400 in addition to a race ticket will be able to view McBride's Coke Zero 400 Pre-Race Show as well as the driver introductions from the grass tri-oval area. Tickets for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(6-23-2011)

  • DIS To Honor Four Medal of Honor Recipients During Coke Zero 400: As the nation celebrates the Independence Day holiday weekend, Daytona International Speedway and tens of thousands of race fans in attendance for the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola will pay tribute to four Medal of Honor recipients. It's the third straight year that Daytona International Speedway will honor Medal of Honor recipients, a program that was first started by Bill France Sr. back in the 1970s.
    The Medal of Honor recipients, all from the Vietnam War, to be honored are:
    * Jon Cavaiani, retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant
    * Harold Fritz, retired U.S. Army Captain
    * Don Jenkins, retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant
    * Leo Thorsness, retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel
    All four Medal of Honor recipients will be recognized during a special luncheon on Friday at the Bill France Room, will attend driver's meetings and participate in pre-race ceremonies for both the Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night, July 1 and the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night, July 2. During Saturday's 53rd annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, a special salute will take place for the four Medal of Honor recipients during pre-race ceremonies. In addition, the four Medal of Honor recipients will take part in an autograph session with race fans in the Sprint FANZONE on Saturday prior to the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola.
    The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It's bestowed on a member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself or herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States. Tickets for the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola are available on online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(6-21-2011)

  • Area Hotels Offer Discounted Rates with No Minimum Night Stays for Coke Zero 400: Daytona International Speedway recently launched a new promotion with area hotels to provide race fans with the best deals possible when they attend the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola July 1 and 2. During the month of June, fans who book their stays at participating hotels will receive at least a 10% discount off regular rates. Also, these hotels will not require a minimum night stay to participate in the promotion - the discounted rates are good for one night or multiple nights.
    Participating hotels include the Bahama House and Best Western Aku Tiki in Daytona Beach, the Hampton Inn and Clarion Hotel in Deland (approximately 20 miles from the speedway), and the Marriott and Westin hotels in Lake Mary (approximately 35 miles from the speedway). A complete list of participating hotels and special promotional codes can be found on www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/hotels.(DIS)(6-20-2011)

  • Budweiser renews with Daytona: Budweiser will continue to serve as both the exclusive official beer sponsor of Daytona International Speedway and the entitlement sponsor for the Budweiser Shootout following a multi-year partnership renewal. As part of the agreement, Budweiser will also begin a non-exclusive promotional partnership with Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2012. Under the terms of the agreement, Budweiser will maintain signage rights for all events at Daytona International Speedway including Speedweeks, the Daytona 500 and the Coke Zero 400, as well as the naming rights of the infield concession area - the Budweiser Bistro - and the Budweiser Party Porch located adjacent to the Superstretch. Budweiser has served as the entitlement sponsor of the Budweiser Shootout, the star-studded non-points race that kicks off the stock car portion of Speedweeks, since 1979 when the event was originally known as the "Busch Clash." Budweiser began serving as the official beer sponsor of Daytona International Speedway in 2006. Budweiser's promotional partnership with Homestead-Miami Speedway will include race tickets and hospitality assets with the purpose of activating in-market sweepstakes, facilitating ticket giveaways and capitalizing on a retail point-of-sale presence throughout the Florida region. For tickets to all Daytona International Speedway events, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com (DIS)(5-23-2011)

  • Daytona 500 Tickets Go On Sale May 14th: Tickets to NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race - the 54th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26 - will go on sale Saturday, May 14 at 9:00 am/et. Prior to Saturday, May 14, only renewals for the 2012 Daytona 500 were accepted by the ticket office. The Speedway is also introducing a new feature for the 54th Daytona 500 - special youth pricing. Children 12 and under will receive 50 percent off all Superstretch grandstand seats for the Daytona 500. The special offer expires Feb. 1.
    In addition to the youth pricing, the Speedway is offering new camping packages and amenities during Speedweeks 2012. Two-day camping options are now available in the GEICO Grounds Horseshoe for only $599 and GEICO Caveman Tent Campground for $399. Guests can now choose from 10-day premium sites, five-day standard sites or our new two-day campsites entering on Saturday, February 25 at 6 a.m.
    Cable and electric hook-ups have been added to the first row of GEICO Grounds Yellow RV sites 1-89 and race fans can enjoy the convenience of expanded drive in/out privileges for even more races including the Budweiser Shootout and Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger.
    In addition to the 54th annual Daytona 500, tickets for all Speedweeks 2012 events will be available for purchase including the NASCAR Nationwide Series 300, the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, the Gatorade Duel, the Budweiser Shootout and Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 doubleheader, Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger and the historic 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
    To celebrate the historic 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29, racing legend A.J. Foyt will deliver the command "Drivers, start your engines" as Grand Marshal, and Speedway officials have launched a campaign to locate all Rolex 24 At Daytona overall winning cars for a show-stopping heritage display.
    Race fans have three different ways to purchase tickets.
    · Online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com
    · Calling 1-800-PITSHOP
    · Visiting the Daytona International Speedway ticket office
    Also available for purchase through www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or 1-800-PITSHOP are:
    · Hospitality packages and Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE passes for all Speedweeks 2012 events.
    · Tickets for the upcoming Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola Weekend on July 1-2, including the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 2 and the Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday, July 1. Tickets for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola start at $44.(DIS)(5-13-2011)

  • NASCAR Green Clean Air Tree Planting Project plants 100 tree's: NASCAR, Daytona International Speedway and International Speedway Corporation joined forces with the Daytona Beach International Airport as the beneficiary of NASCAR's Green Clean Air tree planting project. NASCAR Green Clean Air is a unique program that plants 10 trees for each Green Flag that drops during races, capturing 100% of the carbon produced by the on track racing at the events. The initiative, the largest tree planting program in sports, debuted at 11 tracks in the 2009 Sprint Cup season, and in 2010, expanded to plant more than 1,000 trees to balance the carbon produced by racing. In 2011, the initiative expanded to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, and now encompasses over 20 tracks nationwide. As a result of the 53rd annual Daytona 500 in February, 110 trees are being planted in three locations throughout the property at Daytona Beach International Airport. On Wednesday, approximately 80 NASCAR, International Speedway Corporation, Daytona International Speedway and Americrown employees planted the trees, which were purchased locally from Nature Scapes in Flagler County. International Speedway Corporation Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy, Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III, Dr. Mike Lynch, Managing Director of Green Innovation for NASCAR and Volusia County Chair Frank Bruno participated in a tree planting ceremony.(DIS)(4-25-2011)

  • NASCAR may let fans stay forever UPDATE voted down: NASCAR fans who consider Daytona International Speedway their home away from home could soon make it their final resting place, too -- albeit less quiet and peaceful than a traditional cemetery. Legislation making its way through the Florida House and Senate would allow construction of an on-site columbarium -- a building or structure that houses urns -- at both Daytona International Speedway and Homestead Miami Speedway. International Speedway Corp. spokesman Lenny Santiago said many NASCAR fans have inquired over the years about having their ashes laid to rest at Daytona International Speedway. "We have a lot of fans that are very, very loyal to NASCAR races and to Daytona in general," Santiago said. "This opens that door, this bill, and we're hopeful that this will get passed." If it passes, the bill would become law July 1. It has been approved by two House committees and has its first Senate committee hearing today. Daytona International Speedway doesn't have a proposed location for the structure yet or any timeline for building it until the bill passes, Santiago said, although it would be somewhere public that fans would be able to see. He also said he didn't know what kind of fees the Speedway might charge to fans looking to place their ashes there.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-29-2011)
    UPDATE: Racing fans who might have dreamed of making the Daytona International Speedway their eternal home had their hopes dashed Tuesday as a Florida Senate committee voted down a bill that would have made those dreams possible. The Senate Committee on Regulated Industries rejected the bill by a 5-7 vote, which would have allowed columbariums to be built at both Daytona International Speedway and Homestead Miami Speedway. Columbariums are buildings that house urns. The state House companion bill had already passed two committees and was scheduled for its third and final committee hearing Thursday. "I just felt very strongly that to have people's remains, cremated remains, at the same place where there's NASCAR racing and a motorsports entertainment complex was not appropriate," said state Sen. Maria Lorts Sachs, D-Delray Beach, the committee's vice chairwoman. "A lot of that has to do with the fact that I love NASCAR, and I love Daytona, and I didn't want it to turn into a partial cemetery."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-30-2011)

  • Daytona International Speedway joins Drive to End Hunger: On behalf of Drive to End Hunger, AARP and AARP Foundation's nationwide initiative to end hunger among older Americans, four-time Sprint Cup Series Champion Jeff Gordon and Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III recently announced that Daytona International Speedway will donate extra food items from the 53rd annual Daytona 500 to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. The donation is expected to include breads, produce and other food items and will be delivered on Monday with help from Americrown, the catering and concessions subsidiary of parent company International Speedway Corporation. The announcement comes as Drive to End Hunger celebrates its first race as primary sponsor Gordon's #24 Chevy. Drive to End Hunger is a national effort that also includes volunteer-led food drives across the country; individual and corporate giving campaigns; local outreach to enroll seniors in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); an innovative local grants program and research into the causes and consequences of hunger. Working nationally with Feeding America, during Speedweeks, Drive to End Hunger is leading a food drive effort at 65 Winn-Dixie stores across central Florida. As part of the effort, AARP Foundation announced a $10,000 contribution directly to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. For more information or to get involved, visit www.drivetoendhunger.org.(DIS)(2-22-2011)

  • Record-Setting Day At The Daytona 500: The 53rd running of the Daytona 500, the first on the brand-new racing surface at Daytona International Speedway, featured a track-record 74 lead changes and 22 leaders. The lead-change record was especially noteworthy, considering the previous mark lasted more than three decades. The prior lead change mark was 60, set in the 1974 Daytona 500.
    For the second consecutive year, the record for different leaders fell. In last year's 500, 21 different drivers led. Additionally, there were 16 cautions, a track record. The 60 caution laps tied a record at Daytona. Sunday's Daytona 500 continued a record-breaking Speedweeks trend. Last Saturday night, the Budweiser Shootout featured a record-breaking 28 lead changes.
    Records also were broken in each of Thursday's two Gatorade Duel races. The first Duel race had a record 20 lead changes. That mark was immediately broken in the second Duel event, which had 22 lead changes.
    Trevor Bayne, who became the youngest Daytona 500 winner (20 years, one day), led the final six laps. He gave the Wood Brothers organization its fifth Daytona 500 win. The Woods' last victory came in 1976 with NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee David Pearson beating Richard Petty in a legendary last-lap battle. Bayne became the seventh driver to earn his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in the Daytona 500.(NASCAR)(2-20-2011)

  • Speedweeks race finishes at Daytona: in the five NASCAR races held at Daytona International Speedway during Speedweeks, all five races have close margin of victory:
    Bud Shootout: Kurt Busch .058 seconds
    Gatorade Duel 1: Kurt Busch .065 seconds
    Gatorade Duel 2: Jeff Burton .005 seconds
    Trucks: Michael Waltrip .061 seconds
    Nationwide: Tony Stewart .007 seconds
    Sprint Cup: Trevor Bayne .118 seconds
    (SPEED RaceDay graphic)(2-20-2011)

  • Race Fast Facts - Daytona International Speedway:
    Trevor Bayne won the 53rd Annual Daytona 500, his first victory in only his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Bayne is the youngest Daytona 500 winner in history (20 years, one day).
    This is team owner Wood Brothers' fifth Daytona 500 victory, the last coming in 1976 with David Pearson. It is their 98th series win overall.
    Bayne is the seventh driver to earn his first points win in the Daytona 500 (Tiny Lund, 1963; Mario Andretti, 1967; Pete Hamilton, 1970; Derrike Cope, 1990; Sterling Marlin, 1994; Michael Waltrip, 2001).
    There were track records in lead changes (74), leaders (22) and cautions (16).
    The victory is Ford's 600th win.
    Carl Edwards (second) posted his sixth top-10 finish in 13 races at Daytona International Speedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2011.
    David Gilliland (third) posted his second top-10 finish in six races at Daytona International Speedway.
    Because Bayne has chosen to earn championship points in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Carl Edwards now leads the points standings by one point over David Gilliland.(NASCAR Statistics)(2-20-2011)

  • Daytona 500 Official Program Is Now Available for Mobile Devices: The Official Program for the 2011 Daytona 500 is now available for download to mobile devices. The same 192-page book available to fans trackside can be viewed via the Zinio electronic newsstand service. This is the first time in the history of the event that the race day program will be available for download at zinio.com.(2-20-2011)

  • Daytona Notes-n-Nuggets:
    * Trevor Bayne became the youngest winner of the Daytona 500.
    * Trevor Bayne is the second-youngest driver (20 years, 1 day) to win a Sprint Cup race -- Joey Logano was 19 years, 1 month, 4 days when he won at New Hampshire in June 2009.
    * Trevor Bayne is the second driver to win the Daytona 500 in his first start; Lee Petty won the inaugural event in 1959.
    * Trevor Bayne is the seventh driver to get his first Sprint Cup vcitory in the Daytona 500 -- Tiny Lund (1963), Mario Andretti (1967), Pete Hamilton (1970), Derrike Cope (1990), Sterling Marlin (1994) and Michael Waltrip (2001).
    * The past six 500s have been won by first-time 500 victors; Jeff Gordon in 2005 is the most recent repeat winner.
    * This was the 98th Cup victory for the Wood Brothers; the team's last win came at Bristol in March 2001 with Elliott Sadler.
    * The race set records for leaders (22), lead changes (74), cautions (16) and tied the record for caution laps (60).
    * Carl Edwards (second) earned his best Daytona 500 finish in his seventh start.
    * David Gilliland (third) picked up his third Cup Series top-five finish in his 151st start.
    * Bobby Labonte (fourth) earned his best finish since comign home third at Martinsville in Oct. 2006.
    * Regan Smith (seventh) had his career-best finish in his 96th start.
    * Paul Menard (ninth) earned his ninth top-10 finish in his 148th start.
    * Bill Elliott (12th) had his best finish since also finishing 12th in the 2008 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    * Jimmie Johnson (27th) has finished 27th or worse in the six Daytona 500s since he won in 2006.
    * This was the fifth 500 to end under a green-white-checkered finish and the second consecutive 500 in which the race went 208 laps.(Sporting News Wire Service /nascar.com)(2-20-2011)

  • Daytona 500 pushed back a week in 2012: The 2012 Daytona 500 will be held a week later than normal, eliminating the early off date and shortening the Sprint Cup season. The "Great American Race'' will be held next year on February 26. "We have a very short offseason,'' said Steve O'Donnell, a senior vice president with NASCAR. "This gives us a little more time shortening up the season.'' Beyond moving the date to shorten the season, O'Donnell said NASCAR wanted to get ahead of any potential moves to an 18-game schedule by the NFL that could push the Super Bowl later than normal. There are no plans to condense the length of Speedweeks, although the date of the Budweiser Shootout has not been officially set at the weekend before the 500 (would be Feb 18th].(ESPN.com)
    AND Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III announced today that the 54th Annual Daytona 500 will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2012. "The decision to kick-off to the NASCAR racing season one week later was made in close partnership with the sanctioning body, our broadcast partners including FOX, community partners and others within the industry," said Chitwood. "This move shortens the racing season by one week, which is something the teams and competitors will surely enjoy, and it eliminates the off-weekend typically scheduled in March, which many fans and media partners have said created a drop in momentum in the early part of the racing season. We also know some of our great fans like to plan their visit to the 'World Center of Racing' well in advance so we are announcing the 2012 date much earlier in the season to minimize any inconveniences in planning their visit." The dates of Daytona International Speedway's other racing events that comprise Speedweeks, in addition to the motorcycle events in March, will be determined in the near future.(DIS)(2-20-2011)

  • Daytona 500 heads to San Francisco on Tuesday: Race fans are invited to an old-fashioned Ice Cream Social at legendary Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco on Tuesday, Feb. 22, with the winner of the 2011 Daytona 500. For the third consecutive year, the winner of the Great American Race will come to San Francisco to meet with race fans and members of the media, courtesy of Infineon Raceway and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The appearance marks the Official Countdown to the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Infineon Raceway, June 24-26. The Ghirardelli Square Ice Cream Parlor will create a very special ice cream sundae in honor of the 2011 Daytona 500 winner. It will be called the "Sundae, Sundae, Sundae." Race fans are invited to the event, which begins at 6:00 pm at Ghirardelli Square. The race-winner, who will arrive via a CHP escort, will first walk the red carpet to the Ghirardelli Square Ice Cream Parlor, where he will create the very first "Sundae, Sundae, Sundae," complete with all the fixins. The item will have a permanent spot on the Ghirardelli Square Ice Cream Parlor menu for fans to enjoy. The driver will then be escorted to the Ghirardelli Square Courtyard for a formal press conference. Race fans are encouraged to attend and give the winner of the Great American Race a warm Northern California welcome. Fans in attendance will receive a complimentary "Sundae, Sundae, Sundae," courtesy of Ghirardelli Square, while supplies last. The event will also feature ticket giveaways, event posters and a visit from the popular Infineon Raceway Girls. Be sure and get there early as seats to the press conference will be limited. Race tickets to the Toyota/Save Mart 350 will be available at the Ice Cream Social, including special packages like the Save Mart Supermarkets 2-Pack (2 tickets for $99) and the Jimmie Johnson 4-Pack (4 tickets, 4 hot dog, 4 sodas, plus a race-day Q&A with Johnson for $195), among others. Stay tuned to www.infineonraceway.com for additional details on the Ice Cream Social with the 2011 Daytona 500 winner.(Infineon Raceway)(2-20-2011)

  • NASCAR Allows Sprint Cup Series Teams To Open Air Inlets: NASCAR is letting NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams open up their air inlet openings some for Daytona 500 - going from a 2 1/2 x 20-inch opening to a 3 x 20-inch opening. With continued warm weather forecast for Sunday, this move gives teams more air to cool their engines.(NASCAR)(2-20-2011)

  • Fan to miss first Daytona 500 UPDATE will make it: Jack Hege, believed to be the only person to have attended every Daytona 500, will see his streak end this year because of a broken left arm suffered in April that has not healed properly and required surgery in December. Hege, who lives in Lexington, N.C., first went down to Daytona in 1958, witnessing the final race on the beach course. He enjoyed the experience so much that he returned the following year when the race moved to Daytona International Speedway and the first Daytona 500 was held. Hege, who turns 84 on Feb. 9, just kept going back to Daytona after that, telling me three years ago that "I've never known any other home except Daytona.'' He even delayed knee surgery to attend last year's Daytona 500 to keep his streak alive. Hege still has his ticket to the 1959 Daytona 500 he attended. Two years ago, NASCAR honored Hege by seating him among the celebrities for the drivers meeting before the race and introducing him to the competitors in honor of his Daytona 500 streak. Hege was injured when he fell backward and tried to catch himself in April. He continued to suffer complications from the injury and had surgery in December. His arm is in a sling and still has screws in the bone.(full story at the Virginian Pilot)(2-1-2011)
    UPDATE: Jack Hege, who is believed to be the only person to have attended every Daytona 500 as a spectator, will see his streak continue with the help of a NASCAR Sprint Cup team. Richard Childress Racing will fly Hege to Daytona on Sunday morning so the 84-year-old Lexington, N.C., man can watch the race. Hege first attended a race at Daytona in 1958 -- the final race on the beach course -- and came back the next year for the first race at Daytona International Speedway and has never missed a 500 here since. "It's unbelievable,'' Hege said. "It's unbelievable. I didn't dream I'd ever get to go (this year).'' Hege had said last month because of health concerns that he would not be able to attend this year's 500. Roush Fenway Racing and Joel Edmonds, spotter for Greg Biffle, had inquired earlier about trying to get him to the 500 to keep his streak alive. Hege declined the offers as he recovered from surgery in December for a broken arm. Hege's doctor cleared him on Wednesday to fly to Daytona. Hege told an RCR official, who also invited him, that he would be able to go. When Hege talked to David Hart of Richard Childress Racing about the trip, he admits: "I hated to hang up. I wanted to keep talking and talking and thanking people for what they've done for me. (Hart) said that Richard wanted to do something for me, saying that anybody that had went through what I went through for 53 years, deserves some help. I appreciate it.'' Now, Hege is thinking about how he wants to go to the 2012 Daytona 500. "It's something to look forward to,'' Hege said. "It helps a person keep going. It means a lot to me.''(Virginian Pilot)(2-19-2011)

  • No more changes planned for Daytona 500: Barring a major shift from what was seen in Thursday's two qualifying races, NASCAR doesn't plan any additional changes to the Sprint Cup cars before the Daytona 500, series director John Darby said Friday. "You never want to say no, we're not going to do any changes. If somebody is holding onto something and we get a group in practice on Saturday and it gets really nuts, we'll look at it," Darby said. "Typically, we won't drop ourselves into a box until we drop the green flag on Sunday. But no changes are planned." Since Saturday's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona, where cars reached speeds of 206 mph, NASCAR has gone to a smaller restrictor plate hole, reduced the opening in the front grill and mandated a lower radiator pressure to slow the cars.(ESPN.com)(2-18-2011)

  • Transformers stars named Grand Marshals of the Daytona 500: The stars of "Transformers: Dark of the Moon"- Josh Duhamel, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and director Michael Bay - will serve as the Grand Marshals for 53rd running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011. As Grand Marshals, the Transformers cast will deliver the four most famous words in motorsports - "Gentlemen, start your engines." In addition, the modified NASCAR stock cars featured in the movie will make their first public appearance by leading the 43-car field during the pace laps of "The Great American Race," the kick-off event to the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
    The Daytona 500 will not be Bay or Transformers' first introduction to the NASCAR world. In 2009, Bay piloted the official pace car at a NASCAR Sprint Cup race to promote the DVD release of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman also took part, racing with branded images of opposing Autobots and Decepticons on their cars and uniforms. Bay credits his vision to include NASCAR stock cars in the new Transformers film to this experience.
    In the days leading up to the Daytona 500, race fans can view the Transformers NASCAR stock cars at the Chevy Display located in the Midway outside Turn 4. Tickets for Speedweeks 2011 events, including the 53rd annual Daytona 500, are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-18-2011)

  • Martina McBride to sing National Anthem for Daytona 500: Fresh off her rousing opening performance at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards, Country music star Martina McBride will sing the National Anthem for the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 20, NASCAR biggest and most prestigious race of the season. McBride is a four-time Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year, three-time American Country Music Female Vocalist of the Year and a Grammy winning recording artist with more than 18 million in album sales and 24 top-10 singles, including six that reached No. 1. Tickets for all of 2011 Speedweeks events, including the 53rd annual Daytona 500, are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-16-2011)

  • Chevrolet Camaro SS to serve as Official Pace Car for Daytona 500: The Chevrolet Camaro SS will serve as the official pace car for the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway - the second time in the past three years that the iconic automobile has paced the field for the "The Great American Race." In addition, behind the wheel of the Chevrolet Camaro as the Honorary Pace Car driver will be Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year Brad Paisley, who is also performing the Daytona 500 Pre-Race show. The Chevrolet Camaro has previously paced the field for the Daytona 500 - NASCAR's signature event - three times beginning back in 1968 and 1969 and most recently in 2009. The 2011 Daytona 500 Camaro SS pace cars are adorned in a vibrant "Red Hot" color accented with "Platinum Ice" stripes. GM Accessory 21" wheels and tires are installed along with body colored ground effects, heritage grill, and tall rear spoiler. The cars also have fully integrated safety strobe systems with custom light bars and amber taillights.
    Tickets for Speedweeks 2011 events and the 53rd annual Daytona 500 are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS), see an image of the car on my 2011 Pace Car Page.(2-15-2011)

  • Daytona unveils new Infield Tailgate Zones for Daytona 500: Daytona International Speedway announced new opportunities for fans to enjoy one of sports' greatest traditions - tailgating - in the infield of the "World Center of Racing" for the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20. For $50, Daytona 500 grandstand ticket holders can purchase an infield parking space for their car/light truck in one of two Infield Tailgate Zones located inside the legendary infield of Daytona International Speedway. The Infield Tailgate Zone package provides six tailgate zone admissions and a parking spot for tailgating before and after the Daytona 500. In between tailgating, race fans can enjoy the first "Great American Race" on the newly paved racing surface from their frontstretch grandstand seat. To purchase an Infield Tailgate Zone package, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(2-12-2011)

  • Actress Amber Heard Grand Marshal for Budweiser Shootout: actress Amber Heard will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 33rd annual Budweiser Shootout on Saturday night, Feb. 12 - the star-studded non-points NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event that kicks off the stock car portion of Speedweeks 2011 at Daytona International Speedway. Heard will give the starting command "Gentlemen start your engines". The Budweiser Shootout will feature former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions, the 2010 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field, a host of former outstanding rookies and a collection of previous winners at Daytona International Speedway. Heard will next be seen in the action thriller "Drive Angry 3D" starring opposite Nicolas Cage, which is set for release on Feb. 25. She will also be seen in "The Rum Diary" starring opposite Johnny Depp and Aaron Eckhart later this year. Tickets for all of 2011 Speedweeks events including Budweiser Shootout are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-10-2011)

  • Laura Bell Bundy to perform National Anthem / Concerts for Bud Shootout: Country music singer/songwriter Laura Bell Bundy will perform at the 33rd annual Budweiser Shootout on Saturday, Feb. 12 at Daytona International Speedway. Bundy will perform a pre- and post-race concert in addition to the National Anthem for the non-points star-studded NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. Bundy will perform three songs prior to the Budweiser Shootout on the Pre-Race Stage as well as the National Anthem, which will be carried live on FOX. After the checkered flag waves on the 75-lap race, Bundy will perform a 60-minute post-race concert from the Sprint FANZONE Entertainment Stage. Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access holders will be able to view the pre-race concert from the tri-oval grass while all ticket holders will have access to the post-race concert, which will start in the Sprint FANZONE approximately 30-minutes after the end of the race. Tickets for all Speedweeks 2011 events, including the Budweiser Shootout, are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-10-2011)

  • Brad Paisley to perform the Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show: Reigning Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year Brad Paisley will perform the Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show, the pre-race extravaganza leading up to the start of "The Great American Race" at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 20. Paisley, who has 18 No. 1 hits, three Grammy awards, 14 CMA Awards, 13 Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards, will perform three songs prior to the start of the 53rd annual Daytona 500 - the season-opening event to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the biggest stock car race in the world. All race fans that purchase a Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access pass for the Daytona 500 will be able to view Paisley's Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show as well as the driver introductions from the grass tri-oval area. For more information on tickets for the 53rd annual Daytona 500 and Sprint FANZONE /Pre-Race access, race fans can go online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-10-2011)

  • Champion's Breakfast tickets now on sale at Daytona:The Champion's Breakfast has always been one of the great traditions surrounding Daytona 500, NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race. On the Monday morning, Feb. 21, race fans will once again have the opportunity to celebrate with the winning driver, team and crew chief from the 53rd annual Daytona 500 at the Champion's Breakfast, which will be held in the velocitorium near the Daytona International Speedway ticket offices.
    Available for $40, the Champion's Breakfast car induction festivities include:
    · Fan forum with the winning driver, owner and crew chief from the 53rd annual Daytona 500
    · Breakfast
    · Entertainment including watching the NASCAR Victory Lane show on SPEED, Minute to Spin It games and signed giveaway items.
    · Souvenir gift
    The first 100 Champion's Breakfast tickets purchased will also include a free All-Access Track Tour ticket. To purchase tickets for the Champion's Breakfast or any of the Speedweeks 2011 events, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(2-6-2011)

  • Waltrip marks 25th Daytona 500 start with special ticket offer: For #15-Michael Waltrip, there's no better way to spend the morning of the Daytona 500 - NASCAR's biggest and most prestigious race of the year - than interacting with his fans and enjoying cupcakes and Coca-Cola products. As the two-time Daytona 500 champion approaches his 25th start in the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20, the popular NASCAR driver and owner of Michael Waltrip Racing will partner with Daytona International Speedway for the second straight year on a special ticket package - the Michael Waltrip Daytona 500 Celebration Offer.
    Included in the ticket package, available for $129, is:
    · A Superstretch Daytona 500 ticket
    · Fan forum with Waltrip the morning of the Daytona 500
    · Celebration with Waltrip featuring cupcakes and Coca-Cola products
    · Gift bag that includes items from Michael Waltrip Racing partners
    · Commemorative item signed by Waltrip for each ticket holder
    The Michael Waltrip Daytona 500 Celebration Offer is available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/mwr or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-4-2011)

  • Daytona Unveils New Mobile Website, Fan Texting Service Returns for Speedweeks 2011: As part of its ongoing effort to enhance fan communication and safety while providing timely information, Daytona International Speedway announced the debut of its mobile website. With the new mobile web site, fans can now access vital ticket and race weekend information directly from their smart phones. In addition, speedway officials announced the return of the Fan Texting Service, allowing fans to communicate directly with officials on property to report a safety issue, ask a seating question or request general assistance. The fan texting code will be highly visible via signage throughout the entire Daytona International Speedway property, including parking areas, merchandise and vendor midway areas, the infield, and grandstand seats.(DIS)(1-31-2011)

  • NASCAR wants lane stripes at Daytona: NASCAR will ask Daytona International Speedway to add broken, white lane stripes between Turns 1 and 2 and Turns 3 and 4 before returning in February. Sprint Cup director John Darby said before NASCAR returns for Speed Weeks, the track will add lane markers in all the 31-degree banked areas. "We've had some conversations with a few drivers and they've told us that would be helpful to them when they are three wide in a draft," Darby said Saturday. "The hash marks will give them some sort of a guide to understand how much room they have above and below them. In talking with the Speedway (Saturday) morning, they said they will probably paint those right before the stock cars start running in February." Darby said the double-yellow lines, which separate the racing surface from the out-of-bounds area for NASCAR races at Daytona, will not be moved from the apron to the track surface.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-23-2011)

  • Desite high speeds, no change in restrictor plate anticipated: Drivers cracked 198 mph in two-car drafts Saturday in the final day of a three-day test session at Daytona International Speedway, but NASCAR doesn't plan to change the size of the restrictor plate when Sprint Cup Series teams return in February for Speedweeks. NASCAR officials seemed content with the speeds, similar to those posted a month ago during a Goodyear tire test on the newly paved 2.5-mile trioval. Teams used a restrictor plate with holes 29/32nds of an inch in diameter - 1/32nd of an inch smaller than what was used in the December test. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby said he expects speeds in February to be higher than during the test.(SceneDaily)(1-22-2011)

  • Goodyear tires at Daytona: The Goodyear tires are a combination of what NASCAR will use at Las Vegas and Talladega. They don't wear as fast, as usually is the case on new surfaces, meaning we'll see a lot more no-tire and two-tire stops in the Daytona 500 than normal. (ESPN.com)(1-21-2011)

  • NASCAR goes to smaller plate at Daytona: NASCAR reportedly will down-size restrictor plate holes for next week's Sprint Cup Goodyear tire test at Daytona International Speedway. The new size will be 29/32 of an inch. The old size was 30/32 of an inch. The result will be less power and, presumably, slower speeds. The track surface at Daytona was repaved since last year's summer race. In earlier tests [January], the new surface, which is smoother and stickier, produced higher speeds [197mph].(RaceToday)(1-13-2011)

  • Next up - Daytona testing Jan. 20-22 & NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest: Daytona 500 champions Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are among the drivers that will appear at NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at historic Daytona International Speedway on Thursday, Jan. 20 and Friday, Jan. 21. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will take to the new asphalt at Daytona International Speedway in a three-day test session, known as NASCAR Preseason Thunder, Thursday, Jan. 20 through Saturday, Jan. 22.
    Tickets for NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest are $20 and available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com. 2011 Daytona 500 ticketholders and children 12 and under will receive free admission. Advanced reservations are available (limited to 250 people) for special autograph sessions to be held with participating 2010 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers and Daytona 500 champions. Additional driver autograph sessions will be held on both days with wristbands available the day of the event.
    To request access to the special autograph sessions, race fans can call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit the Daytona International Speedway ticket office beginning on Saturday, Jan. 8 at 9 a.m.
    In addition to viewing the on-track activity from the Sprint FANZONE, fans can watch each day's testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands near Turn 4.
    Drivers currently scheduled to make appearances on Thursday, Jan. 20 beginning at 6 p.m. are Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, David Ragan, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Mark Martin, Martin Truex Jr. and Regan Smith.
    Scheduled to appear on Friday, Jan. 21, during the 5-7 p.m. session are Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, David Reutimann, Casey Mears, Jeff Burton, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Kevin Conway, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard and Ryan Newman. In the 7-9 p.m. session, drivers scheduled to appear are AJ Allmendinger, Brian Vickers, Greg Biffle, Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya, Marcos Ambrose and Matt Kenseth.
    Lastly, race fans will be able to camp in the infield of Daytona International Speedway for free with their admission ticket during the three-day test inside Turns 3 and 4. Sites will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Gates to the infield will open Thursday, Jan. 20 at 8:00 a.m.
    Among the activities planned for both days include:
    " Interactive driver question and answer sessions on the main stage
    " Show cars, displays, music
    " Photo opportunity with the Harley J. Earl Daytona 500 trophy
    " Blood drive outside the Turn 4 tunnel
    Tickets for both the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fests and the Roar Before The Rolex 24 are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(1-4-2011)

  • Cup Series Teams Complete Goodyear Tire Test At Daytona: As sunshine warmed Daytona International Speedway's new racing surface on Thursday, so did the expectations and excitement levels for the 53rd Daytona 500 on Feb. 20. Thursday marked the second day of a two-day Goodyear tire test in preparation both for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' traditional season-opening event and the track's new asphalt. The repaving project - only the second in track history and first since 1978 - began immediately after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event on July 3 and ended last week. With this week's test open to all series teams, a number took advantage, filling the frontstretch side of the NASCAR Sprint Cup garage with their haulers.
    "I think it has gone really well," said Jeff Burton (#31 Caterpillar Chevy). "Everybody is happy with the surface. The tire combination seems to be really good."
    "It's just a new attitude," said Kurt Busch (#22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge). "This is what 2011 will bring to start off our Sprint Cup season. Big, exciting time. I'm proud to be able to say I got a chance to race on the surface when it was redone."
    Busch and Burton, along with reigning Daytona 500 champion Jamie McMurray (#1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy) and Bobby Labonte (#47 JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota) all visited the infield media center during Thursday's lunch break. NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton, Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III and Goodyear Director of Racing Greg Stucker also participated in the midday press conference.
    "Good communication all along between the folks here at Daytona, Joie, Goodyear, the race teams, the series directors, everybody that had input," Pemberton said. "It's nice to know you can show up at one of these things, have so many different things that we faced and challenges over the last year to get ready for this. Looks like the plan came together nicely." Burton was heartened that Daytona's repave - while cutting-edge - respected the venue. He cited the 2007 repave at another historic NASCAR venue, Darlington Raceway, as a positive example.
    "It's much smoother, has a tremendous amount more grip, but it's still Daytona," Burton said. "They didn't try to change the banking from the bottom to the top, do all that stuff. They just kept Daytona and put pavement on it. I'm glad that's what they did."
    Although the focus remains on the racing surface, McMurray noted details like a wider pit road. "They did a really good job, not only on the racetrack, but widening pit road," he said. "It's really nice to get that little bit of extra room on pit road. Pit road speeds are really fast when you come to [restrictor] plate tracks. Typically we have the smallest brakes on the car that we run all year long, so pit road is also trouble. So the fact they widened that 10 or 12 feet is really nice."
    Media and fan interest also is accelerated. A portion of Daytona's grandstands was open for public viewing both Wednesday and Thursday and television cameras weren't the only ones being wielded. "It's real important," Labonte said of public and media fanfare. "They have a section open for the fans. They can come down here and see us drafting. I'm sure they've got their cameras out showing video to their buddies now on who-knows-where it's all at. It's the first time we've been to the new facility. That's exciting."
    It's worth noting that this week's test was confirmation, not a search process. Stucker said a tight calendar meant Goodyear officials did the bulk of their compound research testing at Daytona's sister track, Talladega Superspeedway, also the only other restrictor-plate track on NASCAR's three national series' calendars. Drivers, teams and track and NASCAR officials all draw natural comparisons off Talladega, which was repaved prior to its fall 2006 event. The completion of a test asphalt strip at Daytona allowed Goodyear officials to gather additional data, which Stucker said was compared to August's test results at Talladega. "We're well into production for the 500," Stucker said. "In fact, we're just about done. We've come down here and really confirmed that all those decisions we made were the right ones. Very glad to hear that all the guys are comfortable with our setup and really everything we've seen so far has been very good from our perspective, very consistent, a lot of good comments from the drivers."(NASCAR)
    AND 197.5 mph Eighteen drivers from six teams, including Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch and Juan Pablo Montoya, took part in the test. Some teams brought cars and engines from last season. Others tested their latest and greatest technology, including ethanol-blended fuel. All the teams used a slightly smaller restrictor plate than the one bolted on engines at Daytona last season. The top speed was 197.5 mph, and NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said officials will evaluate testing results before deciding whether to reduce the plate even further. "We may need to come down a little bit off of that, which would be like a 64th of an inch or something," Pemberton said. "We'll have to go back and talk to the teams and we'll look at the speeds from the last two days of testing."(Associated Press)(12-16-2010)

  • Some Day 1 testing news/photos from Daytona: Statement From NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton About Goodyear Tire Test At Daytona International Speedway: "It was a very good day. The teams came well-prepared. Goodyear came well-prepared. The racetrack has a lot of grip. The surface is very smooth. It appears in drafting practice that they immediately went three-wide."(NASCAR)
    AND Mark Martin awarded high marks to all parties after Day One of a Goodyear tire test at Daytona International Speedway today. Speaking to Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody, Martin said, "I think we ran six laps without even wearing the sticker off the left front tire. In fact, we could probably run the full 500 miles on the same set of tires. There will be zero tire issues during Speedweeks. The track is smooth, its fast and it's not wearing the tires at all. The grip is obscene, and I'm sure the guys from Goodyear are probably having a party tonight." Martin also offered his prediction for the upcoming Daytona 500, saying, "The race is going to be crazy. Everybody better start getting ready right now." Sources say speeds were in the neighborhood of 195 mph, with three-wide (and some four-wide) racing common. "we ran three-wide quite a bit," said Martin, "and toward the end, we got a little braver and tried four-wide. That's not going to work for very long before someone gets into the side of the guy next to him and causes a wreck." Only one major incident slowed the day's test, when David Ragan crashed his Roush-Fenway Racing UPS Ford. (Sirius Speedway)
    IMAGES: see some images from Day 1 of testing by Motorsports Images and Archives on my December 2010 Daytona Testing page(12-15-2010)

  • U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds to perform fly-over for Daytona 500: The world-renowned U.S. Air Force "Thunderbirds" will provide race fans with the flyover during the National Anthem for the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 - the prestigious season-opening event for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Sunday, Feb. 20 at Daytona International Speedway. It's the second time the flying squadron will perform the flyover at the historic "World Center of Racing." The Thunderbirds previously provided the flyover for the 50th running of the Daytona 500 in 2008. The Thunderbird flyover will feature six Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons buzzing the famed Speedway before landing at nearby Daytona Beach International Airport.
    The Thunderbirds, comprising twelve officers and more than 130 enlisted members, perform precision aerial maneuvers in approximately 70 shows a year at 35 different locations from the middle of March to the middle of November. Since the unit's inception in 1953, more than 350 million people in 61 countries and all 50 states have witnessed the red, white and blue jets in more than 4,123 official aerial demonstrations.
    Tickets for the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 and other Speedweeks 2011 events are available online to daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP (DIS)(12-15-2010)

  • Daytona repaving finished: On Friday, the checkered flag waved for the paving crew of Lane Construction as they finished the final paving of Daytona International Speedway.The paving crew wrapped up the final pass on the apron in Turns 1 and 2 in the late afternoon, following some inclement weather in the morning. While all the paving is complete on the racing surface, skid pad, pit road and the apron, there's still a punch-list of items being worked on during the 23rd week of repaving of Daytona International Speedway:
    " Installation of the lights is complete but finishing touches such as connectivity and adjustments of the lights still need to be made
    " The striping of the track has begun and is ongoing.
    " The process of hanging the eight caution lights around the track is ongoing
    " Installation of the scoring loops is ongoing
    " Finishes touches are being put on the catch fence in Turns 1, 2, 3 and 4
    " At least 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers are expected to participate in a Goodyear tire test on Wednesday, Dec. 15 and Thursday, Dec. 16.(DIS PR)(12-11-2010)

  • Week 21, 22 Daytona Repave update: The paving crew from Lane Construction enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday with their families and is now back at work wrapping up the final month of work repaving historic Daytona International Speedway. During the 22nd week of the Daytona Repave project, paving of the wearing course - the final layer of asphalt - is taking place on pit road, pit exit and the tie ins to the road course. Other highlights from the past two weeks include:
    · Reinstallation of the Musco lights in Turns 1, 2, 3 and 4 is ongoing
    · Reinstallation of the catch fence in Turns 1 and 2 is ongoing
    · The SAFER barrier reinstallation in Turns 1 and 2 is complete
    · Paving of the asphalt in the aprons in both Turns 1, 2, 3 and 4 is ongoing
    · Daytona International Speedway will host a Goodyear tire test on Wednesday, Dec. 15 and Thursday, Dec. 16
    About the Daytona Repave: Lane Construction, which repaved other ISC race tracks including Talladega Superspeedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway, will use an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway and has a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011. Race fans can view the progression of the historic repaving project from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands, which will open free to the public. Track tours are also available. Daytona International Speedway also is posting updates on the project at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/repave. For fans interested in purchasing pieces of asphalt, they can visit www.jostens.com/Daytona. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(12-6-2010)

  • Special Daytona 500 Ticket Offer to honor National Fallen Firefighters Foundation: Daytona International Speedway has joined forces with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) in putting together a special ticket package that will deliver the excitement of NASCAR's most prestigious race - the Daytona 500 - as well as benefit an important cause. The NFFF ticket package, which starts at $119 for adults and $79 for children 12 and under, includes a race ticket to the 53rd annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 20, admission to the Star and Shield FIRE STATION 500 hospitality tent, and commemorative T-shirt. A portion of the proceeds from each NFFF ticket package purchase will be donated to the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation, a tax-exempt, non-profit organization created by the United States Congress to lead a nationwide effort to remember America's fallen firefighters. Since 1992, NFFF has developed and expanded programs to honor fallen fire heroes and assist their families and co-workers. To purchase this special package, race fans should call 1-877-306-RACE or visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com/nfff.(DIS)(12-5-2010)

  • Daytona International Speedway honored Track of the Year Award: Daytona International Speedway received the 2010 NASCAR Foundation Track of the Year Award at the NASCAR National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon on Thursday held at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III accepted the award from Steve Gaffney, Director of Sports Marketing for Sprint. Beginning this year, the NASCAR Foundation implemented a year-long fundraising and awareness contest among NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide tracks. Tracks were awarded points for funds raised and marketing activities that they engage in with the NASCAR Foundation with the top track being awarded the NASCAR Foundation Track of the Year Award. One of the highlights of Daytona International Speedway's work with the NASCAR Foundation in 2010 was serving as one of the NASCAR Day "Big Five" Service Projects. As part of the program, the "World Center of Racing" hosted 100 middle school students in the Nationwide Series garages where they learned around the education side of racing. For information on tickets for all Daytona International Speedway events, fans can visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(12-5-2010)

  • More Fan Friendly Initiatives Announced at Daytona: As part of its ongoing effort to enhance the race day experience for fans, Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III announced further enhancements to the speedway's carry-in policy beginning in 2011. One of the great traditions in NASCAR is the fans' ability to bring their own food and beverages to enjoy while watching the races. Also, race fans tend to stay in the facility for longer periods of time than in other sports.
    To help make the race day experience more enjoyable, fans may now carry in soft-sided coolers that measure no greater than 14 x 14 x 14 inches or 2,700 cubic inches - six times the size previously permitted. Coolers of this size typically have a removable plastic liner and are branded to hold 24 to 36 cans of Coca-Cola or other beverages. To ensure these items fit underneath grandstand seats and do not block walkways, coolers with telescoping handles and wheels will not be permitted.
    Safety improvements allow enhanced convenience for fans while continuing to provide a secure environment. Fan comfort and safety remains a top priority so all items carried into the speedway will be subject to a thorough and complete search by security personnel prior to entering the ticket gates.
    In addition, to make it more convenient for fans to carry additional items such as cameras, radio scanners and souvenirs, fans can now utilize lightweight backpacks or daypacks similar to those used by school students. To facilitate the entry process, UPS Express lanes will be available for fans that are not carrying items which require search. In addition, there will be sufficient personnel on hand to ensure our guests can proceed through the gate quickly and get to their seats in a reasonable amount of time. As part of its standard policy, hard-sided coolers will not be allowed into the grandstand area. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(12-4-2010)

  • MIS vs. Daytona in holiday food drive competition: In the spirit of competition off the race track, Michigan International Speedway and Daytona International Speedway are having a friendly contest to see which track can collect the most food items for people who need it the most this holiday season.
    Although it is a competition, both tracks aren't looking at it as a win-lose situation. All the food donated at MIS and DIS will go to families in need. MIS' donations will benefit the CCIS Food Pantry in Brooklyn, while Daytona's will benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
    The overall weight of all donations collected for each track will determine the winner. The winner of the competition will receive lunch courtesy of the other track. MIS has already collected some 2,100 items, thanks to a sizable donation from Brooklyn Elementary School. The students collected food throughout the Thanksgiving week.
    All MIS fans can get involved with this competition. Non-perishable food donations will be accepted at the speedway's Administration Building from Monday, Nov. 29 to Friday, Dec. 3.
    Donations of a non-perishable food item or unwrapped toy may also be made at the speedway's Track Drive for Charity, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4. With every donation, fans will receive a lap around the two-mile oval at a controlled speed. All fans who participate will also be entered into a drawing for two tickets to the Champions Club for the June race weekend. Longtime MIS sponsor GFS Marketplace will provide cider and donuts for all fans who attend the track drive.
    All DIS fans that bring at least three (3) cans of food to the DIS ticket office counter on Friday, Dec. 3 and Saturday, Dec. 4 will receive a free admission for the new Daytona International Speedway All-Access Tour.
    Daytona International Speedway will also host the WESH-TV "Share Your Christmas" food drive, which also benefits the Salvation Army, on Monday Dec. 6. Later that day, Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson's "Caravan that Cares" will begin its route from the main Daytona International Speedway parking lot on International Speedway Boulevard. Fans are encouraged to drop off their non-perishable donations at the Daytona ticket office lobby through Monday, Dec. 6.

  • Daytona Offers "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" Ticket Specials: "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday", the days surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday, are traditionally the most popular time in the country to find the best bargains. For race fans, Friday, Nov. 26 and Monday, Nov. 29 will be their opportunity to take advantage of special ticket offers for Speedweeks 2011 at Daytona International Speedway. Race fans can choose from four ticket packages, all priced at $49 per ticket. Additionally, on both Friday, Nov. 26 and Monday, Nov. 29, race fans will receive free shipping (a savings of $14) for all tickets purchased (phone orders only) and fans will have the ability to customize a ticket envelope with a holiday gift message. To purchase tickets to any of the Daytona International Speedway's events, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(11-25-2010)

  • Week 20 Daytona Repave update: Superstretch work complete: Even though paving is complete on the racing surface of Daytona International Speedway's 2.5-mile tri-oval, the paving crew from Lane Construction continues to be busy with work around the "World Center of Racing" during the 20th week of the Daytona Repave project. Work on the Superstretch is finished with the paving of new asphalt now in place on the skid pad, apron and the existing chicane. This week, milling and paving is occurring in the apron in Turns 3 and 4 and paving is moving forward on the pit exit area.
    Here are the other highlights from the 20th week of the Daytona Repave:
    · The reinstallation of the catch fence in Turns 1 and 2 is ongoing
    · Renovations to the Turn 4 tunnel including a new concrete driveway, stem wall and sidewalk are now complete
    · Reinstallation of the Musco lights in Turns 3 and 4 near completion
    · The underdrain trench and fabric installation is complete all around the track
    About the Daytona Repave: Lane Construction, which repaved other ISC race tracks including Talladega Superspeedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway, will use an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway and has a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011. Race fans can view the progression of the historic repaving project from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands, which will open free to the public. Track tours are also available. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-22-2010)

  • December Daytona Tire Test Set: Daytona International Speedway has confirmed with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company officials a December test on Daytona's newly-paved surface. "The latest communication we got from Joie Chitwood at Daytona to our general manager, Stu Grant, was that we'd be set to go on Dec. 15 and 16," Rick Campbell, Goodyear NASCAR project manager, said Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "It'll be a two-day test and we're in the process of getting the teams notified to make sure they know how it's going to work and what the ground rules are." Goodyear originally had requested to have the test the first week of December but was informed the track wouldn't be ready. Campbell acknowledged that moving the test closer to Christmas might impact teams' ability to participate, but Goodyear was still optimistic. "The later we get, the more of a struggle it'll be to get teams there, because their people have vacation plans and we understand that completely," Campbell said. "We're hoping to get 15 or 20 cars there -- if we don't, we'll do the best we can with what we get."(NASCAR.com)(11-20-2010)
    UPDATE: In what will be one of the most anticipated test sessions in the history of the "World Center of Racing," Daytona International Speedway and Goodyear officials have finalized the dates of Dec. 15-16 for a tire test on the new racing surface. The test will be the first time race cars will turn laps on the new asphalt of Daytona International Speedway, which was repaved for only the second time in its history. Drivers who will participate in the test will be announced at a later date. The Goodyear tire test will open to the public with free access to the Oldfield Grandstands through the lobby of the Daytona International Speedway ticket office. On July 5, Lane Construction began the historic repaving project and used an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway with a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011. Two test sessions have already been scheduled for January - the Roar Before The Rolex 24 on Jan. 7-9 and NASCAR Preseason Thunder with the Sprint Cup Series tams on Jan. 20-22. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP (DIS)(11-21-2010)

  • David Ragan delivers 53rd annual Daytona 500 tickets to race fans: To celebrate the delivery of 53rd annual Daytona 500 tickets around the world, David Ragan, driver of the #6 UPS Ford for Roush Fenway Racing, jumped into a UPS package car and visited the homes of longtime area ticket holders. Matthew Leon, Walter Gasowski and Joe Roll (collecting them for his sister Marie Frye) were presented with their tickets to "The Great American Race" on Sunday, Feb. 20. Ragan also delivered goodie bags to all three ticket holders as well as new 14x14x14 soft-sided coolers. It's the second straight year Ragan has rode shotgun in the UPS package car through the streets of the Daytona Beach area delivering tickets. Following his ticket deliveries, Ragan visited more than 400 sixth graders of Silver Sands Middle School in Port Orange for a Racing to Read pep-rally with Volusia County Superintendent Margaret Smith, Principal Rick Inge and Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. Students were briefed on the 2011 Racing to Read program where if they read 20 books between Nov. 15 and Jan. 14, they will have the choice of a free ticket to either the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, the DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, the Daytona Supercross or an all-access tour of the Speedway. More than 50 schools across Volusia County are participating in the program. After giving kids encouragement to reach their reading goals and answering some questions, Ragan raced some students in an R/C car race. Tickets for the Daytona 500, which start at $55, and are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-18-2010)

  • Week 19 Daytona Repave Update: The finish line is in sight for the historic 2010 Daytona Repave. The paving crew from Lane Construction and the massive Titan 525 paver reached a milestone moment as the paving of all four layers of the racing surface on the 2.5-mile tri-oval is now complete. The final paving took place last Saturday on the lower pass on the Superstretch. Even though the paving of the racing surface is complete, several key items still remain on the to-do list as the Daytona Repave project wraps up its 19th week of work:
    · The reinstallation of the SAFER barrier and catch fence in Turns 1 and 2 is ongoing as well as the removal of the fill dirt behind the walls
    · The concentration of this week's paving remains on the Superstretch. Finishing touches are being put down the skid pad and paving is ongoing on the apron and chicane
    · Paving also remains in the frontstretch skid pads, apron and pit road
    About the Daytona Repave: Lane Construction, which repaved other ISC race tracks including Talladega Superspeedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway, will use an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway and has a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011. Race fans can view the progression of the historic repaving project from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands, which will open free to the public. Track tours are also available. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-16-2010)

  • 2011 Coke Zero 400 Tickets on Sale: On Saturday, Nov. 13, at 9:00am/et, race fans will have their first opportunity to purchase tickets for one of NASCAR's most exciting nighttime races- the 53rd annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on July 2, 2011 at Daytona International Speedway. Tower seats are available starting at $85 and ticket prices for frontstretch grandstand seats start at $44. In addition, for the first time, special children advance pricing will be available for the Coke Zero 400. Tickets for children ages 12 and under are $10 and half-off junior prices are available for ages 13-17. Also, kids 12 and under are free in the Sprint FANZONE. More info on race tickets at Daytona International Speedway at daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(11-13-2010)

  • Week 18 Daytona Repave: Paving of the Final Layer in Turns 1 and 2: The process of putting down the fourth and final layer of asphalt in Turns 1 and 2 is ongoing during the 18th week of the repaving of Daytona International Speedway. The paving crew from Lane Construction has put down the wearing course - the fourth and final layer of asphalt - on the top pass in Turns 1 and 2 and through the backstretch with the massive Titan 525 paver. Paving of the bottom pass began on Friday morning and continued on Saturday. Paving of the wearing course has already been completed in Turns 3 and 4, through the tri-oval, to the entrance of Turn 1. Other updates from the 18th week of work on repaving Daytona International Speedway include:
    " The existing chicane on the backstretch has been milled and is ready to be graded and compacted.
    " Paving on pit road is ongoing. The first layer of asphalt - the drainage layer - has been put down and half of pit road has been paved with the second layer of asphalt.
    " Improvements to the Turn 4 twin tunnels continue. In the east tunnel, concrete for the side walk has been poured and the installation of the railing is expected next week. On the west tunnel, the new sidewalk is expected to be poured next week.
    About the Daytona Repave: Lane Construction, which repaved other ISC race tracks including Talladega Superspeedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway, will use an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway and has a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-7-2010)

  • Fans to Receive a Free Preview of the New 60-Minute All Access Tour at Daytona: Race fans living or visiting in the Central Florida region this weekend are in for a special treat. Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III is opening the doors and giving fans a chance to preview the new 60-minute All Access tour for free. The free tours will operate hourly from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. November 6 and 7, with the last tour departing at 4:00 pm. Beginning November 8, Daytona International Speedway Tours will provide the following three opportunities to go behind the scenes at the "World Center of Racing" seven days a week from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. A 60-minute All Access Tour; A 30-minute Speedway Tour and a three-hour special VIP tour. Guests will also be able to enjoy some of the other popular attractions during the speedway tours such as the winning car from the Daytona 500, the souvenir shop and the Fourth Turn Grill. Lastly, the Richard Petty Driving Experience will return to Daytona International Speedway once the track surface repaving project is completed. Tickets for the tours will be sold at the Daytona International Speedway ticket office. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-5-2010)

  • GEICO partners with ISC tracks on camping areas: International Speedway Corporation announced an unprecedented partnership with GEICO Insurance at seven of its premier racing facilities nationwide. Beginning in 2011, the five year deal will provide GEICO with promotional and entitlement rights for camping areas at: Daytona International Speedway; Darlington Raceway; Chicagoland Speedway; Homestead-Miami Speedway; Phoenix International Raceway; Talladega Superspeedway; and Watkins Glen International. Under the terms of the agreement, GEICO will receive on-site signage and branding.(ICS)(11-2-2010)

  • Week 17 Daytona Repave Update - Stewart paints new start-finish line: #14-Tony Stewart visited Daytona International Speedway on Thursday afternoon to tour the repaving project and participate in a milestone moment in the history of the "World Center of Racing." Stewart joined Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III in painting the start/finish line on the new racing surface. He also received a piece of Daytona history - a core sample of the original start/finish line asphalt - and took a laps on the finished portion of the track with Chitwood and North American Testing Company's Senior Director of Construction Bill Braniff. Stewart was appreciative of the piece of asphalt from the start/finish line.
    "As you grow up in racing and as the years go by, you learn the history where you go to and importance of the venues you go to," Stewart said. "To think of the great champions that crossed over this piece of asphalt to win the biggest races of their career. Whether it was in the Rolex 24 Hour race, or the Daytona 500 or the Nationwide race, the Firecracker 400 even. Think of the great people that have crossed over the start/finish line. This is a piece of racing history that you can't put a price tag on this."
    In driving around the finished portion of the track in Turns 3 and 4 and through the tri-oval in a Chevrolet Camaro, Stewart got to experience the new smooth racing surface. "I got to rip through 3 and 4 and it's not the same race track," Stewart said. "This place is going to have a totally new look and a totally new feel to the drivers and teams. It's going to be a lot of fun. I can promise you that we are going to fill every square inch of this race track with cars now because we're going to have that flexibility because this surface is going to be in such great shape when they get done with this last layer."
    And during his drive, he also got to witness all the paving work taking place in the steep 31-degree high banks in Turns 1 and 2. "This is not like paving a highway," Stewart said. "If you go down there and you watch how the cranes are holding up the equipment, I told them there's no way you could pay me to be on that roller right now. For a gear head like me, I like seeing what the process is and how they have to do this. To see 75 percent of this project completed already is phenomenal. They've had great weather down here. It's neat to see how good a job Lane has done."
    About the Daytona Repave: Lane Construction, which repaved other ISC race tracks including Talladega Superspeedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway, will use an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway and has a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011. Race fans can view the progression of the historic repaving project from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands, which will open free to the public. Track tours will also be available through attraction admission to Daytona 500 Experience. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-2-2010)

  • Week 16 Daytona Repave Update - Stewart to paint new start-finish line: In the 16th week of the historic Daytona Repave, paving of the new asphalt remains ongoing as workers have begun the process of restoring the SAFER barriers and catch fence. In Turns 3 and 4, the catch fence and SAFER barriers have been reinstalled and the process of returning SAFER barriers in the tri-oval is ongoing. Paving on the steep 31-degree high banks with the Titan 525 paver in Turns 1 and 2 also continues. The paving of the first of four layers of asphalt - the drainage layer - is complete and the second layer - the base course - has been put down on the top pass.
    Other updates from the 16th week of work on repaving Daytona International Speedway include:
    · Paving of the apron on the tri-oval is complete.
    · Paving of the four layers of asphalt on pit road should take place in the next two weeks.
    · Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart, who drives the #14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing, will visit the "World Center of Racing" and view the progress of the project next Thursday. Stewart, who is tied for third on the all-time Daytona International Speedway wins list with 15 triumphs, will assist Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III in painting the start/finish line on the new racing surface.
    About the Daytona Repave: Lane Construction, which repaved other ISC race tracks including Talladega Superspeedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway, will use an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway and has a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011. Race fans can view the progression of the historic repaving project from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands, which will open free to the public. Track tours will also be available through attraction admission to Daytona 500 Experience. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(10-25-2010)

  • Week 15 Daytona Repave Update: Lane Construction is prepping the steep 31-degree high banks in Turns 1 and 2 for paving as the Daytona Repave project completed a 15th week work. The grading of the lime rock base in Turns 1 and 2 has been ongoing for the past week. Grading of the top pass has been completed and the primer has been placed while grading of the bottom pass continues. Once the primer has been placed on both passes, the massive Titan 525 paver will begin putting down the first of four layers of asphalt.
    Other updates from the 15th week of work on repaving Daytona International Speedway include:
    · Paving of the backstretch skid pad is complete with exception of the tie-in with the apron
    · Installation of the under-drain system is now complete with exception of Turns 1 and 2 where paving still remains
    · Crews have begun preparing to put SAFER barrier and safety fence back up in Turns 3 and 4
    · Removal of the fill dirt behind the walls in Turns 3 and 4 has begun
    About the Daytona Repave: Lane Construction, which repaved other ISC race tracks including Talladega Superspeedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway, will use an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway and has a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011. Race fans can view the progression of the historic repaving project from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands, which will open free to the public. Track tours will also be available through attraction admission to Daytona 500 Experience. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(10-18-2010)

  • Week 14 Daytona Repave Update: In the 14th week of the Daytona Repave project, the paving of the fourth and final layer of asphalt - the wearing course - is now complete on more than half of the legendary 2.5-mile tri-oval. The paving of the wearing course is now complete in high banks of Turns 3 and 4, through the tri-oval and start/finish line to the entrance of Turn 1. Other updates from the 14th week of work on repaving Daytona International Speedway include:
    · All the old asphalt in Turns 1 and 2 have been removed. Grading and compacting will take place once the demolition process is complete.
    · Installation of the under-drain system at the base of Turns 3 and 4 has begun.
    · Paving of the backstretch apron has begun
    · Grading and milling of the frontstretch apron has begun
    · Renovation work in the twin tunnels of Turn 4 continues. A new driving surface and sidewalls have been installed in the east tube and the demolition work has begun on the west tube.
    Lane Construction, which repaved other ISC race tracks including Talladega Superspeedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway, will use an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway and has a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011.
    Race fans can view the progression of the historic repaving project from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands, which will open free to the public. Track tours will also be available through attraction admission to Daytona 500 Experience. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(10-8-2010)

  • Pre-Season testing at Daytona in January: Daytona International Speedway's new racing surface will receive its NASCAR christening next January, during a three-day NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test. The session, known as NASCAR Preseason Thunder, is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20 through Saturday, Jan. 22. Sunday, Jan. 23 is the rain date. The 2011 edition of NASCAR Preseason Thunder will help teams acclimate to the new pavement, plus speed their preparation for the 53rd Daytona 500 on Feb. 20 - the series' traditional season-opener. The repaving project - only the second in track history and first since 1978 - began immediately after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event on July 3. All NASCAR Preseason Thunder sessions begin at 9:00am/et and end at 5:00 pm/et, weather permitting. Each includes a lunch break from noon until 1:00pm/et.
    Fans seeking to attend can do so at the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona - the companion event to the January test. Along with watching NASCAR Preseason Thunder track activity from Daytona's Sprint FANZONE, fans can enjoy two Fan Fest sessions - from 5-9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 21 and from 5-7 p.m., on Saturday, Jan. 22. Driver question-and-answer and autograph sessions are planned. Tickets for the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest are $20. Fans also can watch each day's testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands. Teams from the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series are expected to receive extra practice time during Speedweeks to get acclimated to the track's new surface.
    Tickets for both the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fests and the Roar Before The Rolex 24 are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(NASCAR & DIS)(10-9-2010)

  • ISC cuts jobs, keeps tightening belt: International Speedway Corp.[ISC] has cut more than 40 corporate positions -- all at its headquarters in Daytona, FL -- since announcing in August a company-wide initiative to reduce operational costs. The company's goal of reducing by 20% the size of its headquarters staff, which numbered 250 at the start of the year, has been met, said Dan Houser, ISC chief financial officer, said in a phone interview Thursday. Whether there will be additional job cuts will depend on the state of the economy, Houser said, although he added there are no further plans for staff reductions at this time. The company, hit by declining revenue because of the slow economy, has also responded by lowering ticket prices at its racetracks and putting some of its big development projects on hold, including its proposed entertainment/retail/dining complex across the street from Daytona International Speedway. ISC quietly severed ties late last year with the Baltimore-based developer that was to be a 50/50 partner in the planned Daytona Live! complex.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-8-2010)

  • Week 13 Daytona Repave Update: Project Reaches The Halfway Mark: The historic Daytona Repave project has reached halfway point. The crew from Lane Construction began the Daytona Repave project immediately following the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola in early July and has spent the past three months putting down a new racing surface on Daytona International Speedway's 2.5-mile tri-oval, skid pad, apron and pit road. Three months remain in the project that will put down 50,000 tons of asphalt on 1.4 million square feet. Here are the updates from the 13th week of work on repaving Daytona International Speedway:
    · Demolition of the old asphalt in Turns 1 and 2 began on Friday
    · Paving on the skid pad extension continues
    · Milling of asphalt on the apron on the Superstretch
    · Work on paving the wearing course in Turns 3 and 4, through the start/finish line to the entrance of Turn 1 remains ongoing.
    Lane Construction, which repaved other ISC race tracks will use an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway and has a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011. Race fans can view the progression of the historic repaving project from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands, which will open free to the public. Track tours will also be available through attraction admission to Daytona 500 Experience. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(10-5-2010)

  • NASCAR Green Clean Air Tree Planting Project Plants 100 Trees: NASCAR, Daytona International Speedway and International Speedway Corporation joined forces with nearby Flagler County as the beneficiary of NASCAR's Green Clean Air tree planting project - one of the newest pro-environment community outreach programs developed by America's most popular motorsport. The NASCAR Green Clean Air tree planting initiative will plant 10 trees for every green flag that waves during a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. There were 10 green flags at the recent Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on July 3 and 100 trees are being planted at four Flagler County public schools. The NASCAR Clean Air conversation program neutralizes the carbon produced by race events.
    On Monday, September 20th, the program began as 80 NASCAR, International Speedway Corporation, Daytona International Speedway and Americrown employees planted 25 trees each at Matanzas High School, Indian Trails Middle School, Belle Terre Elementary School and Buddy Taylor Middle School. International Speedway Corporation President John Saunders, Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood and Mike Lynch, Managing Director of Green Innovation for NASCAR, participated in a tree planting ceremony on Monday at Indian Trails Middle School. The trees used for this program were purchased locally from Nature Scapes of Flagler County.(DIS)(9-29-2010)

  • Week 12 Daytona Repave Update: The paving of the wearing course, the fourth and final layer of asphalt, was put down on the legendary 2.5-mile tri-oval of Daytona International Speedway for the first time during Week 12 of the Daytona Repave. The crew from Lane Construction put down the top pass of the wearing course beginning at the entrance to Turn 3, through the steep 31-degree high banks, all the way to the exit of Turn 4. Paving of the wearing course will continue from Turns 3 and 4, through the tri-oval and start/finish line, and finish at the entrance of Turn 1. Once the paving of the wearing course is complete in the high banks of Turns 3 and 4, the SAFER barrier, fence and light poles will be reinstalled.(DIS)(9-25-2010)

  • Week 11 Daytona Repave Update: The crew from Lane Construction continued work on paving the steep 31-degree high banks of Daytona International Speedway during the 11th week of the 2010 Daytona Repave project. On Thursday, workers from Lane put down the top pass of the leveling course (the third of four layers of asphalt) on Turns 3 and 4 and expect to finish work on the bottom pass over the next week. The paving of the wearing course -- the final layer of asphalt -- will begin thereafter. The first paving of the wearing course will start at the beginning of the Superstretch, run through Turns 3 and 4 and the tri-oval and finish at the entrance of Turn 1.
    Other highlights from the 11th week of work on repaving Daytona International Speedway include:
    · Maintenance work on the large paver
    · Paving on the Superstretch skid pad
    · Placement and grading of the aggregate base on pit road
    About the Daytona Repave: Lane Construction, which repaved other ISC race tracks including Talladega Superspeedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway, will use an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway and has a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011.
    Race fans can view the progression of the historic repaving project from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands, which will open free to the public. Track tours will also be available through attraction admission to Daytona 500 Experience. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(9-19-2010)

  • Burton Checks In On The Daytona Repave Project: Jeff Burton is accustomed to driving down pit road at Daytona International Speedway in his #31 Caterpillar Chevy looking for his Richard Childress Racing pit crew for four tires and Sunoco fuel. On Wednesday, he got a different perspective of pit road from a Caterpillar grader. Burton visited the "World Center of Racing" and graded a portion of pit road, which along with the entire 2.5-mile tri-oval, apron and skid pad, is being repaved for only the second time in track history. "It's not hard to just move dirt, but it's hard to put it where it's supposed to be," Burton said of his grading experience. Burton, along with President Joie Chitwood III, also buried a time capsule and delivered a progress report to the local media on the Daytona Repave project, which began immediately after the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Monday, July 5.
    Among the items placed in the time capsule were:
    · Tickets from 2010 Daytona International Speedway events including the 52nd annual Daytona 500 and the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, the final race on the old asphalt
    · Die-cast cars including Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s #3 Wrangler Chevy that won the Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race and Burton's #31 Caterpillar Chevy
    · Newspapers from the Daytona Beach News-Journal including their special Daytona Repave section
    · Business card of Lane Construction's John Rauer, the project manager on the Daytona Repave
    · Sprint Blackberry phone
    · Press releases, brochures and photos
    Burton, whose lone Daytona NASCAR Sprint Cup win came in July 2000, took a tour of the facility before burying the time capsule and grading pit road. "It's really cool to be here," said Burton, who added he would like to come back to Daytona someday to dig up the time capsule. "The history of this race track and the France family actually building this track with their own hands and (now) seeing it reconstructed, it's pretty cool. This track is going to make racing incredible. What you're going to see is three wide and two wide all the time. The technology in the asphalt and the technology in the grading makes the track so smooth and makes so much grip that you're not going to be afraid to put it three wide. You're going to be able to put that car where ever you want to put it." Speedweeks 2011 will kick off with the 49th annual Rolex 24 At Daytona GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race on Jan. 29-30 and conclude with the 53rd annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20, the prestigious season-opening event to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Race fans can view the progression of the historic repaving project from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands, which will open free to the public. Track tours will also be available through attraction admission to Daytona 500 Experience. Daytona International Speedway also is posting updates on the project at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/repave. For fans interested in purchasing pieces of asphalt, they can visit www.jostens.com/Daytona. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(9-12-2010)

  • January testing back at Daytona? hearing that the Sprint Cup Series will test the new pavement at Daytona International Speedway in January, likely in mid to late January 2011. Supposedly all Sprint Cup teams will be allowed to test. DIS is currently in week 9 of repaving the 2 1/2 mile track.(9-3-2010)

  • Week 9 Daytona Repave Update: Paving Moves To The High Banks: The crew from Lane Construction began the most challenging aspect of the 2010 Daytona Repave on Thursday morning - putting new asphalt on the steep 31-degree high banks of Daytona International Speedway. Workers paved the drainage layer in Turns 3 and 4, the first of four layers that will make up the 2.5-mile tri-oval. The crew completed the first 21-foot wide pass late Thursday and will pave the bottom 21-foot pass on Friday or Saturday. Paving of the other layers of asphalt in the Turn 3 and 4 high banks will continue through next week.
    Other highlights from the ninth week of work on repaving Daytona International Speedway include:
    · Installation of the underdrain pipe and trench on frontstretch
    · The milling of asphalt on pit road has started
    · Paving of the overlay on the existing Supersuperstrech skid pad has begun
    · Jeff Burton, driver of the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has scheduled a visit for next week to view all the progress on the project and assist Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III in burying a time capsule near the start/finish line.
    Lane Construction, which repaved other ISC race tracks including Talladega Superspeedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway, will use an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway and has a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011. Race fans can view the progression of the historic repaving project from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands, which will open free to the public. Track tours will also be available through attraction admission to Daytona 500 Experience.(DIS)(9-3-2010)

  • Week 8 Daytona Repave Update: Concrete Pit Stalls Completed: The crew from Lane Construction completed the installation of the 18-foot wide concrete pit stalls this week as the massive 2010 Daytona Repave entered its eighth week. Construction continues in many different areas throughout historic Daytona International Speedway. The daunting 31-degree high banks in Turns 3 and 4 continue to be graded and compacted in preparation for the first layer of asphalt, which is expected to be put down early next week. Other highlights from the eighth week of work on repaving Daytona International Speedway include:
    · The first of two asphalt layers has been put down on the 500-foot skid pad extension along the Superstretch. The second layer, covering the existing skid pad as well as the extension, is expected to be installed in the next several days. Crews will leave an 80-foot gap closest to the racing surface which will be paved when the final asphalt layer is placed on the apron and race track.
    · Work has begun on the Superstretch to install a new under drain system which will run the entire length of the 2.5-mile Superspeedway.
    Race fans can view the progression of the historic repaving project from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands, which will open free to the public. Track tours will also be available through attraction admission to Daytona 500 Experience.(DIS)(8-31-2010)

  • Week 6 Daytona Repave Update: Tear Down Of Pit Road Begins: Workers on the historic Daytona Repave project hit pit road for the first time, but there was no pit stop for four tires and gas. The milling of the 1,900-foot long pit road began as asphalt was removed from all the pit stalls, another notable moment as the 2010 Daytona Repave continues. The pit stalls, which will be 18 feet wide, will be filled with concrete and then reminder of pit road will then be excavated and paved. Pit road will be widened from 52 feet to 62 feet. Here are some of the other highlights from the sixth week of work on repaving Daytona International Speedway:
    · The first three layers of asphalt have been paved on both the Frontstretch and the Superstretch
    · The grading in Turn 4 is ongoing
    · Turn 3 is being regraded after some recent rain.
    · The grading of the extended skid pad on the backstretch is ongoing
    About the Daytona Repave: Lane Construction, which repaved other ISC race tracks including Talladega Superspeedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway, will use an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway and has a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011. Race fans will be able to view the progression of the historic repaving project from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands, which will open free to the public. Track tours will also be available through attraction admission to Daytona 500 Experience. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(8-22-2010)

  • Chitwood replaces Brag at Daytona: International Speedway Corporation announced it has named Joie Chitwood III President of Daytona International Speedway effective immediately. Current DIS President Robin Braig will leave to pursue other opportunities. Chitwood, 41, has been Vice President of Business Development for ISC since 2009. In this position, he led strategic development and oversaw business execution across the Company's 13 motorsports facilities and Americrown Service Corp., ISC's catering, concessions and merchandising subsidiary. Prior to joining ISC, Chitwood served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Before joining the IMS executive staff, Chitwood was Vice President and General Manager of Raceway Associates, LLC, which oversaw construction and operation of the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., from 1999-2002. Also of note, Chitwood, beginning at the age of five, was an integral part of his family's motorsports entertainment business, the well-known Chitwood Thrill Show.(DIS)(8-13-2010)

  • Daytona repaving hits a snag: The winning streak could not last forever. The repaving of Daytona International Speedway's famous 2.5-mile tri-oval hit a minor snag Wednesday after heavy showers washed away some of the exposed lime rock base in Turns 3 and 4. "It's no big deal," project manager Bill Braniff said Thursday. "We'll go back, re-grade it and repack it again. We expect things like that to happen, and it underscores the importance of not removing the old asphalt in Turns 1 and 2." Up until Wednesday's weather situation, the paving project has been nearly flawless. In the last week, Lane Construction has laid three layers of asphalt over the entire length of the tri-oval and backstretch, started to grade the backstretch skid pad extension and pulled up asphalt along pit road. The pit road project is in focus right now.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(8-13-2010)

  • Week 5 Daytona Repave Update: The Daytona Repave entered its second month as new asphalt continues to be put down on the legendary 2.5-mile tri-oval while removal of the old asphalt is also ongoing. Here are the highlights from the fifth week of work on repaving Daytona International Speedway:
    · The first two layers of asphalt have been paved on both the Frontstretch and Superstretch
    · The grading of Turn 3 is now complete
    · The asphalt in Turn 4 has now been removed and is currently being graded
    · Asphalt primer has been placed in Turn 3
    · The concrete patch in Turn 2 was removed
    Lane Construction, which repaved other ISC race tracks including Talladega Superspeedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway, will use an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway and has a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011. Speedweeks 2011 will kick off with the 49th annual Rolex 24 At Daytona GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race on Jan. 29-30 and conclude with the 53rd annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20, the prestigious season-opening event to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Race fans will be able to view the progression of the historic repaving project from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands, which will open free to the public. Track tours will also be available through attraction admission to Daytona 500 Experience. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(8-11-2010)

  • No plans to move Daytona July race: Wednesday, July 28, on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, hosts Rick Benjamin and Chocolate Myers spoke with Robin Braig, President of Daytona International Speedway, who commented on the reports that there may be schedule changes in store for the Sprint Cup schedule in 2011.
    Host/Rick Benjamin: "What dates will the races be held on, not just in February, we know that date, what about the second race next year? When will that be held?"
    Robin Braig: "The July 4th race, you mean? I lost you."
    Benjamin: "Because there's been talk that perhaps Daytona might move its second race [with] all the reshuffling of the schedule."
    Braig: "No, no, we don't, no. There's nothing changing..."
    Benjamin: "Nothing to report from Daytona's standpoint?"
    Braig: "No, no. We love our July 4th race, have enjoyed it, it's tradition. We don't have any intention of moving off our date. And I know there's talk about some other movement but it doesn't include Daytona."
    "Tradin' Paint," with Rick Benjamin and Chocolate Myers, airs weekdays (11am-3pm ET) on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, SIRIUS channel 128 and XM channel 128 for subscribers with the "Best of SIRIUS" programming package.(SIRIUS XM Radio)(7-29-2010)

  • Buy a Daytona 500 ticket, get a piece of asphalt: Daytona International Speedway is offering race fans the exclusive opportunity to purchase a ticket to witness history as well as receive a piece of history all at the same time. Beginning on Monday, Aug. 2 at 9 a.m. and running through midnight on Aug. 8, race fans that purchase tickets for the 53rd annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 20 will automatically receive a portion of Daytona's original asphalt. Race fans that have renewed their 2011 DAYTONA 500 tickets or purchased between June 18 and Aug. 1 will also receive this offer, which is limited to one piece of asphalt per account holder. Race fans can take advantage of this special offer by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytona500.com.(DIS PR)(7-27-2010)

  • 2011 schedule changes will be "impactful": NASCAR appears ready to give its 2011 Sprint Cup schedule a facelift. CEO Brian France said before Sunday's race at Indianapolis that stock car's top series is in the "final throes" of completing next year's Cup slate and that it could feature some "impactful" changes. International Speedway Corp. is asking for a second race in Kansas, while Speedway Motorsports Inc. wants Las Vegas to get a second Cup date. SMI is also hoping to bring a Cup race to its 1.5-mile track in northern Kentucky.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)
    AND: NASCAR's 2010 Sprint Cup schedule is expected to have a considerably different look next season, including the site of the season finale. Some changes are expected in response to requests from major track owners International Speedway Corp. and Speedway Motorsports Inc., but several other race dates are believed to be in play. Several sources told the Observer and ThatsRacin.com on Sunday that changes being contemplated include the season's final race, now held at Miami-Homestead. That ISC-owned track could get the second race of the 2011 season. Auto Club Speedway currently occupies that spot on the schedule. The sources said two tracks figure in the options being considered to replace Homestead as host of the season's final race weekend: Las Vegas and Daytona. A Las Vegas finale could make it more convenient for fans, teams, media and others to attend NASCAR's season-ending awards events. Those events, held in New York City for years, moved to the desert gambling-and-resort city for the first time last year. A season finale at Daytona would add a second restrictor-plate race to the Chase for the Sprint Cup.(Charlotte Observer)(7-26-2010)

  • Week 3 Daytona Repave Update: Paving Begins On The Superstretch: Another significant moment in the 2010 Daytona Repave took place on Thursday morning as the first layer of asphalt was put down on the 3,000-foot Superstretch. The paving of the drainage layer on the Superstretch is the first of four layers of asphalt that will be put down on Daytona International Speedway's 2.5-mile tri-oval, which is being repaved for only the second time in its history. While new asphalt was being put down on the "World Center of Racing," the old asphalt in the daunting Turn 3 high banks has been excavated and removed. Here are some other notable achievements in Week 3 of the Daytona Repave project:
    * SAFER barrier and safety fence continues to be removed in the banking in Turns 1 and 2.
    * The milling and grading on the Frontstretch is complete and ready to be paved.
    * Jostens, which is handling the distribution of the pavement to race fans, has cut and removed pieces of asphalt from multiple locations around the track.
    * The dirt from the skid pad excavation continues to be used to fill behind the walls on upper rim road in Turns 1 and 2.(DIS)(7-24-2010)

  • Week 2 Repaving Progress Report at Daytona International Speedway: The following is the Week 2 progress report from engineers overseeing the repaving project at Daytona International Speedway:
    · A total of 57 light poles have come down, which were stationed between Turns 1 and 2 and Turns 3 and 4. No more light poles need to be removed.
    · The fence, including the posts, have been removed from Turn 3 to Turn 4.
    · The steel and form energy reduction (SAFER) barrier has been removed from Turns 3 and 4 and from the tri-oval area. Each piece of the SAFER barrier is 28-feet long.
    All the asphalt from the entire backstretch has been milled, or ripped from the ground and shredded into bits. The short chute exiting Turn 4 has been milled. Both the backstretch and first "short chute" has been compacted and are pavement-ready.
    · Engineers estimate they have milled 60 percent of the 2.5-mile, tri-oval asphalt or an estimated 17 million pounds.
    · The new skid pad area on the backstretch has been excavated and is being prepared for paving.
    · The dirt from the skid pad area has been used as fill behind Turns 3 and 4.
    A team from Jostens is cutting out pieces of racing surface. Those blocks will be transformed into collectibles and racing mementos.
    · Current onsite work force is approximately 40. Lane Construction has 25 full-time employees working the job.
    · The start-finish line pavement area was carefully removed and placed in a secure location on Speedway property.
    · The mobile asphalt plant, located in a parking area outside of Turn 2, is nearly operational. Technicians were in the process of wiring the sensor equipment on the plant to a control room.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(7-17-2010)

  • Waltrip's part of Daytona repaving ceremonial groundbreaking: Darrell and Michael Waltrip, the only brothers to win the Daytona 500, took a backhoe to the daunting Turn 1 high banks of Daytona International Speedway on Monday. The event served as the ceremonial groundbreaking on the historic repaving project at Daytona International Speedway.
    "I've tried to knock the walls down but I've never tried to tear the track up. That was a first for me," said 1989 Daytona 500 champion Darrell Waltrip. "It's a good feeling. That piece of equipment is like driving a good race car. You have to have the right piece of equipment and we had it today. I'm excited about this project."
    "I'm going to get me a chunk of that and take it back to North Carolina," said Michael Waltrip, the 2001 and 2003 Daytona 500 champion. "This place is special to our family. It's part of who we are. I don't come through that tunnel and not think about what this place means to me. I'm a traditionalist. I love Daytona and I love this being the Mecca of NASCAR racing."
    After taking their turns in the backhoe, both Darrell and Michael Waltrip were able to grab some pieces of the track. The repaving project officially began immediately after the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Monday, July 5. During the first week of work, crews were removing lights poles, SAFER barrier and safety fence and milling of asphalt began on the Superstretch and the Frontstretch. Daytona International Speedway's entire 2.5-mile tri-oval will be repaved as well as the skid pads, apron and pit road. Concrete will be used for the pit stalls. All of the existing asphalt will be removed down to the original 52-year-old lime rock base, which will be leveled and then paving will begin. An estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt will be used on the project that will pave 1,435,000 square feet, about 33 acres.
    Lane Construction, which repaved other ISC race tracks including Talladega Superspeedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway, is repaving Daytona International Speedway and has a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011. Speedweeks 2011 will kick off with the 49th annual Rolex 24 At Daytona GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race on Jan. 29-30 and conclude with the 53rd annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20, the prestigious season-opening event to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(7-13-2010)

  • Daytona repaving gets underway: The green flag has waved on the historic Daytona International Speedway repave. On Monday, crews began the process by removing lights poles, SAFER barrier and safety fence. The safety fence and 57 light poles in both ends of the high banks are being removed as well 8,300 linear feet of SAFER barrier throughout the facility. The asphalt removal is expected to begin later this week or early next week. Daytona International Speedway's entire 2.5-mile tri-oval will be repaved as well as the skid pads, apron and pit road. Concrete will be used for the pit stalls. All of the existing asphalt will be removed down to the original 52-year-old lime rock base, which will be leveled and then paving will begin. An estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt will be used on the project that will pave 1,435,000 square feet, about 33 acres. The repaving project has a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011. Daytona International Speedway also posting updates on the project at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/repave.(DIS)(7-6-2010)

  • Formula One president at Daytona: Jean Todt was guest of NASCAR and International Speedway Corp. at Daytona International Speedway this weekend. Todt, who replaced Max Mosley as president of the FIA (Formula One's governing body) in October, received exposure to American auto racing, which included the Nationwide Series race on Friday night followed by the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the Sprint Cup race on Saturday. So what was Todt's interest in NASCAR? "You know, simply, why all those people are here," Todt said. "It's very interesting to see what the others are doing, and it's always something to learn about. Of course, there are reasons why NASCAR is so big in America and why Formula One has never really been able so far to do something out here while doing a lot in other countries around the world. It's a fascinating experience."(Fox Sports)(7-4-2010)

  • Workers repair Daytona track patch: UPDATE: On Thursday night track workers were diligently attempting to repair the patch between turns one and two, which was formed during February's debacle that halted action twice for a total of 2 hours and 25 minutes as asphalt crumbled from the surface. According to fans camped near the patch, workers appeared prior to the first Nationwide Series practice Thursday morning. Johnny Grainger, 57, of Deltona said representatives from Daytona International Speedway explained the workers were covering the patch with concrete and then grinding the surface around a square area where the cars were bottoming out throughout the practice sessions. Grainger added that the workers returned shortly after Happy Hour ended around 8 p.m. By 10 p.m., 11 vehicles along with a trailer surrounded the area as workers continued to address it. Although track officials denied there was any problem with the surface and NASCAR representatives were unaware of any issues, from the infield fence there was clearly visible a three- to four-foot hole in the patched area. Additional calls to Daytona and International Speedway Corp. were not returned Thursday night.(Fox Sports)(7-2-2010)
    UPDATE: According to Daytona officials, "During an inspection by Daytona engineers after Thursday track activity an area of approx 1' x 4.5' in Turn 2 was repaired as a precautionary measure. Our track inspections will continue throughout the weekend and we will make any other repairs deemed necessary. The event schedule was not impacted and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series cars were on track this morning at 8 a.m. as scheduled."(DIS)(7-2-2010)

  • Bobby Labonte named Grand Marshal for Coke Zero 400: Bobby Labonte, who is scheduled to make his 600th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start on Saturday night, will serve as Grand Marshal for the 52nd annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Labonte, who is driving the #09 car for owner James Finch in Saturday's 160-lap, 400-mile race, will give the starting command, "Gentlemen start your engines." Labonte, who is an original member of the Coca-Cola Racing Family, has captured 21 NASCAR Sprint Cup victories and 26 poles as well as the series' championship in 2000.(DIS)(7-2-2010)

  • Daytona to honor six Medal of Honor Recipients: Daytona International Speedway will pay tribute to six Medal of Honor recipients during this week's Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway. It's the second straight year that the "World Center of Racing" will honor Medal of Honor recipients, a program that was first started by Bill France Sr. back in the 1970s. The Medal of Honor recipients, all from the Vietnam War, to be honored are:
    * Joe M. Jackson, retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel from Newman, Ga.
    * Don Jenkins, retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant from Quality, Ky.
    * Thomas Norris, retired U.S Navy Lieutenant from Jacksonville, Fla.
    * Richard A. Pittman, retired U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant from French Camp, San Joaquin, Calif.
    * Kenneth Stumpf, a retired U.S Army Staff Sergeant from Menasha, Wis.
    * Michael Thornton, a retired U.S. Navy Petty Officer from Greenville, S.C.
    All six Medal of Honor recipients will be honored during a special luncheon on Friday at the Bill France Room inside Daytona 500 Experience and will attend driver's meetings and participate in pre-race ceremonies for both the Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night, July 2 and the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night, July 3. There will be a special salute to the six Medal of Honor recipients between the National Anthem and the starting command, "Gentlemen start your engines," for Saturday's Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola.(DIS)(7-1-2010)

  • Daytona 500 Tickets On Sale: The race to purchase coveted tickets for the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20 is about to begin. Tickets for the 2011 edition of "The Great American Race" - NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race - will go on sale this Friday at 9:00pm/et. Prior to Friday, June 18, only renewals for seat assignments for the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race were taken by the ticket office at Daytona International Speedway. For the third straight year, tickets for the 2011 Daytona 500 - which will be the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event on the new asphalt at Daytona International Speedway - will start at $55. Immediately following the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola on Monday, July 5, Daytona International Speedway's entire 2.5-mile tri-oval will be repaved as well as the skid pads, apron and pit road. The repaving project will be completed in time for Speedweeks 2011 and the 2011 Daytona 500. For information and to buy tickets, go to daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(6-17-2010)

  • Bigger restrictor plate for Daytona in July: NASCAR has announced that NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will use carburetor restrictor-plate openings of 1 1/32 inches for the July 3 event at Daytona International Speedway. The previous plate at Daytona last February was 63/64-inch. Monday's announcement pertains only to next month's Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola - the last NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event on the current Daytona asphalt. The 2.5-mile, high-banked superspeedway will be repaved prior to the 2011 Daytona 500. Each restrictor plate contains four openings which restrict air flow to the engine, thus slowing cars. Larger openings mean more air, and more speed. "We think this will be a needed boost due to the additional drag we've picked up since switching from a rear wing to a rear spoiler," said NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton. Rule changes, announced Jan. 21, mandated switching from a wing mounted on the rear deck lid of NASCAR's new car, back to a more traditional stock-car spoiler. The March event at Martinsville Speedway marked the first race for the new spoiler. Carburetor restrictor plates are used only at Daytona and 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway. The 1 1/32-inch size openings will be the largest since the one-inch mandate in 1988, the first year the horsepower-reducing plates were mandated for yearly use in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition at Daytona. Teams used openings of 15/16-inch for this season's spring race (April 25) at Talladega. That size was determined following a March 16 test at Talladega that helped answer several mechanical questions, among them, spoiler height and the restrictor-plate openings.(NASCAR)(6-7-2010)

  • Daytona repaving gives Goodyear tight timeline: Daytona International Speedway is repaving the 2.5-mile super-speedway for the first time since 1978. While work will begin following the Coke Zero 400 in July, track officials don't expect the asphalt to be ready for testing until Jan. 1. That's more than a month before NASCAR teams return for Speedweeks and it may not leave Goodyear ample time to perfect a tire for the Daytona 500. NASCAR officials informed Goodyear of an open Daytona test scheduled for mid-January (rumored to be Jan. 15th but denied by top brass from the sanctioning body). Goodyear traditionally begins manufacturing tires in October for Speedweeks with the usual run of 6,000 units. With a test involved, as is anticipated given a completely green and unknown track surface, Goodyear would likely up the tire inventory to 8,000 tires for all the Daytona events - the Budweiser Shootout, Gatorade Duels, Camping World Truck race, Nationwide Series race and the 500 (and practices for all those events). Originally, Stu Grant of Goodyear had hoped to start the testing process no later than Nov. 1, using the current Daytona tires as the control tires and build a data base. Should Goodyear not have time for a tire test prior to January, the Daytona open test sessions would become the tire test. Lane Contruction recently repaved Talladega using the same asphalt compound for Daytona, so Grant says Goodyear would now use the Talladega tire as the control tire. Goodyear has received pavement samples from Lane but if testing is not an option, the tires will have to be developed by engineers in the lab instead of on the track. The selection process begins with a control tire and usually requires four to six weeks to assemble the materials, then build and cure the tires. Even if Goodyear could test a tire on Jan. 1, teams would not have track-tested tires for a full Cup Series test on Jan. 15. Although it would be a push, teams could have the new tires for the opening day of Speedweeks on Feb. 9(Fox Sports)(5-9-2010)

  • Daytona to repave track for 2011 season: For only the second time in its history, Daytona International Speedway will be repaved following the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola in July, track President Robin Braig announced. "This is a historic moment for NASCAR's most storied race track -- Daytona International Speedway," Braig said. "Daytona was originally repaved in 1978 and the time has come again to put new asphalt on this legendary race track." Since the conclusion of the 52nd annual Daytona 500 in February, International Speedway Corporation's team of engineers and asphalt specialists have conducted a thorough evaluation of the entire track, and upon completion of that analysis, the results were delivered to the ISC Board of Directors where the decision was made to repave the race track following the 2010 Coke Zero 400. Daytona International Speedway's entire 2.5-mile tri-oval will be repaved as well as the skid pads, apron and pit road. Concrete will be used for the pit stalls. All of the existing asphalt will be removed down to the original 52-year-old lime rock base, which will be leveled and then paving will begin. The repaving of Daytona International Speedway will remain true to Bill France Sr.'s original vision, layout and geometry of the track that was constructed in the late 1950s. The repaving project will begin immediately after the Coke Zero 400 Weekend on Sunday, July 4 with a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011. Speedweeks 2011 will kick off with the 49th annual Rolex 24 At Daytona GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race on Jan. 29-30 and conclude with the 53rd annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20, the prestigious season-opening event to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Lane Construction, which repaved other ISC race tracks including Talladega Superspeedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway, has been contracted to repave Daytona International Speedway. Due to the repaving project, the October motorcycles races, Richard Petty Driving Experience dates, testing sessions and other track rental events will be cancelled for the rest of the year. Daytona KartWeek presented by Cometic Gasket World Karting Association races on Dec. 28-30 will continue as scheduled with the sprint and dirt track events only as those two series do not utilize the 2.5-mile tri-oval. If race fans want to claim a piece of history, they can renew their 2011 Daytona 500 tickets and each account holder will receive a portion of Daytona's track surface representing over 50 years of memories. The Daytona 500 ticket renewal process begins today. Race fans will be able to view all the progressions of the historic repaving project from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands, which will open free to the public. Track tours will also be available through attraction admission to Daytona 500 Experience. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(4-24-2010)

  • Daytona to repave track for 2011 season: After months of investigation into Daytona's aged asphalt surface, we finally have an answer as to the future of the speedway's repaving project. Sources tell Mike Lovecchio [from Frontstretch.com] that an announcement will be made tomorrow by ISC the track will be fully repaved in time for the 2011 Daytona 500. According to sources, investigation into the track surface, which was last repaved in 1978, revealed "concerns" that have forced ISC to move up the timeline of the project. A source also says there are still private worries remaining about the condition of the asphalt for July's Coke Zero 400, but the choice has been made to not rush the project and wait until after the second round of Daytona races. The move is an about face from ISC and Daytona's stance on the matter in February. After a pothole caused two red flags totaling two hours, 25 minutes for repairs in this year's 500, DIS President Robin Braig was adamant the track would hold off on its repaving job until 2012. No word on the exact cost of the project, but sources claim pieces of the old asphalt could be sold to fans once the repave is complete. Daytona International Speedway did not return a phone call for comment.(Frontstretch)(4-23-2010)

  • ISC profit up: Net income edged slightly higher in the first quarter at International Speedway Corp., but results came sharply below Wall Street expectations as admissions revenue fell. Profit was $25.4 million, or 53 cents per share, in the three months ended Feb. 28, up 1 percent from $25.1 million, or 52 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. However, excluding unusual items, earnings were 45 cents per share, down from 56 cents. Analysts, who typically exclude one-time items from their estimates, were looking for 53 cents, according to Thomson Reuters. Revenue also fell short. While company boasted a capacity crowd at its marquee event, NASCAR's Daytona 500, overall revenue for the quarter slipped 8 percent to $152 million from $166.1 million, as admissions revenue fell about 19 percent. Analysts expected revenue of $161.7 million.(Associated Press)(4-9-2010)

  • ISC says Daytona patch worked: Officials from International Speedway Corp., which owns several tracks that host Cup events, said they're confident the concrete patch used at Daytona International Speedway after a pothole developed in the 500 will work but that they're awaiting further analysis on the track to see if the track will need be repaved. The track was last repaved more than 30 years ago. John Saunders, president of ISC, said Thursday in a conference call with investors that planned repaving of the track, as of now, is targeted for around 2012. Saunders said the analysis shows that three things led to the pothole developing:
    1. A "very unusual cold winter" in Florida. (The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported that the average temperature in Daytona in February was 53.1 degrees -- the coldest in Daytona since 1978.
    2. Moisture where Saunders said "we experienced what the engineers call delamination, which occurs below the surface. It's not visible on the surface.'' This is where materials can weaken and split into layers.
    3. The cars bottoming out. Said Saunders: "Eventually, with that weight and that force, it began to cut the asphalt and once that happens, it begins to accelereate.'' (Hampton Roads)(4-9-2010)

  • Daytona 'pot hole' repair looks good: The tiny pothole that brought the mighty Daytona 500 to its knees has been eliminated as a racing nuisance. The hole, which started as a gouge from the chassis of a Sprint Cup Series stock car, caused NASCAR to stop the 500 twice for more than 2 1/2 hours to repair the area. The pothole was fixed with a concrete patch four days after the checkered flag fell on the Daytona 500, capping three weeks of auto racing events. The area was allowed to "cure" for several days to complete the repair. Daytona 200 Motorcycle Week started Saturday with a dozen motorcycle road-racing events and the patch was not a worry for competitors. "There have been no issues with the bikes," Speedway president Robin Braig said. "We talked to tire and bike manufacturers and riders and there are no concerns." In a random survey of Championship Cup Series riders, who are racing in the West Banking area, the consensus was the patch -- closer to the apron than the outside retaining wall -- was not even in the preferred racing line. Braig is confident the patch will serve its purpose. "We don't anticipate any other issues with our track surface," Braig said.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-1-2010)

  • Daytona 500 Delays added Sponsorship Exposure: The one benefit of two lengthy track repair delays during last week's Daytona 500 was the unique opportunity for Fox to conduct interviews with an unprecedented 27 of the 43 drivers, and 10 crew chiefs. According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc. - which has monitored every NASCAR race telecast since the mid-1980s - by the time Fox signed off Sunday night from Daytona, a total of 46 separate driver interviews had been conducted, lasting a cumulative 46 minutes, 48 seconds (46:48).
    Never far from the attention of the Fox crew, Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s three interview segments ran for a total of 4:53 to lead all drivers. As a result, Earnhardt's primary sponsor AMP Energy accumulated the most verbal mentions during the telecast with 10. When comparing the verbal exposure to the cost of a 30-second commercial during the Great American Race, AMP Energy collected nearly $1.7 million of exposure value. Earnhardt's sponsor was also mentioned on four occasions during MRN's national radio broadcast of the Daytona 500, good for another $26,000 of exposure value.
    Budweiser mentions in association with its sponsorship of Kasey Kahne and UPS mentions regarding David Ragan were next in line among the leaders, as each brand was mentioned five times throughout the live Fox coverage. Budweiser picked up three more references during MRN's broadcast, bringing about a total of $853,000, while UPS obtained a half-dozen radio mentions for a total of $873,000 of media exposure.
    Also prospering from the extended interviews and chatty drivers were the participating car makers. Ford failed to win the race, but certainly ruled the television and radio airwaves, as the brand was mentioned a combined 105 times, earning $8.5 million of comparable exposure value. Race-winning Chevrolet racked up 81 mentions ($4.2 million), followed by Toyota (49/$3.5 million) and Dodge (14/$1.2 million).
    Most Mentioned on Fox
    Sponsor, Mentions
    Daytona 500, 178
    NASCAR, 50
    Daytona Int. Spdwy.,38
    Sprint Cup, 25
    NASCAR on Fox, 24
    Driver, Mentions
    Kevin Harvick 138
    Clint Bowyer 82
    Greg Biffle 66
    D. Earnhardt, Jr. 66
    Kesey Kahne 61
    (Joyce Julius & Associates)(2-20-2010)

  • Daytona starts fixing race track: Daytona International Speedway has begun installing reinforced concrete in Turn 2, track president Robin Braig said Thursday, a temporary solution to repair the pothole that caused two stoppages totaling more than two hours in Sunday's Daytona 500. After a team of engineers and asphalt specialists from North American Testing Corporation conducted a thorough examination of the damage, track officials decided to repair the damaged portion of Turn 2 as an immediate first step. Tests are also being conducted on the entire track. "This is the correct course of action to repair the track," Braig said in a statement. "Our team of engineers and asphalt specialists with North American Testing Corporation has previous experience with concrete being used on an asphalt track and it is a proven solution." The damaged area is along the 31 degrees of banking in Turn 2, making the utilization of concrete the best solution. Repairs will take about two days to complete, followed by several days of cure time, according to Braig. The engineering team concluded that a combination of unusually cold and wet weather exacerbated by race cars bottoming out in that section of the track contributed to the breakdown of the pavement during Sunday's race. International Speedway Corporation tentatively has scheduled a $20 million project to repave the entire track in 2012. Spokesman Lenny Santiago said whether that time frame will be moved up depends on the recommendation from NATC. Daytona hasn't been repaved since 1977. It has been battered by numerous elements, including a flood last year after 17 inches of water were dumped on the area.(ESPN/AP)(2-18-2010)

  • Daytona Repaving?: NASCAR Spokesperson Ramsey Poston on Monday about the pothole issue at Daytona:
    Q: Are you ready to tell the track now is the time to repave it since it hasn't been repaved since 1978?
    POSTON: "We don't know whether it's time to repave. Obviously, this is something they're going to spend a lot of time with the track on and make an assesment to figure out if now is the time to repave the track or as Robin (Braig, president of Daytona International Speedway) said last night do you need to focus in on that spot or a couple of spots. This comes down to what is best for the safety of the drivers, what is best for racing and that, with the help of the track's enginers, is the decision we need to come to.''
    Q: Why, with all the engineering experts, did it come down to using Bondo to patch the hole?
    POSTON: "Bondo is very effective. It was effective last night for the laps we needed to get in. We've used some of these compounds I think in Montreal when we had a track problem in Montreal two years ago. Same thing, went out and I think that's what was used and it was very successful.''
    Q: Was this preventable?
    POSTON: "I don't know how many miles we've had at this track in the last 10 days, but we've had a lot. And the night before we had two major races and the morning of the Daytona 500 the track was walked as it was by track officials to inspect the track. There were no signs there and there was no indiciation any of the race prior to the Daytona 500 that there were any issues with the track. Obviously, it was very unfortunate. There were no warning signs.''(Virginian Pilot), there have been reports that Daytona International Speedway was planning on repaving the track sometime in 2012 and the coast would be around $20 million.(2-16-2010)

  • Wood Brothers Named Honorary Starters for Daytona 500: Marking the Wood Brothers' 60th year in NASCAR competition, Glen Wood, one of the founders of Wood Brothers Racing, will wave the green flag for the 52nd running of 'The Great American Race" - the Daytona 500. Joining Glen Wood in the flagstand for the start of the Daytona 500 will be his brother Leonard as well as Glen's sons Len and Eddie Wood, who currently lead Wood Brothers Racing efforts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series today. Under the leadership of Glen and Leonard Wood, Wood Brothers Racing has captured the Daytona 500- NASCAR's most prestigious race -four times and earned a total of 96 wins with legendary drivers such as David Pearson, A.J. Foyt, Tiny Lund, Neil Bonnett, Dale Jarrett, Kyle Petty and Cale Yarborough. In the 52nd running of the Daytona 500, the #21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford will be wheeled by two-time Daytona 500 champion Bill Elliott, who will start 40th.(DIS)(2-14-2010)

  • Daytona 500 To Be Staged In Front Of Capacity Crowd: After listening to race fans and delivering a new rules package and the earliest start time for the Daytona 500 since 2003 - all in an effort to make NASCAR racing even more exciting - the 52nd annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday will again be played out in front of a capacity crowd and millions more around the world on FOX Sports and MRN Radio. While grandstand seats are no longer available, fans can still purchase infield tickets for "The Great American Race," which will go green at 1 p.m., 2 ½ hours earlier than last year's start time. In addition, ticket holders can still purchase Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access or tickets to the Daytona 500 After Party or Daytona 500 Champion's Breakfast at the Daytona 500 Experience. For information on tickets to any future Daytona International Speedway events, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(2-14-2010)

  • The King to drive pace car for Daytona 500 Richard Petty will find himself in a very familiar place on Sunday afternoon, leading the field in the Daytona 500. Petty, who holds the NASCAR record with seven Daytona 500 victories, has accepted the role as "Pace Car Driver" for the 52nd running of "The Great American Race," and will pace all 43 cars to the green flag behind the wheel of a special edition 2011 Mustang GT, powered by Ford's all-new 5.0-liter V-8 engine. Petty is back as a member of the Ford Racing family after Richard Petty Motorsports merged with Yates Racing during the recently concluded off-season. "The King" previously drove for the blue oval in 1969 and won nine races that season in a Ford Torino. Ironically, the last and only other time Ford served as pace car for the Daytona 500 was one year later when a Ford Torino GT convertible started the 1970 event. In addition to the special paint, this year's Mustang pace car features a Brembo brake package, Ford Racing suspension, strut tower brace and mufflers, unique 19-inch painted wheels, and summer-only tires. The actual car that Petty will drive recently was sold for $300,000 at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., with all proceeds above the MSRP being donated to The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.(DIS)(2-13-2010)

  • Grand Marshals named for Gatorade Duel At Daytona: Tim Tebow, the quarterback for the past four seasons with the University of Florida, and Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew will serve as Grand Marshals for the Gatorade Duel At Daytona on Thursday, Feb. 11.
    Tebow, who won the Heisman Trophy as college football's top player in 2007, will deliver the starting command "Gentlemen, start your engines" for the first Gatorade Duel while Jones-Drew will give the command to fire engines in the second Gatorade Duel. Tebow led the University of Florida Gators to National Championships in 2006 and 2008 and set numerous national, SEC conference and school records on the field including becoming the only player in the NCAA to rush and pass for at least 20 touchdowns in a season.
    Jones-Drew is an explosive triple threat as a rusher, receiver and returner for the Jaguars and has quickly established himself as one of the most exciting running backs to watch in the NFL. Drafted in second round out of UCLA, Jones-Drew averaged 83.8 yards from scrimmage and 127.7 all-purpose yards per game in his first three seasons. This year, Jones-Drew had a stellar year and was named to the Pro Bowl. He rushed for 1,391 yards and 15 touchdowns on 312 carries and added 53 catches, 374 yards and a touchdown receiving. It was the first time in his career that he eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in rushing.
    "We're excited to welcome two of the state's most popular football figures to the Gatorade Duel At Daytona," Track President Robin Braig said. "Tim Tebow is a football hero to so many Floridians and Maurice Jones-Drew is one of the NFL's most versatile players. We're looking forward to hearing their starting commands and kicking off an exciting doubleheader day of racing."
    The two 150-mile, 60-lap Gatorade Duel races will finalize the starting lineup for NASCAR's most prestigious race - the 52nd annual Daytona 500. The front row for 'The Great American Race' was set during Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger with #5-Mark Martin taking the pole and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. capturing the outside pole.
    Tickets for all of Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes Speedweeks events, including the Daytona 500, are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-9-2010)

  • Junior Johnson Named Grand Marshal For Daytona 500: To mark the 50th anniversary of his 1960 Daytona 500 triumph, NASCAR legend Junior Johnson will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 52nd running of NASCAR's most prestigious race - the Daytona 500 - on Sunday Feb. 14. As Grand Marshal, Johnson will deliver the four most famous words in motorsports - "Gentlemen, start your engines." Johnson, who was the first driver to use drafting on the superspeedways, was recently selected in 2009 as one of the five inductees for the inaugural class for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1990 and named one of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers in 1998, Johnson claimed his only Daytona 500 win in 1960 driving for crew chief Ray Fox and owner John Masoni in a last-minute deal. Retiring from driving in 1966, Johnson moved into ownership earning 139 victories and six championships. Tickets for all of Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes Speedweeks events, including the Daytona 500, are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-9-2010)

  • Harry Connick Jr. To Sing National Anthem For Daytona 500: Singer and pianist Harry Connick Jr. will sing the National Anthem for the 52nd running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 14, NASCAR biggest and most prestigious race of the season. Three-time Grammy Award winner Connick recently released his 24th album titled 'YOUR SONGS,' which consists of Connick singing classic songs with a full orchestra, and, as with nearly all of Connick's previous albums, he arranged and orchestrated all of the songs himself. Connick has performed in front of the NASCAR family before singing at the season-ending awards ceremony back in 2003. Tickets for all of Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes Speedweeks events, including the Daytona 500, are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-9-2010)

  • Two Daytona 500-Winning Cars To Be Honored: The past and present will converge in the pace laps prior to the green flag for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 14 at Daytona International Speedway. To mark the 50th anniversary of Junior Johnson's victory in the "The Great American Race", a replica Daytona 500-winning #27 Chevrolet as well as the 2009 Daytona 500-winning car of #17-Matt Kenseth will take to the high banks and participate in the pace laps prior to the green flag of the Daytona 500. Johnson claimed his only Daytona 500 win in 1960 driving for crew chief Ray Fox and owner John Masoni. The ride came together in a last-minute deal and Fox only had seven days to build the Daytona 500-winning race car. On lap 191, Johnson was drafting Bobby Johns when, coming off of Turn 2, Johns' car was hit with a gust of win. The air pressure popped out the rear window and put Johns in a spin. Johnson would claim the Daytona 500 by a margin of 23 seconds. Alongside the #27 Chevy during the Daytona 500 pace laps will be the winning car from the 2009 Daytona 500 - Matt Kenseth's #17 DeWalt Ford from Roush Fenway Racing. Kenseth, who earned Roush his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in 2003, was able to deliver Roush his first Daytona 500 victory - a feat that has eluded the multi-team owner for over 20 years. The #17 was inducted into "The Official Attraction of NASCAR" - Daytona 500 Experience - after its victory in 2009 and will be returned to Roush Fenway Racing on Sunday morning, Feb. 14 prior to the start of the Daytona 500. Tickets for all of Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes Speedweeks events, including the Daytona 500, are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-9-2010)

  • Daytona gets new flagstand: The checkered flag, the sight every driver dreams of seeing first when they cross the start/finish line at Daytona International Speedway, has a new state-of-the-art home. Race fans attending Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes Speedweeks 2010 events will see the debut of the newly installed flagstand complete with a full-color LED display that will overlook the legendary tri-oval of the "World Center of Racing." The flagstand, made of structural steel and standing 22 feet tall from the race track, will see its first racing action beginning with this weekend's Rolex 24 At Daytona GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race and the Fresh From Florida 200 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Other interesting statistics behind the one-of-a-kind flagstand include:
    oApproximately 60 square feet space at the top of flagstand for the starter
    oEighteen steps to climb to the top of flagstand
    oThe high resolution LED display is capable of showing race information, live video and replays as well as graphics and animations in 4.4 trillion colors.
    oImpressive 49,920 pixel LED display that measures nearly four-feet tall and 22.5-feet wide.
    oTwo new light tubes featuring super-bright green, red and amber LEDs above the display will flash the flag colors and provide fans and drivers greater visibility of the racing conditions.(Daytona PR)(1-30-2010)

  • Zac Brown Band To Perform Concerts, Anthem at Budweiser Shootout: Zac Brown Band, the GRAMMY nominees for Best New Artist whose platinum debut album 'The Foundation' (Atlantic Records) produced the No. 1 hit "Chicken Fried," will perform at the 32nd annual Budweiser Shootout on Saturday, Feb. 6 at Daytona International Speedway. The Atlanta-based group will perform a pre- and post-race concert, in addition to the National Anthem. Zac Brown Band - which consists of bandleader Zac Brown, bassist John Hopkins, violinist Jimmy De Martini, guitarist/organist Coy Bowles, drummer Chris Fryar and multi-instrumentalist and song writer Clay Cook - will perform three songs prior to the Budweiser Shootout on the Pre-Race Stage as well as the National Anthem, all of which will be carried live on FOX Sports. After the checkered flag waves, Zac Brown Band will perform a 60-minute post-race concert from the Sprint FANZONE Entertainment Stage.(Daytona PR)(1-28-2010)

  • 'Women In The Winner's Circle' Traveling Exhibit Now Open At Daytona 500 Experience: 'Women In The Winner's Circle,' a traveling exhibit on the history of women in racing, is now open at the Daytona 500 Experience. Daytona 500 Experience is the first venue to host this unique exhibit that recognizes the past history, the growing achievements and the future growth of women in racing and will be on display through March. Racing legend Lyn St. James, founder of the Women in the Winner's Circle Foundation, joined forces with The Henry Ford of Dearborn, MI, to create the exhibit. Featured in the exhibit are informational panels, photographs, three race cars and personal artifacts that illustrate the history of women in motorsports, which dates as far back as 1903. Accomplishments of women drivers from five different eras are recognized in the exhibit, which has three cars on display - a replica of Louise Smith's #94 Coupe, the 1989 Ford Thunderbird that St. James drove to set closed course speed records at Talladega Superspeedway with a speed of 212.577 mph, and Kara Hendrick's TQ Midget which was restored by her brother, NASCAR driver Kenny Hendrick. Artifacts include Jutta Kleinschmidt's helmet, shoes and gloves from her win in the 2001 Paris Dakar Rally, sports car and open wheel legend Desire Wilson's helmet, shoes, and trophy, and a race suit worn by Sarah Fisher in the IZOD IndyCar Series. An interactive kiosk is setup so that visitors to the exhibit can read in depth biographies and see additional photos of the drivers, along with a glossary of racing terms, a list of driving schools and sanctioning bodies. More info at daytona500experience.com.(DIS)(1-26-2010)

  • Mayor of Speedweeks announced: The votes have been tallied and Ormond Beach resident Gordon Goodman has been declared Mayor of Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes Speedweeks 2010. Goodman's 100-word essay on "Why I Should Be Mayor" was selected by Facebook users as the winner of the annual contest held by Daytona International Speedway. "I've wanted to be Mayor for a long time," said Goodman. "I'm so happy and proud. If you want an ambassador for Daytona, you got the right person." Goodman, an avid NASCAR fan who calls local radio stations to give race reports often, has NASCAR memorabilia in every room of his house. Unique aspects of Goodman's home include a rendering of the tri-oval at Daytona International Speedway on one wall. "In 1967, as a little kid, we had (ABC's) 'Wild World of Sports' (on the television) and I happened to be walking through the living room of the house and they had a little bit of the Daytona 500 going on," said Goodman. "I just stopped and started watching. I've been infatuated every since." Goodman will wave the flag at the Rolex 24 At Daytona practice session to officially get Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes Speedweeks 2010 underway as his first duty as Mayor. Other Mayor of Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes Speedweeks perks for Goodman include Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access for the Daytona 500, two tickets to the Daytona 500 Experience, an invitation to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Driver's Meeting and a chance to be part of the Gatorade Victory Lane celebration at NASCAR's most prestigious race - the 52nd running of the Daytona 500. Tickets for all of Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes Speedweeks events, including the Daytona 500, are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(1-19-2010)

  • Ford Mustang to pace the Daytona 500: Pacing the field for the 2010 Daytona 500 on February 14th will be a specially prepared one-of-a-kind 2011 Mustang GT powered by the all-new 5.0-liter V-8 engine producing 412 horsepower. This will mark the first time in 40 years a Ford Motor Company product has paced the field at the Daytona 500. The last Ford product to be a pace car at the Daytona 500 was the 1970 Torino GT convertible. The 2011 Mustang GT pace car will receive a special Daytona 500 Race Red paint scheme with Blue/White Lemans stripes, Ford Racing suspension, strut tower brace, mufflers, unique painted wheels and special interior treatment including lighted sill plates. This Mustang will be an actual production car with an early VIN and will be among the first 2011 models available to the public. Also this Mustang (Lot # 1295.1) will be offered for auction at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction on Saturday January 23rd. All Proceeds over MSRP will go to help cure childhood diabetes through a donation to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. One lucky bidder will have the opportunity to own the actual pace car prior to the race and will get to see their car pacing the field on February 14th.(Mustang Heaven)(1-17-2010)

  • Palin to make VIP appearance at Daytona 500: Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin will be a VIP guest at next month's Daytona 500. Daytona International Speedway president Robin Braig says Palin will make her first appearance at NASCAR's most storied track the day before she serves as guest speaker at the city's annual chamber of commerce dinner. Palin won't have any official role in the Daytona 500, but the former Alaska governor will be introduced at the pre-race drivers meeting along with other celebrities. Braig says track officials checked with NASCAR's political advisers before signing off on Palin's visit. Braig says the reaction was to "showcase her just as much as we would our mayor, our governor or our senators."(Associated Press)(1-17-2010)

  • McGraw to lead Daytona 500 Pre-Race: Grammy-winning country star Tim McGraw will be revving his vocal engine on the Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show. McGraw will perform three songs at the pre-race extravaganza leading up to the start of the 52nd annual Daytona 500. "Tim McGraw is one of the most popular entertainers in the world and we're thrilled to have him perform the Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show," Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig said.(ET Online)(1-15-2010)

  • Special tix deal for Daytona 500 in honor of Waltrip: On Sunday, Feb. 14, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip will begin his 25th year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the sport's biggest race - the Daytona 500. And to mark that special occasion, Daytona International Speedway and Waltrip, who captured the Daytona 500 in 2001 and 2003, are joining forces with a special Michael Waltrip Daytona 500 Celebration Offer.
    The package, available for $129, includes:
    · A ticket to the 52nd annual Daytona 500
    · Question and answer session with Waltrip on the morning of the Daytona 500
    · Celebration party with Waltrip, featuring cakes, beverages and other giveaway items
    · Autographed commemorative event ticket
    · And each race fan that purchases a Michael Waltrip Daytona 500 Celebration Offer ticket will be entered to win a chance to become an honorary pit crew member during the 2010 Daytona 500.
    Waltrip said he hopes it's a special day for all of the fans as well as his NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota. "The Daytona 500 is the greatest race in the world, my favorite race, and the race that defines my career," Waltrip said. "I'm humbled that the speedway is honoring my 25th season with a commemorative ticket package. I very much look forward to meeting the fans race morning and then going after my third 500 win that afternoon." Track officials said the offer will give fans a chance at a rare opportunity to talk with a two-time race winner the morning of the race. "Michael Waltrip is part of an exclusive club of Daytona 500 champions," Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig said. "Beginning his 25th year with NASCAR's biggest race is certainly going to be a special moment and this ticket package is going to deliver a unique and memorable experience to race fans." The Michael Waltrip Daytona 500 Celebration Offer is available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/mwr or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(1-4-2010)

  • 2010 Daytona 500 Artwork and Program Unveiled: Commissioned by Daytona International Speedway, internationally known artist Jay Koka has completed designing the artwork and event program cover for Speedweeks 2010 and the 52nd annual Daytona 500. Koka's artwork depicts the 2009 Daytona 500-winning car - Matt Kenseth's #17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford - and runner-up finisher Kevin Harvick's #29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet racing side-by-side through around historic Daytona International Speedway. Koka has been a featured artist and poster artist for many international automotive events including the famed Pebble Beach and Meadow Brook Concours, Bloomington Gold, Reading Ferrari Concours, Eyes on Design, Ferrari Club of America Annual Meets and the Cavallino Ferrari Classic of Palm Beach. Koka is a 22-year member and serves on the Board of the Automotive Fine Arts Society. He enjoyed a successful corporate career in marketing prior to the formation of his studio in 1985, which is located near Toronto. Tickets for all Speedweeks 2010 events are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(12-31-2009)

  • Daytona's dirt track opens: The new dirt track at Daytona International Speedway opened for business Monday and competitors said it had the same feel of the old oval at Municipal Stadium. "It is a quarter-mile lime-rock course," Speedway spokesman Andrew Booth said. "It's the same dirt they had over there. They pulled it out of the stadium and brought it over here." The flat track was built in less than three months outside Turns 1 and 2 of the Speedway tri-oval course. The World Karting Association held a day of practice Monday at the new racetrack before two days of racing. Booth said the area would be used for motor home parking for Speed Weeks. The DIS operations department will have about two weeks to put the track back together for flat-track motorcycle races in March.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(12-30-2009)

  • NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fests return to Daytona: The top NASCAR stars will gather at historic Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 15-16 for the annual NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fests, which give race fans a sneak preview on the new NASCAR racing season as well as Speedweeks 2010 and the 52nd annual Daytona 500.
    On those dates, race fans will be able to get their "racing fix" prior to Speedweeks 2010 and the 52nd annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 14 with numerous activities with their favorite drivers from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series in the Sprint FANZONE located in the heart of the "World Center of Racing."
    Among the activities planned for both days include:
    * Interactive fan forums
    * Autograph sessions
    * Show cars, displays, music
    * Online auction
    * Blood drive
    * Richard Petty Driving Experience
    * SPEED Channel personalities on site broadcasting all of the festivities
    Ticket information, driver appearance schedules and more details about the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fests will be released in the coming months. For ticket information for all Speedweeks 2010 events, call 1-800-PITSHOP or go online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(12-5-2009)

  • Daytona Enhancing The Superstretch Experience: As part of its ongoing effort to continue improving the race-day experience at the "World Center of Racing," Daytona International Speedway will add a new interactive fan area adjacent to the Superstretch grandstands outside Turn 3. Construction on the enhancements has already started and will be completed in time for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 14. Included in the 136,000-square foot interactive fan area will be amenities such as a go-kart track, kids play area, Ferris Wheel, show cars and a fan hospitality area called the SPEED Trackside Tavern, among other attractions. The enhancements will necessitate the removal of grandstand seats on the Superstretch, which will be utilized at other International Speedway Corporation facilities in the future. Also for the 2010 DAYTONA 500, ticket options on the Superstretch have been made even more affordable for race fans, with the popular $55 seating area expanded to include additional rows. Single-day DAYTONA 500 admission and new lower prices have been implemented on all other Superstretch seats. The Superstretch enhancement comes on the heels of two other fan-friendly initiatives recently announced. Already under construction is phase one of the frontstretch renovation on the old dog track property behind the Keech and Lockhart Grandstands that will deliver amenities such as:
    * Two additional gate entrances
    * Relocation of the Turn 1 tram stop closer to the center of the frontstretch grandstands
    * New exterior pedestrian boulevard that will eventually stretch from Turn 1 to Turn 4
    * New and improved directional signage, landscaping and lighting
    Additionally, a new start time has been announced for the 2010 Daytona 500. In response to the race fans' desire for an earlier start time for NASCAR's signature event, "The Great American Race" is scheduled for a 1:00 pm/et start -2 ½ hours earlier than 2009 and the earliest start for the Daytona 500 since 2003. Tickets for the 52nd annual Daytona 500, which start at $55, as well as other Speedweeks 2010 events, are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-27-2009)

  • Daytona offering exclusive ticket deals during after-Thanksgiving sale: The days following the Thanksgiving holiday are known around the country as the best time of the year for shoppers to find bargains. For race fans, there will be two exclusive deals to choose from in Daytona International Speedway's After-Thanksgiving Sale on Friday, Nov. 27 and Monday, Nov. 30. On those days only, Daytona International Speedway is offering a pair of exclusive $45 ticket packages for the Gatorade Duel on Thursday, Feb. 11 and the Budweiser Shootout, which is part of a racing tripleheader on Saturday, Feb. 6.
    The Budweiser Shootout package includes a ticket to the tripleheader day of racing that includes the electric All-Star race, the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 ARCA event and Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger as well as admission to the Pre-Race Party featuring an appearance by Kasey Kahne, Hooters wings and beverages (savings of over 35%). The Gatorade Duel package includes a ticket to the 150-mile qualifying races that set the field for the Daytona 500 and a Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access pass (a savings of over 45%).
    For race fans that strike early and purchase either package on Friday, Nov. 27 between 9 a.m. and noon, they will also receive free shipping (a savings of $14).
    Other great deals currently being offered by DIS that can make for great stocking stuffers include:
    * Tickets for the wild and unpredictable NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday night, Feb. 12 start at $39, a reduction from $50 from the 2009 event
    * SPEED Trackside Tavern, available for $99 per ticket, is located in the new interactive fan area in the Superstretch and includes a ticket to the 52nd annual Daytona 500, all-you-can-eat hamburgers and hot dogs, unlimited Coca-Cola products and Dasani water and appearances by SPEED Channel personalities.
    * Children 12 and under are free in Sprint FANZONE during Speedweeks 2010 and free in the general admission areas at the Budweiser Shootout, Gatorade Duel At Daytona and NextEra Energy Resources 250. To purchase tickets to any of the Daytona International Speedway's events, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(11-26-2009)

  • Coke Zero Tickets on sale: On Saturday, Nov. 7, race fans will have their first opportunity to purchase tickets for Daytona International Speedway's racing doubleheader on July 3, 2010 - the 52nd annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Rolex Series 250 Grand-Am sports car race. Single-day Sprint Tower seats are available starting at $150 and ticket prices for frontstretch grandstand seats start at $40. Also available beginning on Saturday, Nov. 7 will be tickets to the Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night, July 2, where the new NASCAR Nationwide Series car will make its race debut. To buy tickets or more info, go to www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-7-2009)

  • Construction begins on Daytona Frontstretch Renovation: Construction on phase one of Daytona International Speedway's frontstretch renovation will begin this week. Phase one of the frontstretch renovation will be focused on the old dog track property located behind the Keech and Lockhart Grandstands and will include new fan amenities such as:
    * Two additional gate entrances
    * Relocation of the Turn 1 tram stop closer to the center of the frontstretch grandstands
    * New exterior pedestrian boulevard that will eventually stretch from Turn 1 to Turn 4
    * New and improved directional signage, landscaping and lighting
    Construction is expected to be completed for Speedweeks 2010 and the 52nd annual Daytona 500. Tickets for the 52nd annual Daytona 500, which start at $55, as well as other Speedweeks 2010 events, are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-2-2009)

  • Daytona catchfences get taller: Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway are raising the height of their catch fences from 14 feet to 22 feet after analyzing their safety barriers following the accident that sent Carl Edwards flying into the Talladega fence in April. Talladega will get the frontstretch portion of its fence completed before its Oct. 30-Nov. 1 race weekend and will do the backstretch during the offseason. Daytona, which has no more NASCAR races this year, will complete its new fence on both the frontstretch and backstretch by mid-January. Other enhancements have been made to the fences at other tracks owned by International Speedway Corp., the parent company of both Talladega and Daytona, but neither [Talladega Superspeedway President Rick] Humphrey nor DIS President Robin Braig would go into more details.(SceneDaily)(10-6-2009)

  • Terrorist threat did not exist at DIS: A state trooper was named Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for July 2008, cited for "excellent training, experience, investigative techniques, and self-motivation," that led to the arrests of four "potential terrorists who may have been targeting the Daytona International Speedway." But the FBI said Friday that while Trooper William Cain did the right thing when he reported the men to the FBI and a Florida Department of Law Enforcement Joint Terrorism Task Force, the men were not arrested and did not pose a threat. "Several individuals were interviewed and, after it was determined that no immediate terrorist threat existed, those individuals were released," said Special Agent Jeff Westcott of the FBI's Jacksonville office. It all started with Cain's observations of the men photographing the speedway three days before the Coke Zero 400 and escalated when Cain rain the tag on their minivan and the registration matched a name on a terrorism watch list. FHP spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Montes said the incident is an open investigation and any information about the traffic stop is not public record.(Orlando Sentinel)(9-12-2009)

  • Daytona 500 Qualifying moved to Saturday: Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger, which secures the prestigious front row for the 52nd annual Daytona 500, will be part of a tripleheader day of racing on Saturday, Feb. 6, joining the 32nd annual Budweiser Shootout and Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 during Speedweeks 2010. Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger, which is traditionally scheduled on the Sunday prior to the Daytona 500, will kick off activities on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 1:05 p.m. on FOX, followed by the season-opening Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 for the ARCA Series at 4:30 p.m. on SPEED, and the Budweiser Shootout at 8:10 p.m. on FOX.(Daytona PR)(8-28-2009)

  • Daytona to construct dirt track: Daytona International Speedway will construct a quarter-mile dirt track located outside Turns 1 and 2 in the West Lot. The project was necessitated by the City of Daytona Beach's redevelopment plans for Municipal Stadium, which includes replacing the dirt used for the Flat Track racing events with sports turf. Construction on the quarter-mile dirt track, which will be made up of lime rock, will start in the early fall and be completed in time for next year's March 3-4 AMA Pro Racing Flat Track motorcycle events, which are a part of 2010 Daytona 200 Week By Honda. The new dirt track at Daytona International Speedway, which can also be utilized for other events such as the high performance karts from the World Karting Association, will have more than 5,000 temporary seats and lighting will be provided by Musco Lighting. For more information and tickets on all Daytona International Speedway events, go online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(8-5-2009)

  • Kyle Petty Named Grand Marshal For The Coke Zero 400: Kyle Petty will serve as Grand Marshal for the 51st annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 4 at Daytona International Speedway. Petty, who is currently serving as an analyst for TNT, will give the command "Gentlemen, start your engines" to the 43-car field and to his father Richard Petty, who will pace the field in a replica 200th-winning #43 car.(Daytona Speedway PR)(7-2-2009)

  • Papa John's Founder John Schnatter to Serve as Honorary Starter for Coke Zero 600: John Schnatter, also known as "Papa John," the Founder and CEO, for Papa John's pizza restaurants, will serve as Honorary Starter for the 51st annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 4 at Daytona International Speedway. Schnatter will wave the green flag for the 43-car field from the starter's stand and kick off the racing action in the Independence Day holiday classic. At the age of 22, Schnatter knocked out the broom closet in his father's tavern, sold his prized 1972 Z28 Camaro, purchased $1,600 worth of used restaurant equipment and began delivering pizzas out of the back of the bar. Papa John's opened its first pizza restaurant in 1984 and today is the world's third largest pizza company with more than 3,400 restaurants world wide. Tickets for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Saturday night, July 4 are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(7-1-2009)

  • DIS To Honor Five Medal of Honor Recipients: Daytona International Speedway will pay tribute to five Medal of Honor recipients during the upcoming Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola, reinstituting a program that was first started by Bill France Sr. back in the 1970s. The Medal of Honor recipients, all from the Vietnam War, to be honored are:
    * Walter Marm, a retired U.S Army Colonel from Washington, Penn.
    * Kenneth Stumpf, a retired U.S Army Sergeant Major from Neenah, Wis.
    * John McGinty, a retired U.S Marine Captain from Boston, Mass.
    * Charles Hagemeister, a retired U.S Army Lieutenant Colonel from Lincoln, Neb.
    * Gary Littrell, a retired U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major from Henderson, Ky.
    All five Medal of Honor recipients will be honored during a special luncheon at noon on Friday at the Bill France Room inside Daytona 500 Experience and will attend driver's meetings and participate in pre-race ceremonies for both the Subway Jalapeno 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It's bestowed on a member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself or herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States. Tickets for the luncheon in which Daytona Beach Mayor Glenn Ritchey will serve as Master of Ceremonies are $40 and can be purchased by calling Daytona 500 Experience Group Sales at (386) 681-6470.
    Tickets for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Saturday night, July 4 are available at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(7-1-2009)

  • NBA Star to Serve as Honorary Pace Car Driver for Coke Zero 400: NBA basketball star and nearby Mainland High School graduate Vince Carter will serve as the Honorary Pace Car driver for the 51st annual Coke Zero 400 Powered Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Saturday, July 4. Carter, who currently plays for the New Jersey Nets, will pace the 43-car field prior to the green flag waving on the Independence Day holiday classic. Carter has shined off the court with his Embassy of Hope Foundation, assisting children and families in the Daytona Beach area, New Jersey and Toronto. Most recently, Carter, along with his mother Michelle Carter-Scott, donated $1.6 million to the Stewart-Marchman-Act Foundation to help build a 100-bed treatment center for alcohol and drug addiction recovery to be named "The Vince Carter Sanctuary." Carter and his mother Carter-Scott will be honored during the Stewart-Marchman-Act Foundation Annual Dinner on Wednesday, July 1 at the Daytona 500 Club for their numerous contributions to the local community. Tickets remain available for the Independence Day holiday classic - the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. For tickets, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(6-29-2009)

  • Daytona International Speedway deals with flooding: The more than 17 inches of rainfall that has fallen in Daytona Beach, Fla., since Sunday has left portions of Daytona International Speedway under water. Pictures show water levels halfway up the SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barriers in some portions of the track. The Turn 1 tunnel that haulers use to enter the track is filled with about 10 feet of water. Track spokesman Andrew Booth said there is no apparent damage and the track will be ready for the July 4 Sprint Cup race. "It's a significant amount of water, but all it is, is water,'" Booth said. "We have people living around the speedway and in Flagler County with water in their homes. We believe that is more pressing than water in our tunnel. What happened will not affect what happens in July.'" NASCAR officials have seen photos of the track and are not concerned about damage. They said no special test will be scheduled to help rubber in the surface. But until the water level has dropped, Booth said there is no way to know for sure there is no damage. "The pictures are very dramatic,'' he said. "It's not a sight you usually see. We'll be good to go in July.'"(ESPN)(5-22-2009)
    NOTE: the six images were removed per request of the Daytona International Speedway.(5-27-2009)

  • Tix Prices For Coke Zero 400 rolled Back To $40: A limited number of tickets in the Oldfield and Lockhart Grandstands will be rolled back from $55 to $40 for the 51st annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 4, Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig announced. The $40 tickets for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola is the lowest ticket price for the Independence Day holiday classic since 1998. Tickets and great camping packages for the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola on July 2-4, which includes the Daytona 250 Nationwide Series race on Friday night and the Brumos Porsche 250 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series event on Saturday, can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(5-17-2009)

  • Daytona 500 tickets to go on sale: Tickets for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 will go on sale this Saturday at 9:00am/et. Prior to Saturday, May 16, only renewals and deposits for seat assignments for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race were taken by the ticket office at Daytona International Speedway. Tickets for the Daytona 500 will start at $55 and for the first time since 1982, there have been no ticket price increases for any seat locations for the prestigious race that will kick off the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season on Sunday, Feb. 14. Race fans that purchase Daytona 500 tickets on Saturday, May 16 will be eligible for a special one-day offer where they can take advantage of Daytona's monthly payment plan. With the plan, they will be able to get tickets to the Daytona 500 for as low as $10 per month. In addition, parking at Daytona International Speedway is always free, race fans can continue to bring their coolers with food and beverages and area hotels are continuing to make their rooms even more affordable. Ticket information for the 2010 Daytona 500, 2009 Coke Zero 400 and other races can be found at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(5-14-2009)

  • New emergency texting available to race patrons: International Speedway Corporation (ISC) has partnered with InStadiumSolutions to implement a text-message based communication system at all of its 12 motorsports facilities. The service was introduced last weekend during the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup races at Darlington Raceway. The system allows fans to communicate with the racetrack's command post if assistance is needed inside the facility. The technology was tested at Homestead-Miami Speedway last November during the final weekend of the NASCAR season. Instructions will be posted throughout each racetrack and will be broadcast through audio and video public announcements. Besides Darlington and Homestead-Miami, ISC owns and/or operates Daytona, Talladega, Michigan, Richmond, Auto Club Speedway, Kansas, Phoenix, Chicago, Martinsville and Watkins Glen. The Fan Text Messaging Service is also being used by several professional and college teams, as well as at events such as the Super Bowl, BCS National Championship and World Baseball Classic.(Associated Press)(5-14-2009)

  • Daytona 500 - Super Bowl Conflict coming? Plans to expand the NFL's regular season could very well wind up putting the Super Bowl on the weekend that's also the traditional date for NASCAR's premiere event, the Daytona 500, based on comments from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Speaking Friday in a meeting with Associated Press Sports Editors before this weekend's draft in New York City, Goodell outlined a scenario for the extended regular season that would push the Super Bowl back to President's Day weekend. It would have two preseason games in August, down from the current four. That would be followed by an open week on Labor Day weekend, followed by the opening week of the regular season. "We have not found a saturation point for pro football, which is a good thing," Goodell said. "I don't want to be around if we do." NASCAR's position on an expanded NFL regular-season and a possible conflict with the Daytona 500 hasn't changed. "We're aware of the proposal and are watching to see what happens," NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said.(Charlotte Observer)(4-26-2009)

  • Get well Mike Paz: lontime Daytona International Speedway and may other race track announcer, Mike Paz, was hospitalized on Saturday [3/28/2009] with a possible stroke. He is listed in guarded condition and thoughts and prayers go out to Paz and his family. Cards can be sent to Mike "Paz" Pazdyk c/o Strong Memorial Hospital, 601 Elmwood Ave, Rochester, NY 14642.(nyirp.com)(4-1-2009)

  • New DIS entrance will take place of dog track: International Speedway Corp. officials are putting together a plan for a new entrance to the track that will include vendors and a TV compound, a company spokesman said Tuesday. Charles Talbert said the first step in creating the new look is the demolition of the former home of the Daytona Beach Kennel Club. ISC filed plans with the St. Johns River Water Management District last week outlining how it will handle drainage issues associated with the changes. The company got the city's OK in December for a major sports district on the 23-acre former dog track site on International Speedway Boulevard and a 110-acre property south of Bellevue Avenue east of Williamson Boulevard. ISC built the new $30 million home for the Daytona Beach Kennel Club, then traded that property for the old dog track, which is adjacent to the speedway. Delaware North Companies, the Buffalo, N.Y.-based operator of the greyhound track, paid ISC $8 million as part of the deal. Talbert said the old dog-track site will be used as temporary parking for events until construction begins on the new entrance. He declined to share details of the entrance plans. Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig said last year the speedway has had to turn down moneymaking events because of zoning restrictions. The change to a major sports district allows such events.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-19-2009)

  • Bobby Allison To Serve as Honorary Starter For 51st Daytona 500: Three-time Daytona 500 champion Bobby Allison will serve as the Honorary Starter for the 51st annual Daytona 500 on Sunday at Daytona International Speedway. The 2009 Daytona 500 marks 30 years since the famous fight between Allison, his brother Donnie and Cale Yarborough in the 1979 Daytona 500. In the first live televised broadcast of the Daytona 500, Yarborough and Donnie Allison were battling side-by-side for victory on the final lap of the Daytona 500. But neither Yarbrough nor Allison ever made it to the checkered flag. The two drivers were beating and banging on each other all the way down the Superstretch and crashed entering Turn 3. Richard Petty went on to win the race while meanwhile back in Turn 3, one of the landmark moments in the history of NASCAR took place as Yarborough and Allison began a heated debate that turned into a fist fight with Allison's brother Bobby jumping into the fray. Bobby Allison is one of only five drivers to have won the Daytona 500 three or more times. He captured the 1978 Daytona 500 with Bud Moore, the 1982 with DiGard Racing and the 1988 with Stavola Bros. In the 1988 Daytona 500, Allison and his son Davey delivered the race's only 1-2 father-son finish. That same year, Allison also won the 300-mile Nationwide Series race, the Gatorade qualifying race and the fishing tournament.(DIS PR)(2-15-2009)

  • Daytona 500 Sold Out: After rolling back ticket prices from $99 to $55 as well as creating unique ticket packages and new concession offers - all in an effort to make NASCAR racing more affordable to the fans - the 51st annual Daytona 500 on Sunday will again be played out in front of a capacity crowd and millions more around the world on FOX and MRN Radio. While grandstand seats are no longer available, fans can still purchase infield tickets for "The Great American Race," which will go green at 3:30 p.m. In addition to infield tickets, fans can still experience the festivities surrounding the Daytona 500 with Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access or tickets to the Daytona 500 After Party or ConAgra Champion's Breakfast at the Daytona 500 Experience. For information on tickets for any Daytona International Speedway events, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS PR)(2-15-2009)

  • Gavin DeGraw To Sing National Anthem For Daytona 500: J Records singer-songwriter, Gavin DeGraw, whose latest album "Free" will be released March 31, will sing the National Anthem for the 51st annual Daytona 500 on Sunday at Daytona International Speedway. Mercury Nashville recording artist and two-time Dancing With The Stars champion Julianne Hough, who was originally scheduled to sing the National Anthem for the Daytona 500, is unable due to illness. "I am so disappointed that I'm missing the opportunity to sing the National Anthem at the Daytona 500," Hough said. "I came down with a severe case of influenza and the doctor told me I could not fly. I look forward to making it up to every one soon." For tickets to the 51st annual Daytona 500 are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(2-14-2009)

  • Sellout expected for Daytona 500: Daytona International Speedway president Robin Braig expects a sellout for Sunday's Daytona 500. He expects the 1,000 tickets remaining to be gone over the next day or so. He also suggests there should be an asterisk beside the sellout because ticket prices were dramatically cut. A $99 seat on the backstretch was reduced for $55. Many of the seats in suites that didn't sell to corporations also were sold at a discounted price.(ESPN)(2-12-2009)

  • Julianne Hough To Sing National Anthem at Daytona 500: Mercury Nashville recording artist and two-time Dancing With The Stars champion Julianne Hough will sing the National Anthem for the 51st annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 15. Tickets for DIRECTV Speedweeks 2009 and the 51st annual Daytona 500 are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(2-12-2009)

  • Daytona 500 Experience to Host Exclusive Parties: For race fans attending the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 15, the entertainment at Daytona International Speedway continues well after the checkered flag waves on "The Great American Race." The Daytona 500 Experience, "The Official Attraction of NASCAR," will host two exclusive parties following the conclusion of the Daytona 500. The Daytona 500 After Party on Sunday, February 15, will commence immediately following the conclusion of the Daytona 500. The After Party will feature superb entertainment, complimentary food and beverages, and a complimentary shuttle service to Daytona International Speedway parking areas after the celebration ends. The ConAgra Foods Champion's Breakfast on Monday morning, February 16, offers racing fans a special opportunity to be a part of exclusive Daytona 500 car induction festivities, a buffet breakfast and each fan will receive a commemorative ticket and special gift. Tickets to either the Daytona 500 After Party or the ConAgra Foods Champion's Breakfast cost $40 and a combination ticket that includes both parties costs only $75 dollars. The Daytona 500 Experience is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call (386) 947-6530 for more information or visit www.Daytona500Experience.com for tickets. To purchase tickets to the Daytona 500 After Party or the ConAgra Foods Champion's Breakfast, call 1-800-PITSHOP or go online to www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS PR)(2-11-2009)

  • Daytona track to be resurfaced: International Speedway Corporation plans to resurface Daytona International Speedway in three years, the first time that has occurred since 1978. "It has nothing to do with money, although it will be a $20 million project," DIS president Robin Braig said. "It has nothing to do with technology. We banked Talladega so we know we can do it on the high banking. "It's all about when NASCAR and Goodyear says we need to do it," Braig said. Daytona is one of the few major tracks that hasn't been resurfaced over the past 10 years. Talladega, Darlington, Lowe's Motor Speedway and many others have been through the process.(ESPN)(2-11-2009)

  • 2010 Camaro to pace Daytona 500? UPDATE: The 2010 Camaro will be the 2009 Daytona 500 race's official pace car per an advertisement found by many readers. See the image and more at camaro5.com.(2-2-2009)
    UPDATE: Daytona International Speedway officials announced the return of the Chevy Camaro as the Official Pace Car of the 51st running of the Daytona 500-the first Camaro to pace the field since 1969. "Chevy has been a great partner of the Daytona 500 for more than 30 years, and the Camaro is an automotive icon,'" said Speedway President Robin Braig. "This 2010 model will set the tone for a 21st century sports car, and that's a perfect fit to lead the pack at the 'Great American Race.'' The 426-horsepower vehicle, powered by the 6.2-liter all-aluminum Chevy V-8, carries a PPG Cyber Grey paint scheme with a bold accent design befitting "The World Center of Racing." A Camaro has paced the field just twice in Dayton 500 history, in 1968 and '69, and this 2010 model is scheduled to hit showroom floors this spring. Built on GM's new global rear-wheel drive architecture, the Camaro also will be offered in V-6-powered LS and LT models. Additional specs of the 2010 model pace car include:
    · All-aluminum 6.2-liter V-8
    · 426 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque
    · Fully integrated strobe system, including a GM-designed custom light bar utilizing Whelen 500 series linear strobes
    · 27-mpg estimated highway fuel economy
    · Fuel-saving Tremec 6-speed manual transmission
    Tickets remain available for NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race. For tickets, Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access packages and more information for the 51st annual Daytona 500, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS PR)(2-7-2009

  • Ford to pace ARCA, Duels & NNS races at Daytona: For the first time in almost 40 years, a Ford pace car will lead the fields for Speed Weeks races at Daytona International Speedway. The honor goes to a 2010 Shelby GT500, which will pace three events on Daytona's famous 2.5 mile tri-oval, with a 2010 Ford Fusion Sport prepped and ready to go in case a backup is needed. Both cars are completely stock mechanically, the only extra equipment being light bars supplied by Whelen Equipment. The Fusion Sport also has a special vinyl wrap applied, giving the car its colorful and distinctive flame motif. The Shelby GT500 is powered by a 540 horsepower V8 engine. The car's features include a hood extractor to remove heat from the engine, and a Gurney Flap spoiler to tune rear downforce. The Fusion Sport is a new model for 2010, powered by a 263 horsepower V6 engine and equipped with an upgraded suspension and 18-inch wheels. Their pace car duties begin on Saturday [Feb 7th] in the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200, opening round of the 2009 ARCA/ReMax Series. Next up is the Gatorade Duel on Feb. 12- the twin 150-mile Daytona 500 qualifying races. And on Feb. 14, the cars again will be on the scene for the Camping World 300, the NASCAR Nationwide Series season-opener.(Ford PR)(2-7-2009)

  • Concessions Specials & Expanded Menu Items at Daytona: As part of an ongoing initiative to help lower the cost burden for fans attending a race, Daytona International Speedway has announced concessions specials and new menu items are available for DIRECTV Speedweeks at Daytona. Fans attending the events at DIRECTV Speedweeks can take advantage of the following specials:
    · A $3 all beef hot dog - price reduced 25% from 2008
    · Value meals offerings allowing fans to save $3 on a burger or hotdog, fries, and soda or water
    · Fast Franks combo of four hotdogs for $10
    In addition, fans can also enjoy several newly introduced menu items and branded food options including:
    · The Daytona Speedway Dog - a 1/3 pound all beef hot dog served on a fresh Bratwurst Bun, including regular condiments plus sauerkraut
    · Shaved prime rib sandwich with cheese, mushrooms and au jus sauce
    · Fresh (never frozen) Angus 1/3 pound hamburger served with freshly cooked potato chips
    · Boardwalk French Fries available in the Midway Display Food Court
    · Papa John's pizza and chicken wings available below the Sprint Tower and Campbell Grandstands
    · Juicy's Outlaw Grill - The worlds largest grill - will be on-site at the Frontstretch Handicap Lot
    Lastly, fans are encouraged to visit the brand new Food Court located in the Midway Corporate Display area, as well as the popular Budweiser Bistro in the Sprint FANZONE. Tickets for DIRECTV Speedweeks 2009 and the 51st annual Daytona 500 are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(2-6-2009)

  • Official NASCAR Viewing Party of the Daytona 500 in NYC: the 4th annual viewing party of the Daytona 500 live in HD on a14-foot Big Screen at ESPN Zone in Times Square [at 42nd Street and Broadway -1472 Broadway, (212) 921-3776] in New York City is scheduled for Sunday, February 15th from 1:30pm/et until the conclusion of the race. Chance to win a trip for 2 to the 2009 Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway by competing in a virtual racing tournament. Competition begins in the Sports Arena on the 3rd floor at 1:30pm, space is limited. Tailgate Toss competition to win 2 DreamSeat recliner seats in the front row of the Screening Room to watch the race; plus a $40 voucher for food and non-alcoholic beverages. Competition begins in the Sports Arena on the 3rd floor at 1:30pm, space is limited. This event is free and open to the public. Table service requires a minimum charge of $10 per person per hour. For more information you can go to: www.espnzone.com/newyork.(2-2-2009)

  • Bud Shootout Draw Party Set at Daytona: The first official act of the 2009 NASCAR season will take place on Thursday night, Feb. 5 with the Budweiser Shootout Draw Party on the SPEED Stage located outside Turn 4 of historic Daytona International Speedway. Drivers that are eligible for the 31st annual Budweiser Shootout will draw their starting position for the 75-lap All-Star classic set for Saturday, Feb. 7 at "The World Center of Racing." The draw party, which begins at 6:30pm/et, is free and open to the public and parking is available at Lot 3 (Speedplex Offices). For ticket information on the Budweiser Shootout as well as other DIRECTV Speedweeks events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(2-1-2009)

  • Significant Upgrades Made To DIS Superstretch: Race fans who attend the upcoming DIRECTV Speedweeks 2009 and the 51st annual Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race will notice significant improvements on the Superstretch at historic Daytona International Speedway. Work to improve the Superstretch began after the conclusion of the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola in July, 2008. Included in the renovations were:
    · Widened roads and expanded loading/unloading zones for the Lot 10 parking lot that will greatly reduce the wait time for guests.
    · Improved lighting and an increase in restroom facilities ensure a high degree of safety and comfort.
    · New large video screens along the Superstretch and the brand new Budweiser Beer Garden and Budweiser Entertainment Stage will provide new and exciting entertainment.
    "We recognized the need to improve the Superstretch after the 50th running of the Daytona 500 last year," Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig said. "With improved parking and tram services and other new amenities, these are significant steps that will take the fans' overall race experience at 'The World Center of Racing' to a new level." The new and improved Superstretch will open to race fans during the Camping World 300 Nationwide Series on Saturday, Feb. 14 and the 51st annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 15. Tickets for DIRECTV Speedweeks 2009 and the 51st annual Daytona 500 are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(1-29-2009)

  • Florida Governor Charlie Crist Named Grand Marshal For Daytona 500: Florida Governor Charlie Crist has been named Grand Marshal for the 51st annual Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series event on Sunday, Feb. 15 at Daytona International Speedway, Track President Robin Braig announced. "We're honored to have Gov. Charlie Crist serve as the Grand Marshal for the Daytona 500," Braig said. "By serving as Grand Marshal, Governor Crist will be joining a long list of high-profile guests who have helped kick off 'The Great American Race.' " As Grand Marshal, Gov. Crist will deliver the four most famous words in motorsports -- "Gentlemen, start you engines" - to start NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race. In addition, Governor Crist will attend the driver's meeting prior to the waving of the green flag for the Daytona 500. Gov. Crist, a native of St. Petersburg, graduated from Florida State University in 1978 and earned his law degree from the Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama. In 1992, Governor Crist was elected to the state senate where he served for six years before being elected Commissioner of Education for the state of Florida in 2000. In 2002, Gov. Crist was elected Florida's Attorney General and on November 7, 2006, Governor Crist was elected as the 44th Governor of Florida. "I am thrilled to serve as Grand Marshal at this year's Daytona 500," said Governor Crist. "As the 4th most recognized sporting event in the world, the race adds to the tremendous economic impact motorsports has on our state. In fact, Daytona International Speedway and the national headquarters of its parent company, International Speedway Corporation, contribute more than $2 billion dollars in annual economic impact to our economy." Tickets for DIRECTV Speedweeks 2009 and the 51st annual Daytona 500 are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(1-27-2009)

  • Daytona International Speedway Partners with Local Hotels: Representatives of Daytona International Speedway have been working closely with local area hotel owners, the Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Orlando Convention and Visitors Bureau to help make attending DIRECTV Speedweeks at Daytona more affordable for fans in these challenging economic times, As a result of this collaboration, many hotels in the Daytona Beach and the greater Central Florida region area have reduced or altogether eliminated minimum night stay requirements. In fact, there are a number of rooms available for less than $100. In addition, dozens of ticket packages and promotions are available that give fans added value and one-of-a-kind experiences with their race tickets during DIRECTV Speedweeks. Hotel availability can be found online at daytonabeach.com/daytona500_availabilities. Tickets and great camping packages for DIRECTV Speedweeks and the 51st annual Daytona 500 can be purchased online at www.daytona500.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(1-18-2009)

  • Palm Coast Resident Wins DIRECTV Mayor of Speedweeks: The votes have been tallied and Palm Coast resident Keith Quint has been declared Mayor of DIRECTV Speedweeks 2009. Quint's 100-word essay on "Why I Should Be Mayor of DIRECTV Speedweeks 2009" was selected as the winner of the annual contest held by Daytona International Speedway. Quint, who owns a remodeling business, and his nine-year-old son, Brady, are avid NASCAR fans and have attended numerous races over the past few years where they cheer on their favorite NASCAR driver Tony Stewart. "I didn't have any words," Quint said describing his reaction to winning the contest. "I was speechless. The most exciting thing is getting to see my son be involved in something he will probably never get to do again. To get to experience this with my son means everything to me." Quint's first task as Mayor of DIRECTV Speedweeks will be kicking off the Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend next Thursday morning, Jan. 22 when he is sworn in on pit road and waves the green flag for the first Rolex 24 At Daytona practice session. As part of the Mayor of the DIRECTV Speedweeks 2009 prize package, Quint will receive two tickets to all the DIRECTV Speedweeks races in addition to witnessing Daytona 500 Gatorade Victory Lane celebration. Other Mayor of Speedweeks perks for Quint include Party Zone access during the Camping World 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, access to pre-race and the Sprint FANZONE for the Daytona 500, two tickets to the Daytona 500 Experience motorsports attraction and the opportunity to attend the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Driver's Meeting. Tickets for DIRECTV Speedweeks 2008 and the 51st annual Daytona 500 are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS PR)(1-15-2009)

  • Dierks Bentley to perform at Bud Shootout: Popular country music star Dierks Bentley, whose latest album "Feel That Fire" will be released in Feb. 3, will perform before thousands of race fans before and after the 31st annual Budweiser Shootout on Saturday night, Feb. 7 at Daytona International Speedway. Bentley, who previously performed a pre-race and post-race concert for the 2007 Budweiser Shootout, will sing three of his hit songs from the Pre-Race Stage before the start of the Budweiser Shootout. The performance of his latest hit, "Feel That Fire." will be carried live on FOX as part of the festivities. After the checkered flag drops, Bentley will perform a 60-minute post-race concert from the Sprint FANZONE Entertainment Stage. Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access holders will be able to view the pre-race concert from the tri-oval grass while all ticket holders will have access to the post-race concert, which will start in the Sprint FANZONE approximately 30-minutes after the end of the race. In addition to his Pre and Post Race Concerts, a special $85 ticket package designed around Bentley and the Budweiser Shootout has been created that includes a General Admission Grandstand ticket, Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access, fan forum with Dierks Bentley, VIP access to the Pre and Post Race Concerts, an enter to win opportunity for an autographed Dierks Bentley CD and an enter to win backstage access for the Post Race Concert. The event distance is increasing from 70 to 75 laps and will continue to include a 10-minute intermission after 25 laps during which teams can change tires, add fuel and make normal chassis adjustments. Tickets for the 51st annual Daytona 500 and Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access passes are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(1-14-2009)

  • Prices For Select Daytona 500 Tickets Rolled Back To $55: A limited number of tickets in select areas on the famed Superstretch for the 51st annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 15 will be rolled back from $99 to $55, Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig announced. The $55 ticket price for the Daytona 500 is the lowest ticket price for "The Great American Race" since 1995. To purchase race tickets for DIRECTV Speedweeks 2009 and the 51st annual Daytona 500, go online to www.daytona500.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(Daytona PR)(1-10-2009)

  • Keith Urban to headline Daytona pre-race show: Grammy Award winner and country music superstar Keith Urban will perform at the Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show, the pre-race extravaganza leading up to the start of the prestigious "Great American Race" at Daytona International Speedway, on Sunday, February 15th. Urban is set to perform three of his eight #1 songs prior to the 51st annual Daytona 500 - the season-opening event to the Sprint Cup Series.(Daytona PR)(1-10-2008)

  • Champion's Suite With Bobby Allison ay Daytona: It's an opportunity that every race fan would dream of doing - watching the Daytona 500 and visiting with a three-time winner of "The Great American Race." Daytona International Speedway is making that dream happen. With the Champion's Suite With Bobby Allison, race fans will have the opportunity to rub elbows with three-time Daytona 500 winner Bobby Allison during DIRECTV Speedweeks and the 51st annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 15. Included in the package will be admission to the Champion's Suite With Bobby Allison located on the famed Superstretch as well as other amenities such as: ,Meet and greet with Allison, Food and two drink tickets for beer or wine (cash bar for mixed drinks), Unlimited Coca-Cola soft drinks and Dasani water, Pre-Race access including Sprint Fanzone, Souvenir event program and Daytona 500 Experience admission. Prices range from the four-day package of $999 to a single-day package for the 51st annual Daytona 500 of $699.(DIS PR)(1-9-2009)

  • GM renews sponsorship of Daytona: General Motors Corp. has renewed its decades-long sponsorship of the Daytona International Speedway and its signature stock car race, the Daytona 500, but at a cheaper price. And instead of a multi-year deal, the cash-strapped automaker will sponsor NASCAR's most prestigious event on a year-to-year basis. Financial terms were not disclosed. The renewal ends speculation that GM's money woes, which have triggered a scaling back of corporate sponsorships, would force the automaker to terminate sponsorship of an event that was the top-rated motorsports telecast in North America last year. The multi-year deal expired Dec. 31. GM finalized the new deal Dec. 19, the same day President George W. Bush announced the Detroit automaker and Chrysler LLC would receive up to $17.4 billion in short-term loans. GM has sponsored Daytona for more than 40 years, and motorsports in general provide a prime marketing opportunity for automakers to reach customers who buy domestic vehicles at a rate higher than the national average. The race, which last year drew 33.5 million television viewers, is Feb. 15. GM provides fire and safety vehicles, pace cars and other vehicles for the race, as well as a July race at the track. GM did not disclose how much it spends on the Daytona deal or NASCAR sponsorships. Last year, GM had sponsorships at 12 tracks that host NASCAR events, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but three of those sponsorships have not been renewed. Chevrolet also is the official vehicle sponsor of the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 held in September at Richmond International Raceway in Virginia. That sponsorship expires this year.(Detroit News)(1-8-2009)

  • NextEra Energy partners with Daytona, Homestead: Daytona International Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway announced a multi-year partnership with NextEra Energy Resources, a subsidiary of Florida-based FPL Group, and the nation's largest provider of wind and solar energy. Financial terms were not disclosed. Under terms of the agreement, NextEra Energy Resources becomes the Official Renewable Energy Provider of Daytona International Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Rights include entitlement of the NextEra Energy Resources 250 Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona and title sponsorship of Homestead-Miami Speedway's Speedjam IndyCar and Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Championship weekend. NextEra Energy Resources will support its position through both a financial investment and a commitment for annual promotion around events at both facilities. Also as part of the arrangement, International Speedway Corporation, parent company of both racing facilities, will purchase certain renewable energy certificates (RECs) from NextEra Energy Resources. The RECs will help fund a number of renewable energy projects, including the development of wind and solar energy plants.(HMS PR)(1-8-2009)

  • GM rethinks Daytona sponsorship: General Motors Corp. has not decided whether to renew a decades-long sponsorship of the Daytona International Speedway and its signature stock car race, the Daytona 500, despite the deal's expiration in three weeks. GM has a multiyear agreement that ends Dec. 31 to serve as the official car and truck provider of the speedway and the Daytona 500, NASCAR's most prestigious event, speedway spokesman Andrew Booth said Thursday. The race is Feb. 15. GM said discussions are under way about the Daytona sponsorship but the automaker has not reached an agreement. The Daytona sponsorship dates to the early 1970s. GM provides fire and safety vehicles, pace cars and other vehicles for use during the race, as well as a July race at the track. GM did not disclose how much it spends on the Daytona deal or NASCAR sponsorships. Scaling back motorsports sponsorships is seen as a risky move because the auto industry and racing are closely linked and give automakers a prime marketing opportunity to reach customers who buy domestic vehicles at a rate higher than the national average. Race fans, particularly stock car enthusiasts, are loyal to the sport's sponsors and advertisers. The heritage and loyalty runs so deep that NASCAR Chairman Brian France recently lobbied Congress to support a financial bailout of the auto industry. NASCAR sponsorships are a wise investment because each race attracts about 120,000 fans, said Terry Dolan, manager of Chevy Racing. GM often creates a showroom environment on the speedway grounds, giving spectators an intimate look at its model lineup. The 2008 Daytona 500 attracted 33.5 million television viewers and is the top-rated motorsports telecast in North America. This year, GM had sponsorships at 12 tracks that feature NASCAR events, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, though three of those sponsorships have not been renewed. Chevrolet also is the official vehicle sponsor of the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 held in September at Richmond International Raceway in Virginia. That sponsorship expires next year.(Detroit News)(12-12-2008)

  • Daytona's Preseason Thunder is still planned: Daytona International Speedway may have lost its popular Preseason Thunder NASCAR sessions for 2009 due to the sanctioning body's testing ban but events featuring drivers are still planned. Speedway President Robin Braig said on Saturday officials from International Speedway Corp., NASCAR's corporate twin that owns Daytona and 11 other tracks, have met with NASCAR to discuss fan fest events to be held at the speedway in January to help drive ticket sales for the 51st Daytona 500 and help fans interact with drivers. Specific information on dates and format of the fan events involving drivers and crew chiefs from NASCAR's three national touring series - Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series -- will be forthcoming. Braig said the speedway also hopes to involve the Richard Petty Driving Experience into the fan fests. Braig also said the speedway anticipated more of a promotional push for the Jan. 25-26 Rolex 24 at Daytona.(Florida Today)(11-16-2008)

  • 2009 Coke Zero 400 Tix on sale Sat, Oct 11: On Saturday, Oct. 11, at 8:00am/et, fans will have their first opportunity to purchase all remaining tickets for the 51st annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola Sprint Cup Series race on July 4, 2009 at Daytona International Speedway. Great seats, including a limited number of premium tower seats, will be available. Also available beginning on Saturday will be ticket packages that include tickets to the Winn-Dixie 250 Powered By Coca-Cola Nationwide Series race on Friday, July 3 and the Brumos Porsche 250 Rolex Sports Car Series race on Thursday night, July 2. Daytona International Speedway offers several convenient methods for fans to purchase tickets to the mid-summer classic, which start at $55: Online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com; Calling 1-800-PITSHOP; or visiting the Daytona International Speedway ticket office inside the lobby of Daytona 500 Experience. Overnight parking packages for the Coke Zero 400 Weekend are available only by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(10-11-2008)

  • Below yellow line at Daytona/Talladega OK on last lap? NO UPDATE 3: This was posted back in Feb 2007 about the Truck Series race at Daytona. The 'rule' was metnioned at the end of ABC's broadcast, but NASCAR ruled otherwise.
    Drivers throughout the Craftsman Truck Series garage were still talking about last week's [Feb 2007] three-wide finish at Daytona International Speedway. While they admitted the finish was good for television, most wondered why NASCAR allowed Johnny Benson to drive below the yellow line - Daytona's out of bounds line - to jump from third to second in the final 200 yards. Benson wasn't penalized because "if you can see the checkered flag on the last lap, anything goes," according to NASCAR spokesman Owen Kearns.(Augusta Chronicle)(2-24-2007/10-5-2008), no word on the exact ruling, problem with the ruling? take it up with NASCAR, contact info on my Racing FAQ/Contact NASCAR page.
    from NASCAR: Post-Race Comments from NASCAR Vice President of Corporate Communications Jim Hunter Talladega Superspeedway, Oct. 5, "You cannot improve your position anytime you go below the yellow line. In our judgment, he (Regan Smith) improved his position and the penalty for that is a pass thru, so he was moved back to the tail end of the longest line or 18th position. At the driver's meeting, we clearly state that you cannot improve your position by going below the yellow line. We do not feel he was forced below the yellow line. Anytime you get into a situation like this, there are going to be two different opinions. We respect Regan's view, but we made the call, we think it's the right call and the finish is final. NASCAR has to maintain some kind of control - and that's the reason we say, you cannot advance your position by going below the yellow line. If he had not improved his position, he probably would have been awarded 2nd place."(NASCAR)(10-5-2008)
    UPDATE: Smith and even Johnson, the two-time defending champion, said after the race they thought that the rules were not as tight coming to the finish line. A NASCAR spokesman stated publicly after a controversial truck race finish at Daytona in February 2007 that such was the case. Hunter, speaking for NASCAR on Sunday, said that was not true. "From what the officials tell me, it was pretty black and white,'' Hunter said of the decision. "You can't advance your position. It doesn't matter how you get there. It's a no-no.''(Roanoke Times)
    UPDATE 2: Talladega Drivers Meeting: THIS IS YOUR WARNING DRIVERS: Race Director -David Hoots told the drivers and crew chief's today "This is your warning. If you race below the yellow line and in the judgement of NASCAR you advance your position, you will be black flagged. If, in NASAR's judgement you force someone below the yellow line in an effort to stop him from passing you , you may be black flagged" Hoots added: "Aggressive driving zones..first off don't place yourself in position of opening up in our judgement of what's aggressive. It's considered all the way around the race track with much emphasis and observation placed on the turns and in the tri-oval. If you think that you are getting ready to go over being aggressive back off and let's get to the end of the race." Hoots also warned the group about speeding. "I would remind you all we had numerous speeding penalties yesterday at the entrance and exits and yellow line to yellow line," he said. NO Questions: When asked by Hoots if there were any questions - the room of drivers and crew chiefs was silent.(Dialed in/Claire B. Lang)
    UPDATE 3: NASCAR Rule Clarification Regarding Passing At Daytona International Speedway And Talladega Superspeedway: At yesterday's Drivers Meeting, NASCAR reiterated the rule about passing under the yellow line and provided the same information to all drivers and crew chiefs in a hand out, as we've done in past Daytona and Talladega races. The verbatim language is: "This is your warning: race above the yellow line. If, in NASCAR'S judgment, you go below the yellow line to improve your position, you will be black-flagged. If in NASCAR's judgment you force someone below the yellow line (in an effort to stop him from passing you), you may be black-flagged."
    "During the last lap of yesterday's race at Talladega Superspeedway the driver of the #01 violated NASCAR policy by driving under the yellow line to improve his position," said NASCAR President Mike Helton. "In NASCAR's opinion he was not forced below the yellow line. NASCAR correctly took immediate action to enforce the policy by penalizing the #01 and scoring the #20 as the race winner."
    Helton continued, "Since the end of the race there has been some confusion as to what is allowable during the last lap at Daytona and Talladega. To be clear, as we go forward, there will be no passing under the yellow line at any time during NASCAR races at Daytona or Talladega, period. This includes any passing below the yellow line near the start/finish line on the final lap," said Helton.(NASCAR PR)(10-6-2008)

  • DIS Begins Major Frontstretch Grandstand Renovation Project: Daytona International Speedway has embarked on a significant frontstretch grandstand renovation project. The project is currently under way and is expected to be complete by the end of the year. The renovation project will replace the lower grandstand seating in the DePalma and Oldfield Grandstands (located near Turn 4) as well as the Seagrave, Keech and Lockhart Grandstands (located near Turn 1) with chair seats with arm rests. In addition, all risers and walkways will be replaced with new aluminum. New and additional handicap ramps and stairs will provide access to seating as well. The grandstand renovations will also create new open areas underneath the grandstands for additional concession/souvenir kiosks. "These renovations will enhance the race fan's experience at Daytona International Speedway," Track President Robin Braig said. "We're very cognizant of our 'Fans 'R' 1st At Daytona' program and we're always looking for new opportunities to make the race fan's visit to 'The World Center of Racing' more memorable." To purchase tickets for DIRECTV Speedweeks 2009 and the 51st annual Daytona 500 call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(9-5-2008)

  • DIS 'superstretch' to be closed for 400 next year: The 57,000-seat "superstretch" grandstand, which begins just off Turn 2 and runs about halfway down the back straightaway, will be closed for next July's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. The only grandstand tickets sold will be for the 110,000-seat stands that run the length of the front "dog-leg" from Turn 4 to Turn 1. "We did the math," DIS track president Robin Braig said Wednesday. The two large Jumbotron television monitors, which face the backstretch seats during race events, reportedly cost about $200,000 to rent. When Speedway officials included the costs of additional shuttle buses and manpower needed to manage a race-day event, closing those seats became a viable option. "We're trying to keep the costs down on tickets," Braig said. "When we open the superstretch, there's everything from concession stands, cleanup crews, parking lots with buses and trams, the two huge Jumbotrons . . . Add up all that for the amount of people who are sitting back there, we just said, 'Hey, let's try to get everybody in the best seats we have, and try to hold costs down, especially since the demand for that area is lower than in past years.' " In an effort to soften the blow for those fans who actually prefer the backstretch to the front, DIS officials are highlighting the virtues of the main grandstands.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(8-22-2008)

  • Kyle Petty Honorary Pace Car driver at Daytona: Kyle Petty will serve as the honorary pace car driver for the 50th running of the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Saturday at Daytona. Petty, who is a member of the Coca-Cola Racing Family of Drivers, will pace the 43-car field in a Chevrolet Corvette Z08 before the 160-lap, 400-mile race goes green.(Daytona Speedway PR)(7-5-2008)

  • Flyover at Coke Zero 400: The "Mighty Gorillas," of the 58th Fighter Squadron, part of the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., will perform the flyover at the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night, July 5, Speedway. It is the second time in two years the four-ship, F-15s have performed a flyover at DIS. The squadron, which flies the F-15C Eagle that can reach speeds of 1,875 mph, also did the flyover for the 2007 Daytona 500. "It is a great opportunity to be a part of Daytona International Speedway events again," said Lt. Col. Todd Jaax, 58th FS commander. "What better way to celebrate our nation's birthday that than by showing NASCAR fans the awesome capabilities of the F-15 and the United States Air Force." The squadron has a long and distinguished history an as air superiority fighter squadron that dates back to World War II. They scored the first aerial victory in Desert Storm as well as the most aerial victories (16). Tickets to see the "Mighty Gorillas" in action prior to the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(7-3-2008)

  • Lady Antebellum to perform Pre-Race Concert and National Anthem at Daytona: Newly crowned ACM's Top New Vocal Group and Capitol Nashville recording artists Lady Antebellum will perform a 50-minute Pre-Race Concert and the National Anthem prior to the start of the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola Sprint Cup Series event at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, July 5th. Lady Antebellum will take the Driver's Introduction stage at the start/finish line on Pit Road at 6:20 pm for the performance. A Sprint FANZONE admission will provide access to the concert, driver introductions and all activities in the Sprint FANZONE prior to and during the race. Tickets for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola and Sprint FANZONE admissions are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(7-1-2008)

  • Jarrett Named Grand Marshal For Coke Zero 400: Three-time Daytona 500 champion and founding member of the Coca-Cola Racing Family Dale Jarrett has been named Grand Marshal for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night, July 5 Speedway. Outback Steakhouse President Jeff Smith will serve as Honorary Starter. Jarrett will give the starting command "Gentlemen, start your engines" for Coke Zero's inaugural sponsored race at "The World Center of Racing." Smith, who will wave the Green Flag to get action started, began his career in 1989 at the original Outback Steakhouse restaurant on Henderson Boulevard in Tampa, Fla. Outback Steakhouse was one of the first restaurants to serve Coke Zero across its national operations. Tickets for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola and all other weekend activities are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(6-30-2008)

  • Daytona 500 Tickets Go On Sale Saturday, May 17: Tickets for the NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race - the 51st annual Daytona 500 - will go on sale on Saturday, May 17, at 8am/et. Prior to Saturday, May 17, only renewals and deposits for seat assignments for the 51st annual Daytona 500 were taken by the ticket office at Daytona International Speedway. To order call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(5-16-2008)

  • Trisha Yearwood to Perform National Anthem at Daytona 500: Grammy-Award winning county star Trisha Yearwood will perform the National Anthem for the historic 50th Running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17 at Daytona International Speedway. Yearwood, will be part of a musical array of talent performing at "The World Center of Racing" including the Sprint Pre-Race show featuring the most awarded duo in country music history with more than 80 industry awards, Brooks & Dunn, Chubby Checker, Michael McDonald and Kool & the Gang. Tickets for the DIRECTV Speedweeks 2008 events, including the 50th running of the Daytona 500, are still available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(2-15-2008)

  • Harley J. Earl trophy, who was Earl? The Daytona 500? Its trophy is named after Harley J. Earl. Who was Earl? No drivers asked knew about Earl. None of these responses come as a surprise to Richard Earl, Harley's grandson. The 48-year-old West Palm Beach resident is determined to put his late grandfather's prize on a figurative mantel alongside the most-recognized prizes in sports. Richard Earl believes Daytona's annual Speed Weeks, which culminate in Sunday's 50th running of the Daytona 500, should be a perfect platform for a Harley Earl renaissance. He had hoped to do much to educate the public about his grandfather's legacy, but his plans haven't materialized. He's disillusioned, not sure he'll even accept Daytona International Speedway's invitation to attend the race. "When you look at all their promotion for the upcoming race, there's very little mention of Harley," Richard Earl said. "This guy did a lot. His name's on this trophy for a reason. He's a real icon." Harley Earl was an automotive pioneer, the father of car design. He has been called the "Da Vinci of Detroit." When he began in the 1920s American cars were basically boxes on wheels. By the time he retired in 1958, he and his designers had created many "concept cars" that looked more like spacecraft. See the full story at the Palm Beach Post. Richard Earl, a former Wall Street broker, makes his living selling Harley Earl-designed cars. " 'Motoramic masterpieces' is how I like to refer to them," he said. He maintains the official Harley Earl Web site, carofthecentury.com, and is working on a biography of his grandfather.(2-14-2008) .

  • DW named starter for the Gatorade Duels: Darrell Waltrip, five-time winner of the Gatorade Duel At Daytona and 1989 Daytona 500 champion, will serve as the Honorary Starter for the 50th annual Gatorade Duel At Daytona on Thursday, Feb. 14 at historic Daytona International Speedway. Waltrip will wave the green flag for the first 150-mile Gatorade Duel At Daytona qualifying race, which is scheduled to start at 2pm/et. The Gatorade Duel at Daytona is a pair of 150-mile qualifying races that finalize the startling lineup for the 50th running of the Daytona 500, which is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 17. "Gatorade was my first big sponsor and they put me on the map so to speak," Waltrip said. "Many drivers feared the Gatorade green, the orange lighting bolt, that big 88 on the door and my name on the roof. That was a winning combination. As far as waving the green flag, I can't wait to feel the power at Daytona. I am truly humbled that after all these years, Gatorade still considers me part of the family." Waltrip, who is a three-time NASCAR champion, owns 14 victories at DIS and captured wins in the Gatorade Duel in 1976, 1978, 1979, 1981 and 1988. The 2007 winners of the Gatorade Duel at Daytona were #24-Jeff Gordon and #20-Tony Stewart. Tickets for the DIRECTV Speedweeks 2008 events, including the Gatorade Duel at Daytona, are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP/(DIS PR), the Duels will also be shown on SPEED live at 2:00pm/et [re-air at 9:00pm/et], MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio.(2-11-2008)

  • Coke Zero to sponsor Daytona race in July: Coke Zero is taking the driver's seat as the new title sponsor of the July Sprint Cup Series race at the Daytona International Speedway. Officially, the race will be entitled the "Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola." To bring NASCAR fans closer to the sport they love and create excitement about the race, Coke Zero and Daytona International Speedway are hosting an online voting contest that allows fans to choose the official race logo. Beginning in conjunction with the 50th running of the Daytona 500, fans can visit NASCAR.com to vote for their favorite from two logo options. The winning logo, determined solely by fan votes, will be revealed on NASCAR.com immediately after the contest concludes on March 1, 2008. Scheduled for July 5, the 2008 Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, concludes a holiday weekend of racing at Daytona International Speedway. The Nationwide Series takes to the speedway for the running of the Winn-Dixie 250 Powered By Coca-Cola on July 4. The debut of the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola is part of a new 10-year sponsorship agreement between Coca-Cola North America (CCNA) and International Speedway Corporation (ISC). Through a variety of track partnerships, brands from CCNA will be refreshing fans at 12 race tracks in 2008 before expanding to 16 race tracks by 2012.(businesswire.com)(2-8-2008)

  • 24 Daytona 500 Champs to serve as Grand Marshals of Daytona 500: The 24 living Daytona 500 Champions will serve as Grand Marshals for the historic 50th Running of the Daytona 500, giving the command "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines," to get the most anticipated even in racing history underway. On Sunday, Feb. 17th, the culmination of DIRECTV Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway will peak when 24 legends get NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race started from "The World Center of Racing." Drivers on hand throughout the momentous weekend who will order the most anticipated words in racing include: Bobby Allison (1978, 1982, 1988); Mario Andretti (1967); Buddy Baker (1980); Geoff Bodine (1986); Ward Burton (2002); Derrike Cope (1990); Dale Earnhardt, Jr.* (2004); Bill Elliott* (1985, 1987); A.J. Foyt (1972); Jeff Gordon* (1997, 1999, 2005); Pete Hamilton (1970); Kevin Harvick* (2007); Ernie Irvan (1991); Dale Jarrett* (1993, 1996, 2000); Jimmie Johnson* (2006); Junior Johnson (1960); Fred Lorenzen (1965); Sterling Marlin* (1994, 1995); Marvin Panch (1961); David Pearson (1976); Richard Petty (1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1981); Darrell Waltrip (1989); Michael Waltrip* (2001, 2003); Cale Yarborough (1968, 1977, 1983, 1984).[* still active, eight drivers]. To purchase tickets to 2008 DIRECTV Speedweeks at Daytona events call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(2-6-2008)

  • 60-year-old crashes, dies at DIS in RPDE car: A 60-year-old Apopka man died after he crashed while driving a Richard Petty Driving Experience car at the Daytona Beach International Speedway, authorities and family members said today. Robert Boswell was taking part in the Richard Petty Driving Experience, a program where fans pay to get behind the wheel of a NASCAR car, said his son, Greg Boswell. The crash occurred about 5 p.m. Sunday, police said. Robert Boswell was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center where he was declared dead at about 7 p.m. An autopsy report released this afternoon showed he died of a heart attack and not from the crash. Chris McKee, director of media relations for the Richard Petty Driving Experience, said Boswell had completed lap three at 125 mph when he slowed to take Turn 1. He began to drive erratically around turn one, jerking at the wheel, said an instructor who was driving ahead of Boswell. He then slumped over and steered the car into the concrete retaining wall on the inside of Turn 2, McKee said. Speedway officials said this was the first Richard Petty Driving Experience death at Daytona. However, McKee said this is the third death of a driver among all participating tracks. The two earlier deaths were later determined to be the result of medical conditions and not mechanical failure, McKee said.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-4-2008)

  • 1960 Daytona 500 Champion Junior Johnson to Drive Corvette Z06 Pace Car for Daytona 500: Former Daytona 500 champion Junior Johnson, who claimed 50 NASCAR victories including the 1960 edition of "The Great American Race," will be behind the wheel of a 2008 Corvette Z06 as he paces the field before the start of the historic 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 17 at Daytona International Speedway. Inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1990 and named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998, the North Carolina native claimed his Daytona 500 victory in only his second season in NASCAR competition. That memorable win was behind the wheel of the #27 John Masoni Daytona Kennel Club Chevrolet Impala. Johnson joins past drivers who have paced "The Great American Race" including Baseball "Iron Man" Cal Ripken Jr., Actor Ben Affleck and Tonight Show host Jay Leno. This is the 37th consecutive year that General Motors has provided the Daytona 500 with the Official Pace Vehicle, and the fifth year running that Chevrolet has chosen Corvette for the job. The '08 Corvette Z06 will be decked out in "anniversary gold" in honor of the occasion, making it one of Chevy's most uniquely designed pace cars. Race tickets for the DIRECTV Speedweeks 2008 events are still available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(2-4-2008)

  • Sister Hazel To Perform National Anthem at Bud Shootout: Sister Hazel will perform the National Anthem at the 30th annual Budweiser Shootout at historic Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night, Feb. 9. In addition to National Anthem, which will be televised live nationally by FOX Sports, Sister Hazel will also perform three songs during pre-race ceremonies as well as a 60-minute post-race concert from the Entertainment Stage inside the Sprint FANZONE next to the Budweiser Bistro. Sprint FANZONE and hospitality passes will permit fans to view the pre-race concert from the tri-oval area along pit road and all Budweiser Shootout ticket holders will be able to attend Sister Hazel's post-race concert. Tickets to the 30th annual Budweiser Shootout as well as other DIRECTV Speedweeks events are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(2-2-2008)

  • 50th Running of Daytona 500 Sold Out: Daytona International Speedway officials announced that all grandstand seats for the historic 50th Running of the 2008 Daytona 500 have been sold. While all grandstand seats are sold out, fans can still purchase infield tickets for "The Great American Race", scheduled for Feb. 17. In addition to infield tickets, fans can still experience the festivities of other exciting events surrounding the historic 50th running of the Daytona 500 by purchasing tickets to other exciting DIRECTV Speedweeks events including in February:
    9th: 30th Annual Budweiser Shootout
    14th: 50th Gatorade Duel At Daytona
    15th: 9th annual Chevy Silverado 250 Truck Series race
    16th: 50th annual Camping World 300 Presented by Chevy Nationwide Series race
    Recording its earliest sellout of the event in modern history, Speedway President Robin Braig said, "The anticipation of the 50th running of the Daytona 500 - NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race - has been at a fever-pitch level throughout the year. Although there are no grandstand seats left for 'The Great American Race', there are still tickets left for the other exciting Speedweeks events throughout DIRECTV Speedweeks." Tickets for these and all events at historic Daytona International Speedway can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(1-31-2008)

  • The 'King' named Honorary Starter for the Daytona 500: Seven-time Daytona 500 Champion Richard Petty, who's father Lee won the inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959, will serve as Honorary Starter for the historic 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 17. Petty will drop the green flag at Daytona International Speedway to get the historic event underway at 3:30pm/et. "We are so honored and proud to have Richard Petty drop the green flag to get the most anticipated event in racing history underway," said Speedway President Robin Braig. "Richard and the Daytona 500 are synonymous with NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race and we're thrilled to have him get the 50th spectacle underway." Over the course of 32 years driving on the Sprint Cup circuit, along with his record seven Daytona 500 wins, "The King" has a record 200 victories; won seven Sprint Cup championships; recorded 27 wins in 1967; was named the circuit's "Most Popular Driver" nine times and was the Series Rookie of the Year in 1959. Tickets for the DIRECTV Speedweeks 2008 events, including the 50th running of the Daytona 500, are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(1-30-2008)

  • Record purse announced for the Daytona 500: The 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 17 - the most anticipated event in racing history - will carry a record purse of more than $18 million. The posted awards for "The Great American Race" on Sunday, Feb. 17 will be $18,689,238.The posted awards for the 2007 Daytona 500, which was won for the first time by Kevin Harvick in a photo finish over Mark Martin, was $18,386,023. The winner of this year's Daytona 500 will collect a minimum of $1,445,250. The second, third, fourth and fifth-place finishers in the Daytona 500 will receive a minimum of $1,044,400, $752,400, $598,450 and $471,500 respectively. The last-place finisher in the Daytona 500 will also be well compensated with a minimum of $233,865. The winner for the inaugural Daytona 500 back in 1959 - Lee Petty - collected $19,050 and the last-place finisher - Ken Marriott - earned $100. Other purses for DIRECTV Speedweeks 2008 events are:
    *ARCA 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series race: $283,552
    *Budweiser Shootout: $1,217,154 with the winner pocketing $215,000 *Gatorade Duel At Daytona: $1,350,000, $675,000 for each race *Chevy Silverado 250 Craftsman Truck Series race: $875,448 *Camping World 300 presented by Chevy Nationwide Series race: $2,640,772 Tickets to any of the DIRECTV Speedweeks 2008 events are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(1-29-2008)

  • Entertainment announced for the Daytona 500: Brooks & Dunn, the most awarded duo in country music history with more than 80 industry awards, including 20 Country Music Association Awards and 26 Academy of Country Music Awards, will highlight the highly acclaimed Sprint Pre-Race Show - the heart-pumping, one-of-a-kind pre-race prelude to the most anticipated event in racing history - the historic 50th running of the Daytona 500. In addition to Brooks & Dunn, Chubby Checker. Michael McDonald and Kool & the Gang will rock the high-profile pre-race entertainment stage, bringing together an amazing collection of musical icons from different musical eras. The pre-race extravaganza will air live before millions of national television viewers on FOX and more than 200,000 energized race fans on-site at historic Daytona International Speedway (DIS) prior to the Daytona 500. 2008 marks the fifth consecutive year that JHE Production Group and Q&A Entertainment Inc. will produce the Daytona 500 Sprint Pre-Race Show.(DIS PR)(1-23-2008)

  • NASA Astronaut At Daytona Speedway Event for 50th Milestones: Astronaut Andrew Feustel will participate in NASCAR's Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway, Fla., on Tuesday, Jan. 8. The appearance is in celebration of NASA's 50th anniversary and the Daytona International Speedway's 50th running of the Daytona 500 in 2008. Feustel will ride around the track, or take "hot laps," in an official track vehicle. Immediately afterward, he will be available for media interviews behind the Pit Road wall. Technology developed for the space program has helped NASCAR drivers increase their performance and stay safe over the years. They wear cooling suits similar to what astronauts wear during a spacewalk. Foam that NASA developed for aircraft seats protects racecar drivers' necks in crashes. In addition to participating in the fan festival, NASA will fly three Daytona 500 flags aboard an upcoming space shuttle flight. Speedway officials plan to wave one of the flags to begin the 2008 installment of the Daytona 500, while another will be presented to the winning driver. NASA will keep the third. Feustel will fly on the space shuttle mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. The mission will extend and improve the observatory's capabilities through 2013. Launch is targeted for August 2008.(News Blaze)(1-7-2008)

  • US Senate designates Feb. 17th "Race Day in America" By unanimous consent, the United States Senate recently designated February 17th, 2008 - the date of the historic 50th running of the Daytona 500 - as "Race Day in America." The resolution, introduced during the 110th Congress by Florida Senators Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez highlights the historic 50th running of the Daytona 500 and festivities surrounding the event. Noting that the Daytona 500 is the most prestigious stock car race in the United States; and that Daytona International Speedway is the home of "The Great American Race"; and that winning the prestigious Harley J. Earl Trophy is stock car racing's greatest prize and privilege; and that well-known politicians, celebrities and athletes take part in the festivities surrounding the Daytona 500, the resolution passed easily. "What a special way to recognize the most anticipated event in racing history," said Speedway President Robin Braig. "We are looking forward to the historic 50th running of 'The Great American Race' and the festivities that surround it." Tickets for the historic 50th running of the Daytona 500 at historic Daytona International Speedway and all events at DIS can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(1-4-2008)

  • DIS Offers Free Daytona 500 Qualifying to Blood Donors during Preseason Thunder: During January's Preseason Thunder Fan Fests for the Sprint Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway, race fans will get the opportunity to watch their favorite NASCAR drivers and teams prepare for the 50th running of the Daytona 500 and also earn a free ticket to Daytona 500 Qualifying presented by Kroger on Sunday, Feb. 10. During each of the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Sprint Cup Series Fan Fest nights on Jan. 8 and Jan. 15, the Florida Blood Centers will be hosting a blood drive located just outside the Turn 4 tunnel and guests that donate blood will receive a free ticket to Daytona 500 Qualifying presented by Kroger on Sunday, Feb. 10. All Sprint Cup Series teams will participate in Daytona 500 Qualifying presented by Kroger on Sunday, Feb. 10. Drivers will turn two high-speed qualifying laps on the historic 2.5-tri-oval as they try to secure a front-row starting spot in the 50th running of the Daytona 500. NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest dates, which will coincide with January's Sprint Cup Series, Craftsman Truck Series, Nationwide Series and Rolex Series testing sessions at the "World Center of Racing," will be held on the following dates:
    Jan. 5: The Roar Before The Rolex 24
    Jan. 8: Sprint Cup Fan Fest, first session, odd-numbered teams in owners point standings following the Chicagoland Speedway race)
    Jan. 12: Craftsman Truck Fan Fest
    Jan. 15: Sprint Cup Fan Fest, second session, even-numbered teams in owners point standings following the Chicagoland Speedway race)
    Jan. 19: Nationwide Series Fan Fest
    Besides watching drivers search for speed on the legendary 2.5-mile tri-oval, fans can also enjoy inquisitive fan forums with many of their favorite drivers, bands, show cars, pit stop demonstrations, displays, a silent auction and hot laps around DIS (additional charge). The Fan Fest events start at 5 p.m. but fans may enter the Sprint FANZONE beginning at 9 a.m. to watch all of the exciting testing action on those days. Admissions for the Sprint Cup Fan Fest dates are $15 while Nationwide and Craftsman Truck Series admissions are $10. The Roar Before The Rolex 24 admission is also $10.(DIS PR), see more on the 2008 Daytona testing page.(12-28-2007)

  • Daytona International Speedway Generates $1.9 Billion Annually: Daytona International Speedway, host of NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious event - The Daytona 500 - has an annual overall economic impact of more than $1 billion. According to the report conducted by The Washington Economics Group, Inc. and Chuck Yaros, Daytona International Speedway and Daytona 500 Experience boast a total economic impact of $1.9 billion annually. The economic impact study was conducted over a several month period utilizing the IMPLAN model, which analyzes both the direct and indirect benefits of an economic producer in a region and statewide. The WEG study also found: * DIS and Daytona 500 Experience operations create nearly 32,000 jobs. * DIS and Daytona 500 Experience provide more than $856 million dollars in labor income annually. * DIS and Daytona 500 Experience generate $155.4 million dollars annually in tax revenue to state and local governments. The report also noted that International Speedway Corporation, the parent company of Daytona International Speedway, announced that its operations generate $2.3 billion in economic benefit each year. Volusia County Chairman Frank Bruno also read a proclamation on behalf of the County Council of Volusia County proclaiming Feb. 17, 2008, as "DAYTONA 500 50th ANNIVERSARY DAY."(DIS PR)(12-18-2007)

  • Thunderbirds to Flyover at Daytona: The world-renowned "Thunderbirds" - the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron - will provide race fans with an aerial spectacle during the National Anthem flyover at the historic 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 17 at Daytona International Speedway. It is the first time the exclusive flying squadron will perform a flyover at the historic "World Center of Racing." It will also be the first flyover by the exclusive group in 2008.(Daytona PR), they did however, do a flyover in the late 1950's, over the Daytona beach course.(12-11-2007)

  • Experience the Daytona 500 at Orlando Science Center: Discover the DAYTONA 500 at the Orlando Science Center offers a hands-on experience exploring the science and history behind auto racing with authentic racing cars, gear and the chance for guests to race scale models. Discover the DAYTONA 500 premiered at the Orlando Science Center on Friday, November 30 and be on display until Sunday, January 6, 2008. Get an up-close look at the marvelous machines that dominate Daytona International Speedway as you discover the science used to take the checkered flag. Content will include a mixture of activities developed by the Science Center creative team combined with DAYTONA 500 memorabilia and authentic racing gear, including racing suits from Dale Jarrett and Richard Petty. Other gear includes a life-size cutaway model of a stock car, a racing seat where guests can strap themselves in, an example of the Gatorade In Car Drinking System (G.I.D.S.) and a working V-8 engine. A garage area with a Pit Stop activity, a video wall showing historical race footage and driving simulators will also be major exhibit components. In keeping with the Orlando Science Center's commitment to providing learning experiences for all ages, a kid's area will feature a battery-operated racecar for little ones to drive on their own miniature track, stations and other themed activities. Older kids and the young at heart will enjoy firsthand race excitement with the ultimate slot car and pinewood derby tracks as well as opportunities for remote control racing. Discover the DAYTONA 500 will be included with general exhibit admission to the Orlando Science Center, which is $14.95 for adults, $9.95 for kids (ages 3-11). The exhibit is currently under development. More information at osc.org.(DIS PR)(12-1-2007)

  • NASCAR enters the Space Age: If NASA's promotional plan pays off, millions of NASCAR fans will have their eyes glued to the skies next month when space shuttle Atlantis blasts off into orbit -- carrying three Daytona 500 race flags in its cargo bay. The green starter flags are being launched into space to celebrate the 50th running of the Daytona 500 in February, as well as NASA's own upcoming 50th anniversary. "It's great," NASA spokesman Allard Beutel said. "It will hopefully bring space to a whole new audience." NASA, working hard to wind down the shuttle program in 2010 and start its next phase of space exploration that will bring humans back to the moon, is trying to drum up public enthusiasm for an invigorated space program. And the Daytona racetrack was looking for an out-of-this-world way to celebrate its own milestone, said David Talley, spokesman for Daytona International Speedway. NASA came up with the idea to link the two anniversaries earlier this year. Both sides are trying to arrange astronaut-driver promotional events, including a possible joint NASCAR driver-shuttle crew press event during Atlantis' 11-day mission next month. The agency sets aside a small amount of space on every shuttle mission for commemorative items. Last month, Luke Skywalker's lightsaber flew aboard Discovery to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Star Wars film franchise. In 2000, a small piece of fabric from Orville and Wilbur Wright's airplane flew on a shuttle mission. The flags had to be measured and weighed carefully to meet NASA's requirements for onboard items and will be stowed throughout the mission. Upon their return to Earth, one flag will be awarded to the winner of the 50th Daytona 500 on Feb. 17; one will go to the Daytona 500 Experience attraction at the racetrack; and the third will stay with NASA. NASA officials will announce Atlantis' launch date Friday. It is expected to be Dec. 6.(Orlando Sentinel)(11-29-2007)
    UPDATE: NASCAR will drop the green flag for shuttle Atlantis as it lifts off the launch pad at 3:31 p.m. Dec. 6. Inside the orbiter's payload are three flags being sent to space to celebrate the 50th running of the Daytona 500. The flags will travel more than a million miles at 17,500 mph during the 12-day mission to deliver Columbus, a science research module -- a far cry from the 200 mph the cars will go during the February race.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(11-29-2007)

  • Daytona July 2008 race tix on sale: On Saturday, Oct. 13, at 8:00am/et, fans will have their first opportunity to purchase all remaining tickets for the July Sprint Cup Series 400 on July 5, 2008 at Daytona International Speedway. Great seats, including a limited number of premium tower seats, will be available. DIS also has something special for current tickets holders who refer a friend that buys tickets to the July Sprint Cup Series 400 - a brand new Corvette. Current customers can refer as many accounts as they like and will be registered each time they are mentioned as a referring account. Both the referring account and new customer account are registered for the Corvette. Drawing for the new Corvette will be held in May. For more info see daytonainternationalspeedway.com of call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(10-11-2007)

  • Daytona to add Second Fan Deck to Sprint Fanzone: The Sprint Fanzone, located in the heart of the infield of Daytona International Speedway, will be bigger and better for DIRECTV Speedweeks 2008 and the 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 17. Beginning in mid-October, a second Fandeck will be added atop the Sprint Cup Series garages on the south side of the Sprint Fanzone. The new fan deck, which will include a bridge connecting it to the north fan deck, adds an additional 23,500 square feet to the Sprint Fanzone and provides race fans with a view of the south side of the Sprint Cup Series garages. Construction on the expansion of the Fandeck will be completed in time for the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 26-27. The Sprint Fanzone was constructed in 2004 during Daytona International Speedway's multi-million dollar infield renovation and made its debut in 2005. A Sprint Fanzone/Pre-Race access pass for the 50th running of the Daytona 500 is $90 (must already have purchased a race ticket). For the other days during DIRECTV Speedweeks 2008, an advance Sprint Fanzone/Pre-Race pass is $25 (must be purchased two weeks before event date). For tickets to DIRECTV Speedweeks 2008 events, including the 50th running of the Daytona 500, call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(9-14-2007)

  • Ford hired by ISC: Edsel Ford II, great-grandson of pioneer automaker Henry Ford, is becoming a director of International Speedway Corp., owner of Daytona International Speedway. Ford, 58, due to be formally elected in November, will take over the board seat of Chairman William C. France, who died in June. Ford has been a vice president of Ford Motor Co. since 1993. James C. France, William C. France's brother, officially took over as ISC chairman. Lesa France Kennedy, ISC president and William's daughter, became vice chairman.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(9-6-2007)

  • Race Fans Go Behind The Scenes At DIS With VIP Hot Pass Tour: Have you ever wondered what it's liketo see Gatorade Victory Lane from a $5,000 seat at Daytona International Speedway? What the view is from the eyes of a sportswriter?; Where NASCAR President Mike Helton lays down the law prior to a NASCAR race? Well, race fans visiting the Daytona 500 Experience motorsports attraction can see those things and much more by taking advantage of the new VIP Hot Pass Tour - an exclusive behind-the-scenes personalized two-hour tour that opens the door to the backstage of motorsports' most historic venue "The World Center of Racing." The VIP Hot Pass Tour debuted last Friday and Saturday and both were sold out. On the VIP Hot Pass Tour, race fans can travel in comfort throughout the hallowed Speedway grounds and get an insider's look at popular hot spots such as the four-story icon Daytona 500 Club and upscale President's Row, the Nextel Cup garages, the Infield Media Center where hundreds of reporters from the Associated Press to NASCAR Scene pen stories, the Driver's Meeting Room where drivers, crew chiefs, owners and VIPs gather for the pre-race dos and don'ts, the Houston Lawing Press Box and a luxury suite in Sprint Tower where Fortune 500 executives rub elbows.
    Included in the $50 Daytona 500 Experience VIP Hot Pass tour are:
    * Admission to the Daytona 500 Experience, "The Official Attraction of NASCAR."
    * Two-hour personal track tour aboard the comfort of a Speedway motor coach.
    * Lunch at the Budweiser Bistro in the heart of the SPRINT FANZONE.
    * Discount on merchandise from the Pit Shop, located just outside The Daytona 500 Experience and jam packed with the latest in NASCAR apparel. * Two ACCELERATION ALLEY ride vouchers, where guests hop in 80% scale motion simulators and race each other on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway. All VIP Hot Pass tours must be scheduled by calling (386) 947-6530 or by visiting www.DAYTONA500EXPERIENCE.com.(DIS PR)(8-14-2007)

  • Pavers, graders replace sound of stock cars at Daytona: The sound of stock cars at Daytona International Speedway, have been replaced - for the time being - by the sound of bulldozers, pavers and graders. "The World Center of Racing," which undertook a major infield renovation project in 2004, is currently experience yet another tweak in its infield, with several alterations underway.
    Those projects include:
    Remove all above ground obstructions and ditches from the interior grassed sections of the road course (overhead power, drainage structure headwalls, fencing).
    Regrade the interior grassed section of the road course, install drainage structures and grates.
    Construct a 12' wide extension of pit road to extend pit road out to the east horseshoe where it blends into the main track.
    Construct a new inner East Horseshoe which will match the existing radius and slope of the existing turn.
    Strip the grass and topsoil between road course in and out and pave the area.(DIS PR)(7-31-2007)

  • Daytona 500 Web Site Launched: Race fans looking to get their Daytona 500 "fix" prior to the historic 50th running of "The Great American Race" scheduled for Feb. 17, 2008, can visit the preeminent on-line destination for news, history and background on the most anticipated event in racing history. At www.daytona500.com, the Official Site of the Daytona 500, race fans can access a comprehensive, user-friendly website with the latest innovative technology, allowing fans to view exclusive and historical content, videos, photos, audio as well as downloading screensavers and wallpapers and other multimedia elements.(DIS PR)(7-23-2007)

  • Coke signs deal with ISC, and title rights for July races in Daytona: International Speedway Corporation announced that the company has signed an exclusive ten-year agreement with Coca-Cola North America (CCNA). Specific financial terms were not released. Under the terms of the agreement, CCNA brands will become the "Official Soft Drink," "Official Sparkling Beverage" and "Official Water" for 10 of ISC's wholly owned and/or operated motorsports facilities; as well as the Daytona 500 Experience, the Ultimate Motorsports Attraction. Beginning in January 2008, the partnership will include the following ISC properties:
    Daytona International Speedway, including race entitlement rights for the facility's July Nextel [to be Sprint] Cup and Busch series events; The DAYTONA 500 Experience; Chicagoland Speedway; Homestead-Miami Speedway; Kansas Speedway; Michigan International Speedway; Richmond International Raceway. The relationship will extend to Darlington Raceway in 2009, Talladega Superspeedway and Watkins Glen International in 2011, and Phoenix International Raceway in 2012 [no mention of Martinsville or California speedways]. Under the new agreement, CCNA beverages will be served exclusively at the facilities by Americrown, ISC's catering, concessions and merchandising subsidiary, and by other facility concessionaires. In addition, CCNA will leverage its marketing expertise to create a variety of programs featuring ISC properties both at-track and wherever racing fans enjoy their favorite sport.(DIS PR)(7-9-2007)

  • Daytona 500 to be moved to November? UPDATE denied: This week, sources within NASCAR told me [CTR] there has been closed door discussions to move the date of the Daytona 500, to November. Apparently, NASCAR is intrigued by the idea of switching the dates of the season ending Homestead race with the season opening Daytona 500. The allure of ending the NASCAR season and crowning a new Nextel Cup champion at the sports biggest race is something the France family is strongly considering. NASCAR and the International Speedway Corporation own both tracks so a change of date would be easy to accomplish. For the past 25 years, NASCAR has led off the season in Daytona Beach, FL with the sports biggest race, the Daytona 500. In 2008, NASCAR will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Daytona 500 on February 17th for what may be the final time ever in the month of February. Sources said the late Bill France Jr. was very much against moving the Daytona 500 and felt that it would hurt the integrity of the sport. NASCAR does not intend to have a final decision regarding the date change until the end of the 2007 season.(CTR-Captain Thunder Racing)(7-5-2007)
    UPDATE - denied: There's no validity to a rumor circulating on the Internet that NASCAR is having discussions about moving the Daytona 500 to November, Daytona spokesman Andrew Booth said. "That one was way out in left field," he said.(Tampa Tribune)(7-7-2007)

  • Daytona 500 Champions Awarded: Daytona International Speedway announced, as a gesture of recognition of the past Daytona 500 Champions and in celebration of the upcoming 50th running of the Great American Race, it will present the 24 living legends a lifetime membership to the prestigious Daytona 500 Club. Each champion, by way of their accomplishments on the track and in life, will receive lifetime access to the track's infield hospitality and entertainment experience. Membership benefits include: a seat in Gatorade Victory Lane, access to the Club banquet & lounge, event souvenir packages, a Pre Race / Nextel Fanzone Access pass, infield parking and admission to the Daytona Experience for the Pepsi 400 and Speedweeks event weekends. Also the Daytona 500 Experience at Daytona International Speedway welcomed five past champions of the "Great American Race" to its Walk of Fame. Inductees ranged from this year's winner, Kevin Harvick (2007), to Junior Johnson (1960). Joining Harvick and Johnson at the induction was Derrike Cope (1990), Buddy Baker (1980) and Pete Hamilton (1970). Plans for a new exhibit inside the Daytona 500 Experience featuring other past champions of the "Great American Race" were also unveiled at the ceremony.(DIS PR)(7-7-2007)

  • DIS, NASCAR Honor Bill France Jr. During Pepsi 400 Weekend: NASCAR legend Richard Petty will drive a specially designed Daytona International Speedway/NASCAR tribute car in honor of the late Bill France Jr. prior to Saturday night's Pepsi 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race. The on-track tribute highlighted by Petty is just one of several tributes that are taking place during the Pepsi 400 Weekend at Daytona International Speedway. France, who helped build Daytona International Speedway in the late 1950s and served as President between 1982-87, passed away last month at the age of 74.
    The tributes for Bill France Jr. include:
    * With Petty, the specially designed Daytona International Speedway/NASCAR tribute car will lead the Pepsi 400 field during the pace laps and slow as the field splits with the car falling to the back of the pack.
    * A moment of silence held before Friday's Winn-Dixie 250 presented by PepsiCo Busch Series race and Saturday night's 49th annual Pepsi 400 Nextel Cup Series race.
    * A special video tribute will be shown on the Nextel Vision screen during Saturday's pre-race festivities.
    * A special feature of Bill France Jr. in the 2007 Pepsi 400 Weekend souvenir program.(DIS PR)(7-7-2007)

  • Busch Race postponsed until Saturday Tix Info: The Winn-Dixie 250 presented by PepsiCo has been postponed and been rescheduled for Saturday morning at 9 :00am/et. The following are the ticket procedures for Saturday, July 7 at Daytona International Speedway:
    * Both Winn-Dixie 250 presented by PepsiCo tickets and Pepsi 400 tickets will be honored.
    * If a ticket holder has only a Winn-Dixie 250 ticket, they can view the Pepsi 400 from the Superstretch.
    * The Pepsi 400 ticket has priority over any Winn-Dixie 250 ticket for Saturday night's Nextel Cup race.
    * Gates will open at 7:30am/et
    * The NEXTEL FANZONE will open at 2:00pm/et and only Nextel Fanzone/Pre-Race passes for the Pepsi 400 will be honored
    * All Speedway parking/tram service will run as scheduled
    For more information, call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(7-6-2007)

  • Red, White and... Green at Daytona:Anheuser-Busch Recycling Corporation and the Daytona International Speedway have joined to encourage and enable recycling during the entire race week. More than 9000 pounds of aluminum cans and aluminum bottles and approximately 3000 pounds of plastic water bottles were collected at the track during February's Speedweeks at Daytona. Budweiser "Green Team" members and DIS employees will hand out blue recycle bags to campers as they enter the Speedway infield and the West Lot camping grounds for nightly pick up. In addition, 400 recycling containers will be located throughout the concourse, Fan Walk area, suites and hospitality tents. During the races, the Budweiser "Green Team" and speedway employees will service these recycling bins. To encourage guests to recycle their beverage containers, "Green Team" volunteers will walk through the campgrounds and reward adults that are "caught" recycling with Budweiser gear. Budweiser is the official beer of Daytona International Speedway. For more information on the Anheuser-Busch Environmental Outreach, visit ABenvironment.com.(fingerprint inc)(7-6-2007)

  • All 77: Three drivers had competed in all 77 restrictor-plate races at Daytona and Talladega:
    #01-Mark Martin (2 Talladega, 0 Daytona wins)
    #21-Ken Schrader (1, 0)
    #55-Michael Waltrip (1, 3)
    until Talladega in April 2007, when Waltrip & Schrader failed to qualify and Martin didn't run the race.
    Plus all three ran the one-off restrictor plate race at New Hampshire, but that was not a drafting/aero track.(4-29-2007)

  • Final Pepsi 400 Next Weekend? Next weekend's Nextel Cup race at Daytona will not only be the last restrictor-plate race using the old race car, it appears it also will be the last Daytona race called the Pepsi 400. Sports Business Daily reported Friday that Coca-Cola is close to signing a deal to give it pouring and marketing rights at Daytona. That would end an almost 50-year relationship between Pepsi and the track. The report says Pepsi's deals with other International Speedway Corporation tracks at Phoenix, Talladega, Watkins Glen and Darlington will be dropped as they expire over the next few years.(Thats Racin)(6-30-2007)

  • Actor Kevin James Grand Marshal for Pepsi 400 at Daytona: Kevin James, who stars opposite Adam Sandler in Universal Pictures' new comedy, "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 49th annual Pepsi 400 Nextel Series Cup race on Saturday, July 7 at Daytona International Speedway. The film opens July 20. James will give the command "Gentlemen, start your engines" in the NASCAR mid-summer classic. His Grand Marshal duties also include leading the 43-car field in the pace laps from the Grand Marshal Chevy Impala pace car. Tickets for any of the Pepsi 400 Weekend events, including the 49th annual Pepsi 400 on Saturday, July 7, the Winn-Dixie 250 presented by PepsiCo on Friday, July 6 and the Brumos Porsche 250 Rolex Series race on Thursday, July 5, are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(6-30-2007)

  • DAYTONA USA is now "Daytona 500 Experience": For the past 11 years, DAYTONA USA, "The Official Attraction of NASCAR," has been delivering magical motorsports memories to both hard-core race fans and casual observers through hands-on activities, challenging thrills and one-of-a-kind sights. This year, the attraction continues to offer fans the thrills of racing at "The World Center of Racing." However, in an effort to align "The Official Attraction of NASCAR" with NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race -- the Daytona 500 -- DAYTONA USA will be renamed the Daytona 500 Experience beginning July 1, 2007. A new logo will accompany the name change as well as a new website address. Fans can see the new logo at www.Daytona500Experience.com.(DIS PR)(6-28-2007)

  • 2007 Pepsi 400 Purse Exceeds $6 Million: The stars of the Nextel Cup Series will vie for a purse of more than $6 million under the lights at the "World Center Of Racing" in the 49th annual Pepsi 400 Nextel Cup Series race on Saturday, July 7th at Daytona International Speedway. The posted awards for this year's mid-summer classic will be a record $6,202,439, an increase of almost $200,000. The posted awards for the 2006 Pepsi 400, which was won by Tony Stewart, was $6,074,820. The winner of this year's Pepsi 400 will collect a minimum of $284,550. The second, third, fourth and fifth-place finishers in the Pepsi 400 will receive a minimum of $195,575, $160,725, $131,425 and $118,725 respectively. The posted awards for the Winn-Dixie 250 Busch Series race presented by PepsiCo on Friday, July 6th will be $1,552,701. Tickets to any of the 2007 Pepsi 400 Weekend events are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(6-27-2007)

  • NASA rocket launch to coincide with Pepsi 400 festivities: Whoever sings "and the rockets red glare," on Saturday, July 7, the day of the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway, will really mean it. Sometime between 4:09 and 4:36pm/et, NASA is scheduled to launch a Delta II Rocket from the Astrotech Space Operations Facility Launch Pad at Kennedy Space Center in nearby Titusville, FL. Weather permitting, those attending the Nextel Series Pepsi 400 race or in the area of the Speedway should be able to see the rocket churn toward space. The Dawn spacecraft is being prepared for launch and has gone through a series of tests including the loading on xenon for the ion propulsion system and the loading of Hydrazine, used for spacecraft control and maneuvering.(DIS PR)(6-25-2007)

  • 10 Finalists in Daytona 500 Celebrity Tickets for Charity Competition announced: When fans speak, Daytona International Speedway (DIS) listens. Some of the most passionate fans in professional sports have made their voices heard and narrowed a star-studded field of 46 celebrity designs to 10 finalists in the Daytona 500 "Celebrity Tickets for Charity" competition. Resembling a Who's Who among sports and entertainment personalities, these 10 celebrities have edged out the competition in an online battle for ultimate bragging rights and now move one step closer to the honor of having their artistic sense immortalized on the most sought after ticket in all of motorsports - the 50th running of the Daytona 500.
    The top 10 finalists, in no particular order, are as follows:
    1. Kevin Harvick - 2007 Daytona 500 winner
    2. Jeff Foxworthy - host of FOX's "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?"
    3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 2004 Daytona 500 winner
    4. Tony Hawk - extreme sports icon
    5. Katie Cook - host of CMT Insider
    6. Mike Joy - NASCAR on FOX commentator
    7. Patrick McRae (age 17) - on behalf of Rick Hendrick
    8. Derek Wynne (age 7) - on behalf of Jimmie Johnson
    9. Marvin Panch - 1961 Daytona 500 winner
    10. Mario Andretti - 1967 Daytona 500 winner
    To commemorate the historic milestone of NASCAR's most prestigious race on February 17, 2008, DIS launched "Celebrity Tickets for Charity," a fun, philanthropic initiative that has provided a platform for professional athletes, musicians, famous actors and TV personalities to showcase their artistic talents through their personal canvases inspired by the "Great American Race." The response was overwhelming as Daytona500.com received an unprecedented number of visits from NASCAR fans voting for their celebrity designs. Voting began May 1 and ended June 14, 2007.
    A blue ribbon panel made up of members of the NASCAR community will decide the winning entry. International Speedway Corporation (ISC) President Lesa France Kennedy, DIS President Robin Braig, three-time Daytona 500 winner Jeff Gordon, 1989 Daytona 500 winner Darrell Waltrip, and TNT on-air talent Marty Snider comprise the judging panel and have the responsibility of determining the look of the 2008 Daytona 500 ticket. The winning design will be announced Saturday, July 7 at DIS prior to the Pepsi 400. Once the winning design is chosen, all original celebrity artwork will be auctioned online with the proceeds benefiting The Jeff Gordon Foundation, which supports children with life-threatening and chronic diseases. Tickets to the 50th running of the Daytona 500 are currently on sale to the general public. To view the top 10 finalists, purchase tickets, or for ticket information, visit Daytona500.com.(DIS PR)(6-15-2007)

  • Historic 50th Running Daytona 500 Tickets Go On Sale May 9: Tickets for the 50th annual Daytona 500 will go on sale on Wednesday, May 9, at 8:00am/et. The pre-Mother's Day Weekend on-sale date marks the earliest opportunity ever for fans to purchase all remaining tickets for the 50th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 17, 2008. Prior to Wednesday, May 9, only renewals and deposits for seat assignments for the 50th annual Daytona 500 were taken by the ticket office at Daytona International Speedway. Oder by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting the Daytona International Speedway ticket office inside the lobby of Daytona USA. Tickets for other DIRECTV Speedweeks at Daytona events, including the Daytona 300 Busch Series race, the Chevy Silverado HD 250 Craftsman Truck Series race, the Gatorade Duel at Daytona, Bud Pole Qualifying for the Daytona 500 and the Budweiser Shootout. Hospitality packages including the Daytona Club, the Daytona 500 Club, the Green Flag Club and the Party Zone. Tickets for the upcoming Pepsi 400 Weekend on July 5-7, including the Pepsi 400 on Saturday night, July 7, the Winn-Dixie 250 presented by PepsiCo Busch Series race and Circle K Pole Qualifying for the Pepsi 400 on Friday, July 6 and the Brumos Porsche 250 Rolex Sports Car Series race on Thursday, July 5.(DIS PR)(5-8-2007)

  • Daytona International Speedway Launches Celebrity Tickets for Charity: Daytona 500 winners Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson and Mario Andretti, Grammy Award nominee Jewel, TV host Kelly Ripa, and action sport legend Tony Hawk, among others, will put their artistic talents to the test to help commemorate the 50th running of NASCAR's crown jewel stock car race, the 2008 Daytona 500. Daytona International Speedway (DIS) announced its "Celebrity Tickets for Charity" competition, where the design of the most sought-after ticket in motorsports history will be chosen from submissions provided by celebrities, with fans having a voice in the decision. Program spokesperson and three-time Daytona 500 champion Jeff Gordon and DIS President Robin Braig launched the program at Talladega Superspeedway and unveiled several celebrity designs. Celebrity spokesperson Carson Daly also participated in a media tour from New York City to kick off the program. Voting begins Tuesday, May 1. Fans are encouraged to click on the "Celebrity Tickets for Charity" banner on Daytona500.com as often as they like to view and vote for their favorite celebrity ticket designs. The top 10 most popular designs, based on fan voting, along with the members of a blue ribbon panel that will determine the winner, will be announced at Michigan International Speedway Friday, June 15. The winning design will be announced during the Pepsi 400 (July 5-7) weekend in Daytona Beach. Once the winning design is chosen, all original celebrity artwork will be auctioned online with the proceeds benefiting The Jeff Gordon Foundation, which supports children with life-threatening diseases. Tickets to the 50th running of the Daytona 500 go on sale Wednesday, May 9, 2007. To vote for ticket designs, purchase tickets, or for ticket information, visit Daytona500.com.(DIS PR)(4-28-2007)

  • Daytona International Speedway Earns Prestigious Welcome Mat Award: For the fifth straight year, historic Daytona International Speedway has been awarded the Welcome Mat from The Good Sam Club for hosting the most RV friendly NASCAR event - the Daytona 500. The Good Sam Club, the world's largest membership organization of RV owners, introduced their Welcome Mat Awards to recognize those businesses that know how to accommodate RVs and offer award-winning service to a growing number of RV owners. Nearly one million RV owners were eligible to vote for businesses and events that go out of the way to recognize the needs of RV owners. DIS hosted The Good Sam Club's "The Rally" in April 2006.(DIS PR)(4-8-2007)

  • Daytona 500 fan killed in road rage shooting UPDATE: Three Jacksonville men have been charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of Eddie Houk, 36, Land O Lakes, who was leaving the Daytona International Speedway with an older brother Sunday night when he was shot and killed on Interstate 4 in a road rage incident, authorities said today. The men were apparently passing through the area but had not attended the race, deputies said. More details will come later in a press release, but Volusia County Sheriff's Office spokesman Brandon Haught confirmed it was a road rage incident.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-19-2007)
    UPDATE: Sheriff's investigators combed through an Interstate 4 exit Tuesday morning searching for the handgun used in the road-rage killing of a 36-year-old Tampa-area father heading home from the Daytona 500. Investigators were at the Orange City exit looking for the weapon, sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson said. One of the suspects involved in the shooting, Ronlee Harvin, 21, told investigators he flung the gun from a window of the SUV he was riding in afterward. Meanwhile the grieving family made funeral plans for Eric Houk of Land O' Lakes, a youth soccer coach, husband and father of three, including a 5-month-old son. Seminole County sheriff's deputies arrested Harvin, Charles Onasanya, 19, and David Paul Edwards, 21, as the trio and a female passenger sped west on the interstate Sunday night into Seminole County. Edwards is charged with second-degree murder, accused of shooting Houk in the stomach. The other two men are charged with being principals to second-degree murder. The suspects and the woman are from Jacksonville. Eric Houk and his brother, Michael Houk, encountered the three suspects about 9:20 p.m. Sunday after Eric Houk swerved his pickup into the emergency lane of the interstate to avoid hitting another car. The victim had no idea that Onasanya, who was driving the SUV, was already tooling along in the emergency lane to bypass heavy post-race traffic on I-4, officials said. Angry at being cut off, Onasanya swung his SUV around Eric Houk's truck and he, Harvin and Edwards got out, along with their female passenger, whose name is not being released by sheriff's investigators. The Houk brothers also got out of their pickup and Eric Houk and Onasanya started arguing, investigators said. When the argument turned physical, the female passenger yelled, "Get the gun," a police report shows. She will not be charged, though, sheriff's spokesman Brandon Haught said, because saying that "is not a crime." Onasanya ran back to his vehicle and retrieved a handgun belonging to Harvin. The gun made its way to Edwards who fired a shot into the air to get Eric Houk and Onasanya to stop fighting, the report said. Edwards fired two more shots at Eric Houk, though he was unarmed and not threatening, officials said. Seconds later, the three suspects and the woman took off in the SUV. Eric Houk died just before 10 p.m. at Florida Hospital DeLand, officials said. The suspects were arrested soon after on I-4 in Seminole County.(More at the Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-21-2007)

  • 49th Annual Daytona 500 A Sellout: All grandstand seats for the 49th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 18 at historic Daytona International Speedway are sold out, Speedway officials announced Saturday. While all the grandstand seats are sold out, fans can still purchase infield tickets for the "Great American Race" - the kick off to the Nextel Cup Series season. "We're happy to announce that the Daytona 500 is sold out," Speedway President Robin Braig said. "The fans continue to show that the Daytona 500 is the premier stock car race in America." Tickets for all other events at Daytona International Speedway are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(2-18-2007)

  • Parsons to wave the green? UPDATE: hearing that Phil Parsons, brother of the late great Benny Parsons, will be the Honorary Starter for the Daytona 500 on Sunday and wave the green flag.(2-13-2007)
    UPDATE: Phil Parsons, younger brother of 1975 Daytona 500 champion and 1973 NASCAR champion Benny Parsons, has been named Honorary Starter for the 49th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway. Benny Parsons, who was diagnosed with lung cancer, passed away last month in Charlotte, N.C. after complications from treatment. "Benny Parsons was a special member of the Daytona International Speedway family and we're honored to have his brother wave the green flag for Sunday's Daytona 500," Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig said. Benny Parsons was a member of the NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers and a winner of 21 races and 20 poles. After retiring from racing in 1988, Parsons excelled at broadcasting and spent the past six years with NBC and TNT. Phil Parsons was also a NASCAR driver making 202 Nextel Cup Series starts and winning a Nextel Cup race in 1988 at Talladega Superspeedway. Parsons, who also won two Busch Series races, now serves as an analyst for SPEED Channel's coverage of the Craftsman Truck Series.(DIS PR)(2-14-2007)

  • Big & Rich To Sing National Anthem At Daytona 500: The multi-platinum genre bending country music duo and Grammy nominated Big & Rich will perform the National Anthem for the 49th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 18 at historic Daytona International Speedway. (Big Kenny) and John Rich formed Big & Rich in 1998 and the duo has released two chart-topping albums - "Horse Of A Different Color" and "Comin' To Your City" - and has another album due out by the middle of 2007. Also participating in Daytona 500 pre-ceremonies will be actor Nicolas Cage as Grand Marshal, singer Kelly Clarkson in the NEXTEL Tribute To America and baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr. as Daytona 500 pace car driver. Tickets to all exciting events at Daytona International Speedway are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(2-13-2007)

  • 2007 Daytona 500 Purse Exceeds $18 Million The 49th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 18, America's richest, biggest and most prestigious motorsports event of the year, will once again carry the biggest purse in the history of stock car racing at more than $18 million. The posted awards for the "The Great American Race" on Sunday, Feb. 18 will be $18,386,023. The posted awards for the 2006 Daytona 500, which was won for the first time by Jimmie Johnson, was $18,035,635. The winner of this year's Daytona 500 will collect a minimum of $1,443,250. The second, third, fourth and fifth-place finishers in the Daytona 500 will receive a minimum of $1,041,525, $747,575, $593,550and $466,000 respectively. Even the last-place finisher in the Daytona 500 will be well compensated with a minimum of $226,295.
    Other purses for Speedweeks 2007 events are:
    * ARCA 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series race: $277,936
    * Budweiser Shootout: $1,153,518 with the winner pocketing $215,000
    * Gatorade Duel At Daytona: $1,350,000, $675,000 for each race
    * Chevy Silverado HD 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race: $865,733
    * Orbitz 300 NASCAR Busch Series race: $2,596,288.(DIS PR)(2-7-2007)

  • Daytona International Speedway OK there was a major tornado in Central Florida this afternoon, killing over a dozen people. Have heard the tornado didn't hit Daytona International Speedway and there is no damage there. More than 2 inches of rain fell overnight at Daytona Beach International Airport [right next to the speedway] but no high wind gusts were reported there. Reports on the tornado can be found at the Daytona Beach News Journal.(2-2-2007)
    AND The storms that struck middle Florida spared Daytona International Speedway, site of NASCAR's upcoming season-opening Daytona 500. "We're A-OK," Speedway spokesman Andrew Booth said Friday morning. "We had a lot of rain, wind and lightning, but no damage." NASCAR activities at Daytona crank up next weekend with the Budweiser Shootout on Feb.10 followed by the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(2-3-2007)

  • Dierks Bentley To Perform Pre- and Post-Race Bud Shootout Concerts: Popular country music star Dierks Bentley, whose recent album Long Trip Alone debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard country albums chart, will perform before thousands of fans both before and after the 29th annual Budweiser Shootout at historic Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night, Feb. 10. Bentley's hit single "Every Mile A Memory" from the album Long Trip Alone reached No. 1 on the Billboard country singles charts and recently garnered two Grammy nominations for Best Male Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song.(DIS PR)(2-3-2007)

  • Forbes rates the top 10 sports brands and event brand value ($mil):
    " 1. Super Bowl, 379
    " 2. Summer Olympics Games, 176
    " 3. FIFA World Cup, 103
    " 4. Daytona 500, 91
    " 5. Rose Bowl, 88
    " 6. NCAA Men's Final Four, 82
    " 7. Winter Olympics Games, 82
    " 8. Kentucky Derby, 69
    " 9. MLB World Series, 56
    " 10. NBA Finals, 47
    (Forbes.com)(2-1-2007)

  • Cal Ripken Jr. to pace Daytona 500 Field: Cal Ripken Jr., best known as baseball's "Iron Man", playing in a record 2,632 straight games for the Baltimore Orioles, will be behind the wheel of a 2007 Chevrolet Corvette as he paces the field for the 49th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway. Voted to baseball's Hall of Fame in 2007, his consecutive games played record, which took 16 years to establish, made him a popular player with baseball fans everywhere as evidenced by his 19 All-Star Game appearances. "The Daytona 500 is one of the most storied sporting events in the country and I am thrilled and honored to be a part of it. NASCAR drivers are tremendous athletes and I look forward to being in that environment," said Ripken. Tickets for the Daytona 500 as well as other Speedweeks 2007 events are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(1-30-2007)

  • Actor Nicolas Cage grand marshal for Daytona 500: Nicolas Cage, the star of the upcoming action-adventure Ghost Rider from Columbia Pictures, in theaters everywhere on February 16th, has been named Grand Marshal of the 49th annual Daytona 500, Cage will command the drivers, "Gentlemen, start your engines!" at NASCAR's signature event, which will run on Sunday, Feb. 18 at historic Daytona International Speedway. Cage has starred in more than 50 films including such popular releases as National Treasure, Gone in Sixty Seconds, Face/Off, Con Air, The Rock, Raising Arizona, and Leaving Las Vegas, which garnered him an Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Actor.(DIS PR)(1-26-2007)

  • Clarkson To Headline Nextel Tribute To America at Daytona 500: Two-time Grammy winner and Sony recording artist Kelly Clarkson will headline the Nextel Tribute To America, the pre-race extravaganza leading up to "The Great American Race" -- the prestigious Daytona 500 Nextel Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 18. Clarkson will perform in the Nextel-sponsored show, which will be carried live on FOX Sports. The Nextel Tribute To America pays tribute to music as the fabric of America and will feature thousands of cast members on the Speedway's historic five-acre tri-oval grass.(DIS PR)(1-18-2007)

  • 2007 DIS Fan Guide Now Available: Continuing Daytona International Speedway's "Fans R 1st @ Daytona" initiative, the 2007 edition of the Fan Guide - the top fan information source at "The World Center of Racing" - is now available online at www.Daytonainternationalspeedway.com. Guests can download the Fan Guide by clicking on the Fan Info banner at the top of the main page. For the first time, the Fan Guide is available for download in both individual sections as well as the complete version. The Daytona International Speedway Fan Guide is loaded with ticket information, schedules, specialty vehicle overnight parking information, traffic patterns and Speedway facility maps including free parking locations, disabled guest assistance services and other tidbits that will make the fans' visit an even more enjoyable experience. If you don't have Speedweeks 2007 tickets call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(1-11-2007)

  • Fans gobbling up "Sit With Jimmy" tickets: Jimmy Spencer was right - he is in touch with the fans. And judging from "Sit With Jimmy" ticket sales, he's as popular as ever. In response to Kenny Wallace's accusation in September that Jimmy Spencer is out of touch with race fans, "Mr. Excitement" unveiled his own Daytona 500 special ticket package for the 49th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 18. Since his announcement, "Sit With Jimmy" tickets have been a popular item, already selling out the original Superstretch Lund Section seats. Because of its popularity, seats in the Allison grandstand have been added. Two different "Sit With Jimmy" packages are still available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visit sitwithjimmy.com.(DIS PR)(12-20-2006)

  • 'The World Center of Racing' Renamed DeLana International Speedway: Kevin Harvick Inc. and owner DeLana Harvick have dominated the past two Daytona 300 Busch Series races at Daytona International Speedway, winning the prestigious season-opening events with driver Tony Stewart. With Kevin Harvick Inc.'s success in the Daytona 300, Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig announced that the legendary historic motorsports facility will now carry the name of its team owner -- DeLana -- for the day. "Kevin Harvick Inc. and its owner DeLana Harvick have won the last two February Busch Series races at DIS," Braig said. "Since they 'own' the track, in their honor, we're going to change the name of Daytona International Speedway to 'DeLana International Speedway' for the day." On Thursday during NASCAR Busch Series Champion's Week Media Luncheon at the ESPN Club at Disney's Boardwalk, Braig made the announcement and gave a piece of historic pavement from DIS to DeLana Harvick with the new track logo. The Daytona 300, the premier event in the NASCAR Busch Series season, will kick off the 2007 Busch Series season on Saturday, Feb. 17. The race will also be televised on ESPN2HD, the new television home to the Busch Series.(DIS PR)(12-8-2006)

  • Pepsi 400 Tickets On Sale Saturday, Oct. 14: On Saturday, Oct. 14, at 8am/et, fans will have their first opportunity to purchase all remaining tickets for the 49th annual Pepsi 400 on July 7, 2007. Great seats, including a limited number of premium tower seats, will be available. Prior to Saturday, Oct. 14, renewals and deposits for seat assignments for the Pepsi 400 were taken by the ticket office at Daytona International Speedway. Also available beginning on Saturday will be a three-day Pepsi 400 Weekend ticket package, which will include tickets to the NASCAR Busch Series 250 and Circle K Pole Qualifying Day for the Pepsi 400 on Friday, July 6 and the Rolex Sports Car Series 250 on Thursday night, July 5. Daytona International Speedway offers several convenient methods for fans to purchase tickets to the mid-summer classic, more info at 1-800-PITSHOP or Daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS PR)(10-14-2006)

  • Sit With Jimmy: In response to Kenny Wallace's recent accusation that Jimmy Spencer is out of touch with race fans, "Mr. Excitement" unveiled his own Daytona 500 ticket package on Sunday's NASCAR RaceDay at Dover, Del. More info at sitwithjimmy.com.(9-24-2006)

  • IndyCars to Test at Daytona: The IndyCar Series and Daytona International Speedway announced plans for a compatibility test at Daytona International Speedway on Sept. 26 and 27. The test will feature 2006 IndyCar Series Champion Sam Hornish, Jr.,; 2006 Rolex 24 At Daytona and 2003 IndyCar Series Champion Scott Dixon and 2006 Rolex 24 At Daytona Champion and 2005 IndyCar Series Champion Dan Wheldon. Third-generation racer and 2006 Rookie of the Year Marco Andretti and 2004 IndyCar Series Champ and teammate Tony Kanaan and Vitor Meira will also take part in the test. The visit will allow IndyCar Series officials to determine the possibility of Daytona International Speedway serving as a preseason testing venue. The compatibility test will allow series officials to see transitions onto the banking, tire wear/side loads and braking zones while looking for any challenging surface areas on the track. The IndyCar Series officials have analyzed data from Chip Ganassi Racing and Cheever Racing Rolex Sports Car Series programs that indicate IndyCar Series cars should have no issues. The test will take place on the 2.73-mile tri-oval and road course which includes ten turns. The IndyCar Series and its teams will conduct the on-track activity with support from the Daytona facilities crew. For track services, Daytona will tap the experience and knowledge available from International Speedway Corporation's (ISC) other facilities with IndyCar Series events, which include Homestead-Miami Speedway, Watkins Glen International, Richmond International Raceway, Kansas Speedway and Michigan International Speedway.(DIS PR)(9-14-2006)

  • Finishing Touches on Daytona 500 Champion's Walk Of Fame: In conjunction with Daytona USA's 10th anniversary celebration, "The Official Attraction of NASCAR" put the final touches on the new Daytona 500 Champion's Walk of Fame on Friday. Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig and Daytona USA General Manager Kim Isemann assisted operations personnel in installing the 3x3 cement blocks that showcase the Daytona 500 champion's handprint, right foot and autograph into their final place. During the recent Pepsi 400 Weekend, winning drivers of the Daytona 500 since 1996, the first year of operation for Daytona USA, had their hands, right foot and signature immortalized in cement in a special ceremony inside the 60,000-square foot attraction. Daytona 500 champions Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Ward Burton and Michael Waltrip all had the honor of placing their hands, right foot and signature in the famous wet cement. A special plaque in the Walk of Fame will honor the late Dale Earnhardt and his 1998 Daytona 500 victory. Guests at Daytona USA will now mill around outside Daytona USA, much like the world famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, and gaze down at the 3x3 cement blocks remembering those historic moments from NASCAR's signature event. Annual handprints, right foot prints and autograph of the Daytona 500 champion will take place each year in a special ceremony.(DIS PR)(9-10-2006)

  • ISC Helps Staten Island Little League: NASCAR is riding to the rescue of the Staten Island Little League, after venerable Hy Turkin Field was torn up from home plate to the outfield in a sickening episode of vehicular vandalism earlier this week. Michael Printup of International Speedway Corp., which seeks to build an 80,000-seat racetrack in Bloomfield, arranged a corporate donation of 500 square feet of sod and some 18 cubic yards of clean fill to make the Dongan Hills field playable again. The work will be done today and tomorrow [July 14-14]. Printup, who coaches in the South Shore Little League, said he wanted to help as soon as he read the distressing details in Wednesday's Advance. "For something that was so horrible in nature, I knew we [ISC] had to do something," he said. "This is something for the kids, so they can get back out there and play." Pete Sclafani expressed gratitude on behalf of the SILL board of directors. "It's good to see people from the community kicking in," Sclafani said.(Staten Island Advance)(7-18-2006)

  • DIS Infield Hosts Bevy Of Options For Pepsi 400 Fans: Only in Daytona International Speedway's NEXTEL FANZONE can the average race fan dine on such fine cuisine as Asian Chicken salad with mandarin orange dressing and toasted sesame seeds, grilled buffalo skewers with a gourmet rice blend, crispy onions and demi glace and tempura battered and panko breaded shrimp. Located in the heart of the infield, the Budweiser Bistro offers race fans something new and unusual to add to the fan experience at the "World Center of Racing". In addition to the new menu at the Bistro, Pepsi 400 Weekend race guests can experience:
    * XM Satellite Radio will be broadcasting their shows live from the Entertainment Stage.
    * Local chalk artists in the FANZONE creating a 6 x 30 mural with a race related theme custom piece of art using only pastels and chalk
    * Professional Lego builders creating a fan-interactive Lego build of a small-scale model racetrack modeled after Daytona International Speedway.
    * Professional Break Dancers performing an eye-catching, crowd-involving show of dance moves and acrobatics for the fans.
    * Tom Hugley, the Unicycle Man, rolling through the NEXTEL FANZONE entertaining fans.
    * Local bands including Jim Van Fleet and the Reign, The Caribbean Posse, Dixieland Band and Yummy.
    Pre-Race/NEXTEL FANZONE admissions as well as all Pepsi 400 Weekend tickets are available online by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. With the purchase of a $60 Pepsi 400 Pre-Race Pass/NEXTEL FANZONE, a guest can receive a FREE XM Satellite Radio with a purchase of a six-month service subscription.(DIS PR)(6-29-2006)

  • Daytona USA To Create Daytona 500 Champion's Walk Of Fame: In conjunction with Daytona USA's 10th anniversary celebration, "The Official Attraction of NASCAR" will create the new Daytona 500 Champion's Walk of Fame during the Pepsi 400 Weekend. Winning drivers of the Daytona 500 since 1996, the first year of operation for Daytona USA, will have their hands, right foot and signature immortalized in cement in a special ceremony inside the 60,000-square foot attraction on Friday, June 30 at 11:00am/et. Daytona 500 champions Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Ward Burton and Michael Waltrip will all have the honor of placing their hands, right foot and signature in the famous wet cement. There will be a special plaque in the Walk of Fame honoring the late Dale Earnhardt and his 1998 Daytona 500 victory. Annual handprints, right foot prints and autograph of the Daytona 500 champion will take place each year in a special ceremony during the Pepsi 400 Weekend. Also Daytona USA will host an unprecedented gathering of former Daytona 500 winning cars during the June 29-July 1 Pepsi 400 Weekend. Including the current Daytona 500 winning car - the #48 Lowe's Home Improvement Chevrolet of Jimmie Johnson - Daytona USA will welcome six other winning race machines from "The Great American Race" - NASCAR's most prestigious and richest event. More info about Daytona USA at www.DaytonaUSA.com.(DIS PR)(6-29-2006)

  • Vice President to attend Pepsi 400: Vice President Dick Cheney will attend the 48th annual Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Vice President Cheney will speak to race fans during pre-race ceremonies for the mid-summer classic as well as meet NASCAR drivers, teams and executives during his visit to "The World Center of Racing."
    "We're honored that Vice President Cheney will visit Daytona International Speedway and participate in Pepsi 400 pre-race festivities," Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig said. "Vice President Cheney continues the tradition of high-profile elected officials that have visited the 'World Center of Racing'." In the 1984 Pepsi 400, the late President Ronald Reagan gave the starting command from Air Force One. Reagan, who became the first sitting President to attend a NASCAR race, witnessed Richard Petty earn his 200th NASCAR win. President George H.W. Bush attended the 1992 Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway, and current President George W. Bush served as the Grand Marshal for the Pepsi 400 during his 2000 presidential campaign. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld attended last year's 2005 Pepsi 400.(DIS PR)(6-27-2006)

  • Crossfade's Ed Sloan To Sing National Anthem At Pepsi 400: Ed Sloan, lead singer for Crossfade, one of the most powerful and inventive new hard rock bands around, will sing the National Anthem at the Pepsi 400 Nextel Cup Series race at historic Daytona International Speedway on July 1. Tickets for the Pepsi 400 Weekend are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(6-27-2006)

  • Space Shuttle, F-16s And Fireworks To Fill DIS Sky: Race fans attending the 48th annual Pepsi 400 Nextel Cup Series event on Saturday, July 1 will receive a 2-for-1 special on fly-overs before the start of one of NASCAR's most exciting nighttime races. Earlier in the day, NASA is scheduled to launch the space shuttle Discovery from the Kennedy Space Center in nearby Cape Canaveral, the first space shuttle launch in almost a year and the first ever on the same day of the Pepsi 400. The launch is scheduled to take place at 3:48pm/et and the "World Center of Racing" will be an excellent viewing spot. The second fly-over at Daytona International Speedway will take place during the national anthem later that night and provided by four Air Force F-16s from the Ft. Smith, Ark. Capping off the All-American night will be another high-flying spectacle as Santore & Sons Fireworks, located in nearby Bunnell, Fla., will once again display one of the largest fireworks shows in the Southeast.(DIS PR)(6-27-2006)

  • Daytona Intl Speedway picks winner to sing national anthem: A 16-year-old Palm Coast girl on Saturday sang her way past nine other finalists to win a chance to sing the national anthem before a televised NASCAR race at Daytona International Speedway later this month. "It's really thrilling to win because I've done my best and it's good enough," Tiffany Thomas said as she entered her version of Victory Lane at Daytona USA's Pepsi IMAX Theater. As the winner of Straightaway to Stardom II, an "American Idol"-style talent contest put on by the Speedway, Tiffany will sing before the June 30 Busch series Winn-Dixie 250. The judges decided who would win by the contestant's personality, stage presence and ability to sing a traditional version of the anthem. After more than 15 minutes of deliberation the judges announced Tiffany as the winner.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-21-2006)

  • NHIS 1st race July 1st in 2007 UPDATE other sched changes?: many New Hampshire International Speedway ticket holders got their renewals for the first NHIS 2007 race, and the date is July 1st, the race is usually the third weekend in July. With the 4th of July on a Wednesday in 2007, the Pepsi 400 is scheduled to run on July 7, 2007. No word on the NHIS race date in September 2007.(6-16-2006)
    UPDATE On the schedule front, there are indications that next year's Cup slate will have a different look to it. New Hampshire's first race will be moved up two weeks to July 1st and rumors in the garage have a second Las vegas race and a possible Kentucky Speedway date showing up on the calendar.(RacingOne)(6-20-2006)

  • Superman to serve as Grand Marshal of Pepsi 400: Brandon Routh, who stars as the Man of Steel in Superman Returns, Warner Bros. Pictures' soaring new action adventure opening nationwide on June 28, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 48th annual Pepsi 400 on Saturday, July 1 at Daytona International Speedway. Routh will give the command "Drivers, start your engines" in NASCAR's mid-summer classic. His Grand Marshal duties also include leading the 43-car field in the pace laps from the Grand Marshal pace car. Prior to his casting as Superman, Routh starred in the ABC sitcom Odd Man Out and the ABC Daytime Drama One Life To Live. He has also made guest appearances on the hit shows Gilmore Girls, Cold Case and Will & Grace. Jeff Gordon, will race his #24 Pepsi Chevy in a special Superman Returns paint-out car featuring the Superman S-Shield. Tickets for any of the Pepsi 400 Weekend events are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(6-16-2006)

  • Daytona Offers Two More Pepsi 400 Ticket Packages: Daytona International Speedway continues to offer its guests a wide array of unique ticket packages, with the announcement of a "Chevy Day At Daytona" package and a "SunTrust Dare To Sit There" ticket package. When a race fan participates in a Chevrolet Test Drive at a participating Southern Chevy Dealer, they'll have the opportunity to purchase the "Chevy Day At Daytona" package, which offers race guests the following for $75 ($349 value): * One Pepsi 400 ticket for Saturday, July 1
    * One Winn-Dixie 250 presented by PepsiCo ticket
    * One hospitality pass that can be used before the Pepsi 400
    * Hospitality appearance by NEXTEL Cup Series driver J.J. Yeley
    * Chevy gift
    * One voucher for a hot lap around Daytona International Speedway (Must be used on Saturday, July 1)
    * One Pre-Race/NEXTEL FANZONE pass
    * Pre-Race tour
    The race guest can purchase one additional "Chevy Day" ticket package which excludes the hot lap voucher. SunTrust is partnering with two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip and Rolex 24 champion Wayne Taylor for a pair of ticket packages for the upcoming Independence Day holiday weekend. The SunTrust Dare To Sit There offer for Saturday, July 1, available for $125, includes:
    * One Superstretch Terrace/Tower ticket for the Pepsi 400
    * One Pre-Race/NEXTEL FANZONE admission
    * Admission to a Michael Waltrip/Wayne Taylor fan forum on Saturday, July 1
    The SunTrust Three-Day ticket offer, available for $190, includes:
    * One general admission ticket to the Brumos Porsche 250 and Round 3 of the Crown Royal IROC Series race on Thursday, June 29.
    * One general admission ticket to the Winn-Dixie 250 presented by PepsiCo on Friday, June 30
    * One Superstretch Terrace/Tower ticket for the Pepsi 400 on Saturday, July 1
    * NEXTEL FANZONE access for all three days of the Pepsi 400 Weekend
    * Admission to a Michael Waltrip/Wayne Taylor fan forum on Saturday, July 1
    For more information on these ticket packages and other great ticket offers for the Pepsi 400 Holiday weekend, call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(6-15-2006)

  • 2007 Daytona 500 Tix on sale Today: On Saturday, May 27, at 8:00am/et, race guests will have their first opportunity to purchase tickets to NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious stock car race. The Daytona 500 on-sale dates coincide with the unveiling of the new 49th annual Daytona 500 logo. The event name stands out in front of the distinctive shape of Daytona's world famous 2.5-mile tri-oval that is emboldened in red, white and blue. Tickets to America's most watched motorsports event start at $95 and Daytona International Speedway offers several convenient methods for fans to purchase tickets to "The Great American Race."
    "The Daytona 500 has traditionally been a sellout and we encourage race fans to get their tickets early," Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig said. Also available are tickets for the upcoming Pepsi 400 Weekend on June 29-July 1, including the Pepsi 400 on Saturday night, July 1, the Winn-Dixie 250 presented by PepsiCo NASCAR Busch Series race and Circle K Pole Qualifying Day on Friday, June 30 and the Brumos Porsche 250 and Crown Royal IROC Series on Thursday, June 29. NASCAR tickets for the 2006 Pepsi 400 are on sale now, order your tickets online or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(5-27-2006)

  • Daytona may build worker complex: As it continues planning for a $100 million redevelopment of its office park, International Speedway Corp. is considering building a 15-acre office complex on Dunn Avenue. ISC has applied to the St. Johns River Water Management District for a stormwater drainage permit for the project, but that doesn't mean it will do the project, yet, company spokesman Lenny Santiago said. "If we decide to go forward with the project, it's easier for us if we've already filed the permits. It's part of our ongoing process as we're looking at the Speedplex project," Santiago said. ISC already owns the land, acquiring it in 2000 as part of a 45-acre purchase. The company is trying to determine how it will house operations as it demolishes buildings for the project. ISC owns five of the six buildings in the former General Electric office park at West International Speedway and Bill France boulevards. It could tear down a building at a time as construction progresses, or it may have to tear down more than one building, Santiago said. The company may need to build the new office complex, and it may need to lease other space, he said. The Speedplex redevelopment will include office towers for ISC and NASCAR as well as retail buildings, a multiplex cinema and residential condos.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-29-2006)

  • DIS gets rent increased: Daytona International Speedway officials agreed Monday to pay almost 5,000% more to lease the public land where the racetrack was built. Annual rent payments will rise from a token $10,000 -- established to help get the racetrack built in 1957 -- to $500,000 immediately. Rent increases will be built in every five years. International Speedway Corp. officials proposed a flat annual rent of $500,000 last August even though their rent would have doubled to $20,000 next year and stayed unchanged until 2032 under the previous lease. Chairman of the Daytona Beach Racing and Recreational Facilities Commission, Fred Thellman's proposal to add automatic increases so the annual rent would average $750,000 after 48 years prevailed. Speedway officials were willing to pay more in order to extend the lease for the 447 acres fronting International Speedway Boulevard through 2054. John Graham, International Speedway Corp. vice president, said the longer lease will help justify a proposed $100 million investment in a Speedplex office, an office-commercial project on the north side of International Speedway Boulevard, across from the Speedway. Speedway officials won some concessions in the lease before agreeing to the higher rent. Under the terms of the original lease, racing district commissioners held the option to buy out the Speedway for 10 times gross revenues. They dropped that option Monday and also agreed to give the Speedway the first chance to negotiate with Volusia County when the racing district's lease of the land expires in 2054. The racing district subleases to the Speedway. Another feature of the original lease allowed the racing district to stage fundraising activities up to 90 days of the year at the Speedway, if facilities are available. Under new terms, the district only will use the Speedway 22 days each year, 11 per event, to continue sponsoring its popular car shows twice a year at the Speedway. A requirement to get the Speedway's permission for those auto-related events will be dropped. Plus, the racing district can use the Speedway for another eight days every year, but must get the Speedway's approval. A final vote on the lease agreement is scheduled for March 28, when the commissioners meet again.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-14-2006)

  • Pepsi 400 in Nov 2007? error or cat out of the bag? UPDATE denied & changed: on a Castrol GTX sweepstakes page, the grand prize is listed as:
    (1) Grand Prize: 4-day/3-night trip for two (2) to the 2007 Pepsi 400 race currently scheduled for November 2007 in Daytona, FL. Sooo, is that an error [oops] in the contest rules/prizes or did they slip and let the 'cat out of the bag' telling us that the Pepsi 400, held on the July 4th weekend for years, is gonna be moved in 2007 to be part of the chase and end the season where it began? See the contest and links on my Racing Contest page, it is towards the bottom as it ends 12/31/06.(3-8-2006)
    UPDATE: been told by Daytona International Speedway reps that the Pepsi 400 will be run on July 7th, 2007 and NOT moved to November in 2007. The contest info has now been changed to relect the correct date of July 2007.(3-8-2006)

  • Injured Fan Unnoticed at Daytona UPDATE: As tens of thousands of race fans left the Daytona 500 on Sunday evening, a Longwood man lay unnoticed in a pool of blood 15 feet from a main road, police said Monday. It was more than seven hours before Robert Eugene Faulkner woke up with little memory of what happened. Troopers think the 39-year-old was struck from behind by a pickup about 6:30 p.m. as he walked to his car parked near the Daytona Flea and Farmers Market, Florida Highway Patrol spokeswoman Kim Miller said. "It's just amazing that he would lay there that long," Miller said. "How did somebody not see the crash?" Troopers found a piece of a truck's mirror at the edge of Tomoka Farms Road, near the entrance to the flea market's parking lot, Miller said. The lot, a popular spot for race fans, was full during the Daytona 500, but troopers did not know how many vehicles were parked there. Faulkner woke at 2 a.m. with a cut on his head, scrapes on his face and a swollen left ankle. He then drove himself to his parents' Seminole County house, more than 42 miles away. "He's stubborn and determined. He just knew he needed to be at work," his sister, Sherrie Atkinson, said while visiting Faulkner at Shands Hospital in Gainesville. He was transferred there Monday morning to see a neurosurgeon. He had more than a dozen staples in his head. When Faulkner walked in the door of his parents' home Monday, his father saw that he was covered in blood. Perry Faulkner had been waiting for his son, who has lived with his parents in Longwood for the past several months, because he had not been able to reach him all night. Robert Faulkner had driven to the race alone and parked at a home near the flea market. The Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan met up with some friends at the speedway and walked back to his car after the race ended. "He said he heard a squeal," Atkinson said. "He doesn't remember anything after that." Faulkner was thrown, his sunglasses going in one direction and his cell phone in the other, his sister said. She found those items but couldn't spot his Earnhardt hat. Investigators think the mirror they found at the scene came from a dark-colored Ford F-150 truck, made between 2004 and 2006, Miller said. "I can't believe people just walked by and didn't do anything," Atkinson said. Anyone who has information about the incident is asked to call the Highway Patrol at 407-737-2200 or *FHP on their cell phone.(Orlando Sentinel)(2-21-2006)
    UPDATE - real nice....: A woman called police saying she has a key piece of evidence that could help solve a hit and run accident that happened after the Daytona 500. But she won't give it up unless she gets paid [what a sweetheart huh?]. When Robert Faulkner was hit by a vehicle along Tomoka Farms Road, everything went flying. His hat, cell phone, sunglasses went in different directions. Now a woman says she found the hat, but she's holding it for ransom. Now, to add insult to injury, a woman called FHP and said she found the injured man's hat and she'll give it back for a price. "She wants a reward for finding the hat," Atkinson said. FHP would like to know when the woman found the hat and if she happened to see a man lying unconscious on the ground in a pool of his own blood. However, the woman said she will give no information until she sees some money. "I just can't believe somebody would ask for a reward," Atkinson said. FHP said, right now, they can't charge the woman with any crime, but they would still like to talk to her. As for the bounty on the hat, Atkinson and her brother agree, information on the hit and run driver is much more valuable. "We both feel the same way, she can keep the hat," she said. Faulkner is recovering at home. His brain is bruised and he has a lot of cuts and scrapes. FHP believes it was a 2004 to 2006 Ford F-150 that hit him. If you have any information, please call the Florida Highway Patrol.(wftv.com)(2-24-2006)

  • Piece of #2 car goes into the stands: have seen nothing of this, but noticed it during the race and have seen video, the rear bumper cover of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge that Kurt Busch drivers, came off during a wreck on lap 188 and flew over the catch fence and into the stands during the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. The piece looked like it flew through an opening in the stands. Have heard nothing more seen any reports at all about any injuries, and sources at the track say no injuries were reported.(2-21-2006)

  • Scalpers Snagged: Scalpers hovering around Daytona International Speedway found themselves to be the target of a sting conducted by Daytona Beach police this past weekend, authorities said. Undercover officers arrested 14 people for peddling tickets along International Speedway Boulevard said Sgt. James Newcomb, of the Daytona Beach Police Department. The ticket hawkers were arrested and brought to the county jail after they sold tickets to undercover officers who posed as race fans looking for a good seat. The most expensive ticket bought was $150 more than the retail value, Newcomb said. Anyone who offers or sells a ticket for more than $1 above the retail price is charged with the resale of an amusement ticket, a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to $500 in fines or 60 days in jail. Buyers don't face any penalties because it isn't illegal to purchase a scalped ticket. The ticket peddlers pose a problem for police because they block traffic along International Speedway Boulevard and restrict pedestrian flow into the Speedway. Newcomb said most of the ticket sellers were from out of town and he hopes this weekend's operation would deter scalpers from selling again.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-20-2006)

  • A Darlington deal for the Daytona 500 The 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season has finally arrived. On Sunday, February 19, the eyes of race fans all over the world will be focused on the state of Florida and racing's premier event, the Daytona 500. Darlington Raceway is offering a special one-day-only deal to celebrate the opening of the season at Daytona. Fans who purchase any grandstand ticket to the 2006 Dodge Charger 500, coming up Saturday, May 13 at the track "Too Tough To Tame," will receive a free pre-race pit pass. The pre-race pit pass allows access to the pit road area until one hour before the start of the race. This offer is valid only on Sunday, February 19 - race day at Daytona. Ticket prices for the Dodge Charger 500 start at $45. Fans can purchase their tickets and receive their free pre-race pit passes by calling toll-free at 866.459.RACE (7223), or by visiting www.racetickets.com, on Sunday, February 19.(Darlington Raceway)(2-18-2006)

  • Clemens Named Honorary Official: Future baseball Hall of Famer and seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens has been named Honorary Official for the 48th annual Daytona 500. As Honorary Official, Clemens will ride in one of the Chevrolet Impala SS cars before start the prestigious 200-lap, 500-mile race.(DIS PR)(2-17-2006)

  • Olympic snowboard medalists to give start command: Olympic snowboard medalists Hannah Teter and Gretchen Bleiler, who led the United States to a 1-2 finish in the women's halfpipe, have been named Co-Honorary Starters for the prestigious 48th annual Daytona 500. Hannah Teter, a native of Belmont, Vt., captured the Gold Medal in the halfpipe competition in her Olympic debut at the 2006 Torino Games. Gretchen Bleiler, also making her Olympic debut, took the silver in the halfpipe. In 2005, the Aspen, Colo., resident returned from a torn ACL injury to win the X Games, Gravity Games, U.S. Open and a World Cup at the Olympic pipe at Bardonecchia.(DIS PR)(2-17-2006)

  • 2007 Duels in prime time? Rumors are that next year's Twin 150s [Gatorade Duels] will be held in prime time.(RacingOne)(2-13-2006)

  • 'Sonny?' Actor James Caan named Daytona 500 Grand Marshal: Actor James Caan, star of the NBC hit drama "Las Vegas," has been named Grand Marshal for the prestigious 48th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 19 at historic Daytona International Speedway. Caan, who garnered an Academy Award nomination for his role as Sonny Corleone in "The Godfather" and an Emmy nomination for his performance as football star Brian Piccolo in "Brian's Song," will give the starting command "Gentlemen, start your engines" in the premier motorsports event in the world. Caan, who also starred in popular films such as "Misery" and "Honeymoon in Vegas," will also ride in one of the Daytona 500 pace cars ahead of the 43-car field. In Las Vegas, which will be moving to Friday nights on NBC at 9:00pm/et beginning March 3, Caan stars as Ed Deline, the head of a surveillance team of a casino. On Monday, Feb 6, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Driver Jimmie Johnson had a major guest starring role on the show, playing himself. "We're proud to have James Caan serve as Grand Marshal and deliver the starting command for the Daytona 500 in front of thousands of race fans and millions more watching on television," Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig said. "Attracting an accomplished actor such as James Caan continues the tradition of high-profile actors, athletes and politicians that have kicked off the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season." Caan received a Best Actor Award from the Sebastian Film festival for his performance in Francis Ford Coppola's "The Rain People," as well as the Actor of the Year honor from the National Associate of Theater Owners for "The Gambler."NASCAR tickets for the 2006 DAYTONA 500 and all other Speedweeks 2006 events are on sale now, order your tickets online or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS Site)(2-15-2006)

  • Daytona: No Plans to Pave: While discussing the perils of bump drafting at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday night following the Budweiser Shootout, Dale Earnhardt Jr. took a verbal swipe at the condition of the 2.5-mile tri-oval. "I think the racetrack is in poor condition, in my opinion," Earnhardt said. "We run around the middle of the corner because the bottom is so dang rough. There's a lot of bad bumps and it moves the cars around when you're side by side. Three-wide and you've got cars running through bumps and holes; you're going to have a hard time hanging on to them."
    "We respect the opinions of the drivers," Speedway president Robin Braig said in response. "On the competition side, we look to our sanctioning bodies, in this case NASCAR, and to Goodyear Tires for their recommendations about our track surface. They keep a close eye on the condition of the track surface." Earnhardt was 5 years old the last time the Speedway, owned by International Speedway Corp., was paved in 1979. ISC plans to pave Talladega Superspeedway, a track similar in size [2.66 miles] and shape, this year. Braig said that "at this time, there are no plans to repave" Daytona. "NASCAR and Goodyear have each told us we are in good shape right now," Braig said. "We always listen to our drivers, but we take our lead on the competition side from NASCAR and Goodyear."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-14-2006)

  • Bud the official Beer of Daytona: Budweiser will become the Official Beer of Daytona International Speedway under a new multi-year agreement that includes Official Beer status and signage rights during all of the track's eight annual events, including Speedweeks, the Daytona 500 and Pepsi 400 and the renaming of the track's infield concession area to "The Budweiser Bistro." Budweiser, the official beer of NASCAR and driver #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., will gain significant track signage, a major presence on the infield scoring tower in the NEXTEL FANZONE, use of the Speedway's logo and 2008 50th Anniversary logo, and will introduce its "Green Team" recycling programs to help keep Daytona International Speedway clean.(fingerprint inc. PR)(2-11-2006)

  • Daytona continues handicap parking permit enforcement program: Due to the extensive misuse of accessible (handicap) parking permits in recent years at Daytona International Speedway events and a successful program launch in 2005, the Speedway will once again enlist law enforcement to aggressively monitor and enforce proper use of state-issued accessible parking permits. Following July's successful handicap parking permit enforcement program, during Speedweeks 2006 at Daytona International Speedway, state and local law enforcement officers will once again require all accessible parking placards, hangtags and license tags users to show proper documentation or identification before allowing entrance to accessible parking lots. Unauthorized use of an accessible parking permit is unlawful and punishable under Florida law. Refusal to cooperate with law enforcement officers implementing this program constitutes "resisting an officer" and will result in additional sanctions. Please be aware of the following:
    * Unlawful use of a parking permit is a 2nd degree misdemeanor, $1,000 fine, or 1 year in jail.
    * Guests CANNOT use an accessible parking permit unless the person to whom it's issued is the driver of or passenger in your vehicle!
    * The permit must be hung on the rearview mirror when the vehicle is parked in the accessible parking area.
    * Both sides of the parking permit must display valid decals (month/year and DL#).
    * Parking permit # must be displayed toward the front of the windshield.
    * Accessible license plates may be used in lieu of a parking permit.
    * Law enforcement officers at the Speedway will be checking permits issued by all U.S. states and Canada.(DIS PR)(2-9-2006)

  • Bon Jovi headlines Tribute to America at Daytona: As a continuation of Sprint Nextel's sponsorship of Bon Jovi's "Have A Nice Day" tour, the legendary rock band will headline the Sprint Tribute to America prior to the Daytona 500 Feb. 19, which kicks off the 2006 NEXTEL Cup Series season. The pre-race show will air live on NBC from Daytona International Speedway - the World Center of Racing. Now in its third year, Sprint Tribute to America brings top entertainers to Daytona International Speedway to honor the spirit of America and the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. Thousands of people will have a unique opportunity to be up close during the high-energy show. Daytona International Speedway is accepting volunteers immediately at d500showvolunteers.com. The Daytona 500 pre-race coverage on NBC begins at 1:30pm/et Feb. 19, 2006. The race, which starts at 2:30 p.m., also will be broadcast live on MRN. For Speedweeks tickets, visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call (800) PITSHOP. More information on Bon Jovi, view bonjovi.com.(DIS PR)(2-8-2006)

  • Daytona 500 Souvenir Program Hits Major Retailers: Race fans eager for the 2006 NASCAR season to begin can get a head start with the official 2006 Daytona 500 souvenir program. This full-color, 144-page event program is packed with all the excitement that surrounds Speedweeks at the "World Center of Racing" - Daytona International Speedway. The official Daytona 500 souvenir program is now available at major retailers nationwide. Featuring NASCAR favorites 2004 Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr., two-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champ Tony Stewart and 2005 Daytona 500 winner Jeff Gordon on the cover, the official 2006 Daytona 500 souvenir program brings together all of the latest news and information available prior to the waving of the green flag. In addition to complete coverage of 2005 Speedweeks and the NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race - the Daytona 500 - learn how Earnhardt Jr. and Gordon have recalibrated for the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season. Get a look at the participants expected to compete in the Budweiser Shootout At Daytona, and preview the Gatorade Duel At Daytona qualifying events. Cost of the program is $10. For information regarding Daytona International Speedway and the Daytona 500, please visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS PR)(2-8-2006)

  • B-1B to do Flyovers at Daytona: United States Air Force B-1 Lancer bombers will fly over the Daytona International Speedway for both the Hershey's Kissables 300 Busch race on Saturday Feb. 18, 2006 and the Daytona 500 NEXTEL Cup race on Sunday Feb. 19, 2006.(Air Force PR)(2-7-2006)

  • Daytona 500 purse exceeds $18million: The 48th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 19, America's biggest and most prestigious motorsports event of the year, will once again carry the biggest purse in the history of stock car racing at more than $18 million. The posted awards for the "The Great American Race" on Sunday, Feb. 19 will be $18,029,052, an increase of nearly half a million. The posted awards for the 2005 Daytona 500, which was won for a third time by Jeff Gordon, was $17,623,980. The winner of this year's Daytona 500 will collect a minimum of $1,438,155. The second, third, fourth and fifth-place finishers in the Daytona 500 will receive a minimum of $1,034,175, $741,325, $589,500 and $461,925 respectively. Even the last-place finisher in the Daytona 500 will be rewarded with a minimum of $224,665.
    Other purses for Speedweeks 2006 events are:
    · ARCA 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series race: $ 286,849
    · Budweiser Shootout: $1,119,920
    · GM Flex Fuel 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race: $835,651
    · Hershey's Kissables 300 NASCAR Busch Series race: $2,629,362
    Tickets to any of the Speedweeks 2006 events are available online at or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(2-6-2006)

  • Daytona 500 Sells Out Again: All grandstand seats for the 48th annual Daytona 500 - at historic Daytona International Speedway are sold out, Speedway President Robin Braig announced today. While all the grandstand seats are sold out, fans can still purchase infield tickets for the "Great American Race" - the kick off to the NEXTEL Cup Series season scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 19. Fans can also purchase tickets for other exciting DIS Speedweeks events including the Budweiser Shootout (Feb. 11), Bud Pole Qualifying (Feb. 12), the Gatorade Duel at Daytona (Feb. 16), GM Flex Fuel 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (Feb. 17), Crown Royal International Race of Champions (Feb. 17) and the Hershey's Kissables 300 NASCAR Busch Series event (Feb. 18). Tickets are available for other Speedweeks events at Daytona International Speedway are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(2-3-2006)

  • Staind to perform at Bud Shootout: Multi-platinum recording artists, Staind, will be the headline act for pre- and post-race concert festivities at the 28th annual Budweiser Shootout at Daytona, which kicks off the NASCAR Nextel Cup season on Saturday, Feb. 11 at Daytona International Speedway. Staind's Aaron Lewis will also sing the National Anthem prior to the Budweiser Shootout (8:00pm/et on TNT). Following the conclusion of the 70-lap no-holds-barred, all-star race, Staind will perform a free concert for all Budweiser Shootout ticket holders. At the conclusion of the Staind concert, fans are invited to view more live music in the Daytona infield Nextel Fanzone. Tickets for the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(1-31-2006)

  • Daytona USA Celebrates 10th Anniversary: To help celebrate Daytona USA's 10th anniversary, the Ultimate Motorsports Attraction will be doing a special giveaway each month that will highlight and celebrate the drivers who have won the Daytona 500 over the past 10 years. The first 500 guests to visit Daytona USA on certain dates will receive a commemorative print of the Daytona 500 winner in Gatorade Victory Lane along with a collector's lapel pin of the race logo from that year, for more info see daytonausa.com.(DIS PR)(1-25-2006)

  • NASCAR Drivers running Rolex 24 At Daytona: At least nine drivers with NASCAR ties are scheduled to test Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series cars Thursday through Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the Jan. 28-29 running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Defending Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart and recently retired Rusty Wallace are on the entry list for testing. They will be teammates - but in different cars - for Howard-Boss Motorsports. Ganassi Racing driver Casey Mears will be part of Ganassi's driver lineup, which includes former Cup driver Scott Pruett, who still drives road-course Cup events. Two-time Busch Series champion Randy LaJoie is on the entry list, as are Mexican drivers Adrian Fernandez and Michel Jourdain, who ran partial schedules in the Busch Series last year. NBC commentator and former Cup driver Wally Dallenbach will also participate.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter), also Northeast short-tracker Ted Christopher and former Truck/Busch Series driver David Donohue will run the race.(Elmira Star Gazette)(1-5-2006)
    MORE NASCAR Ties: other drivers with "NASCAR Ties":
    Christian Fittipaldi (Cup/Busch); Butch Leitzinger (Cup/Busch); Darrin Brassfield (Cup in 1989); Tommy Riggins (Cup/Busch); Jack Baldwin (Busch); Tommy Archer (Trucks); Mike Borkowski (Busch/Trucks); Tony Ave (Cup start); Chris Bingham (Busch); Ron Fellows is testing the #40 with Bingham this week in Daytona and could end up running the race.(Mike Paz, DIS PR Announcer)(1-6-2006)
    PLUS: NASCAR NBC Broadcaster and racing legend, Benny Parsons, will be the grand marshal of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.(1-9-2006)

  • Corvette Z06 to Pace Daytona 500 with Jay Leno at the Wheel: A specially outfitted 2006 Corvette Z06 will serve as the official pace car of the 48th running of the Daytona 500, on Feb. 19. "Tonight Show" host and auto enthusiast Jay Leno will drive the pace car. Selection of the Z06 model marks the second consecutive year that a Corvette has been selected as the Daytona 500 pace car. The Corvette Z06 that will serve as the Daytona 500 pace car is mechanically identical to those available at Chevrolet dealerships. It is the fastest vehicle ever offered by Chevrolet and General Motors. With 505 horsepower (377 kw) and 470 lb.-ft. of torque (637 Nm) from its 7.0L all-aluminum, racing-inspired engine, the Corvette Z06 leaps from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds and has a top speed of 198 mph. It also differs from other production Corvette models with extensive use of lightweight materials, including carbon-fiber front fenders and a chassis comprised of aluminum and magnesium. A racing-ready suspension and large, 18-inch front wheels and 19-inch rear wheels help keep it glued to the tarmac, so it requires no drivetrain modifications to satisfy its role in front of the racing pack. In its official capacity, however, the pace car is outfitted with a variety of safety equipment and highly visible strobe lights.
    The Corvette Z06's 505-horsepower (377 kw) output is actually more than the power produced by the race cars that will compete in the Daytona 500 - a first for a pace car. This is because of the unique "restrictor plate" rule established for the Daytona and Talladega. racetracks. On these 2.5-mile-long super speedways, the restrictor plate reduces airflow into the engine to limit horsepower and keep race car speeds below 200 mph. With a restrictor plate, racing engine power is reduced from about 750 horsepower to about 450 horsepower. Race cars can still average more than 190 mph on Daytona's long straights.
    The Corvette Z06 Daytona 500 wears a unique paint scheme, inspired by the hot-to-cool color transition of a space capsule entering Earth's atmosphere at a high rate of speed. The paint scheme is carried out with an elaborate, interlocking scallops design - a twist on hot rod-style flames - that blends "hot" Lemon Drop yellow at the nose of the Corvette with Lemon Glow, Amber Ecstasy, Blazing Copper and Hot Poppy. The colors culminate with a cool Sapphire Trance blue color at the rear of the vehicle. DuPont, the sponsor of Jeff Gordon's #24 Monte Carlo, supplied the colors, which are from the company's "Hot Hues" line of automotive paint.
    Jay Leno, host of the "Tonight Show" and an unabashed auto enthusiast, will drive the Corvette Z06 during opening ceremonies and the pace laps that start the race. Leno, who has a large collection of vintage automobiles and motorcycles, has previous experience as a pace car driver.(GM PR)(1-6-2006)

  • IROC adds road course...Daytona: The International Race of Champions [IROC] series will be on the road again in 2006, holding a road-course event as part of its four-race schedule for the first time in 14 years.The IROC series, sponsored by Crown Royal, will hold its third race this season on Thursday, June 29, on the road course at Daytona International Speedway. The last road-course event in IROC was at Watkins Glen International in New York in 1991, with Rusty Wallace winning. As part of its 30th anniversary season, IROC will also race Feb. 17 on the 2.5-mile oval at Daytona, on April 7 at Texas Motor Speedway and on Oct. 28 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "We've missed the road racing element of the series over the years and I can't tell you how thrilled we are to add a road course back into the mix," said Jay Signore, IROC president and general manager. "This will be the first time the Crown Royal IROC Series will race on the Daytona road course since our inaugural season." IROC's test drivers began making laps Thursday on the 3.56-mile Daytona road course in conjunction with testing for the Rolex 24 of Daytona endurance race. The 12-driver field for this year's event is scheduled to be announced Jan. 17 in Daytona at a news conference during NASCAR's "Preseason Thunder," two weeks of testing that begins Monday.(ThatsRacin.com), the Daytona road course race takes the place of Richmond, which ran in Sept.(1-5-2006)

  • Lucky fan to be named "Mayor of Speedweeks" One lucky race fan will receive two tickets to all Speedweeks races and be part of the Daytona 500 Victory Lane celebration, all part of just a few of the perks bestowed upon Daytona International Speedway's "Mayor of Speedweeks." Teaming with Black Crow Broadcasting (WVYB, 103.3 FM; WHOG, 95.7; 93.1 KRO Country), the winner will also receive two credentials/access to pre-race & NEXTEL FANZONE on Sunday, February 19, 2006, have your photo taken with area mayor, participate in Speedweeks 2006 Opening Ceremonies at Rolex 24 practice receive two tickets to DAYTONA USA; wave the flag at Rolex practice session to officially get Speedweeks underway; attend the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Driver's Meeting; receive Party Zone access during the NASCAR Busch Series event and be part of the Gatorade Victory Lane celebration at the Daytona 500. To get all the perks of a politician, fans need to tell Daytona "Why Should I be Mayor of Speedweeks 2006" in 100 words or less. Future politicos can enter by mailing their essay to: Mayor of Speedweeks c/o Daytona International Speedway, 1800 W. International Speedway Blvd. Daytona Beach, FL, Fax to: 386-947-6791; E-Mail: daytonaspeedway@daytonainternationalspeedway.com or drop off our entry at Guest Services located at DAYTONA USA. Fans can also register on-line at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com. The contest runs January 2nd - January 13th. Winner will be chosen and called by an employee of Daytona International Speedway by January 16th.(DIS PR)(12-27-2005)

  • Rebate for Daytona Land? Daytona International Speedway's landlord agreed Tuesday to look into getting a sales tax rebate from the state. Members of the Racing and Recreational Facilities Commission were intrigued by the prospect of getting up to $2 million annually from the state, which allows sales tax rebates for sports facilities. Local officials would have to apply and get approval from the Florida Legislature. But they made clear their top priority would be completing talks on a new lease payment with the Speedway in January. Bob Leib, owner of The Leib Group of Wisconsin, said the Speedway pays $10.8 million a year in sales taxes to the state. International Speedway Corp. has paid $10,000 a year since 1957 to lease the 447 acres of public land where it built the world-famous racing complex. The company exercised its option in April to extend the lease through 2035 at an annual rent of $20,000 starting in 2007. However, ISC offered in August to increase its annual rent to $500,000 a year in exchange for extending the lease to 2054. The racing board hired The Leib Group for about $75,000 to recommend a fair lease payment.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(12-22-2005)

  • Southern Sports Awards Nominates NASCAR tracks/teams/drivers...what? no lugnut [LMS Mascot]?: The Daytona 500 and August night race at Bristol Motor Speedway have been nominated in the "Best Sports Experience" category in the inaugural Southern Sports Awards which recognizes and honors the athletes, fans and the traditions that "set the South above the rest in the sports world."(DIS PR)
    Talladega The Talladega Superspeedway Infield is among select nominees for the first ever Southern Sports Awards (SSA), a two-hour special awards show that will recognize and honor the athletes, fans and traditions that "set the South above the rest in the sports world." Talladega Superspeedway's nomination is to the "Best Place To Tailgate" category.(TSS PR)
    Roush Racing: Roush Racing [#'s 6,16,17,97,99] have been nominated for Best Management.
    Dale Jr. vs Jeff? Dale Earnhardt Jr. vs. Jeff Gordon have been nominated for the Biggest Rivalry category.
    Coach of the Year: among the nomiee's are Chad Knaus, #48 Crew Chief for Jimmie Johnson and Greg Zippadelli,(#20 Crew Chief for Tony Stewart.
    Fan Favorite nominee's include Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #11, #18, #20 team owner Joe Gibbs, not for racing but for being the headcoach of the NFL's Washington Redskins.
    Newcomer of the Year: surprise! Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Ford [4 wins] is nominated along with #5-Kyle Busch, winner at California as a rookie.
    AND finally for the The "Style" Award...nominated from NASCAR are Kyle Petty and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    Fans can vote to determine the winner by logging on to www.southernsportsawards.com until Nov 23rd and completing the 13-category ballot. The awards will be presented Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2005 at The Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA.(11-10-2005)

  • Speedway to expand "Hospitality Village": Daytona International Speedway plans to move and expand its "Hospitality Village" along the track's south side. The backstretch Hospitality Village will be located about 200 yards away from its original location. The hospitality villages consist of temporary tents that are set up during events on concrete pads. The Speedway has applied to the St. Johns River Water Management District for permits for drainage and paving. Robin Braig, DIS president, said the hospitality tents are in place to accommodate NASCAR fans. "The tents allow the customers to eat and associate with vendors during events," Braig said. There are three hospitality locations around the track with two near the frontstretch and the one on the backstretch. The Daytona Club, one of the frontstretch areas, has a bar, restaurant and live music.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-25-2005)

  • The Dodge Daytona 500? UPDATE: NASCAR-ISC executives are trying to persuade Daimler-Chrysler's Dodge division to become the name sponsor of the Daytona 500 [at Daytona International Speedway in Feb 2006], but the German car company has not been willing to pay the price, according to sources close to the situation.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-26-2005)
    UPDATE: Daytona officials confirmed talking with DaimlerChrysler about naming rights for the Daytona Craftsman Truck Series race, but they say that there are no plans to add a sponsorship name to the Daytona 500. The season's first race hasn't been sponsored since STP dropped its marketing of it in 1993 after sponsoring it as "The Daytona 500 by STP" for several years.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-30-2005)

  • 60 Minutes Visits Daytona International Speedway: 60 Minutes, the CBS News magazine providing a blend of hard-hitting investigative reports, interviews, feature segments and profiles of people in the news, used Daytona International Speedway as the site for an upcoming corporate profile piece featuring NASCAR's first-family. International Speedway Corporation (ISC) Chairman and longtime NASCAR President Bill France, ISC President Lesa France Kennedy and NASCAR Chairman Brian France will be the subject of the corporate profile according to a 60 Minutes producer. The segment is scheduled to air sometime in September or October.
    The trio sat down with 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl to talk about the past, present and future of America's fastest growing spectator sport. The interviews took place earlier this week at DAYTONA USA, the "Official Attraction of NASCAR" and at the luxurious Daytona 500 Club located at the start/finish line of the historic Speedway overlooking Gatorade Victory Lane. According to Nielsen, an average of 14.2 million viewers tuned in to the broadcast each Sunday evening over the 2003-04 season -- 200,000 more than for the previous season. The broadcast posted an average household rating of 9.4 with a 16 share.(DIS PR)(8-20-2005)

  • The Haskell Company Garners Award For DIS Infield Renovation: The Haskell Company, the Jacksonville based design and construction company that completed the multi-faceted, multi-million dollar infield renovation at historic Daytona International Speedway, has been awarded Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Florida First Coast Chapter Excellence Award. The project was recognized in the renovation category. After winning the award on the local level, the project will be entered into the national competition in November. The Haskell Company began the infield renovation immediately following the 2004 Pepsi 400 and among the amenities added included the NEXTEL FANZONE, the four-story Daytona 500 Club and new Gatorade Victory Lane, a massive Turn 1 tunnel, new NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and Busch Series garages and waterfront specialty vehicle parking. The project was completed in time for Speedweeks 2005.(DIS PR)(8-2-2005)

  • Disabled permit enforcement nets 20 placards at DIS: More than 20 handicapped parking placards have been confiscated under tightened enforcement at Daytona International Speedway, according to track officials. Persons using stolen or improper handicapped placards to score an upfront parking space at the Pepsi 400 may be stopped in their tracks -- have the placard confiscated and face fines of up to $1,000. Florida Highway Patrol troopers -- in cooperation with the Florida Department of Transportation and the State Attorney's Office -- are stationed at designated handicapped motorists' lots: Lot 1 at the front of the Speedway; Lot 6 on the backstretch; and Lot E on the west end of the airport runway. A separate lot is being set aside with assured parking for race fans who purchase wheelchair spaces in the grandstands. Those fans receive separate Speedway handicapped placards, which will be checked for authenticity.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(7-2-2005)

  • Only a few tickets left for the 2006 Daytona 500:- Although NASCAR's most prestigious race - the 48th annual Daytona 500 - is eight months away, only a limited number of Frontstretch seats are available for NASCAR's biggest and richest event. "The Daytona 500 has traditionally been a sell out since the inaugural event in 1959 and we expect another capacity crowd for next year's event," Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig said."Race fans continue to show that the Daytona 500 is the premier stock car race in America and we want to encourage everybody to make their plans to attend NASCAR's signature event as early as possible." Tickets for the Daytona 500, which is the season-opening event to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and the climax of Speedweeks 2006, start at $95. The Rolex 24 At Daytona, the toughest and most prestigious sports car race in America, will kick off Speedweeks 2006 on a new date - Jan. 26-29. Also on tap for the smorgasbord of racing at "The World Center of Racing" include: * Hershey's 300 NASCAR Busch Series * NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race * Crown Royal IROC Series * Gatorade Duel At Daytona * Budweiser Shootout * Advance Discount Auto Parts 200 * Bud Pole Qualifying for the Daytona 500 Tickets are available for all other Speedweeks 2006 events at Daytona International Speedway online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(7-2-2005)

  • Secretary Rumsfeld Named Pepsi 400 Grand Marshal: U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld has been named Grand Marshal for the 47th running of the Pepsi 400 on Saturday, July 2. Mr. Rumsfeld will give the command "Drivers, start your engines" in NASCAR's star-spangled holiday weekend event set to begin under the lights at 8 p.m. at the Daytona International Speedway. His Grand Marshal duties also include leading the 43-car field in the pace laps from the Grand Marshal pace car. Tickets for the Pepsi 400 weekend are on sale now, order your tickets online or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(6-30-2005)

  • DIS to Initiate Handicap Parking Permit Enforcement: Due to the extensive misuse of accessible (handicap) parking permits in recent years at Daytona International Speedway events, the Speedway has enlisted law enforcement to aggressively monitor and enforce proper use of state-issued accessible parking permits. During Pepsi 400 weekend, state and local law enforcement officers will require all accessible parking placards, hangtags and license tags users to show proper documentation or identification before allowing entrance to accessible parking lots. Unauthorized use of an accessible parking permit is unlawful and punishable under Florida law. Refusal to cooperate with law enforcement officers implementing this program constitutes "resisting an officer" and will result in additional sanctions.
    Please be aware of the following:
    Unlawful use of a parking permit is a 2nd degree misdemeanor, $1,000 fine, or 1 year in jail. Guests CANNOT use an accessible parking permit unless the person to whom it's issued is the driver of or passenger in your vehicle! The permit must be hung on the rearview mirror when the vehicle is parked in the accessible parking space. Both sides of the parking permit must display valid decals (month/year and DL#). Parking permit # must be displayed toward the front of the windshield. Accessible license plates may be used in lieu of a parking permit. Law enforcement officers at the Speedway will be checking permits issued by all U.S. states and Canada.(DIS PR)(6-30-2005)

  • Pre-Race Highlights for the Pepsi 400: Guests attending the 47th annual Pepsi 400 at historic Daytona International Speedway will be treated to an All-American evening of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series racing concluding with the largest fireworks display in the Southeast. Santore & Son Fireworks, located in nearby Bunnell, Fla., will once again launch the largest fireworks spectacle in the Southeast following the checkered flag in NASCAR's most exciting nighttime race on Saturday, July 2. Since the first nighttime running of the Pepsi 400 back in 1998, Santore & Sons has provided the post-race fireworks displays at "The World Center of Racing" and will use a plethora of different resources to produce this year's show including: * Seven days of preparation with 20 technicians * Two miles of control cable * 14 locations on the daunting high banks and 10 on the Superstretch * Two barges on Lake Lloyd * 10,000 pyrotechnic effects (over 8,000 pounds) * 100 lbs of red, white & blue confetti. Before the Pepsi 400 goes green, the pre-race revelry will be high gear with a patriotic salute on America's Independence Day weekend. JoJo, the 14-year-old singing sensation from Foxboro, Mass., will sing the National Anthem and four F-15 Eagles from the 125th Fighter Wing Florida Air National Guard located in Jacksonville, Fla. will provide the flyover before the start of the mid-summer classic. Tickets for the Pepsi 400 Weekend are available online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(6-28-2005)

  • National Anthem at Daytona: Blackground/Universal recording artist JoJo will perform the National Anthem before the 47th annual Pepsi 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race on Saturday, July 2 at historic Daytona International Speedway. The 14-year-old singing sensation from Foxboro, Mass., first appeared on the music scene at the age of 6 when she appeared on Bill Cosby's "Kids Say the Darndest Things." Her performance led to appearances on "America's Most Talented Kids," "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and the 2000 Republican National Convention in Boston. Tickets for the Pepsi 400 Weekend are available online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(6-27-2005)

  • Earnhardt Jr., Riggs And Edwards To Participate In "Dare To Sit There" Race guests who love sitting on the exhilarating and unpredictable Superstretch have another reason to purchase tickets alongside the 3,000-foot long Superstretch during the 47th annual Pepsi 400 on Saturday, July 2 at historic Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., Scott Riggs and Carl Edwards will participate in the exclusive "Dare To Sit There" ticket package that will provide a thrilling race day during the Pepsi 400 as well as benefit three charities. The Dare To Sit There ticket package, which costs only $115, includes: * One Superstretch seat in your selected driver fan section * One NEXTEL FANZONE/Pre-Race pass * Admission into an exclusive fan forum with either Earnhardt Jr., Riggs or Edwards before the Pepsi 400 A portion of the proceeds from a purchase of a "Dare To Sit There" ticket package will go to the driver's designated charity - Victory Junction Gang Camp (Earnhardt Jr.), Carolina Donor Association (Riggs) and the Dream Factory (Edwards). To purchase the "Dare To Sit There" ticket package, race guests can call 1-800-PITSHOP or log on at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS PR)(6-18-2005)

  • DIS Offers Special Pepsi 400 Father's Day Package: If you've got your sights set on another Father's Day tie, Daytona International Speedway has a deal for you. In addition to a unique, one-of-a-kind rubber tie, "The World Center of Racing is offering a special $110 Father's Day Pepsi 400 ticket package through June 19 that includes:
    * One Pepsi 400 ticket located on the always unpredictable Superstretch
    * A NEXTEL FANZONE pass/Pre-Race access
    * The first 100 that purchase the Father's Day Pepsi 400 ticket package will also receive a pace car ride around the legendary 2.5-mile tri-oval on Saturday, July 2.
    The exclusive Father's Day package is available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(6-14-2005)

  • Speedweeks in Daytona to have a different look - Testing dates to change?: The Rolex 24 At Daytona is moving up -- to a new date on the calendar. And the focus of next year's Speed Weeks will be different. The Rolex 24 At Daytona is being moved from its normal first weekend of February one week earlier to Jan. 28-29. The move is believed to be permanent, and is designed to end a longstanding first-Sunday-in-February schedule conflict between the race and the NFL's Super Bowl. Daytona International Speedway and Rolex Series officials will announce the move today. The move breaks the Rolex 24's longstanding tradition of being DIS' opening act in a three-week glut of car racing to follow. The NASCAR portion of the schedule remains unchanged, although the switch may affect testing dates.
    Though Speedway officials were mum beyond comments on the Rolex 24, sources familiar with the new schedule say DIS' wall-to-wall January test dates will have to be shifted as well, with Nextel Cup or Busch Series testing -- perhaps a combination of both -- likely to fill the one-week void created by the Rolex 24 move. Seen as a transportation cost-saving bonus for Cup teams, tests done in the week previous to NASCAR's portion of the schedule will allow the teams to arrive and stay, instead of testing, leaving and returning over many different weeks, as has been the case for years.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-9-2005)

  • Buddy Baker Grand Marshal of Daytona Road Race: Buddy Baker, the 1980 Daytona 500 champion and one of the greatest racers in the history of Daytona International Speedway, will serve as Grand Marshal for the Brumos Porsche 250 Rolex Sports Car Series race on Thursday, June 30. Baker, who owns six stock car racing victories at the "World Center of Racing" and holds the distinction of winning the fastest Daytona 500 in history, will give the starting command for the 70-lap, 250-mile sports car race that kicks off the Pepsi 400 Weekend. It's fitting that Baker serves as Grand Marshal for the Brumos Porsche 250. His father Buck Baker made several starts in the legendary sports car race and earned a couple of top-three finishes as well as a victory in the 1971 edition of the race. The Brumos Porsche 250, which will feature the always exciting and competitive Daytona Prototypes as well as GT class machines on Daytona's legendary 3.56-mile road course, will have a new starting time during this year's Pepsi 400 Weekend. The race will go green on Thursday, June 30 at approximately 7:15 p.m. and will follow NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series practice sessions. Tickets for the Brumos Porsche 250 Rolex Sports Car Series race and other Pepsi 400 Weekend events are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(6-8-2005)

  • Daytona 500 Tickets On Sale May 28: On Saturday, May 28, at 8:00am/et, race fans will have their first opportunity to purchase all remaining tickets to the 48th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 19, 2006. Prior to Saturday, May 28, renewals and deposits for seat assignments for the Daytona 500 were taken by the ticket office at Daytona International Speedway. In addition, Visa cardholders had an exclusive opportunity to purchase advance Daytona 500 tickets. Tickets start at $95 and Daytona International Speedway offers several convenient methods for fans to purchase tickets, online at www.DAYTONA500.com, calling 1-800-PITSHOP, visiting the Daytona International Speedway ticket office inside the lobby of DAYTONA USA. Tickets for other Speedweeks 2006 events, including the Hershey's 300 NASCAR Busch Series race, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 250 and the Crown Royal IROC Series, the Gatorade Duel At Daytona and the Budweiser Shootout. Hospitality packages including the Daytona 500 Club, the Daytona Club, the Green Flag Club and the Party Zone. NEXTEL FANZONE passes/Pre-race access. Tickets for the upcoming Pepsi 400 Weekend on June 30-July 2, including the Pepsi 400 on Saturday night, July 2, the Winn Dixie 250 presented by Pepsico NASCAR Busch Series race and Circle K Pole Qualifying on Friday, July 1 and the Brumos Porsche 250 on Thursday, June 30.(DIS)(5-26-2005)

  • Visa Cardholders get first shot at Daytona tix: Any Visa cardholder will have an edge in purchasing advance tickets for the 48th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 19, 2006 - NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race. Beginning on Saturday, May 14 and running through Friday, May 27, any Visa cardholder can purchase advance tickets to NASCAR's signature event before they go on sale to the general public. Tickets start at $95 each and can be purchased with a Visa card - the official card of NASCAR and the Daytona 500 - by calling 1-866-500-DAYTONA (866-500-3298) or visiting www.DAYTONA500.com/visaadvance.
    Prior to Saturday, May 14, only renewals and deposits for seat assignments for the Daytona 500 were taken by the ticket office at Daytona International Speedway On Saturday, May 28, at 8:00am/et, the general public will have their first chance to purchase all remaining tickets for the Daytona 500.
    The Pepsi 400 Weekend will kick off with the Brumos Porsche 250 on Thursday, June 30 followed by Circle K Pole Qualifying for the Pepsi 400 and the Winn-Dixie 250 presented by PepsiCo on Friday, July 1. The 47th annual Pepsi 400 will cap off the patriotic weekend on Saturday, July 2. Tickets for the Pepsi 400 weekend are on sale now, order your tickets online or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(5-13-2005)

  • ISC President Named Most Influential Woman in Sports Business: International Speedway Corporation's (ISC) President, Lesa France Kennedy, has been named "The Most Influential Woman in Sports Business" by Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal. In its most recent edition published April 25, the publication "selected women who are actively applying their influence on a daily basis, none more so than the executive atop our ranking, Lesa France Kennedy of International Speedway Corp." The article continues: "She will continue to take stock car racing into new markets, greatly influence the consumer experience at race tracks and broaden the footprint of a sport that has become decidedly mainstream." Kennedy sits atop a list of the 20 Most Influential Women which includes second on the list, Dawn Hudson, President and CEO of PepsiCo North America and rounding out the top five: Nancy Monsarrat, Director of U.S. Advertising for Nike; Stephanie Tolleson, Senior Corporate Vice President at IMG; and Heidi Ueberroth, Executive Vice President, Global Media Properties and Marketing Partnerships for the NBA.(DIS)(4-27-2005)

  • DIS Lease Extended 25 Years: International Speedway Corp. renewed a lease of the Daytona International Speedway grounds on Tuesday for another 25 years. Members of the Daytona Beach Racing and Recreational Facilities Commission unanimously agreed to renew the original 50-year lease signed in 1957, which expires in November 2007. The renewal extends the lease through 2032. As outlined in the original agreement, lease payments by the Speedway to the Daytona Beach Racing and Recreational Facilities District will double to $20,000 a year starting in November 2008. State officials set up the racing district in 1955 to serve as landlord for the public site where the racetrack was built.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-20-2005)

  • ISC Earnings Jump: International Speedway Corp. said today its fiscal first-quarter earnings rose 37 percent and per-share earnings beat internal forecasts, thanks in part to a shift in NASCAR's calendar. The Daytona Beach, Fla.-based track operator also boosted its second-quarter and full-year earnings outlooks. ISC said net income in the quarter that ended Feb. 28 rose to $41.1 million, or 77 cents a share, from $27.8 million, or 52 cents, in the same period a year ago. Quarterly sales rose to $179.4 million from $130.6 million in the year-ago quarter, thanks in part to the shift of the NASCAR weekend at ISC's California Speedway from the second quarter to the first quarter this year. ISC said it posted gains in all major revenue streams, thanks primarily to higher television revenue and increased attendance, for comparable events this year.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-6-2005)

  • ISC Still Pursuing Expansion: International Speedway Corp. said today it is continuing to pursue development of tracks in the New York borough of Staten Island and in the Pacaific Northwest. The company said it has begun the permitting process in New York and continues to work on its detailed feasibility study to evaluate project costs and the availability of public incentives. It also said it continues to meet with local resident groups and public officials there. Additionally, ISC said it "continues to evaluate suitable locations for the development of a motorsports facility" in the Pacific Northwest, although it did not identify any potential sites. "Several municipalities, along with state representatives, continue to indicate a high level of interest in the project, and the company remains optimistic of its prospects in this underserved region of the country."(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-6-2005)

  • Lights at Homestead...for Nov Cup finale? Daytona NOT moving: If Homestead-Miami Speedway president Curtis Gray gets his wish, future races at the track will be run at night, beginning with a trio of NASCAR races in November. To do it, the track will have to install lights and work out the details with local officials and the TV networks that broadcast the races. "It's something we're seriously looking at,'' Gray said Sunday during the IndyCar Series season-opening Toyota Indy 300. "Our fans have asked for it.'' Gray said he thought about the lights last year when the NASCAR Nextel Cup championship came down to the season-finale at Homestead. "Everything went fine last year but to have a race end early because of darkness in that situation, it's a risky proposition from our standpoint,'' he said. "And the networks like to have later starts. "We're talking to the sanctioning bodies and networks to get their input.'' The NASCAR season will end at Homestead the third week of November with a Craftsman Truck Series race, a Busch Series event and the Cup finale. Gray also said there is no truth to the rumor that NASCAR is considering moving the July race at Daytona International Speedway to the end of the season instead of finishing at Homestead. "We feel like we have the perfect track in the perfect market to end the season,'' he said. "It's a great market for the sponsors and the teams and fans from all over the country like coming down here the third week of November.''(ESPN.com/AP)(3-6-2005)

  • OSHA, Daytona Intl Speedway settle safety issues in worker's death: Daytona International Speedway track workers will have written guidelines, hands-on training and a definitive chain of command during racing events as part of a settlement agreement with the federal government signed Tuesday. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration withdrew its most serious citation against the track -- failure to have a written protocol for workers stepping onto the track -- in the case involving the death of track worker Roy Weaver during a 2004 race. In return the Speedway agreed to develop a written safety and training policy for cleanup personnel who are "exposed to the hazard of being struck by moving competition vehicles while performing their duties on or near the competition area during a motorsports competition event." The track will also train its safety teams at least once a year and strengthen radio communication between the control tower and those on the ground tending to accident situations. Weaver was killed instantly on Feb. 8, 2004, when struck by a racecar traveling in excess of 100 mph during the IPOWER Dash Series 150. He was on the racetrack surface during a caution period to retrieve debris in Turn 2 of the Speedway. The Weaver family found little solace in the OSHA-Speedway settlement. "It's amazing that a multi-million dollar company engaged in such a dangerous business didn't have comprehensive safety procedures in place until the federal government forced them to," said attorney Rob Clarke, speaking on behalf of the Weaver family. "For Roy and his family, it's too late." Tuesday's agreement stipulates that the citation and settlement "are not intended to be admitted in any action in state court or federal court as evidence of negligence or lack of due care" by the Speedway. Weaver, 44, of Ormond Beach was the first track worker killed since the Speedway opened in 1959. His widow, Linda Weaver, has said she is considering a wrongful death lawsuit. There were 12 additional violations and fines the Speedway did not contest. The Speedway will pay the other fines which total $4,875. Other minor citations dealt with issues including a security employee without hearing protection and a track worker without a helmet.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-23-2005)

  • Daytona 500 to Prime Time? If NASCAR gets its way next year's Daytona 500 will have a new time slot. Considered the Super Bowl of stock car racing, the Daytona 500 is likely to move to a 5:00pm/et starting time so it can end during prime time to attract a bigger audience and higher advertising dollars, just like football's Super Bowl.(Florida Times-Union)(2-22-2005)

  • Vanessa Williams to Sing National Anthem at Daytona 500: Vanessa Williams, who has recorded such hits as "Save The Best For Last" and "Colors of the Wind" from Disney's animated film "Pocahontas," will pull double duty for Daytona International Speedway, singing the National Anthem prior to the Daytona 500 and taking part in the NEXTEL Tribute to America, the pre-race extravaganza leading up to NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race on Sunday, Feb. 20. In addition to the National Anthem, Williams, will sing "America The Beautiful" during the NEXTEL-sponsored show, which will be carried live on FOX. The show, produced by Atlanta based Q and A Entertainment, will pay tribute to music as the fabric of America and will feature thousands of cast members on the Speedway's historic five-acre tri-oval grass. In addition to Williams, a star-studded group of entertainers, including country music superstar Clint Black, Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson, Columbia Records recording sensations John Ondrasik and "Five For Fighting," will highlight the NEXTEL Tribute to America.(DIS PR)(2-16-2005)

  • Daytona 500 Grandstands SOLD OUT: Grandstand seats for the 47th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20 at historic Daytona International Speedway are sold out, Speedway officials announced today. While the grandstand seats have been sold, fans can still purchase infield tickets for "The Great American Race" - the kickoff to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season. "We're happy to announce that the Daytona 500 is sold out," Speedway President Robin Braig said. "The fans, those in attendance and the millions more watching on FOX or listening on MRN Radio Network, continue to validate the Daytona 500 as the premier motorsports event in the world." The Daytona 500, which boasts a purse of more than $17 million, is the biggest, richest and most prestigious race in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Tickets are available for all other Speedweeks 2005 events at Daytona International Speedway online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(2-15-2005)

  • Daytona Truck Series Grand Marshal/National Anthem: Donnie Abraham of the New York Jets will serve as Grand Marshal and adult contemporary singer Tierney Allen will sing the national anthem for the sixth annual Florida Dodge Dealers 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Friday night, Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway. Preceding the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 will be the season-opening round of the Crown Royal IROC Series, an invitation-only series featuring 12 of the best drivers in equally prepared cars in a 40-lap sprint.(DIS PR)(2-15-2005)

  • National Anthem: Monica Brown, a sophomore at Claflin University, sang the national anthem before Daytona 500 qualifying at Daytona International Speedway. Brown beat out four other finalists in NASCAR's "Race for the Mic" competition with an "American Idol" format that is a part of the sport's recognition of Black History month. Brown won an all-expense paid trip to Daytona Beach and a one-on-one artist development session with Maulden Brand Agency.(The State)(2-14-2005)

  • Scouts are Free Sunday: members of Central Florida Council of Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts of Citrus Council in uniform attend the Daytona 500 Pole Qualifying free; leaders and scouts should report to the grandstand entrance between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Gate 18, Daytona International Speedway, 1801 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach. Family members and friends pay $25, children 11 and younger free with paying adult. (386) 681-5648.(DBNJ)(2-12-2005)

  • Star-Studded Lineup To Perform In NASCAR'S Daytona 500 Pre-Show NEXTEL Tribute To America: A star-studded group of entertainers, including country music superstar Clint Black, Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson, Columbia Records recording sensations John Ondrasik and "Five For Fighting," and singer/actress Vanessa Williams will highlight the NEXTEL Tribute to America, the pre-race extravaganza leading up to NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race - the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20. The NEXTEL-sponsored show, which will be carried live on FOX and produced by Atlanta based Q and A Entertainment, will pay tribute to music as the fabric of America and will feature thousands of cast members on the Speedway's historic five-acre tri-oval grass. Black, a Grammy Award-winning artist and multiple Country Music Association award winner, will sing his No. 1 hit single "Nothin' But The Taillights." Among Black's more than 20 No. 1 hit singles are "A Better Man," "Killin' Time," "Like the Rain," "Something That We Do" and "When I Said I Do," a duet with his wife Lisa Hartman Black. Wilson, the singer, songwriter, producer, arranger and composer whose latest solo album "Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE" is nominated for three Grammys including "Best Pop Vocal Album" and "Best Rock Instrumental Performance," will sing the legendary Beach Boys hit single "Good Vibrations."
    "Five For Fighting," whose lead singer and song writer is John Ondrasik, will sing the No. 1 hit "100 Years" from their latest album "Battle For Everything." Williams, who has recorded hits such as "Save The Best For Last" and "Colors of the Wind" from Disney's animated film "Pocahontas," will sing "America The Beautiful." Williams, who has also starred in such films as "Eraser," "Dance With Me" and "Light It Up," recently released her latest album "Everlasting Love" on Jan. 25.
    Tickets for Speedweeks 2005 events are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP..(DIS PR)(2-12-2005)

  • Daytona 500 Pace Car: Dale Earnhardt Jr., the 2004 Daytona 500 champion, unveiled the all-new 2005 Corvette that will pace the 47th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season opener during the national broadcast of Fox & Friends on Tuesday morning. Earnhardt Jr., who drives the #8 Budweiser Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt Inc., revealed the Corvette coupe that will pace the 43-car field in "The Great American Race" on Sunday, Feb. 20 - NASCAR's richest, biggest and most prestigious event at historic Daytona International Speedway. The design of the Daytona 500 Corvette pace vehicle includes elements that reflect the heritage and attitude of the historic winning Corvette race cars. The Corvette pace vehicle is millennium yellow with a black racing stripe centered across the hood, roof and trunk lid with the Daytona 500 logo on each door and Chevy's "An American Revolution" slogan on the rear spoiler. This will be the 34th consecutive year General Motors has provided the Official Pace Car for the Daytona 500. The Daytona 500 will be one of 60 NASCAR events Chevrolet will pace in 2005, including 28 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, 17 Busch Series and 15 Craftsman Truck Series races.(DIS PR)(2-8-2005)

  • ISC and Checkers to make an announcement UPDATE: International Speedway Corp. President Lesa France Kennedy and Checkers Drive-In Restaurants President Keith Sirios are scheduled to make a joint business announcement tomorrow, the NASDAQ Stock Market says. The executives are scheduled to preside over the opening bell for NASDAQ in New York.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(2-7-2005)
    UPDATE: International Speedway Corporation announced it has signed a multi-year, multi-million dollar official status agreement with Checkers Drive-In Restaurants. Checkers/Rally's will serve as the Official Drive-Thru and Burger of several ISC facilities. Checkers/Rally's will have a significant presence through prominent signage and promotion, as well as at-track restaurants at the following ISC facilities: Michigan, Daytona, Homestead, and Richmond. ISC owns and/or operates 11 of the nation's major motorsports facilities, the four named above and in Talladega, California, Kansas, Phoenix, Martinsville, Darlington and Watkins Glen. Other track ownership includes an indirect 37.5% interest in Raceway Associates, LLC, which owns and operates Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway near Chicago, Illinois. The Company also owns and operates MRN Radio, the nation's largest independent sports radio network; DAYTONA USA, the "Ultimate Motorsports Attraction" in Daytona Beach, Florida, the official attraction of NASCAR; and subsidiaries which provide catering services, food and beverage concessions, and produce and market motorsports-related merchandise under the trade name "Americrown." For more information, visit the Company's Web site at www.iscmotorsports.com. More info on Checkers Drive-In Restaurants at www.checkers.com.(ISC PR)(2-8-2005)

  • Daytona 500 Purse at $17 million: The 47th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20, NASCAR's biggest and most prestigious event of the year, will carry the biggest purse in the history of stock car racing at more than $17 million. The post awards for the "The Great American Race" on Sunday, Feb. 20 will be $17,623,980, an increase of nearly $2 million. The posted awards for the 2004 Daytona 500, which was won by Dale Earnhardt Jr., was $15,972,313. The winner of this year's Daytona 500 will collect a minimum of $1,430,030. The second, third, fourth and fifth-place finishers in the Daytona 500 will receive a minimum of $1,029,425, $736,625, $584,750 and $456,875 respectively. Even the last-place finisher in the Daytona 500 will be rewarded with a minimum of $219,931. "The Daytona 500 is without doubt NASCAR's signature event and the 43-car field in this year's event will be paid handsomely for their efforts," Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig said. Other purses for Speedweeks 2005 events are: * Advance Discount Auto Parts 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series race: $305,507 * Budweiser Shootout: $1,087,300 * Florida Dodge Dealers 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race: $807,103 * Hershey's Take 5 300 NASCAR Busch Series race: $2,409,495 Tickets to any of the Speedweeks 2005 events are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. (DIS PR)(2-7-2005)

  • Daytona 500 Grand Marshal: Matthew McConaughey was selected the Grand Marshal for the Daytona 500. The actor will give the command "Drivers, start your engines" at the Feb. 20 race in Florida. "I'm honored and excited to be the Grand Marshal of this year's race," McConaughey said in a statement. "There is nothing more American than NASCAR and the Daytona 500. McConaughey, who has starred in films including "Dazed and Confused" and "The Wedding Planner," will star in the upcoming thriller "Sahara." Previous Grand Marshals include Ben Affleck last year and John Travolta in 2003. Ashton Kutcher will be the honorary starter of this year's race.(ESPN.com/AP)(2-8-2005)

  • 'BURN!' - Ashton Kutcher named starter for the Daytona 500: Ashton Kutcher [Kelso], the popular star of FOX's "That '70s Show" [bigtime Jayski Fave] and the star of the upcoming feature film "Guess Who" will serve as Honorary Starter for the 47th annual Daytona 500, NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race. As Honorary Starter, Kutcher will wave the green flag to start the 43 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers in the 200-lap, 500-mile race. "We're excited to have Ashton Kutcher here to start the Daytona 500 and the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season," Speedway President Robin Braig said. "Attracting a star of Ashton's caliber proves once again the Daytona 500 is one of the premier sports events in the world." Kutcher will co-star with actor/comedian Bernie Mac in Columbia Pictures and Regency Enterprises' "Guess Who," which will be released March 25 of this year. In the movie, in an effort to impress his prospective father-in-law Percy Jones (Mac), Simon Green (Kutcher), who has already secretly proposed to Jones' daughter, boasts of his (nonexistent) past as a NASCAR driver. Simon's repeated attempts to make a good impression are futile as Percy rebuffs him at every turn and makes it his mission to undermine his daughter's new relationship. The film also stars Zoë Saldaña and Judith Scott. Kutcher will also star in another 2005 release "A Lot Like Love" which is scheduled for release in April. His past movie credits have included "The Butterfly Effect," "Cheaper By The Dozen" "My Boss' Daughter," "Just Married" and "Dude, Where's My Car?" He is also the creator of MTV's popular reality series "Punk'd". "Being Honorary Starter for the Daytona 500 is great way to experience NASCAR and come together with more than 200,000 fans at the Super Bowl of racing," Kutcher said. "As a fan of NASCAR, I'm excited to be involved and to wave the green flag in NASCAR's signature event." Kutcher continues the tradition of high-profile actors, athletes and politicians that have participated in the Daytona 500 pre-race ceremonies. Comedian Whoopi Goldberg served as Honorary Starter for the 2004 Daytona 500 and singer Mariah Carey sang the National Anthem and served as Honorary Starter for the 2003 Daytona 500. President George W. Bush and Academy Award-winning actor Ben Affleck served as the Co-Grand Marshals and the President gave the starting command, "Drivers, start your engines," for the 2004 Daytona 500. Tickets for Speedweeks 2005 and the 47th annual Daytona 500, which will be televised live by FOX Sports, are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(2-1-2005)

  • Daytona International Speedway Looking For People: If you want to be a part of a world-class entertainment production that will be broadcast to millions, has Daytona International Speedway got an offer for you? The World Center of Racing is looking for thousands of locals (ages 13-45) to be in the national spotlight, taking part in the heart-pumping pre-race revelry leading up to "The Great American Race" - the prestigious Daytona 500 on Feb. 20, 2005. The high-energy NEXTEL Tribute To America, featuring national music entertainers (to be announced at a later date) and a world-class, pre-race show at Daytona International Speedway, will be televised live on Fox Television and produced by Q&A Entertainment. The NEXTEL Tribute To America pre-race extravaganza is the culmination of events leading up to NASCAR's most prestigious race. To participate in the event, visit www.jmbcasting.com or call 407-224-6621 for more information.(DIS PR)(1-22-2005)

  • Daytona Tunnel Problem Fixed: A potential problem has been hammered away at Daytona International Speedway. Workers were busy Thursday morning breaking apart a section of a seven-foot-wide pedestrian walk at the entrance to the new tunnel under Turn 1. The demolition work will provide for a wider entrance to the tunnel and make it easier for large vehicles -- RVs as well as race-team haulers -- to negotiate the turn at the tunnel entrance. Track president Robin Braig said the tweaking will also improve the plans for getting fans into the infield from the Turn 1-area grandstands, and back out again. "We've taken a look at the pedestrian flow from the grandstands," said Braig. "That area is also a tram turnaround. We flat-out had our directions wrong for the pedestrian flow. We're adding a stairwell from the grandstands to that side of the tunnel, so fans will have their choice of taking the tram or walking into the infield. "It will improve the pedestrian flow and relieve that 'pinch point' for two-way traffic."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-14-2005)

  • Hotel Rooms a problem for Daytona 500?: Damage from last summer's hurricanes could have a significant impact on this season's Daytona 500, because about 3,700 hotel rooms of the city's 13,548 were knocked out of commission by the storms and many may still be under repair when SpeedWeeks kick off. It's unclear how reservations with those properties will be handled, or even how many of those Daytona 500 ticket holders are even aware of the situation. About 60 Daytona Beach hotels and a number of high-rise condos were damaged by the hurricanes. (Winston Salem Journal)(1-13-2005)

  • 3 Doors Down Begin World Tour at Budweiser Shootout: 3 Doors Down, one of America's most popular bands, will perform during the 27th annual Budweiser Shootout on Saturday night, Feb. 12 at Daytona International Speedway. The performance will be nationally televised on FOX and comes just days after the release of the band's new album Seventeen Days (Republic/Universal Records) which hits stores February 8th. 3 Doors Down will perform their new single "Let Me Go" and lead singer Brad Arnold will sing the National Anthem before the start of the All-Star race, which features last year's pole winners as well as previous Budweiser Shootout champions. Following the conclusion of the 70-lap no-holds barred, non-points race under the lights that jumpstarts the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season, 3 Doors Down will kick off their world tour with a post-race concert, which will be free for all who purchase a Budweiser Shootout ticket. Twenty drivers are eligible for the Budweiser Shootout, two shy of the record 22 in 2002. Among the 2004 pole winners eligible to compete in the Budweiser Shootout under the lights include 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman. Among the past Budweiser Shootout champions eligible are Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Dale Jarrett, Mark Martin and Rusty Wallace. Tickets for the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(fingerprint inc./Anheuser-Busch PR)(1-5-2005)

  • Bye-bye Twin 125's, Hello Gatorade Duel at Daytona: Qualifying races that help set the field for the Daytona 500 will be 25 miles longer and have a new name in 2005. The races, formerly called the Gatorade 125s, will now be known as the Gatorade Duel at Daytona. Each race will now go for 150 miles, a move that could force teams to adjust their pit-stop strategies at the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway. There also will be a longer break between the races, which will be held on Thursday, Feb. 17, during Speedweeks in 2005. Qualifying for the 2005 Daytona 500 will begin on Sunday, Feb. 13. Only the two fastest cars secure starting spots for the 500 on that day, the front-row spots on the starting grid. Speeds from that qualifying session are used to determine the lineup for the Gatorade Duel, with drivers in odd-numbered positions in the qualifying results in the first 150-miler and those in the even-numbered slots going into the second qualifying race. The top-14 finishers - aside from the driver already assured of a front-row spot in the 500 - in each qualifier will line up in order of finish starting with Row 2 for the 500. Finishers from the first Duel race will get the inside spots on each row, with finishers from the second getting the outside spots. The remaining spots in the 43-car field are awarded based on qualifying speeds and provisionals [which supposedly in 2005 will only be a past champ](ThatsRacin.com)(12-17-2004)
    AND more at the Daytona International Speedway site: Gatorade Duel At Daytona: The Daytona 500 uses a different qualifying procedure than any other race in the world. On Budweiser Pole Day, Sunday Feb. 13, only the fastest two cars solidify their starting spots for the Daytona 500. The fastest qualifier will earn the pole for both the Daytona 500 and the first 150-mile Gatorade Duel qualifying race. The second fastest qualifier earns the outside pole for the Daytona 500 and will start on the pole for the second 150-mile Gatorade Duel qualifying race, held on Thursday, Feb. 17. Drivers qualifying in odd-number positions will compete in the first Gatorade Duel race while drivers that qualify in even-number positions duke it out in the second Gatorade Duel race. The top-14 finishers, not including the pole sitter in the first 150-mile qualifying race, will line up behind the Daytona 500 pole sitter; while the top-14 finishers, not including the outside pole sitter in the second 150-mile Gatorade Duel qualifying race, will line up behind the outside Daytona 500 pole sitter. The next eight Daytona 500 starting positions (31-38) are awarded to the drivers with the fastest speed after pole qualifying. The final five positions (39-43) are given to teams that are entitled to a provisional [supposedly no provisionals except a Champ Prov will be used in 2005, so it may end up as drivers with teams in the top 35 get places then buy speed].(DIS Site)(12-17-2004)

  • 3 Doors Down To Perform National Anthem at DIS: Republic/Universal recording group 3 Doors Down will sing the National Anthem during the 27th annual Budweiser Shootout on Saturday night, Feb. 12 at historic Daytona International Speedway. The performance will be nationally televised on FOX and comes just days after the release of their new album Seventeen Days which hits stores on February 8th. 3 Doors Down will perform and then sing the National Anthem before the start of the All-Star race, which features last year's pole winners as well as previous Budweiser Shootout champions. Following the conclusion of the 70-lap no-holds barred, non-points race under the lights that helps jumpstart the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season, 3 Doors Down will kick off their world tour with a post-race concert, which will be included in the race admission.(DIS PR)(12-17-2004)

  • Update on Daytona Infield Renovation: Daytona International Speedway's multi-million, multi-faceted infield renovation is beginning to see the light at the end of the Turn 1 tunnel. With the Turn 1 tunnel covered and re-paving of the Turn 1 track section complete, "The World Center of Racing" will see its first track activity since the Pepsi 400 Weekend in July. The ARCA RE/MAX Series will take to the historic 2.5-mile tri-oval on Dec. 18-19 for a two-day test session in preparation for the season-opening Advance Discount Auto Parts 200 on Saturday, Feb. 12. The test session will be free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand available through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.
    Even though there's a test session on the calendar, there's still plenty of work remaining on the infield renovation project, which is scheduled to be complete in time for December's Daytona KartWeek. Other recent developments include:
    * The curtain wall around the Daytona 500 Club has been completed and dry wall is continuing in both the interior and exterior. Pavement on the Gatorade Victory Lane area is expected soon.
    * The stairs for the viewing deck above one of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series garages are scheduled to arrive this week and be installed.
    * At the new Turn 1 tunnel, the entry roads have been paved and the area is being prepped for sod and landscaping.
    * Two of the new motorcycle track sections have been boxed out and lime rock placed.(DIS PR)(12-6-2004)

  • Junie tours Daytona renovations; unsure of team plans: Legendary NASCAR NEXTEL Cup team owner Junie Donlavey made a surprise visit to historic Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday and took a tour of the infield renovation site with Speedway President Robin Braig. Donlavey toured the multi-million dollar, multi-faceted infield renovation site that includes a new state-of-the-art tunnel, waterfront specialty vehicle parking, new NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series garages, new Gatorade Victory Lane and a uniquely-designed Fan Zone with prime viewing of the garages and inspection bays.
    "Nobody will ever believe what you're doing here," Donlavey said. "This is unbelievable because it's laid out so good and it's for the benefit of the fans and car owners and crews. It's perfect. You had somebody with a lot of knowledge to be able to layout something like this." Donlavey, who still enters a car in races from time to time, has one NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series victory to his credit with driver Jody Ridley back in 1981 at Dover, Del. At Daytona International Speedway, Donlavey won three consecutive Hershey's 300s between 1972-74 with driver Bill Dennis and captured a Gatorade 125-mile qualifier with Schrader in 1987. Standing inside the new NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series garages, Donlavey said he was unsure if he will attempt to qualify a car in next year's Daytona 500. But after touring the new Daytona infield, he says he'll definitely consider it. "I hadn't thought much about it, but I'm hoping that we can get something together and do it," Donlavey said Race fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the massive construction project can visit DAYTONA USA and take the Speedway Tour, which costs $7.50 plus tax. The Oldfield Grandstand is also open and free to the public. The Speedway's Web site, www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com, will also have weekly updates on the infield renovation project. Tickets for Speedweeks 2005 events, including the 47th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20, are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(10-27-2004)

  • Daytona Testing to Talladega? UPDATE NO..at Daytona: Daytona 500 testing in January could be moved to Talladega, according to NASCAR sources, because the recent spat of hurricanes has put infield reconstruction at Daytona far behind.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-11-2004)
    UPDATE: Despite erroneous media reports, Daytona International Speedway will be the site for NASCAR testing for the 2005 season as well as NASCAR Preseason Fan Fest. "Daytona International Speedway weathered the recent hurricanes and we're looking forward to January testing," said Robin Braig, Daytona International Speedway track president. "Contrary to what fans may have read, "The World Center of Racing" will be the place to see all of your NASCAR favorites as well as the Grand American Series."(DIS PR), for the January testing schedule, see Jayski's Testing Page.(10-11-2004)

  • DIS Infield Renovation Still On-track: As a third hurricane - Hurricane Jeanne - made its way through the Volusia County area last weekend, Daytona International Speedway and DAYTONA USA all weathered the storm with no significant damage. The multi-million infield renovation project at the "World Center of Racing" also went unscathed, with no significant damage to the project and no concerns of delay. The infield renovation project, which is scheduled to be completed in time for December's Daytona KartWeek, includes amenities such as a state-of-the-art tunnel, a uniquely designed Fan Zone with viewing of the new NASCAR Nextel Cup and NASCAR Busch Series garage areas, waterfront specialty vehicle parking and a new Gatorade Victory Lane where fans can now also be part of the Victory Celebration. Other developments in the infield renovation project include:
    * Excavation of the tunnel is complete.
    * Construction beginning on the floors in the new Victory Lane Club.
    * Final garage walls going up and roofs being placed on the NASCAR Busch Series garages.
    * Additions on the Infield Media Center are taking shape with walls and steel being installed.
    Race fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the massive construction project can visit DAYTONA USA and take the Speedway Tour, which costs $7.50 plus tax. The Oldfield Grandstand is also open and free to the public.(DIS PR)(10-1-2004)

  • Daytona USA close due to possible hurricane: Due to the threat of Hurricane Jeanne, DAYTONA USA, the "Official of Attraction of NASCAR," closed at 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 24 and will remain closed on Saturday, Sept. 25 and Sunday, Sept. 26. DAYTONA USA will reaccess operating hours when the storm has passed. For more information on DAYTONA USA, contact (386) 947-6800 or log on to www.DAYTONAUSA.com.(DIS PR)(9-25-2004)

  • Walls Going Up As Infield Renovation Project Takes Shape At DIS: Daytona International Speedway's multi-million infield renovation project is now deep into its third month of construction and buildings in the historic infield are beginning to take shape. The Victory Lane Club, located near the center of pit road, has gone vertical with the installation of walls with the help of cranes. Walls are also going up on the first NEXTEL Cup viewing garage while foundations are being set on the second NEXTEL Cup garage and the infield media center extension. Among the newest fan amenities included in the multi-million dollar infield renovation project are a state-of-the-art tunnel that will accommodate team transport vehicles and guest's specialty vehicles, anuniquely designed Fan Zone with roof-top viewing of the new NASCAR Nextel Cup and NASCAR Busch Series garage areas, waterfront specialty vehicle parking and a new Gatorade Victory Lane where fans can now also be part of the Victory Celebration. Other fan amenities at the "World Center of Racing" include free parking and tram service, the popular Fan Walk display area outside of Turn 4, information booths located throughout property during events and the pedestrian bridge. Race fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the massive construction project can visit DAYTONA USA and take the Speedway Tour, which costs $7.50 plus tax. The Oldfield Grandstand is also open and free to the public.(DIS PR)(9-14-2004)

  • NASCAR Announces 2005 Preseason Thunder Dates: The 2005 NASCAR Preseason Thunder test schedule at Daytona International Speedway will kick off with the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, which, along with its usual newsworthiness, also will enjoy the distinction of being the first event housed at the Speedway's newly renovated infield and garages. Leading off next season's edition of NASCAR Preseason Thunder will be the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams that finished in odd-number positions in the final 2004 car owner point standings. They will begin testing Tuesday, Jan. 11 and conclude Thursday, Jan. 13. The rain date is Friday, Jan. 14. All NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams will test Saturday, Jan. 15 and Sunday, Jan. 16. The rain date is Monday, Jan. 17.
    All NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams that finished in even-number positions in the final 2004 car owner point standings will be on track Tuesday, Jan. 18 through Thursday, Jan. 20. The rain date is Friday, Jan. 21.
    All NASCAR Busch Series teams will be on track Saturday, Jan. 22 through Monday, Jan. 24. The rain date is Tuesday, Jan. 25.
    Fans, too, have their chance to participate in NASCAR Preseason Thunder. The Speedway's Oldfield Tower grandstands, located just outside Daytona USA, will open free of charge to fans to watch the NASCAR preseason action. Also, four Fan Fests - whose proceeds will benefit the Speedway and NASCAR-designated charities - are scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 12, Saturday, Jan. 15, Wednesday, Jan. 19 and Saturday, Jan. 22. Adding to the 2005 NASCAR Preseason Thunder anticipation will be the Speedway's new multi-million dollar infield renovation, which includes new garages for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series, a new Victory Lane and a new Fan Zone.(NASCAR PR)(8-31-2004)

  • DIS contests OHSA findings: Daytona International Speedway is contesting federal findings that the Speedway failed to follow proper procedures in events surrounding the death of track worker Roy Weaver. OSHA slapped the Speedway with two citations following a six-month investigation into Weaver's death. He was killed instantly after being struck by a race car while attempting to pick up debris off the course in Turn 2. OSHA officials converged on the Speedway following the Feb. 8 death of Weaver, who was working on a clean up crew during the IPOWERacing Dash 150 race. He jumped off the back of a Speedway truck and was struck by a car that was going an estimated 100 mph. Weaver, 44, of Ormond Beach, was the first track worker killed since the Speedway opened in 1959. On Aug. 6, OSHA investigators levied one citation and a $6,300 fine against the Speedway for failing to have a written protocol to dictate when workers can step onto the track. In all, OSHA cited the Speedway with 13 violations and levied fines totaling $11,175 -- with only one of the violations dealing with Weaver's death. Other citations dealt with issues including a security employee without hearing protection and a track worker without a helmet.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(9-1-2004)

  • DIS Fined in track workers death: Federal labor officials cited the Daytona International Speedway Friday for failing to enforce safety procedures that could have prevented the February death of a track worker during a stock-car race. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued $11,175 in proposed fines, including a $6,300 penalty for the alleged violation that contributed to the death of track-crew supervisor Roy H. Weaver III on Feb. 8. The other $4,875 in penalties stem from other potential work hazards, including hearing loss, that federal investigators found during inspections at the track, but were not related to the accident. Weaver, 44, of Ormond Beach, Fla., was struck and killed by a race car during the IPOWERacing 150 while he was removing debris from the track. Several racing officials said at the time of the crash that the fact that the driver involved, Ray Paprota, is a paraplegic was not a factor in the accident. James Borders, area director of the Jacksonville office for OSHA, said a fine against a racing venue for a worker's death is rare. The citations against the Speedway are ranked as "serious," meaning that Speedway officials knew or should have known about the potential dangers to its employees. The maximum penalty for a serious citation is $7,000. Borders said the penalty for Weaver's death was adjusted because OSHA had not inspected the track before and had no prior history with the Speedway. The Speedway has 15 days to pay the fines, have a meeting with OSHA officials, or appeal the citation to OSHA's review commission. According to the 13-page citation released Friday, OSHA investigators found that the Speedway did not enforce safety procedures concerning when employees may enter the track during a race. Borders said the track should have a policy similar to what fire departments follow when fighting a major fire. The report also cited the Speedway for other potential problems found during OSHA investigations. According to the report, an employee clearing material on the racetrack apron wasn't wearing a helmet while cars passed by, a radio headset had spots of blood that weren't cleaned before being stored, and the Speedway didn't check that medical workers had up-to-date Hepatitis B vaccinations and annual training about blood-borne diseases.(ThatsRacin.com)(8-7-2004)

  • Fans struck by lightning..OK: The three unidentified men were struck while walking past souvenir trailers before the start of the Nextel Cup Pepsi 400. They were transported to the care center and held briefly for observation, track spokesman David Talley said. Talley said the men had only minor injuries and were released.(FoxSports)(7-4-2004)

  • Some fans protest new infield plans at Daytona: Tent-pitching fans' fears that the planned overhaul of the Speedway infield might not leave much room for them kicked up a small protest Saturday afternoon. Bulldozers are lined up to level the garage area of Daytona International Speedway to begin a $50 million renovation soon after the Pepsi 400 competitors speed off. Before Speed Weeks rolls around in February, it's anticipated that 15 acres of the infield's Lake Lloyd will be filled in and replaced with a new waterfront boardwalk with souvenir bazaars and other places to shop. Most controversial, though, is the plan to add 500 more spaces for recreational vehicles. At about noon Saturday, about two dozen people marched around "Tent City" urging that the tradition of tents and vans in the infield remain. For the renovation or not, both sides could agree one change would be for the better: infield showers.(Daytona Beach News Joural)(7-4-2004)

  • AI2 Singer and US Marine to sing Anthem: Lyric Street Records recording artist and "American Idol 2" sensation Josh Gracin will sing the National Anthem for the 46th annual Pepsi 400 on Saturday night and will perform a 30-minute pre-race concert. The 23-year-old Gracin, currently a U.S. Marine based at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, Calif., recently released his self-titled album earlier this month and his current single "I Want To Live" is 14th on the Billboard Singles Chart.(DIS PR)(7-2-2004)

  • NFL QB Named Grand Marshal for the Pepsi 400: Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich has been named Grand Marshal of the 46th annual Pepsi 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race on Saturday night, July 3 at Daytona International Speedway. Due to a scheduling conflict, NBA All-Star guard Tracy McGrady, who was recently named Grand Marshal for the Pepsi 400, will be unable to attend. "I'm excited to be part of the Pepsi family and take over the duties from Tracy," Leftwich said. "I'm looking forward to being part of the festivities for the upcoming Pepsi 400 and giving the starting command." Leftwich, a 2003 first-round draft choice from Marshall University, threw for 2,819 yards and 16 touchdowns in his rookie season for the Jaguars. He was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month in December after leading the Jaguars to two home victories. During his college career, the 6-foot-5, 240-pound quarterback was a prolific passer for the Thundering Heard, compiling 11,903 yards and 89 touchdowns. As a three-year starter for one of college football's most explosive offenses, Leftwich set Mid-American Conference records for passing yards and total offense. Tickets for the Pepsi 400 Weekend are still available online at daytonainternantionalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at 1-800-PITSHOP.(Speedway PR)(6-29-2004)

  • Infield renovation: Following the Pepsi 400, the Daytona International Speedway will begin a multi-million dollar infield renovation, which includes a new tunnel, new NASCAR NEXTEL Cup garages, new NASCAR Busch garages, a new Gatorade Victory Lane, a Fan Zone, new specialty vehicle parking, new scoring trilons and expansion of the existing media center. The massive undertaking is scheduled to be completed in time for the Speedway's World Karting Association events in December. The project will not alter the layout of the track's surface.(DIS PR)(6-29-2004)

  • National Anthem on Pole Night: From a field of approximately 150 singers, Orlando's Tara Rowell emerged after three weeks of competition to capture first place in Daytona International Speedway's inaugural "Straightaway to Stardom" singing talent contest. By claiming the win, the mother of four will now showcase her talent in front of thousands by singing the National Anthem at the Circle K Pole Qualifying Night for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 1.(DIS PR)(6-29-2004)

  • New Emergency Plan at Daytona: Daytona International Speedway and NASCAR unveiled a new emergency services game plan to safety workers Saturday, but the procedure for halting a race remains a sticking point for some. About 130 part-time emergency services employees attended Saturday's meeting, which was closed to the media, to review track procedures and voice concerns about their safety during Speedway events later this week. Two key changes will be in place for the Pepsi 400 weekend events. First, track observers on platforms around the 2.5-mile oval will switch over to the primary emergency services radio frequency and spot for safety workers attending to an accident site. Observers previously were responsible only for spotting oil and debris on the track. Track worker Roy Weaver was killed in February after being struck by a race car during a caution period. Second, the Speedway's new three-tier command radio communication system also is designed to alleviate needless chatter by allowing only a few safety officials to speak at any time. The stopping of a race with a red flag, meanwhile, remains in the hands of the sanctioning body [NASCAR]. NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said by phone Saturday that race officials want safety workers to communicate red flag requests to those in NASCAR's chase vehicle, who in turn will report to the control tower, where the final decision rests. If the chase vehicle is not there, safety workers can communicate directly with the tower. Race officials will meet with another group of Speedway safety workers today.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-27-2004)

  • SAFER Install underway at DIS: Installation of Steel and Foam Energy Reduction barriers are currently underway at Daytona International Speedway. The project to install the SAFER barriers is scheduled to be complete by June 27. The Pepsi 400 Weekend is scheduled for July 1-3. The SAFER barrier at Daytona International Speedway will run continuously for 3,050 feet from the entrance to Turn 1 through the exit of Turn 2 and 3,050 feet from the entrance to Turn 3 through the exit of turn 4. Additional SAFER barrier with a length of nearly 900 feet will run along the inside Superstretch wall and another 900 feet of SAFER barrier will run along the inside wall of the skid pad in Turn 4. In the tri-oval, there will be 1,270 feet of SAFER barrier.(DIS PR)(6-8-2004)

  • SAFER at Daytona...go watch: A specialized construction crew will begin hanging so-called "soft walls" on the turns around the Daytona International Speedway starting Monday. The walls will give when struck by a race car, helping protect the driver from serious injury. The soft walls are hardly soft -- they are made of steel and sheets of hard foam. But when the $2.3-million job is finished, in time for the July 3 Pepsi 400 and related races, the track's most dangerous walls will be much more forgiving than the existing concrete. The Speedway and its owner, International Speedway Corp., are paying Indianapolis-based Elrod Fabrication to install the SAFER barriers over the next few weeks. Jeff Elrod, president of the fabrication company, said the absolute completion date is June 26. The SAFER barriers will front the outside concrete walls in Turns 1 through 4 and in the tri-oval, the dogleg turn at the start-finish line. Elrod will also install SAFER on the inside walls exiting Turns 2 and 4.
    Want to Watch? Race fans and engineering buffs may observe the installation of the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction barrier at Daytona International Speedway. The Speedway will open a section of the Oldfield Grandstands at no charge. The track also runs sightseeing trams through the infield everyday. Call the Speedway for tram ticket information at (386) 253-7223.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-6-2004)

  • Dale Jr. President of DIS...for a day UPDATE lots of announcements: NASCAR says Dale Earnhardt Jr. will serve as "president" of Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday. His duties are scheduled to include the announcement of the purse for the July 3 Pepsi 400 Nextel Cup race as well as the selection of the paint scheme for the Pepsi 400 pace car.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-2-2004)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr., the 2004 Daytona 500 champion, took on a second job on Wednesday, President of Daytona International Speedway. Earnhardt Jr. filled in for Speedway President Robin Braig and performed several presidential duties at the "World Center of Racing" which included:
    · Selected the paint scheme for the Chevrolet Monte Carlo that will pace the Pepsi 400 on Saturday, July 3. It's the first time since 1969 that a Chevrolet has paced the Pepsi 400 and the first time a Monte Carlo has paced the field in the history of the mid-summer classic.
    · Announced that Orlando Magic guard and NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady will serve as Grand Marshal for the Pepsi 400.
    · Announced a record purse of $5,804,363 for this year's Pepsi 400 on Saturday, July 3, an increase of more than $800,000. The winner of this year's Pepsi 400 will collect a minimum of $266,475.
    · Offered a special 8-pack ticket package for the Pepsi 400 weekend for $308. The package includes four general admission tickets to the Winn-Dixie 250 presented by PepsiCo and four Superstretch tickets for the Pepsi 400. The offer, which is good June 2 through June 8, is available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or go online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com. Earnhardt Jr. also worked at the counters selling tickets at the ticket office.
    · Looked over the new infield renovation plans for the Speedway. The construction for the new garages, Gatorade Victory Lane, tunnel, fan walk and specialty vehicle area will begin following the Pepsi 400.(DIS PR)(6-3-2004)

  • 2005 Daytona 500 Tickets On Sale NOW: ~ 272 Days Until The 2005 Daytona 500 ~
    On Saturday, May 29, ticket sales for the 47th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 20, 2005 went on sale. Prior to Saturday, May 29, renewals and deposits for seat assignments for the Daytona 500 were taken by the ticket office at Daytona International Speedway. The Daytona 500, the kick off to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, is the biggest, richest and most prestigious stock car race of the year. Daytona International Speedway offers several convenient methods for fans to purchase tickets to the "Great American Race."
    Online at www.DAYTONA500.com
    Calling 1-800-PITSHOP
    Visiting the Daytona International Speedway ticket office inside the lobby of DAYTONA USA
    Also available for purchase through www.DAYTONA500.com or 1-800-PITSHOP include:
    Tickets for other Speedweeks 2005 events, including the Hershey's 300 NASCAR Busch Series race, the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race and the Crown Royal IROC Series, the Gatorade 125's and the Budweiser Shootout.
    Hospitality packages including the Daytona Club, the Green Flag Club and the Party Zone.
    Pre-race pit passes for the Daytona 500.
    Tickets for the upcoming Pepsi 400 Weekend on July 1-3, including the Pepsi 400 on Saturday night, July 3, the Winn-Dixie 250 presented by PepsiCo NASCAR Busch Series race on Friday night, July 2 and Circle K Pole Qualifying Night and the Paul Revere 250 presented by Brumos Porsche on Thursday, July 1.(DIS PR)(5-30-2004)

  • Circle K To Sponsor Pepsi 400 Qualifying Night Circle K will sponsor pole qualifying for the Pepsi 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at the Daytona International Speedway. Circle K Pole Qualifying Night will be held under the lights on Thursday night, July 1. Tickets for Circle K Pole Qualifying Night and the Paul Revere 250 presented by Brumos Porsche are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(4-10-2004)

  • Changes Coming at Daytona UPDATE: Daytona International Speedway is expected to announce today a massive construction project which will dramatically change the look of the entire infield. Speedway president Robin Braig has called a press conference today to explain the redevelopment plans, which include a new Nextel Cup Series garage area, a tunnel under Turn 1 and a different location for Victory Lane. DIS also plans to fill part of trademark Lake Lloyd to make room for more parking inside the track. This enormous capital project, which will cost International Speedway Corp. millions of dollars to complete, is designed to modernize the 2.5-mile tri-oval, which opened for business in 1959. North American Testing Company, an engineering subsidiary of ISC, drew up all the construction plans for the Speedway's facelift. The Speedway has canceled its fall schedule of events -- including Fall Cycle Scene and the Grand American season finale -- with the hope of completing all this work in time for Speed Weeks 2005. According to sources familiar with the project, many of the buildings and structures in the garage and paddock areas will be razed or moved to other locations outside Speedway property. The Benny Kahn Media Center, which is now an auxiliary press area, and NASCAR's current technical and inspection areas, will be demolished. The tin-roof shelters that serve as the Busch Series garage will be relocated outside the Speedway as cover for company vehicles. Several small buildings behind pit road -- the Pepsi scoring room, Victory Lane and the Speedway's operations department -- will be dismantled or destroyed. Once those facilities have been removed, the Speedway will build a series of concrete buildings to house a state-of-the-art garage area for a variety of competitors. The new garages will add heating and air conditioning -- a new standard in the racing industry. The area now known as the Nextel Cup garage will be refurbished and used by various competitors during the peak of Speed Weeks events. Another source said the Speedway may use this opportunity to create a premium grandstand/suite area along pit road. DIS has always built new grandstand seating on the outside of the course. The operations and maintenance facility, which is now housed behind the scoring stand and takes up a large chunk of valuable infield realty, will be relocated to an area outside the track, beyond Turn 2. When the Speedway was being built in 1958, it boasted a set of tunnels in Turn 4 that allow traffic to flow to and from the infield during an on-track event. Those tunnels will remain in place. The new tunnel system in Turn 1 will be more than twice the size of the originals, big enough to allow campers, motor homes and even tractor-trailers to pass under the racing surface. Lake Lloyd was created when construction crews in '58 needed dirt from that area to form Daytona's famous 31-degree banking. Once the area was dug out, the Speedway turned it into a water retention sight and named it after a former local car dealer.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-24-2004)
    UPDATE: In one of its most aggressive construction projects since Daytona International Speedway was built in 1958, track officials on Wednesday announced an exciting, multi-million dollar, multi-faceted infield renovation project making "The World Center of Racing" not only the most prestigious track on the NASCAR circuit, but one of the most modern as well.
    The immense project, scheduled to begin following the 46th running of the Pepsi 400 on July 3, will include a new tunnel, new NASCAR NEXTEL Cup garages, new NASCAR Busch garages, a new Gatorade Victory Lane, a Fan Zone, new waterfront specialty vehicle parking, new scoring trilons and expansion of the existing media center.
    The massive undertaking is scheduled to be completed in time for the Speedway's World Karting Association events in December. The project will not alter the layout of the tracks surface.
    "Without a doubt, this is one of the most expansive and aggressive projects at Daytona International Speedway," said DIS President Robin Braig. "Our goal has always been to make "The World Center of Racing" unique and fan friendly. Our new amenities make it just that for our fans, officials, competitors and sanctioning bodies."
    Specifically, the infield 'face-lift" includes:
    * A new tunnel located in Turn One will be able to accommodate team transport vehicles and guests specialty vehicles.
    * New NASCAR NEXTEL Cup garage area.
    * New NASCAR Busch series garages similar to the NASCAR Nextel Cup garages.
    * A new Gatorade Victory Lane which will include a "Victory Lane Club" for fans wishing to experience the excitement of the area during post-race revelry.
    * A Fan Zone, located between the NASCAR NEXTEL and NASCAR Busch garages with a "Walk of Champions."
    * Expansion of the existing media center to accommodate ever-growing media covering events at Daytona International Speedway.
    "The fan experience has always been a priority for International Speedway Corporation," said ISC President Lesa France Kennedy. "Our additional fan amenities continue to keep Daytona International Speedway in the forefront of fan-friendly facilities."(DIS PR see morr at the DIS Site)(3-25-2004)

  • Pretty Cool: Daytona International Speedway officials announced that fans renewing their Speedweeks 2005 event tickets will be automatically entered in its "Win a Daytona 500 Pace Car Contest." Speedweeks events include NASCAR's most prestigious race "the Daytona 500"* the NASCAR Busch Series Hershey's 300, the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event, the Gatorade 125s and the Budweiser Shootout. One lucky fan participating in the easy, online renewal option will be randomly selected to drive home the 2004 DAYTONA 500 Corvette Pace Car. By renewing on line last year, Curtis Porter of Warner Robbins, Ga., won the 2003 Daytona 500 Grand Prix Pace Car and received his new vehicle during the pre-race ceremonies for the Pepsi 400 at the "World Center of Racing." Tickets for the 46th annual Pepsi 400 scheduled for July 3 and other Daytona International Speedway events are available online at or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(3-18-2004)

  • More night races? Triple Points for the Daytona 500? more Fox ideas: More night races and the Daytona 500 counting more than any other race are some of the ideas David Hill, Fox Sports Television Group chairman, says he'd like to see NASCAR enact. Hill, whose network broadcasts the first half of the NASCAR schedule, admits his ideas are not likely to be followed. "I've always believed that NASCAR would make fantastic prime-time entertainment," Hill said in a conference call this week. "The problem is that you've got 200,000 people who have got to get to work the next morning." Even so, he says night racing could work. "I've always believed that the next step forward for this sport is to regularize the races," he said. "If I had my way, I'd mandate that every track had lights so fans knew every Friday night was a Truck race and every Saturday night was a Busch race and Sunday was a Cup race." Hill said he would like to see quadruple points awarded at Daytona and the schedule changed to where the season finale takes place the weekend after Thanksgiving instead of the weekend before. Hill also said that he's "cautiously optimistic" that Fox can make money off the TV contract. Fox, NBC and their partners paid more than $2.4 billion to broadcast NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series events beginning in 2001. NBC's contract ends in 2006. Fox's contract ends in 2006, but it has the option to extend that through 2008.(Roanoke Times)(2-21-2004)

  • NASCAR apologizes to fans for inconveniences during presidential visit: Some Daytona 500 attendees seated near President Bush's suite Sunday complained they couldn't return to the grandstands after using the bathroom, grabbing a soda or buying a T-shirt. Daytona International Speedway officials responded Monday by placing a formal apology on the track's Web site for any inconveniences fans faced while Bush met NASCAR drivers, posed with military personnel and gave television and radio interviews. "We want to get (fans) in their seats as soon as possible to enjoy the experience," Speedway spokesman David Talley said. "Unfortunately, we were doing exactly what the Secret Service asked, and that was holding people up until the president was done." A group of 75 employees from Bright House Networks were asked to move to another suite Sunday to make room for the president, but a company spokesman said no one minded. "It was kind of honor that our suite was where he wanted to take in the race," said spokesman Brian Craven. A spokesman with the United States Secret Service said Monday he was unaware of the complaints and declined comment.(Daytona Beach New Journal)(2-17-2004)

  • Daytona 500 sold out: All grandstand seats for the 46th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 15 at historic Daytona International Speedway are sold out, Speedway officials announced today. While all the grandstand seats are sold out, fans can still purchase infield tickets for the "Great American Race" - the kick off to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season. "We're happy to announce that the Daytona 500 is sold out," Speedway President Robin Braig said. "The fans continue to show that the Daytona 500 is the premier stock car race in America."
    Tickets are available for the next NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway - the 46th annual Pepsi 400 on Saturday night, July 3 - can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com by or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. To reserve a ticket package for the 2005 Daytona 500, call the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.(DIS PR)(2-15-2004)

  • Speedway death ruled accidental: The death of a Daytona International Speedway safety worker was ruled an accident Monday, but questions remain over what caused the grisly incident during Sunday's IPOWERacing Dash Series 150.(see full story at the Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-10-2004)

  • Commemorative Daytona 500 Program Distributed Coast to Coast: A commemorative newsstand edition of the award-winning Daytona 500 program will be available to race fans unable to attend NASCAR's most prestigious race - the Daytona 500. The program hit newsstands in major grocery chains and mass retail outlets throughout the nation on Feb. 3. The unique cover of the 256-page program features a special Mickey Mouse Event Car as well as s the ultimate prize in motorsports, the Harley J. Earl trophy - presented to the winner of NASCAR's most prestigious motorsports event - the Daytona 500. Although there will be 5 different Daytona 500 program covers, only the Mickey Mouse design can be purchased at newsstands nationwide. The Daytona 500 souvenir program features in-depth features on all of the events of Daytona's Speedweeks. Driver profiles, race reviews and historical retrospectives, along with hundreds of photographs, fill the 256 full-color pages. The publisher's editorial and photography staff has been recognized by various professional and media organizations, including the International Automotive Media Awards, for their work.(DIS PR)(2-9-2004)

  • Tragic News at Daytona: A Daytona International Speedway safety worker was killed Sunday afternoon when he was struck by a race car being driven by a paraplegic competitor in a race during activities leading up to next week's Daytona 500. Roy H. Weaver III, a 44-year-old track crew supervisor, was picking up debris in the Turn 2 area of the 2.5-mile track after a crash during the IPower 150 when he was struck by a race car being driven by Ray Paprota. Paprota, 41, is paralyzed from the waist down as a result of injuries he suffered in an automobile crash in 1984. He uses specially modified hand controls to accelerate, brake and change gears in his race car. Sunday's race was the first held under authority of IPower, a sanctioning body that bought what was formerly known as the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series late last year. The race had been slowed under a yellow for a wreck in Turn 4 that required Tony Billings of Pfafftown, N.C., to be cut from his car. Late Sunday, Billings was listed in stable condition at Halifax Medical Center. The cars were stopped on pit road under a red flag while the Dash series garage was cordoned off with security workers and police. The Volusia County medical examiner came to the garage and officials took photos of Paprota's car. More than two hours after the incident took place, but before Weaver's death was confirmed, the race was resumed and shortened from 60 to 40 laps. Danny Bagwell, whose Alabama-based team had helped Paprota prepare his race cars for competition, was the winner.(see full story at ThatsRacin.com)(2-8-2004)

  • DAYTONA USA adds IMAX Theater to Attraction Experience: Beginning in late March, early April DAYTONA USA, the official attraction of NASCAR, will be home to "NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience." The IMAX theater in Daytona Beach will be only one of 236 in the world. DAYTONA USA's 247-seat Pepsi Theater will be fully equipped with IMAX technology and a four-story screen as "NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience" puts fans in the driver's seat to explore the world of today's elite NASCAR drivers and teams.
    Narrated by Golden Globe Award-winning actor Kiefer Sutherland, "NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience" will feature rare behind-the-scenes glimpses as well as gripping action on the track.
    "Race fans can literally feel like they are in the drivers seat," said DAYTONA USA General Manager Mike Manning. "We're excited to offer IMAX and many other unique motorsports experiences to our guests." DAYTONA USA is a one-of-kind interactive motorsports attraction, which features a variety of hands-on activities utilizing advanced technology. The Ultimate Motorsports Experience is a high-energy experience designed to appeal to everyone, regardless of his or her level of racing knowledge or enthusiasm and includes three different simulators, an award-winning movie and "A Pit Stop Challenge."
    Founded in 1967, IMAX Corporation is one of the world's leading entertainment technology companies. IMAX's businesses include the creation and delivery of the world's best cinematic presentations using proprietary IMAX and IMAX 3D technology, and the development of the highest quality digital production and presentation. As of September 30 2003, there were more than 235 IMAX theatres operating in 36 countries. To date, more than 700 million people have enjoyed The IMAX Experience® at specially-designed theatres around the world.
    DAYTONA USA, the official motorsports attraction is open 9:00am to 7:00pm/et and holds extended hours during race events. Call (386) 947-6800 for more information or visit www.DAYTONAUSA.com.(DIS PR)(2-9-2004)

  • Corvette to pace the field: General Motors has provided the Official Pace Car for the Daytona 500 during the entire "Modern Era" of NASCAR and this year is no exception. The 2004 Corvette Coupe, considered "America's performance icon," will continue that tradition and pace this year's Daytona 500, the opening race of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series on Feb. 15. Today's Corvette continues to deliver excitement by combining the perfect blend of performance, technology and content. Nearly 1.4 million Corvettes have been sold worldwide in its 51-year history. Corvette will pace four events at the Daytona International Speedway during Speedweeks this month, including the Budweiser Shootout, the Gatorade 125-Mile qualifying races, the Hershey's Kisses 300 and the Daytona 500. These four events help make up the 57 national NASCAR events Chevrolet will pace in 2004 season (26 Nextel Cup, 18 Busch, and 13 Craftsman Truck races).(GM PR)(2-8-2004)

  • President Bush to attend Daytona 500: President Bush will attend the Daytona 500 Feb. 15 in Florida. Bush plans to spend that Sunday night in Florida where his brother, Jeb, is governor, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Friday in announcing the trip to the auto race. That same night in Wisconsin, Democrats are scheduled to hold a debate in advance of that state's primary on Feb. 17. (AP/NASCAR.com)(2-6-2003)

  • LeAnn Rimes to sing National Anthem at Daytona 500 and have a concert: Double Grammy award-winning superstar LeAnn Rimes, whose hits include "How do I Live", "Can't Fight the Moonlight", and "We Can", will headline the NEXTEL Tribute to America, the pre-race extravaganza leading up to NASCAR's most prestigious race - the Daytona 500 on Feb. 15. Rimes, who has one of the most spectacular voices in pop music, will also sing the National Anthem prior to the 46th running of the "Great American Race." Her pre-race concert, the first-of-its-kind at the Daytona International Speedway, and the National Anthem will be televised live on NBC.
    The NEXTEL-sponsored extravaganza entitled the NEXTEL Tribute to America will pay tribute to people, places and events symbolic of America and will feature nearly 4,000 cast members on the Speedway's historic five-acre tri-oval grass. The show's finale will feature Grammy Award Winning Musician, Lee Greenwood singing his marquee track, "God Bless the USA".
    In addition to Rimes, Orlando native and reigning Miss America, Ericka Dunlap, has been added to a growing list of celebrities, including Grand Marshal Ben Affleck, scheduled to take part in festivities surrounding the "Great American Race" - the Daytona 500. Tickets for Speedweeks 2004 and the 46th annual Daytona 500 are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(2-6-2004)

  • Whoopi Goldberg Named Honorary Starter for Daytona 500: Academy, Emmy, Golden Globe, Grammy and Tony-Award-winning superstar Whoopi Goldberg will serve as Honorary Starter for the 46th annual Daytona 500. Coverage of "The Great American Race" begins Sunday, Feb. 15 at 12:00noon/et on NBC-TV. As the Daytona 500's Honorary Starter, Goldberg will drop the green flag, signaling drivers to begin racing the 2.5 mile course for its 200 laps - or 500 miles - duration. Goldberg currently headlines NBC's hit comedy "Whoopi," which she also executive produces, starring as Mavis Rae, an opinionated pop-diva-turned-hotel-owner. The series airs Tuesday nights at 8:00pm/et. For the Daytona 500 festivities, she will join other popular celebrities who have duties for the drivers. Academy Award-winner Ben Affleck ("Good Will Hunting," "Paycheck") will serve as Grand Marshal, proclaiming the command "Drivers, start your engines!" In addition, Affleck - commandeering the driver's seat of the official Grand Marshal pace car -- will also lead the 43-car field in pace laps before the race. Tickets for Speedweeks 2004 and the 46th annual Daytona 500 are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(2-4-2004)

  • Record Daytona 500 Purse Increases Nearly $2 Million: The 46th annual Daytona 500, the biggest and most prestigious race in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, will boast the biggest purse in the history of stock car racing. The posted awards for this year's Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 15 are $15,972,313, an increase of nearly $2 million from last year's posted awards. The posted awards for last year's Daytona 500, won by Michael Waltrip, were $14,030,129. "The Daytona 500 is the ultimate prize in stock car racing," Speedway President Robin Braig said. "It only stands to reason that the biggest race of the year command the biggest purse." The first driver to take the checkered flag in the Daytona 500 will pocket a minimum of $1,391,730. The second, third, fourth and fifth-place finishers will receive a minimum of $986,325, $693,550, $541,750 and $413,950 respectively. The last-place finisher in the Daytona 500 will earn a minimum of $177,058.(DIS PR)(2-2-2004)

  • Hogan to be Grand Marshall of DIS Truck Race: Professional wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan will serve as grand marshal and give the command "Drivers, start your engines" for the inaugural nighttime running of the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Friday night, Feb. 13. Joining Hogan in the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 pre-race ceremonies will be his daughter Brooke Hogan, who will sing the national anthem. The Florida Dodge Dealers 250 will go green for the first time under the lights on Friday night, Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. The season-opening race in the Crown Royal IROC Series will warm things up with a 40-lap event at 5 p.m. Tickets for the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 and the Crown Royal IROC Series are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(1-28-2004)

  • Nextel to Sponsor Daytona Pre-Race Show: Daytona International Speedway says new NASCAR title sponsor Nextel will sponsor the pre-race show and festivities before the Feb. 15 Daytona 500. The "Nextel Tribute to America" is expected to feature nearly 4,000 cast members and feature a performance of "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood. Q&A Entertainment will produce the show, portions of which are expected to be broadcast by NBC.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-25-2004)

  • Eagle Practices for the Daytona 500: Bird's eye view: African Fish Eagles Phoenix and Isa made an appearance at Daytona International Speedway, taking part in practice flights as they prepare for pre-race activities during the "Great American Race" on Feb. 15. Tim Smith, Assistant Supervisor of Animal Training at Special Events at Sea World in Orlando has been bringing the six-pound birds to the track for the past few weeks "giving the animals the opportunity to see the environment to feel comfortable." Phoenix has flown twice as DIS while Isa is still carrying her yellow rookie stripe. "The superstretch is nice to work the animals on because it won't change much during race time - basically it's a parking lot," Smith said. "However, the frontstretch will change dramatically during race day." Smith and his crew will continue to come out until twice a week until race day. And race day won't get here soon enough. "We take a lot of pride in being able to do venues this large is really neat for us," Smith said. "It's neat to be a part of something this big."(DIS PR)(1-22-2004)

  • DIS Medical Center Closed? Nextel Cup drivers were surprised to learn that the infield medical center was locked and no doctor was on staff during Daytona 500 testing at Daytona International Speedway. Halifax Medical Center is nearby, but drivers nevertheless expressed shock that the infield hospital was closed, particularly after NASCAR's long safety meeting with teams Tuesday. "If there are no doctors here while we're testing, that's absolutely ridiculous," Rusty Wallace said. "There must have been a major malfunction. I'm sure Mike Helton wouldn't let that happen. It's got to be an oversight, and hopefully we'll get that corrected." Bobby Hutchens, the chief engineer for Richard Childress, said, "It surprises me, because in the age we're in we've tried to improve safety, and it bothers me that there is no doctor here, to be able to assist somebody if there's a need. Just thinking about this place and the things that have happened, it really surprises me there's not a doctor on hand."
    Jeff Burton agreed: "Yes, we need to look at that. We need to make sure there is the proper staffing at tests. I don't know whose job that is, NASCAR's or the teams'. But that is something we need to address. It is certainly a question we need to ask - how is it (the infield hospital) equipped, who equipped it, who is responsible if things don't go right.
    Kenny Schrader, though, took a slightly different tack: "I don't know why there isn't a doctor in the infield. And I don't know about doctors in the infield, but if I drive this thing in the fence hard, I want a paramedic at the car. A trauma unit and a doctor who goes to all the races might be fine, but I want a guy who works 12 big traffic wrecks a month, I want him. A guy who isn't afraid to take his Bic pen and jam it in my throat to get me some air. At the track it's first-response. The people we need should be out there in the vehicles."
    NASCAR officials were not in the garage for comment.(in part from the Winston Salem Journal)(1-16-2004)

  • New Tunnel Planned at Daytona: The Daytona International Speedway plans to build a tunnel big enough to accommodate tractor trailers and RVs between Turns 1 and 2 of the tri-oval. However, the truth is the massive and costly project is on a list of capital improvements. "The five-year vision of Daytona International Speedway is up on a wall in our offices," Speedway president Robin Braig said. "With the input of the France family and what we've learned from racetracks they have built across this country, we know how important a tunnel is to a facility. We have a tunnel. It's functional and works well, but a new tunnel and many other enhancements for this track would certainly be something we'd be considering." Braig can't just order up a tunnel. He must convince International Speedway Corp.'s board that the project is needed. The board considers capital improvements for its 12 tracks and decides who gets the money. "They (ISC board) ultimately decide where the money should go," Braig said. Rumor has it, if approved, the project will start right after the Pepsi 400 in July.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-11-2004)

  • Tie the Knot at DIS UPDATE the lucky couple: The winning couple competing for a chance to "Tie the Knot at the Hershey's Kisses 300" NASCAR Busch Series race, will be announced at a press conference on Wednesday, Jan. 7 at 11:15 a.m. at the Daytona International Speedway Infield Media Center. Five lucky couples were selected to compete in a "Tie the Knot at the Hershey's Kisses 300" Race-off. The winning couple will "Tie the Knot" prior to the start of the Hershey's Kisses 300 NASCAR Busch Series race on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2004, at Daytona International Speedway.(DIS PR)(1-6-2004)
    UPDATE: Hershey's Kisses Tie the Knot Contest Winners: Teri Lewis and Gene Konzen, Indianapolis, Ind., beat out four other couples for the opportunity to "Tie the Knot" prior to the start of the Hershey's Kisses 300 NASCAR Busch Series race on Valentine's Day, February 14 at Daytona International Speedway. Lewis, 36, a registered nurse, and Konzen, 39, a firefighter, scored the most points in a Race-off with four other couples at Daytona International Speedway. Judges selected the couple during a Race-off, which pitted couple against couple in a number of fun and challenging events, including a simulated race game; a newlywed and trivia game, and individual couple interviews with the judges. The Grand Prize winning couple will "Tie the Knot" prior to the Hershey's Kisses 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at "The World Center of Racing" on Valentine's Day, February 14. The wedding will take place live before thousands of spectators prior to the start of the race.
    "It's wonderful," Konzen said. "We appreciate everything that you guys have to offer. Hershey's and Daytona, they were wonderful. We couldn't ask for anything else; this was a spectacular trip. It was going to be wonderful no matter what, even if we didn't win. We already said it was great to come down here."
    Being the chosen couple in this contest was a dream come true for Lewis and Konzen, who are both die-hard race fans.
    "When we got engaged and as (Teri) was telling people about that, someone told her about the contest and we thought that would be neat because we were having a really difficult time picking the date because we are so into NASCAR racing," Konzen said. "We have so many races we go to we couldn't figure out what month to have it so we had to pick the off-season anyway. This is the ultimate of all three things: Valentine's Day, Hershey's and Daytona and their grand hoopla of all races (the Daytona 500)."(DIS PR)(1-7-2004)


    Changing of the guard
    "The World Center of Racing" - Daytona International Speedway - underwent somewhat of a face-lift on Tuesday as the Winston logo panels from the twin scoring "Tri-lon" towers were removed. The 75-foot towers, located in the infield of the Speedway, have been in place since 1981. The familiar red and white Winston panels will be replaced with new NASCAR Cup sponsor NEXTEL logos in time for Speedweeks beginning in January 2004. (Daytona International Speedway photo)(12-31-2003)

  • Oops....not in Winston Salem this year.... Some NASCAR fans are calling Joel Coliseum in search of tickets to the T. Wayne Robertson NASCAR Winston-Cup Preview, not realizing that the preview normally held in January is moving to Daytona. More than 100 telephone calls since Friday prompted officials to post a notice on the coliseum's Web site, along with a link to the new preview, which will be held Jan. 7-20 at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach. The new preview, called the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest, will include numerous bands, pit-stop demonstrations and fan forums with drivers, according to the speedway's Web site. The fan fest will coincide with the annual NASCAR Preseason Thundertest sessions, and will include drivers from the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.(Winston Salem Journal)(12-30-2003)

  • Here ya go...... Daytona International Speedway To Host NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest.
    Bands, pit stop demonstrations and inquisitive fan forums with your favorite drivers are just some of the exciting features fans will experience at the all new 2004 NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at historic Daytona International Speedway [this takes place of the old Winston Preview that was held in Winston Salem, NC].
    Coinciding with January's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and NASCAR Busch Series testing sessions at the "World Center of Racing," officials at the Speedway announced dates for the unique NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest.
    The 5-10 p.m. events will be held on the following days:
    Jan. 7 &14: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Fan Fest
    Jan. 10: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Fan Fest
    Jan. 17 & 20: NASCAR Busch Fan Fest
    Scattered along the frontstretch outside the gates of legendary DIS, the scheduled fan festivals will feature show cars, bands, sponsor displays, race team haulers and other exhibits. The high-energy event will also include fan forums, engine building and pit stop demonstrations, silent auctions and food and fun all set in the shadow of one of motorsports most storied venues.
    On each Fan Fest day, fan forums with drivers and NASCAR officials will be moderated by MRN, FOX or NBC celebrity announcers.
    While all displays and entertainment outside is free to the public, tickets to enter the NEXTEL Cup events are $10 and $5 for the NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck events. Only fans purchasing tickets to the Cup, Busch and Truck Fan Fest events will receive gift bags that will include: driver's autographed pictures, DAYTONA USA admission vouchers, NASCAR Magazine, posters and other fan goodies.
    Fans can also experience the high-speed excitement of all testing sessions free.
    NASCAR Preseason Thunder annual testing sessions at Daytona International Speedway are as follows:
    Jan. 6-8: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup (odd owner's points)
    Jan. 10-12: NASCAR Craftsman Truck
    Jan. 13-15:NASCAR NEXTEL Cup (even owner's points)
    Jan. 17-18: NASCAR Busch Series (odd owner's points)
    Jan. 20-21: NASCAR Busch Series (even owner's points)
    Proceeds from the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest will benefit Victory Junction Gang Camp, NASCAR Wives Auxiliary, Speediatrics and Brenners Children's Hospital.(Daytona International Speedway PR)(12-9-2003)

  • The new 'Preview' in Daytona: NASCAR announced plans today for a new preseason fan-oriented event that will coincide with the annual NASCAR Preseason Thunder test sessions in January at Daytona International Speedway. "NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan-Fest at Daytona"will involve drivers from all three of NASCAR's national series - the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, the NASCAR Busch Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Those three series test Jan.6-22 at Daytona. All three series open the 2004 season at Daytona International Speedway in February. Combining the preview event with the other activities surrounding NASCAR Preseason Thunder will give fans more opportunities to enjoy NASCAR in the city where the sport was founded in 1948 - Daytona Beach. Fans will be able to watch their favorite teams test cars for the new season, see and interact with their favorite drivers, visit the Daytona USA attraction and tour Daytona International Speedway. In addition, the new event will continue to benefit multiple charities. NASCAR will release more details on the "NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan-Fest at Daytona" in the near future.(NASCAR PR)(10-8-2003)

  • 2004 Daytona testing:
    Jan. 6-8 - NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series testing (odd owner's points)
    Jan. 10-12 - NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series testing
    Jan. 13-15 - NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series testing (even owner's points)
    Jan. 17-18 - NASCAR Busch Series testing (odd owner's points)
    Jan. 20-21 - NASCAR Busch Series testing (even owner's points)


  • UPDATE 12-30-2003 - Driver List...so far: Bands, pit stop demonstrations and inquisitive fan forums with your favorite drivers are just some of the exciting features fans will experience at the all-new 2004 NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest.

    Fan Fest Dates:
    NEXTEL Cup Series Drivers - Jan. 7 + 14
    Busch Series Drivers - Jan. 17 + 20
    Craftsman Truck Series Drivers - Jan. 10

    Fan Fest Times: NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fests are from 5:00pm to 10:00pm on the selected dates.

    While all displays and entertainment outside is free to the public, tickets to enter the NEXTEL Cup events are $10 and $5 for the NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck events. Only fans purchasing tickets to the Cup, Busch and Truck Fan Fest events will receive gift bags that will include: driver's autographed pictures, DAYTONA USA admission vouchers, NASCAR Magazine, posters and other fan goodies.

    Proceeds from the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest will benefit Victory Junction Gang Camp, NASCAR Wives Auxiliary, Speediatrics and Brenners Children's Hospital.

    To purchase tickets to Preseason Thunder Fan Fest, call the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-RACE.

    more info at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com

    Cup Drivers

    Jan. 6-8
    Matt Kenseth [#17]
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. [#8]
    Kevin Harvick [#29]
    Tony Stewart [#20]
    Kasey Kahne [#9]
    Kurt Busch [#97]
    Jamie McMurray [#42]
    Michael Waltrip [#15]
    Mark Martin [#6]
    Jeremy Mayfield [#19]
    Scott Wimmer [#22]
    Dale Jarrett [#88]
    Ricky Craven [#32]
    Joe Nemechek [#01]
    Ward Burton [#0]
    Kyle Petty [#45]
    Jeff Green [#43]
    Derrike Cope [#50/37]

    Jan. 13-15
    Jimmie Johnson [#48]
    Jeff Gordon [#24]
    Ryan Newman [#12]
    Bobby Labonte [#18]
    Terry Labonte [#5]
    Ricky Rudd [#21]
    Jeff Burton [#24]
    Rusty Wallace [#2]
    Robby Gordon [#31]
    Sterling Marlin [#40]
    Greg Biffle [#16]
    Elliott Sadler [#38]
    Scott Riggs [#10]
    Brian Vickers [#25]
    Jimmy Spencer [#7]
    John Andretti [#1]
    Johnny Sauter [#30]
    Casey Mears [#41]
    Ken Schrader [#49]
    Larry Foyt [#14]

    Busch Drivers

    Jan. 17-18
    Kevin Harvick [#21]
    David Green [#37]
    Bobby Hamilton Jr. [#25]
    Kasey Kahne [#38]
    Mike Bliss [#20]
    Joe Nemechek [#87]
    Mike Wallace [#4]
    Johnny Sauter [#27]

    Jan. 20-21
    Kyle Busch [#5]
    Ron Hornaday Jr. [#2]
    Jason Keller [#57/22]
    Kenny Wallace [#23]
    Stacy Compton [#59]
    Ashton Lewis [#46]
    Tim Fedewa [#12]
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. [#8]
    Michael Waltrip #99]
    Casey Atwood [#14]
    Mark Martin [#9]

  • CART and the Frances/ISC? An Indiana judge has cleared away the first hurdles in the planned takeover of CART assets. Judge Frank Otte overruled attempts to slow down the process and thus torpedo the plans of Open Wheel Racing. The CART lawyers argued that if there were delays there would be nothing left. The objections had been put forward by legal teams representing California Speedway and Road America, both of which have outstanding legal issues with CART. Mike Hile, an attorney representing California Speedway said that he is also representing a group of investors which is interested in making a bid for the CART assets. The identity of this group remains unknown although Hile said the bid would come from a company called 88 Corp.
    88 Corp is the owner of California Speedway and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the International Speedway Corporation. This is a leading promoter of motorsports activities in the United States, currently promoting more than 100 events annually. The Company owns and/or operates 12 motorsports facilities. In addition it owns and operates MRN Radio, the nation's largest independent sports radio network and the Daytona USA theme park in Daytona Beach, Florida. The company also owns major merchandising subsidiaries. ISC is a publicly-traded company but is controlled by the France Family, the owners of NASCAR. It is also involved in another company called The Motorsport Alliance, a partnership between ISC, the Frances and Tony George, the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy Racing League, CART's major rival.(GrandPrix.com)(12-31-2003)

  • DIS Helps Out: Veteran NASCAR driver Mike Skinner helped out as Daytona International Speedway and Volusia County (Fla.) Health Department delivered 5,323 pounds of food to the Second Harvest Food Bank this month. Skinner and his wife, Angie, led a caravan that included the new Mickey Mouse Chevrolet that will lead the Daytona 500 pace lap, three Speedway trucks and a Daytona USA show car hauler taking the food to the organization that helps families in need. "Being able to do something for people that are less fortunate gives us great pride," said Skinner, who has signed to drive a Bang Racing Toyota in the Craftsman Truck Series next year. "It's always nice to be able to help out the community you live in."(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(12-23-2003)

  • Five Couples Selected: Five lucky race fan couples have been selected to travel to Daytona Beach, Fla. to compete in a "Tie the Knot at the Hershey's Kisses 300" Race-off. The winning couple of the Race-off will "Tie the Knot" prior to the start of the Hershey's Kisses 300 NASCAR Busch Series race on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2004, at Daytona International Speedway. Judges selected the Race-off couples based on their specially designed envelopes and essays explaining why they wanted to "Tie the Knot at the Hershey's Kisses 300" NASCAR Busch Series race in Daytona. The couples:
    Teri Lewis and Gene Konzen, Indianapolis, Ind.
    Dawn Kreager and Kelly Bloss, Stewartstown, Pa.
    Tammy Purkis and Travis Zvolena, Marshfield, Wis.
    Jefflyn LeFevre and Lesley Westbrook, Gainesville, Texas
    Marla Hill and James Darin, Morris, Ill.
    will compete in the Race-off on Wednesday, January 7, 2004. Each finalist couple receives a three-day, two-night trip to Daytona Beach, for the Race-off. The Race-off pits couple against couple in a number of fun and challenging events, including a simulated race game; a newlywed and trivia game, and individual couple interviews with the judges. The winning couple will be announced following judging of the Race-off activities on Wednesday, January 7, 2004. The Grand Prize-winning couple will "Tie the Knot" prior to the Hershey's Kisses 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at "The World Center of Racing" on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2004. The wedding will take place live before thousands of spectators prior to the start of the race. Hershey Foods' sponsorship of the Hershey's Kisses 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2004 includes a specially painted #21 Hershey's Kisses Chevrolet fielded by Richard Childress Racing. Kevin Harvick will look to continue his winning ways next season by driving the No. 21 Hershey's Kisses Chevrolet in this NASCAR Busch Series season-opening event.(Yahoo Biz)(12-19-2003)

  • Affleck named Daytona 500 Grand Marshal: Actor, director and writer Ben Affleck, who captured the 1997 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Good Will Hunting and has starred in blockbuster films such as Armageddon and Pearl Harbor, will serve as Grand Marshal for the 46th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 15 - "The Great American Race." Affleck, who stars in the upcoming Paycheck, which will be released Dec. 25, will give the command "Drivers, start your engines" in NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious stock car race in the world. His Grand Marshal duties also include leading the 43-car field in the pace laps from the Grand Marshal pace car. "We're excited to have Ben take part in Daytona 500 pre-race festivities to help start the first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race of 2004," said Speedway President Robin Braig. "As a huge sports fan, I'm thrilled to serve as Grand Marshal for the 2004 Daytona 500," Affleck said. "I've heard about the excitement and competition of the Daytona 500 and I can't wait to be part of the festivities." Tickets for Speedweeks 2004 and the 46th annual Daytona 500 are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(12-16-2003)

  • Cup drivers in the Daytona 24? Chevrolet is trying to have a big presence in the Rolex Sports Car Series' Daytona 24 hour early next year. Daytona Prototypes are under construction at Crawford Race Cars in Denver, North Carolina, all powered by GM's Gen III V8 engines, which GM hopes will be piloted by its Winston Cup stars. Chevrolet is looking at various driver combinations and it's unclear how many cars will run. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart are strong candidates, and Jimmy Johnson and Jeff Gordon could figure in the mix. Regular GM road racers Kelly Collins and Andy Pilgrim are on deck as well. GM sources say there is no truth to rumors that another car is slated for Bobby, Terry and Justin Labonte.(Autoweek)(11-26-2003)

  • Hershey's To Sponsor February Busch Series Race at Daytona: Daytona International Speedway and Hershey Foods officials announced the season-opening NASCAR Busch Series race at the "World Center of Racing on Feb. 14, 2004 will be called the Hershey's Kisses 300. The Hershey's Kisses 300 race will feature a specially painted Hershey's Kisses #21 Chevrolet fielded by Richard Childress Racing. Kevin Harvick will drive the Hershey's Kisses #21 car in the first Busch Series event of 2004. In addition to the Hershey's Kisses 300 sponsorship announcement, Hershey Foods also announced the "Tie the Knot at the Hershey's Kisses 300" promotion that will coincide with Feb. 14 racing event. This unique promotion offers one lucky "race fan" couple the opportunity to get married at the track in Daytona on Valentine's Day prior to the Hershey's Kisses 300 race. Complete contest details are available at hersheyskisses.com.(DIS PR)(10-6-2003)

  • More on DIS's Lease: A sealed document that had been stored in a safe states that International Speedway Corp.'s 25-year option to extend its lease of publicly owned land to 2032 remains valid and can be exercised anytime before 2007. That contradicts statements reported last week suggesting the Speedway "revoked" the 25-year option and might be forced in 2007 to renegotiate terms of the tax-free, low-rent deal forged in the late 1950s. Speedway attorneys requested a public meeting to find out exactly where the Daytona Beach Racing and Recreational Facilities Commission, which oversees the 443 acres underneath the Speedway, stands on the status of its lease. In a May 1994 memo, Thomas T. Cobb, longtime former attorney for the Facilities Commission, stated the Speedway and 443 acres underneath it would revert to public ownership on Nov. 8, 2007, unless a new lease is negotiated. But in the sealed documents provided to The Daytona Beach News-Journal after last week's story was published, Cobb stated the 25-year option in the original lease remains valid. It can be exercised at any time before 2007 -- giving the Speedway the right to use the public land for $20,000 a year through 2032.(Daytona Beach News Journal(9-27-2003)

  • Daytona Beach to raise the rent for DIS? In four years, the public could own the Daytona International Speedway. And if that doesn't happen, there's a chance the International Speedway Corp. will be paying considerably more to use the place. It all hinges on Nov. 8, 2007, when the Speedway's original 50-year lease expires. On that date, 443 acres of publicly owned land and everything on it -- grandstands, offices, garages and public exhibition space -- will revert to public control unless the Speedway agrees to a new lease, according to a recently discovered memo by Thomas T. Cobb, the attorney who negotiated the deal to build the track a half century ago. Cobb, longtime attorney for the five-member commission that regulates use of the property, wrote the memo in May 1994 to help the commission begin new lease negotiations. Under a new lease, the Speedway could wind up paying far more than the $10,000 a year rent it currently pays under what Cobb called a "sweetheart" deal negotiated in 1957. The Speedway doesn't think it needs to renegotiate. The multi-million dollar corporation plans in 2007 to exercise a 25-year renewal option built into the original lease, Glenn Padgett, chief counsel for operations for International Speedway Corp. said Tuesday.
    See full story at the Daytona Beach News Journal.(9-17-2003)

  • Another Daytona Race under the lights? Daytona International Speedway president Robin Braig and his staff recently have kicked around issues that will impact Speed Weeks 2004. Braig is continuing discussions with NASCAR about possibly moving another event -- with the exception of the Daytona 500 -- to a prime-time starting slot. The Budweiser Shootout went under the lights this year and will continue as a nighttime race next season. But