Tag:Daytona 500
Posted on: January 11, 2012 2:30 pm

Kurt Busch finds Bud Shootout sponsorship

By Pete Pistone

Kurt Busch is bringing some additional sponsorship dollars to his new Sprint Cup home at Phoenix Racing.

Busch has a personal services contract with TAG Heuer Eyewear and the company announced Wednesday it would take that relationship a step further in 2012 to sponsor a handful of races as well.

The No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet will carry the company's logos and colors as a primary sponsor in next month's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway where Busch is the defending race winner.

The company will serve as an associate sponsor for the Daytona 500 as well as the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“TAG Heuer Eyewear has been a great partner of mine and this is a big deal for them to step up and sponsor Phoenix Racing and me for a few races this year,” Busch said. “I consider myself very fortunate to be affiliated with such a great brand and to have their strong support. I’m proud to carry the colors of TAG Heuer Eyewear on the No. 51 Chevrolet starting with Budweiser Shootout. As the defending race winner, we’re going to give it all we have to get back to victory lane.”

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Posted on: August 23, 2011 2:03 pm
Edited on: August 23, 2011 2:04 pm

Camry to pace 2012 Daytona 500

Posted By Pete Pistone

From News Release

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The 2012 Toyota Camry will serve as the official pace car for the 54th running of the Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 26 – the first time that the manufacturer has served as the pace car for a NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway and the fourth different manufacturer to have pace a race at the “World Center of Racing” since 2010.

“Toyota has a successful track record of manufacturing in the United States and they have built upon that success in NASCAR’s top three national series,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said.  “The 2012 Camry is a sharp, sleek vehicle and it will look great at the head of the field in the 54th running of the Daytona 500.  We’re proud to have the 2012 Camry, built by great American workers, pace the ‘Great American Race.’ ”

“We’re thrilled to be able to feature the new Camry in Daytona at the season’s biggest race,” said Ed Laukes, TMS corporate manager of motorsports marketing.  “We think the Daytona 500 is the perfect place to showcase the all-new Camry – which will go on sale this fall.  We knew when the opportunity arose to partner together with Daytona that it would be an extraordinary way to highlight our new Camry, as well as reinforce Toyota’s commitment to NASCAR and its fans.”

The Camry went on sale in 1983 and since then more than nine million Camrys have been sold in the U.S. Toyota began manufacturing the Camry in Georgetown, Ky., in 1986 and the vehicle is now also built in Lafayette, Ind.

The 2012 Camry debuts a bold, sophisticated new design with a more spacious interior, improved driving dynamics and an even quieter ride than before.  The new model features class leading safety, fuel economy and multi-media technology.

Tickets for the 54th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26 as well as other Speedweeks 2012 events can be purchased online athttp://www.daytonainternationalspee
 or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP

New for the 2012 Daytona 500 is 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.


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Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: July 26, 2011 11:38 am
Edited on: July 26, 2011 11:47 am

Idle Thoughts: NFL impacts NASCAR 2012 schedule

By Pete Pistone

(The 2012 Daytona 500 won't be affected by a delayed NFL season)

Now that the NFL lockout is over and the season will go off without a hitch NASCAR can go about its business. 

Big time stock car racing would have been impacted in a number of ways had the NFL stalemate lasted long enough to cancel games or push back the season. 

Had the pro football impasse continued into the fall NASCAR would have had an opportunity to perhaps enhance a few fans with nothing to watch on Sunday afternoons to tune in to Sprint Cup racing. The mammoth television audiences the NFL attracts dwarf any other on-air competition every week, including NASCAR. Stock car racing would have most certainly benefitted from having a bigger spotlight on the sports landscape without football to contend with for viewers. 

But maybe a bigger influence would have come next season had the NFL campaign been delayed and/or pushed back. 

NASCAR had already announced its decision to start the 2012 season two weeks later than usual with the Daytona 500 scheduled for Sunday, February 26th. Most believe that move was a pre-emptive strike to move the start of the NASCAR year as far away from the hype and hoopla of the Super Bowl, which is traditionally held on the first Sunday of February. 

However there was a possibility a late start to the NFL season would have forced the league to slide back the Super Bowl from its February 5, 2012 date to ensure a full slate of 16 regular season games were played. Had that transpired there was a very real possibility the Daytona 500 and Super Bowl might have been matched up head-to-head. 

While Daytona is the sport’s biggest event and last year generated a solid television rating of more than eight with just over fifteen million viewers, the race would have been pummeled by a Super Bowl conflict. NASCAR would have also been the loser in terms of press coverage with the already strapped media world no doubt sending all resources to Indianapolis for the game and depleting the corps assigned to Daytona. 

NFL labor peace means none of these scenarios will happen and it will be business as usual between the two sports for at least the next decade. 

As for the NBA’s problems, that could be a completely different story. 

Speaking of 2012 races, while this season heads into a 17-week straight stretch to end the schedule next year’s slate is already taking shape. Through some track announcements, ticket renewal information and a few other sources, CBSSports.com has put together a very solid outline of the 2012 Sprint Cup Series schedule.

Don’t book any travel just yet, but when NASCAR announces the official Cup schedule for next season it will more than likely look like this:


February 26

Daytona 500 

March 4


March 11

Las Vegas 

March 18


March 25


April 1


April 8

Easter Weekend 

April 14


April 22


April 28


May 6


May 12


May 19

All-Star Race 

May 27


June 3


June 10


June 17


June 24


June 30


July 7


July 15

New Hampshire 

July 22

Off Weekend 

July 29


August 5


August 12

Watkins Glen 

August 19


August 25


September 2


September 8


September 16


September 23

New Hampshire 

September 30


October 7


October 13


October 21


October 28


November 5


November 12


November 19


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Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: June 29, 2011 1:45 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 12:36 pm

Trevor Bayne Back at Daytona

By Pete Pistone

Trevor Bayne’s
roller coaster ride of a season started with the highest of highs when he pulled off a Cinderella win in the Daytona 500. 

But no sooner had the 20-year-old finished celebrating his triumph in NASCAR’s biggest race his life dropped to the lowest point possible. 

Suddenly Bayne was sidelined by a mysterious illness that took him away from racing and to a hospital bed at the Mayo Clinic while doctors tried to figure out what was threatening his long-term health.

Although the cause of Bayne’s medical issues have not been officially released, he is back on track and thankful for the opportunity to once again do what he loves most. 

“It’s kind of scary when you don’t know, but, then again, I don’t really have to know as long as I’m getting better, and I am,” Bayne said as he readies to return to the scene of his historic triumph this weekend and Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona.  “To me, it’s like we just keep digging and hopefully it doesn’t come back.” 

When Bayne was able to come back earlier this month when he returned to the Nationwide Series he did it like he’d never been away from the sport. A third place finish at Chicagoland Speedway helped Bayne get back into the swing of things and he feels comfortable back behind the wheel after the nearly two month layoff. 

While grateful Bayne still carries the disappointment that one of his goals for the season is now out of the question because of the illness that forced him to be idle. 

“The biggest thing is it took us out of the points championship in the Nationwide Series,” said Bayne of his ride in the Roush Fenway Racing Mustang.  “We really wanted to run for that championship this year and now we’re too far back to be in contention, so that’s kind of the biggest disappointment to me.” 

Bayne has also been absent from the limited Sprint Cup Series schedule he had planned to run for the Wood Brothers, whom he took to victory lane in the Daytona 500. 

But since the plan to compete in the famed No. 21 entry on NASCAR’s top division was only for a partial season, Bayne isn’t as upset about the turn of events as he is from his issues derailing the quest for a Nationwide title. 

“As far as the Cup races go, yeah, I want to run every time I can, but, really, I only missed two races, so that’s not as big of a deal to me as missing five Nationwide races and being out of the points championship,” he said.  “Still, we missed the All-Star Race and that was a big deal for me too, to be able to be in that and have a sponsor for it, so both of those are kind of the down side to it.” 

Bayne points to his devout faith for helping him through the ordeal and his continued goal for a full recovery. Ever the optimist, Bayne has found a silver living to having to step away from NASCAR for the unexpected vacation. 

“The good side is I learned a lot,” Bayne said.  “While I was out sick I got to watch a lot of races and I learned a lot of stuff, and I’ve got a new appreciation for what I get to do every weekend.  Not everybody in the country gets to go drive race cars and be as fortunate as I am, so I definitely have a new appreciation for that.” 

Now he’ll roll into Daytona for the weekend’s annual Fourth of July stop at “The World Center of racing” and will no doubt re-live his thrilling victory that started the season. 

Bayne says the carryover of winning one of the most famous races in all of motorsports hasn’t stopped and in fact he’s hoping it doesn’t for some time to come. 

“I think it’s started to,” Bayne said about whether his Daytona 500 win has sunk in yet.  “Every time a fan comes up to me, even though it’s months afterwards, they’re still saying, ‘Man, that was awesome.  Congratulations on the Daytona 500.’  Normally, after you win a race a couple months later everybody kind of backs off and they don’t really say that much about it, but this one has lasted six months already, so I think this is something that’s gonna be around for a long time.” 

However in the competitive world of NASCAR even a victory in the most prestigious race of them all isn’t always enough to meet the “what have you done for me lately” mentality that permeates the sport. 

Bayne will now have the huge task of trying to back up February’s accomplishment first by qualifying his way into the race, since he’s not inside the Top 35 in points and thus not guaranteed a starting spot. 

Then once in the field he’ll try to become the first driver since Bobby Allison in 1982 to sweep both season’s races at Daytona. 

But don’t expect Bayne to show any worry about the mounting pressure. In typical fashion Bayne continues to look at the positives in life and to bring an upbeat outlook to the challenge. 

“We’ve had a lot of other stuff happen in the season that has kind of slowed us down a little on that excitement train, but it’s been a good year so far and we’re looking forward to going back to Daytona this weekend,” Bayne said. 

Not surprisingly he said so with a smile on his face.

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Posted on: February 22, 2011 4:34 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2011 6:34 pm

Idle thoughts: NASCAR off to a good start

Posted by Pete Pistone

Now that Daytona is in the rear view mirror the regular season can begin.

But NASCAR officials have to be hoping for a carryover effect from Sunday’s thrilling Daytona 500.

There was a very different vibe at Daytona this year. Yes there was controversy over the two-car drafting tandems, the brand new asphalt surface and subsequent high speeds and all the rules changes NASCAR handed out as Speedweeks rolled on. There’s really nothing new about that, as it seems most every year has something very similar.

But after an off-season of changes and an end to 2010 that had a feeling of general malaise to it, there were a lot of questions about where NASCAR was headed this season.

There has been much worry over falling television ratings and attendance woes and quite frankly if the bubble had burst on NASCAR’s incredible popularity. The sport needed to come out of the box with the biggest race of the year in a big way.

The memory of last year’s Pot Hole 500 was still fresh on a lot of people’s minds and the last thing NASCAR needed was a crummy “Super Bowl” in front of a sea of empty seats.

That was far from the case on Sunday.

The Daytona 500 was a thriller and close to a classic despite the sloppiness of 16 caution flags and the absence of several big names in contention for the win after being erased by either a crash or mechanical issues.

The closing laps and subsequent finish was among the best in the race’s 53-year history. And the story of 20-year-old Trevor Bayne winning behind the wheel of a car fielded by the historic Wood Brothers who have been part of NASCAR since the beginning could not have been written any better.

What Bayne and the Woods did was bridge the generation gap between the coveted young audience NASCAR so desperately needs today and the long-time fan that has been with the sport for decades. The sight of the legendary No. 21 speeding under the checkered flag with the fresh-faced Bayne behind the wheel was the perfect tonic to touch both ends of the fan spectrum.

On a perfect February afternoon an announce crowd of 183,000 turned out for Sunday’s race. Not a sellout but a turnout that dwarfs any other collegiate or professional sporting event.

Television ratings were up by 13 percent over last year’s telecast with an estimated 30 million viewing at one point during Sunday’s telecast, making the 500 the most watched NASCAR race since 2008.

Maybe even more encouraging were the television numbers coming out of such major markets like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. The country’s “Big Three” had jumps as high as 61 percent from a year ago when the 500 competed with the Olympics for television viewers.

So as the dust settles on the 53rd edition of the Daytona 500 there are no doubt smiles on the faces of NASCAR and track officials, television and radio executives as well as sponsors. The business of NASCAR is off to a rousing start.

Now comes the test. The grueling remaining 35 races of the calendar and the meat of the season are upon us. The lift of the 500 will only go so far. Those casual fans that tuned in and witnessed an interesting and thrilling race at Daytona may surf over to FOX’s telecast from Phoenix on Sunday. Of course racing on the one-mile desert oval is nothing like the high-speed restrictor plate madness of Daytona so those new fans are going to have to get used to what they’re watching on Sunday.

It’ll be up to the drivers to put on a good show at Phoenix and if the on-track product can be as good this year as it was overall in 2010, NASCAR may be poised for a pretty successful season.

Things are looking bright in February. Let’s see how it looks comes November.


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Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 20, 2011 9:31 pm

Audio tracks: Daytona 500

The post-race news conference went nearly an hour, but if you have the time, it's here for your listening pleasure

Trevor Bayne, crew chief Donnie Wingo, team owners Eddie Wood and Len Wood
(59 minutes, 5 seconds)

Runner-up Carl Edwards and third-place David Gilliland
(20 minutes, 19 seconds)

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Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 20, 2011 9:20 pm

Daytona 500 win not a symbol for future greatness

Posted by Brian De Los Santos

Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500.

What does that mean exactly?

Well, I don't think it means as much as it used to. The winner of the Daytona 500 should be among the best of the best, but the restrictor-plate era has shown that just about anybody can win at Daytona and Talladega.

There were 74 lead changes on Sunday afternoon, that's just a ridiculous amount for a 200-lap event. What kind of skill did Bayne really show in winning aside from being in the right place at the right time? On the last restart, Bayne was even preparing to be the one pushing someone to the victory -- and he was the leader.

"If you listened to that last restart, I’m leading and I’m saying, ‘Who can I push?," Bayne said. "Who can I let in front of me to push across this thing because our car was so fast as a pusher?  I was going to brake and let Tony Stewart get down, and all of a sudden here comes the 47 car (of Bobby Labonte) just pushing away. 

"So I’m thinking, ‘Oh no.  We’re leading now.  That’s kind of cool to say that we were leading on the start of the green-white-checkered,’ and then I told somebody earlier, I said, ‘I got to the white flag and I said at
least we can say we led the white flag lap of the Daytona 500.’  And then we get to Turn 4 and we’re still leading and I’m like, ‘Somebody is going to pass us.  What’s gonna happen here?’  And nobody
ever did. It’s just, ‘Wow.  Really.”

I just don't think the Daytona 500 symbolizes what it once did -- at least in my eyes.

A driver making just his second career Cup start for a team that wasn't even planning to race full-time in the series shouldn't be able to beat the likes of champions such as Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch and Matt Kenseth -- not in the biggest, most important event of the year.

Bayne isn't even eligible for the Sprint Cup championship -- his plan was to run full-time in the Nationwide Series this season. Those plans may change now, however, he still won't be rewarded points for winning the Daytona 500.

Yes, upsets happen. But they're much more likely to happen at Daytona and Talladega than any other track on the circuit.

Bayne, who turned 20 on Saturday, may very well end up the next Gordon or Johnson down the road, but let's not make that assumption based solely on a victory in the Daytona 500.
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Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 20, 2011 7:45 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2011 8:02 pm

A record-breaking day at Daytona

Post by Brian De Los Santos

Offseason changes to the Sprint Cup car coupled with the new asphalt at Daytona International Speedway led to several records falling in Sunday's Daytona 500.

  • 74 lead changes obliterated the old record of 60 (1974)

  • 22 leaders broke the old mark of 21 (2010)

  • 16 cautions smashed the previous record of 11 (3 times–1968, 2005, 2006)

  • Trevor Bayne, who turned 20 on Saturday, is the youngest winner by far in the history of the Daytona 500. Jeff Gordon was the previous record holder when he won the 1997 Daytona 500 at the age of 25 years, 6 months, 12 days.

Statistically speaking

  • Bayne won in just his second career Sprint Cup start. He finished 17th in his only other start -- Nov. 7, 2010 at Texas.

  • Bayne is the seventh driver to earn his first career win in the Daytona 500. He joins Tiny Lund, 1963; Mario Andretti, 1967; Pete Hamilton, 1970; Derrike Cope, 1990; Sterling Marlin, 1994; Michael Waltrip, 2001.

  • Of the previous six, Marlin finished his career with the most wins (10)

  • The victory was the 600th Cup win for Ford and the 12th in the Daytona 500.

  • The win by Wood Brothers Racing is the first by a Ford team other than Roush Fenway Racing since Dale Jarrett won for Robert Yates Racing at Talladega in October 2005.

  • The last victory for Wood Brothers Racing was with Elliott Sadler at Bristol on March 25, 2001.

  • The Wood Brothers have 98 all-time wins in the Cup Series with 16 different drivers. David Pearson (43 wins), Cale Yarborough (13), Neil Bonnett (9), Marvin Panch (8), A.J. Foyt (5), Glen Wood (4), Dan Gurney (4), Speedy Thompson (2), Kyle Petty (2), Donnie Allison, Curtis Turner, Tiny Lund, Buddy Baker, Dale Jarrett, Morgan Shepherd, Elliott Sadler and Trevor Bayne.

  • The Wood Brothers had four previous wins in the Daytona 500: Tiny Lund (1963), Cale Yarborough (1968), A.J. Foyt (1972), David Pearson (1976).

Strange but true

None of the winners this weekend are eligible for the championship in the series in which they won -- Michael Waltrip (Truck Series), Tony Stewart (Nationwide Series) and Trevor Bayne (Sprint Cup).

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Category: Auto Racing
Tags: Daytona 500
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com