Tag:Daytona 500
Posted on: February 13, 2011 5:00 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2011 6:05 pm
 

NASCAR changes Daytona rules

Posted By Pete Pistone

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - As expected NASCAR informed Sprint Cup Series teams of changes in the wake of this weekend's racing at Daytona International Speedway.

Although the sanctioning body has not mandated a smaller restrictor plate after speeds reached more than 206 mph in Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout, NASCAR is addressing the two-car drafting phenomenon that dominated Saturday's race.

NASCAR will modify the cooling systems of cars including limiting the size of the front grilles.

Teams will also be mandated to utilize a pressure valve to regulate water temperature.

Finally the number of laps cars are allowed to draft in the two car pack will be limited.

All of these initiatives are designed to break up the tandem drafting that has dominated "Speedweeks 2011" and allow two-cars to run at a much faster pace than single or even multi-car drafts.

More NASCAR coverage

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 13, 2011 3:58 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2011 9:05 pm
 

Earnhardt Jr. popular Daytona 500 pole winner

Posted By Pete Pistone

Daytona 500 pole day qualifying | Duel 1 lineup | Duel 2 lineup

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - There wasn't much noise from the sparse crowd on hand for Sunday's Daytona 500 qualifying session.

But there was a very audible roar from those who were in the grandstands when Dale Earnhardt Jr. turned the fastest lap of time trials to win the pole for the 53rd running of "The Great American Race."

Earnhardt will start his 400th career Sprint Cup Series race from the number one spot next Sunday when he leads the field to green in the 500. 

He'll be flanked by his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon as the front row duo were the only two drivers to lock themselves into next week's race.

The rest of the 43-cars will be decided by a mixture of qualifying speeds, finishing positions in Thursday's Gatorade Duel qualifying races, the Top 35 owners' points from last season and other provisionals.

And while some drivers who took part in Sunday's session know they will be in the big race to start the season, others will have four more sleepless nights until the checkered flags fly in Thursday's twin 150s.

Bill Elliott, Joe Nemechek , Travis Kvapil and Terry Labonte were the quartet that will be able to celebrate after Sunday's runs, all earning a spot in Sunday's race. However where they take the green flag will be determined by their finish in one of Thursday's twin 150s.

"This takes a lot of pressure off to say the least," said Nemechek, who put together a deal at the last minute to bring his team down to Daytona along with another car for last year's Rookie of the Year Kevin Conway . "We've been working pretty hard nearly day and night to get both cars prepared to be down here and this is very rewarding to know our little group has already earned a spot in the biggest race of the year. Pretty cool."

Only four other spots will be up for grabs on Thursday, which has been watered down in recent years thanks to NASCAR's Top 35 rule of guaranteeing positions in the first five races of a new year based on LAST season's owner points.

With most of the Daytona 500 line-up now set, the mystique of the twin-150s has evaporated and one of the best days in sports is nowhere near the same.

Back in the day the twins were the ultimate "go or go home" race with drivers furiously trying to find a way to finish inside the first fifteen to earn a way into Sunday's big show. There were still provisionals available based on point standings as well as qualifying speeds dictating other starting spots. But racing your way into the 500 WAS the show and why on a Thursday afternoon you'd see more than 100,000 fans jam the grandstands in Daytona.

Don't expect any fix to that situation anytime soon as the Top 35 rule appears set in stone for the near future.

NASCAR's bigger issue is finding a way to slow down the Sprint Cup cars that rocketed around Daytona in excess of 206 mph in Saturday's Budweiser Shootout and figuring out what to make of the two-car drafting phenomenon that was still the talk around the garage on Sunday.

The expectation is that NASCAR will most likely mandate a smaller restrictor plate to bring down speeds - even by five or six miles per hour seems to put the sanctioning body into more of a comfort level. And a tweaking of the cooling systems to force drivers from staying on the rear bumper for an extended period of drafting for fear of overheating is rumored to be the course of action on the tandem racing.

As usual, things change on a nearly daily basis during "Speedweeks" and I'm expecting that to continue as we countdown to next Sunday's 53rd Daytona 500.

More NASCAR coverage

Posted on: February 12, 2011 4:09 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2011 11:23 pm
 

Martin leads way in final practice

Posted By Pete Pistone

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Mark Martin held serve in Saturday's second practice session pacing the field in preparation for Sunday's qualifying session for the 53rd running of the Daytona 500.

Martin turned a lap of 185.311 mph in his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to top the speed charts as he did in the day's opening session.

His Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson had the second fastest lap at 184.991 mph.

Rookie Trevor Bayne who will start the 500 in the Wood Brothers Racing Ford was third with Richard Childress Racing teammates Jeff Burton and Paul Menard rounding out the top five.

Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer, Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr . and Matt Kenseth completed the first ten.

Chevrolet put seven cars in the top ten and will be the manufacturer to beat in Sunday's qualifying session which is slated for 1:05 p.m. ET.

There are 49 cars set to take part in the time trial session which will lock in the front row starters for next Sunday's Daytona 500. The remainder of the starting field will come through a combination of finishing positions in Thursday's Gatorade Duel qualifying races, speeds, provisionals and the Top 35 in last year's owner point standings.

More NASCAR coverage

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 12, 2011 2:25 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2011 11:21 pm
 

Camaro to Pace Daytona 500

Posted By Pete Pistone

From News Release

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Daytona International Speedway and Chevrolet officials announced today that the Chevrolet Camaro SS will serve as the official pace car for the 53<sup>rd</sup>  running of the Daytona 500 – 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.

“Chevrolet has been a great partner and supporter of Daytona International Speedway and the Daytona 500 for close to 40 years,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “The Chevrolet Camaro is one of the most recognizable cars in the world and is a perfect fit to lead the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to the green flag in the Daytona 500.”

“Chevrolet is proud to serve as the “Official Pace Car” of the 53<sup>rd</sup>  running of the Daytona 500” said Jeff Chew , Chevy Racing Marketing Manager. “The 400 hp 2011 Camaro SS was selected to pace the field to the green flag to showcase Camaro’s performance and styling on one of the most famous race tracks in the world.”  

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.

In the Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show, Paisley, who has 18 No. 1 hits, three Grammy awards, 14 CMA Awards and 13 Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards, will perform three songs prior to the start of the Daytona 500.

Paisley’s innovative and entertaining H20 World Tour  played to over 879,000 fans in 2010 and placed #1 country tour for attendance by Pollstar.  Paisley’s next album, This Is Country Music  will be in-stores this spring.


More NASCAR coverage

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 12, 2011 1:45 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2011 11:20 pm
 

McMurray slaps wall in practice

Posted By Pete Pistone

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Defending Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray slammed into the outside wall after cutting a tire in Saturday's opening practice session for the Sprint Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway.

McMurray's Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing team pulled out a back-up Chevrolet after the No. 1 car's encounter with the wall and plan to practice that vehicle in Saturday's second session, which is the final prelude to Sunday's Daytona 500 qualifying session.

Chevrolet had eight of the top ten speeds in Saturday's first session with Mark Martin (184.877 mph) and Jeff Gordon (184.513 mph) the top two.
More NASCAR coverage
Posted on: February 10, 2011 11:25 am
 

Eye on Media Day

Posted By Pete Pistone

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The annual NASCAR Media Day activities kicked off early this morning in a giant tent outside the Daytona International Speedway. Approximately 300 journalists from around the world have descended on Daytona to meet with drivers across all three of NASCAR's top divisions to preview the season and the upcoming "Speedweeks" schedule.

I started the day co-hosting "The Morning Drive" on Sirius NASCAR Radio and over the course of the four hour show we spoke with Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin, Juan Pablo Montoya, Danica Patrick, Brad Keselowski, Trevor Bayne, Greg Biffle, Robby Gordon and many other drivers.

The afternoon session will feature Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and many others.

So far the over/under on use of the word "excited" is set at 400 and at the rate the morning session went, we'll be well over by the time things end up this afternoon.

Stay tuned from inside the giant circus tent at "The World Center of Racing."


Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 8, 2011 4:31 pm
 

Daytona surface gets fish bowl seal of approval


So how smooth is the new surface at Daytona?

Check out this video of Freddie the Fish that's making the rounds. Trust me when I say that Freddie wouldn't have survived the trip on the old surface. It would have been as if he was going down a dirt road.

 


Category: Auto Racing
Tags: Daytona 500
 
Posted on: February 8, 2011 11:06 am
Edited on: February 8, 2011 11:06 am
 

Paisley to perform at Daytona 500

Posted By Pete Pistone

From News Release

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – 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. The Daytona 500 will be broadcast live on FOX, with pre-race coverage beginning at Noon and the race starting at 1 p.m. EST.

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.

“It’s only fitting to have one of the biggest country music superstars perform prior to NASCAR’s most prestigious event,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “We’re thrilled to welcome Brad Paisley. Race fans are going to experience an exhilarating show that will only add to the excitement and pageantry that surrounds the Daytona 500.”

Paisley’s innovative and entertaining H20 World Tour played to over 879,000 fans in 2010 and placed #1 country tour for attendance by Pollstar.  Paisley’s next album, This Is Country Music will be in-stores this spring.

 

Paisley joins a long list of star-studded names that have performed in the Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show such as Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Brooks & Dunn, Bon Jovi, Kelly Clarkson and Mariah Carey.

 


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