Tag:Daytona International Speedway
Posted on: February 17, 2012 5:20 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 5:22 pm
 

Daytona to add short track for Speedweeks 2013

Posted by Pete Pistone

From News Release

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 17, 2012) — The bright lights of the “World Center of Racing” will shine on the stars of NASCAR’s regional and touring series, as NASCAR announced today Daytona International Speedway will host the inaugural “UNOH Battle At The Beach” on Feb. 18-19, 2013.

The two-days of racing will be headlined by three non-points special events: the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, NASCAR Whelen Modified tours, and the Late Model division of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. 

A temporary oval will be set up on Daytona’s Superstretch to host the races, It is tentatively slated to be approximately .4-mile. 

“This is all about the stars of tomorrow vying for glory at Daytona International Speedway,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president of regional and touring series. “During two days and nights of intense competition, fans will be able to see today’s aces of short track racing and some great young talent.”

The event will include live coverage on SPEED. 

The process for setting the field for the 2013 UNOH Battle At The Beach will be:

· Winners of the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West events as well as the series champions will automatically be locked into that series’ race at Daytona next year.

· Similarly, winners of the 2012 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour or NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour races and series champions will be locked into the Modified race next February at Daytona.

· The top 10 finishers in the 2012 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I national standings will earn a protected starting spot in the 2013 Late Model race.

· In addition, the champions of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, NASCAR Toyota Series from Mexico, and Euro Racecar NASCAR Touring Series in 2012 will earn a protected starting spot in whichever one of the three 2013 Daytona races they choose to run.

· The remaining spots in the 2013 Daytona features will be filled through time trials and heat races during the two days of racing next February.

”Grassroots short track racing is the foundation of this great sport and we are thrilled to give these young drivers the opportunity to fight for a win at the ‘World Center of Racing,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood. “Many of NASCAR’s greatest stars cut their teeth on short tracks around the country and we look forward to hosting the stars of tomorrow in 2013.”

More NASCAR coverage

Posted on: February 17, 2012 2:28 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 2:50 pm
 

Shootout to provide gauge of Daytona rule changes

By Pete Pistone


  Matt Kenseth, Driver Of The #17 Best Buy Ford, Leads
(Whether the rule changes will result in more pack racing or the return of tandem drafting remains to be seen)


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - There's money and glory on the line but that won't be the most important thing in Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout.

The opportunity for drivers to finally put the many rule changes and modifications NASCAR implemented after last month's Preseason Thunder test into race mode is what's on everyone's mind.

After three days of testing a variety of restrictor plate measurements, spoiler heights, spring packages and cooling system tweaks, NASCAR landed on what for now is considered a suitable package to officially open Speedweeks. In an effort to if not eliminate at least limit the use of tandem drafting, which the sanctioning body found to be an extremely disliked practice by a majority of fans, the rash of changes were introduced to teams.

But while practicing during a test is one thing, being on track during racing conditions is quite another.

"I'm really not sure what to expect," said Greg Biffle. "My guess is you'll see a combination of the big packs that NASCAR seems to want us to return to and then some use of the tandem when the time is right."

The exhibition race will give drivers a chance to try and get a handle on what to expect when next Thursday's Gatorade Duel qualifying races roll around as well as when the green flag flies in the Daytona 500.

"There's no reason to thin the tandem will completely disappear," said defending Budweiser Shootout winner Kurt Busch, who makes his debut with Phoenix Racing in Saturday night's race. "But I do think based on what we saw during the test we won't see it all race long either in the Shootout or the 500."

Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout format remains unchanged from last year with a 25 lap opening segment followed by a ten minute break and then a 50-lap dash to the checkered flag.

Criteria has been tweaked to fill out the 25-car field to include:

• Drivers finishing among the top 25 in the 2011 championship driver points

• Past Daytona 500 and Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola champions and winners of Shootout events. 

Following the first segment, a 10-minute “pit stop” gives crews the opportunity to make normal adjustments to their cars. Other notes: All work must be done on pit road or in the garage; teams may not change springs, shocks or rear ends; all green- and yellow-flag laps in both segments will count. Following the 10-minute “pit stop,” the event’s second segment remains a 50-lap sprint for the win.

Those entered in Saturday’s race: Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, AJ Allmendinger, Greg Biffle, Paul Menard, Martin Truex Jr., Marcos Ambrose, Jeff Burton, Juan Pablo Montoya, David Ragan, Joey Logano, Michael Waltrip and Jamie McMurray

In addition to Busch, other drivers will be making their debuts with new teams including Bowyer with Michael Waltrip Racing, Kahne with Hendrick Motorsports, Ragan with Front Row Motorsports and Allmendinger with Penske Racing. Allmendinger already has one 2012 Speedweeks victory in last month’s GRAND-AM Sports Car Series Rolex 24. Kurt Busch is the defending champion of the Shootout.

Drivers will draw for their starting positions in a ceremony held Friday night to set the lineup.


   
More NASCAR coverage

Posted on: February 13, 2012 3:18 pm
 

Budweiser Shootout entry list released

By Pete Pistone

Here are the eligible drivers for Saturday night's running of the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. There are severakl drivers eligible for the exhibition race that currently do not have rides for th eevent:

2012 Budweiser Shootout Entry List

1 - Jamie McMurray
2 - Brad Keselowski
5 - Kasey Kahne
9 - Marcos Ambrose
11 - Denny Hamlin
14 - Tony Stewart
15 - Clint Bowyer
16 - Greg Biffle
17 - Matt Kenseth
18 - Kyle Busch
20 - Joey Logano
22 - AJ Allmendinger
24 - Jeff Gordon
27 - Paul Menard
29 - Kevin Harvick
31 - Jeff Burton
34 - David Ragan
39 - Ryan Newman
42 - Juan Pablo Montoya
48 - Jimmie Johnson
51 - Kurt Busch
55 - Michael Waltrip
56 - Martin Truex Jr.
88 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
99 - Carl Edwards 

Eligible but yet not entered: 

Mark Martin
Brian Vickers
Bill Elliott
Geoff Bodine
Derrike Cope
Trevor Bayne
Terry Labonte
Ken Schrader 

 
More NASCAR coverage
Posted on: February 13, 2012 2:13 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2012 3:10 pm
 

Unpredictable Daytona Speedweeks lies ahead

By Pete Pistone


Image Detail
(Trevor Bayne's win in last year's Daytona 500 set the tone for a competitive and exciting 2011 season)


The new NASCAR season is about to dawn as it has since 1959 when “The World Center of Racing” hosts Speedweeks. 

Teams have been hard at work preparing for their 10 days in Florida that will no doubt produce surprises, frustration and excitement culminating with the 54th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26.

* DAYTONA SPEEDWEEKS SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Things are a week later than usual at Daytona as NASCAR pushed back the proceedings in advance of the NFL’s proposed move of the Super Bowl to President’s Day weekend in the near future. The separation of the Daytona 500 from the NFL shadow was a wise move to get in front of and has also helped whet the appetites for hungry race fans anxious for the start of the season. 

But before “The Great American Race” there will be much to watch at Daytona beginning later this week so we offer you a quick “Guide to Speedweeks 2012:” 

Thursday, February 16 – Media Day

After one of the busiest and most memorable offseasons in NASCAR history, drivers will officially gather to meet the media in a daylong gathering held in a mammoth tent just outside the speedway. Sure we heard from drivers during Preseason Thunder testing in January and during the annual Media Tour in Charlotte, but Daytona Media Day offers one more chance to hear how excited everyone is for the coming campaign. It’s also a chance to see some of the new sponsor and color combinations as well as who stayed on their workout plan during the winter and who strayed from the program. 

Saturday, February 18 – ARCA 200/Budweiser Shootout

The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) stock car series begins its 60<sup>th</sup> season of activity with its annual 200-mile Daytona event. Many of today’s NASCAR stars came through the ARCA Series over the years and young drivers like Brandon McReynolds, Chris Buescher, Mikey Kile and Max Gresham bear watching Saturday afternoon. 

The main event then comes with Saturday night’s Budweiser Shootout, an exhibition race open to the top 25 drivers in last year’s point standings as well as others who have won at Daytona in recent years, a criteria that should produce one of the race’s largest fields in history at more than 30. Although no points are on the line, there is a healthy payday to the winner of the event, which is broken into two segments of 25 and 50 laps. But more importantly, it's the first real opportunity for teams to see NASCAR’s new rule package in place after days of testing last month in Daytona. The bigger restrictor plates, smaller spoilers and cooling system modifications -– all designed to at the very least limit the two-car tandem draft that has been so poorly received by a majority of fans –- will get a workout in the Shootout and perhaps provide a sneak peak of what to expect later in the week. 

Sunday, February 19 – Daytona 500 Qualifying

Sprint Cup drivers will get two laps around the 2.5-mile speedway in Sunday’s qualifying session with the fastest of the pair the official mark. However, unlike the other 35 races of the season, this qualifying session is unique in only the front row for the Daytona 500 is locked in. The rest of the starting lineup will be determined through Thursday’s two 150-mile qualifying races with a combination of finishing positions, points and qualifying speeds deciding the 43-car field.

Thursday, February 23 – Gatorade Duel at Daytona

The two Thursday races have lost some of their luster from the days of the “go or go home” heat races they were before NASCAR instituted the Top 35 rule. Now drivers who finished inside the first 35 of last year’s point standings are guaranteed berths in the Daytona 500, so, for some, these two races don’t carry as much pressure as years past. Drivers who qualified in odd spots during Sunday’s time trials make up one race while the even qualifiers comprise the second race. It’s still imperative for some outside the Top 35 to finish high enough in their race to make the field, so although it’s limited, the day does carry a certain amount of drama.


Image Detail
(Michael Waltrip scored an emotional victory in last season's truck series opener at Daytona)

Friday, February 24 – Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy 250

The season opener for the NCWTS is usually a competitive and at times slam bang affair. Last year’s race saw Michael Waltrip score an emotional win 10 years to the day after his 2001 Daytona 500 victory. This year’s Truck Series features an eclectic mix of young drivers trying to make a name for themselves and veterans looking to add to their careers. Ty Dillon takes the championship-winning ride of his older brother Austin and will face a field that includes four-time champion Ron Hornaday, former champ Mike Skinner, 2002 Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton, Jason Leffler in Kyle Busch’s truck and another former Daytona winner in Todd Bodine among others.

Saturday, February 25 – Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300

This race has been the Tony Stewart show for the last four years with “Smoke” winning the season-opening race every year since 2008 and victorious in six of the last seven seasons. He’ll try it again this year and as always will battle of stellar field of Sprint Cup drivers as well as Nationwide regulars. The race will mark the debut of Austin Dillon’s NWS effort for Richard Childress Racing while Danica Patrick begins her full-time assault on the series crown. Cole Whitt, Elliott Sadler and defending series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. -- back for another complete season for Roush Fenway Racing -- will be others to watch. 

Sunday, February 26 – Daytona 500

Last year’s Cinderella story of Trevor Bayne bringing the storied Wood Brothers to Victory Lane was the start of what turned out to be what I considered the best season in NASCAR history. The number of unknowns heading into this year’s race has even the most seasoned follower wondering what will transpire once the green flag flies. Will the new rules make an impact in the style of racing? Which news driver-crew chief combinations will prosper? What teammates will be able to work together in the draft and will anyone be left out in the cold ala the last restrictor plate race at Talladega? How will the new electronic fuel injection system function? Can either Dale Earnhardt Jr. or Danica Patrick pull off a victory that would send NASCAR into the stratosphere of publicity and exposure? 

It promises to be one of the most intriguing Speedweeks in recent history. We’ll all find out together when we roll into Daytona later this week. 

For more NASCAR news, rumors and analysis, follow @PPistone on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed      

 
More NASCAR coverage

Posted on: February 13, 2012 11:42 am
Edited on: February 13, 2012 2:59 pm
 

2012 Daytona Speedweeks Schedule

By Pete Pistone

Here's this year's official Daytona Speedweeks schedule of events with radio/television coverage information. All times are Eastern:


Date Event Time TV
THURS 2/16 ARCA Racing Series Practice 1 p.m.-5 p.m.  
FRI 2/17 ARCA Racing Series Qualifying 2 p.m.  
  Budwiser Shootout Practice 5 p.m.-5:45 p.m. SPEED
  Final Budweiser Shootout Practice 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. SPEED
  Drawing for Budweiser Shootout Lineup 8 p.m. SPEED (8:30 p.m.)
SAT 2/18 ARCA Racing Series Final Practice 10 a.m. -10:45 a.m.  
  Sprint Cup Series Practice 11 a.m.-1 p.m. SPEED
  Sprint Cup Series Practice 2 p.m.-3:45 p.m. SPEED
  ARCA Racing Series Lucas Oil SLick Mist 200 4:30 p.m. SPEED
  Radio Pre-Race 7 p.m. MRN
  Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Shootout 8 p.m. FOX
SUN 2/19 Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 Qualifying 1 p.m. MRN/FOX
WED 2/22 Sprint Cup Series Practice 12 p.m.-1:30 p.m.  
  Sprint Cup Series Practice 2:30 p.m.-4 p.m.  
THURS 2/23 Nationwide Series Practice 9 a.m.-9:50 a.m.  
  Nationwide Series Final Practice 10:15 a.m.-11:50 a.m.  
  Camping World Truck Series Practice 12:10 p.m.-1 p.m.  
  Radio Pre-Race  1 p.m. MRN
  TV Pre-Race   SPEED
  Sprint Cup Series Gatorade Duel 2 p.m. MRN/SPEED
  Camping World Truck Series Final Practice 6 p.m.-7:20 p.m.  
FRI 2/24 Sprint Cup Series Practice 11 a.m.-12 p.m.  
  Sprint Cup Series Practice 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.  
  Nationwide Series Qualifying 2:05 p.m.  
  Camping World Truck Series Qualifying 4:05 p.m.  
  Radio Pre-Race 7:15 p.m. MRN
  TV Pre-Race   SPEED
  Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250 7:30 p.m. MRN/SPEED
SAT 2/25 Sprint Cup Series Final Practice 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.  
  Radio Pre-Race   MRN
  TV Pre-Race   ESPN2
  Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 1:15 p.m. MRN/ESPN2
SUN 2/26 Radio Pre-Race 12 p.m. MRN
  TV Pre-Race 12 p.m. FOX
  Daytona 500 1 p.m. MRN/FOX
 
 
More NASCAR coverage

Posted on: January 10, 2012 11:25 am
 

Daytona preseason test set for this week

Posted by Pete Pistone

From News Release

NASCAR is back in full gear as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams hit the pavement at Daytona International Speedway this week for three days of preseason testing. The main focus of the test is for teams to work on their final preparations for 2012 Speedweeks  in particular, the 54th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26.

"This is an opportunity we are providing to the competitors to implement and test the new Daytona rules package for 2012," said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition. "It's a chance for them to get comfortable with the cooling package, the smaller spoiler and to practice drafting for next month's Daytona 500."

The new rules package is a result of information gathered during recent tests at Talladega last October and at Daytona last November.

"While we have had other tests with these set-ups, this is the first opportunity for the entire field to test together and get more comfortable with this package as it relates to their cars," Pemberton said.

The new rules package includes:

· Smaller radiators
o Maximum of 2 gallon capacity

· Smaller overflow tank
o 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)

"This three-day test will allow the engine tuners for these teams to be able to work with their engine packages and see how they relate and react to the new cooling regulations," Pemberton said. Next month's Daytona 500 will be only the third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points event ran on the repaved Daytona International Speedway.

This year's Preseason Thunder will continue to be an opportunity for teams and drivers to test their skills on a relatively fresh surface in addition to the new rules. Complementing the testing portion of this weekend's festivities, the track is also offering fans an opportunity to be part of a special two-day Fan Fest event. 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.  

 
More NASCAR coverage
Posted on: December 14, 2011 2:50 pm
 

Bud Shootout lineup announced

Posted by Pete Pistone

From News Release

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – In what could be the deepest and most talented field to date, NASCAR announced today the list of eligible competitors for the 2012 Budweiser Shootout.

The 34th annual season-opening event launches Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 18 with start time set for 8:10 p.m. FOX Sports and MRN Radio will broadcast live nationally. Criteria for the non-points race are based upon the following qualifications, with eligibility based on a driver having been active in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series during the 2011 season:

The highest ranked 25 competitors in 2011 Driver Points

Previous winners at Daytona, including the Daytona 500, Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, and Budweiser Shootout events

“The criteria for the 2012 Budweiser Shootout ensures race fans that the best NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers will battle for a coveted victory on the historic high banks,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “Throughout its long history, the Budweiser Shootout has produced plenty of fireworks on the track and race fans can expect another exciting star-studded night of racing as we kick off the new NASCAR season.”

“By taking the top 25 competitors in last year’s driver points and combine that with former race winners at Daytona, you have all the ingredients for an extremely deep and talented field of drivers for the 2012 Budweiser Shootout,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. “When you take a look at the roster of drivers that this entails, I have to believe this is one of the most competitive fields that have ever been assembled for this event.”

The race distance will again be 75 laps (187.5 miles), consisting of two segments – 25 and 50 laps. Both green-flag laps and yellow-flag laps will count. Between segments there will be a 10-minute pit stop allowing teams to pit to change tires, add fuel and make normal chassis adjustments. Crews will be permitted to work on cars and will be allowed to perform functions they would do on a normal pit stop in a regular NASCAR Sprint Cup event. All work must be performed on pit road or in the garage. Changing of springs, shock absorbers or rear-ends will not be permitted.
Starting positions will again be determined by a blind-draw at the annual Budweiser Shootout Draw Party on Friday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. on the SPEED stage in the Midway, outside Turn 4.

The Budweiser Shootout was first held in 1979 and was originally known as the Busch Clash. Kurt Busch is the defending race champion

Drivers eligible for the 2012 Budweiser Shootout include:

2011 Top 25 Driver Points

Tony Stewart

Carl Edwards

Kevin Harvick

Matt Kenseth

Brad Keselowski

Jimmie Johnson

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Jeff Gordon

Denny Hamlin

Ryan Newman

Kurt Busch

Kyle Busch

Clint Bowyer

Kasey Kahne

A.J. Allmendinger

Greg Biffle

Paul Menard

Martin Truex Jr.

Marcos Ambrose

Jeff Burton

Juan Pablo Montoya

Mark Martin

David Ragan

Joey Logano

Brian Vickers

 

Others (criteria in parentheses)

Bill Elliott (Daytona 500, Coke Zero 400, Budweiser Shootout)

Geoff Bodine (Daytona 500, Budweiser Shootout)

Derrike Cope (Daytona 500)

Michael Waltrip (Daytona 500, Coke Zero 400)

Jamie McMurray (Daytona 500, Coke Zero 400)

Trevor Bayne (Daytona 500)

Terry Labonte (Budweiser Shootout)

Ken Schrader (Budweiser Shootout)

 
More NASCAR coverage
Posted on: November 15, 2011 8:09 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2011 8:11 pm
 

Daytona test targets tandem drafting

Posted by Pete Pistone



  Martin Truex Jr., Driver Of The #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, Drafts With Joey Logano, Driver Of The #20 Home Depot

Sprint Cup teams took to Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday to test NASCAR's new electronic fuel injection system but also to tweak some adjustments being considered to break up the controversial tandem drafting phenomenon.

Seven drivers took part in the test including 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).

After a brief delay for rain showers, teams hit the track for the test with an initial restrictor plate size of 29/32 inch and a spoiler size of 4 ½ inches tall, 63 inches wide, which was the same spoiler size for last July’s Coke Zero 400.

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 yet still under control.

Drivers shared mixed reactions on what was accomplished during the test and what teams could expect when they return to Daytona next January for Preseason Thunder testing.

Said Earnhardt Jr.: “I still feel positive about finding a solution. I felt like when we came down here it was going to take more than one day of testing to get there. This is part of the work. This is part of the work that has got to get done. Whether we find a solution or not today, we know a lot of things about what we learned today and we’re better off than we were yesterday.

“I didn’t anticipate coming down here and finding the magical solution. I just knew we needed to come down here and get some work done and figure out what we can while we’re here. This is an important thing to do. We also got an opportunity to work on our fuel injection. That’s all going really well. We’re going to be better off and smarter than what we were before we got here today. Hopefully that helps us and gives us an opportunity going forward with NASCAR and their engineering staff to come up with a solution.”

“There’s no doubt they’ll figure it out and I think what they’re trying to figure out is how they want to get to the end result,” said Truex Jr., driver of the No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota. “I think they know what they want and if they know what they want, they’ll figure out how to get it. They’re smart enough to know how these cars work.  So, I think right now it’s just a matter of going through a few steps to see if the changes that they’re thinking of doing will do exactly what they think they will.”

More NASCAR coverage
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com