Matt Kenseth Wins Crazy Daytona 500

Matt Kenseth in Daytona 500 Victory Lane
photo – Forbes.com

One of the craziest nights in racing ended up with Matt Kenseth winning his second Daytona 500 in the last four years. For the first time in the Daytona 500’s 54-year history the race was postponed until Monday. This is also the first time the Daytona 500 was not on Presidents’ Day weekend. 


After announcing the race would be delayed yet again Monday at noon, the scheduled start time, NASCAR decided to have its first Daytona 500 that night during primetime on FOX. Many fans would now be able to watch the race from home and the weather looked clear. The 7pm start time kicked off this wild night of events. 


Greg Biffle led the first lap but soon fans saw the first multi-car wreck of the night. Just after the start finish line on lap 2, Elliot Sadler driving the #33 got into the rear left corner of the five-time champion Jimmie Johnson sending Johnson head-on into the outer wall and collecting other cars with him. When David Ragan slowed down to avoid the wreck he was hit from behind by Danica Patrick, making her cup debut for Stewart-Haas Racing. Danica sent David Ragan into Jimmie Johnson, who was stopped in the middle of the track, hitting Johnson’s driver side door. 


After the wreck Johnson tweeted (@JimmieJohnson) “Really… Did that just happen??” – a reference to the wreck on lap 2. Other drivers involved in the lap 2 incident include Kurt Busch, 2011 Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne and Elliot Sadler. In response to the wreck, Kyle Busch said on his radio, “Seriously. Sit around for 36 hours and have a wreck on the first lap? Are we kidding ourselves?” In response to the wreck.


Next caution didn’t fall too far after the first when Ryan Newman spun all by himself at the exit of turn 4. With a long green flag run currently going on, some drivers decided to hang out at the back to avoid any incident too early. Those drivers include 2007 Daytona 500 champ Kevin Harvick, Juan Pablo Montoya (more to come on him later), 2010 Daytona 500 champ Jamie McMurray, Terry Labonte, 2008 Daytona 500 champ Ryan Newman, Tony Raines, and David Gilliland. 


For a Monday night Daytona 500, the track drew a great crowd. Lots of people stayed and there were more people for this race than on July 4th weekend for the second Daytona race of the season.  


For the third caution of the night there was debris on the track.  On lap 81, the three-time Daytona 500 champ Jeff Gordon blew an engine. After Gordon’s blown engine, his team owner Rick Hendrick, lost his two championship winning drivers and possibly the chance at getting the organization’s 200th win.

Getting closer to halfway, Terry Labonte spun in the paved area just before pit road but was able to carry on. 


For this event only, drivers could earn a $200,000 bonus for leading at the halfway mark of the race, which is sometimes more than winning a race at other tracks. Martin Truex Jr had help from Denny Hamlin as he took the lead at lap 100 – the halfway mark – taking the bonus honors. 


On lap 129 Clint Bowyer – Michael Waltrip’s newest driver along with Mark Martin – ran out of fuel and needed assistance getting back to pit road. Just a few laps later the #30 car of David Stremme spun out.


After a quick track cleaning, drivers would be back to racing. But the next caution would take almost two hours before drivers would return to racing.
Before describing the next incident, everyone needs to know this was no one’s fault. Under this caution Juan Pablo Montoya (JPM) had come back out on the track getting up to speed and trying to catch up with the field when something on his car broke when entering turn 3. At this point, Montoya has no control of the car. 


The Jet Dryers are used in NASCAR to blow off debris so the racing surface is clean. They are the reason why the track was dry in time to race Monday night. Again at this same point, the track crew is doing their job of blowing off the debris to get track ready for racing. These Jet Dryers carry 200 gallons of Jet fuel to power the blower to dry or blow off the racing surface. 

Jet Fuel igniting on the track from the Jet Dryer
photo – New York Times

Montoya’s car lost all control and spun up into one of the Jet Dryers, sparking the jet fuel to ignite. It also damaged the truck pulling the dryer driven by Duane Barnes who was uninjured in the accident.  Montoya’s car rammed into the jet dryer, setting his car on fire. Now jet fuel is leaking out of the  dryer and soon it ignites and sparks the fuel spilling on the track. Montoya also reported that part of his helmet was burnt. 


All of this creates a major problem for the track with 200 gallons of jet fuel burning and a jet dryer on fire, along with a small part of the SAFER Barrier burnt. Quickly fire crews respond to the scene from the infield and put the fire out which took about 20 minutes.

After a big fork lift brings the jet dryer and truck off track, NASCAR Officials start inspecting the damage to the asphalt. There is some damage to the SAFER Barrier along the turn 3 wall, and burnt marks along the track. First NASCAR sends officials to clean all the un-burnt jet fuel off the track with none other than Tide laundry detergent. Once the surface is cleaned up they see that some of the track needs a few small patches. So they now take additional time to patch the track with street-bond. After a two hour, five minute delay, it’s now Tuesday morning along the east coast, the track is repaired and the drivers are heading back to their cars to finish race.


With just over 30 laps to go, this race is getting intense. The first big wreck involving race cars happened when Jamie McMurray was tapped from behind by Joey Logano, causing McMurray to spin up into traffic and collecting other cars. Also involved in the wreck were Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski, Tony Stewart, Regan Smith, Aric Almirola, and Carl Edwards. 


With four laps to go, another multi-car wreck happens when Ricky Stenhouse Jr got tapped from behind by Joey Logano causing Stenhouse Jr, in the No.6, to turn into 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart, who got into the No.18 of Kyle Busch, spinning Kyle Busch into Ryan Newman. Also involved in the wreck were David Reutimann and Dave Blaney. 


Now the race is set-up for the first “Green-White-Checkered” finish of the season. Taking the white flag is 2009 Daytona 500 Champion Matt Kenseth. behind him is his teammate Greg Biffle and Dale Earnhardt Jr. In turn 4 on the final lap, Dale Earnhardt Jr makes a move to the outside of Greg Biffle but can’t get to Matt Kenseth, allowing Matt Kenseth to win the 2012 Daytona 500. 


After a crazy night of events, the time is now 1:00 AM on the east coast and fans saw a race worth staying up for sure!


Daytona 500 Finishing Order

1

4

#17

Ford

50

202

running

47/4

$1,589,387

2

5

#88

Chevrolet

0

202

running

42/0

$1,102,175

3

2

#16

Ford

44

202

running

42/1

$804,163

4

31

#11

Toyota

57

202

running

42/2

$702,091

5

9

#31

Chevrolet

24

202

running

40/1

$559,550

6

37

#27

Chevrolet

2

202

running

39/1

$427,900

7

13

#29

Chevrolet

0

202

running

37/0

$415,261

8

1

#99

Ford

0

202

running

36/0

$403,466

9

12

#20

Toyota

2

202

running

36/1

$346,063

10

22

#55

Toyota

2

202

running

35/1

$323,313

11

30

#15

Toyota

0

202

running

33/0

$339,002

12

26

#56

Toyota

7

202

running

33/1

$535,052

13

7

#9

Ford

0

202

running

31/0

$341,858

14

32

#47

Toyota

0

202

running

30/0

$331,196

15

24

#36

Chevrolet

6

202

running

30/1

$296,513

16

3

#14

Chevrolet

2

202

running

29/1

$379,025

17

14

#18

Toyota

0

202

running

27/0

$341,821

18

43

#32

Ford

3

202

running

27/1

$292,200

19

41

#26

Ford

0

202

running

25/0

$292,763

20

21

#6

Ford

0

202

running

0/0

$304,275

21

18

#39

Chevrolet

0

202

running

23/0

$336,221

22

39

#83

Toyota

0

202

running

22/0

$319,945

23

33

#38

Ford

0

201

running

21/0

$309,133

24

6

#78

Chevrolet

2

200

running

21/1

$332,421

25

36

#13

Ford

0

199

running

19/0

$304,746

26

38

#93

Toyota

0

196

accident

18/0

$309,335

27

10

#33

Chevrolet

0

196

running

0/0

$305,788

28

34

#87

Toyota

0

194

running

0/0

$287,363

29

20

#5

Chevrolet

0

189

accident

15/0

$297,988

30

11

#98

Ford

0

189

running

14/0

$292,175

31

19

#1

Chevrolet

0

188

accident

13/0

$318,608

32

23

#2

Dodge

0

187

accident

12/0

$322,295

33

27

#43

Ford

0

187

accident

11/0

$320,986

34

15

#22

Dodge

0

177

running

10/0

$328,325

35

40

#21

Ford

0

164

running

0/0

$283,200

36

35

#42

Chevrolet

0

159

accident

8/0

$312,391

37

42

#30

Toyota

0

156

engine

7/0

$282,075

38

29

#10

Chevrolet

0

138

running

0/0

$281,715

39

28

#51

Chevrolet

0

113

running

5/0

$277,913

40

16

#24

Chevrolet

1

81

engine

5/1

$317,549

41

17

#7

Dodge

0

25

engine

3/0

$268,150

42

8

#48

Chevrolet

0

1

accident

2/0

$327,149

43

25

#34

Ford

0

1

accident

1/0

$267,637

A Bizarre Monday Night of Daytona 500 Non-Racing Highlights

The 2012 Daytona 500 is now history in so many ways! The first time in 54 years, the Daytona 500 was run on Monday night, and my guess – before seeing any ratings – is the viewership rivals and perhaps exceeds that of Monday Night Football, maybe even the Super Bowl. 


This event survived, rain and fire getting started and to end all 500 miles of The Great American Race.  A race so bizarre, those watching will be talking about this one for many years to come. The biggest wreck of the night involved Juan Pablo Montoya and a jet dryer burning 200 gallons of jet fuel on the track – yes, in case you didn’t see the coverage last night – you read that correctly. 

The two men on the track include the driver of
the truck pulling the Jet Dryer erupting in flames
photo credit – Getty Images

During a caution and after a pit stop, Juan Pablo Montoya was on the track alone, but for the jet dryers on the far side of the oval in turn 3 when “something broke” on his car, causing him to spin directly into the jet dryer traveling high on the banking. The collision sent Montoya’s car careening off track and subsequently on fire with the front of his car totally destroyed. Moments later, the Jet Dryer spilling massive amounts of fuel sliding across the track, produced a gigantic fire ball as fumes erupted in flames. 


Fortunately, no one was hurt but Duane Barnes, the driver of the truck pulling the jet dryer was sent to Halifax Medical Center for further evaluation with no apparent serious injuries. 


As fans continue to soak in subsequent stories and coverage of the 54th running of the Daytona 500, there will be even more bizarre nuggets of this season-opening extravaganza. 

@keselowski’s twitter
account photo

For instance, who knew this would happen? Brad Keselowski tweeting moments after the Red Flag was flown to stop the drivers on-track following the jet drier incident, tweeted a photo of the cars stopped directly in front of him. It generated so much response on twitter, @keselowski increased his followers by more that 100,000 throughout the the Red Flag duration. When this fan last checked, he had over 200,000 followers and still rising.  


During the Red Flag, the number of followers on Keselowski’s account was increasing by several thousands within minutes. In fact, when drivers were told they could get out of their cars – as they began to gather – it became apparent, Keselowski’s cell phone became the focus of many including twitterless Dale Earnhardt Jr.  


And as fans were happy that Fox had announced side-by-side screen coverage during commercials for the final hour of the race, what they saw during those commercial breaks were drivers standing on the track talking with one another. 


A couple paraphrased quips from fans during this extended Red Flag time frame include, the drivers should all start running around the track to see who could cross the finish line first to expedite the conclusion of the race – reminiscent of Carl Edwards doing so after a final lap wreck a few years ago.  And another suggested the drivers all pick up a broom and help the track workers with the cleanup on-track so the race could get underway more quickly. 


These stories merely touch the surface of Daytona 500 highlights for the evening. And as we record the history of this famed event, will most likely provide interesting reading for the ages as fans recall this Monday night of racing the 54th running of The Great American Race.  


Oh, and by the way, at the end of a long night – Roush Fenway Racing celebrating “25 years of winning,” came home with their 300th win with Matt Kenseth concluding the race as the first to cross the finish line and bringing home a victory for new sponsor Best Buy.  

News and Views – Volume 14 February 20 – 26, 2012

News and Views – Volume 14
For the week of February 20 – 26, 2012

This week is the official start to the 2012 NASCAR points season.  Fans can stay abreast of the the activities leading up to the Daytona 500 by checking the TV Schedule right here at Fan4Racing.  


Daily news will be posted on this page with the digest of the weekly news posted to our weekly News and Views feature. 


Are you going to be in Daytona for the races this week? Be sure to check out the Driver Appearances tab to schedule your activities at the track. Click on the Driver link to see details for each appearance. There are many driver appearances scheduled so bookmark this page to your mobile phone so you know where to be and when for each driver.


Also, this is the last week to submit your 2012 Team for our Matt’s Sports Card Contest. The more participants, the more prizes will be available. For contest rules, selection form and submission details please visit the NASCAR Contest tab. This contest is FREE and weekly results will be posted on this same tab so fans will know their ranking throughout the season.  Submissions are due by lap one of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 26th. 


Let’s begin with news for today…


Sunday, February 26, 2012

2012 Brian France
Photo credit:
Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR

Open Letter to NASCAR fans from NASCAR Chairman Brian France
Dear NASCAR fans,


With the Daytona 500 now upon us, I hope you are as excited as I am to see the greatest drivers in the world competing at Daytona International Speedway later Sunday.


NASCAR is in a very good place right now and our entire industry is working very hard for you, the fans, as we continually seek to improve and grow our sport. Indeed, we are listening to you, as several enhancements that have been put in place in recent years were a direct result of your input.


Thank you for your ongoing support and enthusiasm, the way you wholeheartedly embrace NASCAR and how you share your passion for our sport with family, friends and others you encounter each and every day. We certainly were encouraged by the excitement generated by our 2011 season and look forward to enjoying this season together as one NASCAR Nation.


On behalf of the France family, I want to personally express our appreciation for your support, and join you in anticipation of the thrilling ride ahead.


Best Regards,


Brian France


From NASCAR-PR


54th Annual Daytona 500 Postponed to Monday
The 54th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup series race at Daytona International Speedway has been postponed due to rain showers and rescheduled for Monday, Feb 17 at noon (ET).


Tickets for Sunday’s race will be honored on Monday. Tickets for the Daytona 500 will also be on sale at the gate or the Daytona International Speedway ticket office.


The race will air on FOX Sports at noon (ET).


The Daytona 500 Champion’s Breakfast has been postponed to a later date.


Read more from DIS-PR


Weather may be of concern for Daytona 500
Dicey weather could be on tap for today at 1pm ET, when the Daytona 500 will drop the green flag for the 54th edition of the “Great American Race.” Forty-three of the world’s best drivers will take to the track in an attempt to win the first race of NASCAR’s 2012 Sprint Cup season, but delays are possible.


Read more and see radar from Weather .com


Multi-Platinum, Grammy-Winning Group Train to perform at Coke Zero 400
After he delivers a rousing rendition of the National Anthem for the 54th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb 26, 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.


Read more from DIS-PR


Despite heated Duel, NASCAR plans no changes
As expected Thursday, ambient temperatures in the low 80’s created challenges for Sprint Cup teams competing in the pair of Gatorade Duel 150-mile qualifying races for the Daytona 500.


The aftermath led to widespread whining about the effects of hotter engine temperatures and it’s effect on performance. It also led to potential suggestions from engine companies to help the overall cooling package.


But on Friday morning, NASCAR said it anticipated no additional changes to the Cup cars’ cooling systems prior to today’s Daytona 500. Temperature projections are below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, with a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms.


Read more from NASCAR .com


#51 team changes engines, after Happy Hour
During Happy Hour, Kurt Busch’s Daytona 500 possibilities were impacted when his No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet hit a bird. Back in the day, Dale Earnhardt splattered a seagull during the Daytona 500 and the unexpected aerodynamic alteration to his car had a bad effect on his result.


A Phoenix crewmember confirmed the bird strike tore a small hole in the bottom of the radiator which unbeknownst to Busch drained the water and necessitated the change. Thus Busch, will be one of five cars that must drop to the back of the grid on the pace laps before the start of the Daytona 500. Gilliland, Patrick, Juan Montoya and Menard all went to backup cars after their Gatorade Duel qualifying races so must drop back.


Kasey Kahne went to a backup before the Duels so he can maintain his 20th-place starting position.


Read more from NASCAR .com (scroll to bottom of article for this segment)


How about a mulligan?
Jack Roush, co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing, has one suggestion to spice up the Sprint Cup season and Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Give each team a do-over.


Read more from Kansas City Star (scroll to bottom for this segment)


JEGS.com jumps on board with Stremme for Daytona 500
Squarely in the Daytona 500 field, David Stremme and Inception Motorsports now have a partner JEGS.com, the leader in delivering high performance parts, announced Saturday it will sponsor Stremme’s No. 30 Toyota at famed Daytona International Speedway.


The sponsorship is an extension of Stremme’s relationship with JEGS through Cody Coughlin, grandson of JEGS founder Jeg Coughlin Sr. Cody 16, is racing late model stock cars, and the veteran Stremme is helping the younger Coughlin work through the short-track ranks.


Read more from Team JEGS-PR


Travis Pastrana Announces seven-race NASCAR Nationwide schedule for 2012
Travis Pastrana will make a long-awaited NASCAR Nationwide series debut in the No. 99 Boost Mobile Toyota at Richmond International Raceway on April 27.


The 11-time X-Games gold medalist and action sports star plans to run seven Nationwide series races as well as 11 K&N Pro series races in 2012. He’ll make his K&N debut in the season-opening race at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 17.


Read more from Pastrana Waltrip Racing-PR


Daytona NCWTS Ratings Up On SPEED
After recording its most-watched season ever in 2011, the NASCAR Camping World Truck series on SPEED kicked off the 2012 season in strong fashion, increasing Household ratings by 9 percent (1.63 vs. 1.49) from a year ago according to Nielsen Media Research. The Friday night race had an average viewing audience of more than 1.8 million people, with the strongest growth among Men 18-49, which enjoyed a 41-percent increase from 2011.


The next NASCAR Camping World Truck series race is scheduled for March 31, at 1pm ET live from Martinsville. The popular pre-race show, NCWTS Setup with Krista Voda, begins at 12:30 pm ET.


From SPEED-PR

Saturday, February 25, 2012

James Buescher in Victory Lane – Daytona
Photo – Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR

James Buescher pulls off the upset to win the DRIVE4COPD 300
Running in 11th place entering Turn 4 on the final lap, James Buescher was able to maneuver through a multi-car accident and come away with his first NASCAR Nationwide series win in a green-white-checkered finish in the 54th annual DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway.


Read more from DIS-PR


2012 NNS DRIVE4COPD 300 Race Results
A wild Saturday afternoon of NASCAR Nationwide series pack racing at Daytona International Speedway came to a close when the leaders got caught up together coming to the checkered flag, and it was Jame Buescher making through the carnage to win the DRIVE4COPD 300.


In what seemed to be a result of blocking that caused an accordion affect wreck among the top-ten drivers, allowed Buescher to take the lead as the caution and checkered flags came out, and earning his first series career win.


Unofficially following Buescher in second was Brad Keselowski, Elliott Sadler finishing third, NNS Rookie of the Year contenders, Cole Whitt and Austin Dillon finishing fourth and fifth respectively.


Rounding out the top-ten finishers were Tayler Malsam finishing sixth, Timmy Hill seventh, Kasey Kahne ninth and Kurt Busch finishing in the tenth position.


Race Results


Standings

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia


International Speedway Corporation Announces Year-Long Commitment
Four-time NASCAR Cup series champion Jeff Gordon, International Speedway Corporation (ISC) Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy and AARP Foundation President Jo Ann Jenkins today announced ISC’s commitment to donate food throughout the 2012 race season, as well as the launch of an innovative ticket package for NASCAR fans, to support AARP Foundation through Drive to End Hunger, a national effort to address the issue of older adult hunger in America.


Read more from Drive to End Hunger-PR


Next year’s Daytona 500 is Feb 24
The 2013 Daytona 500 will remain the last Sunday in February.


Track president Joie Chitwood confirmed Friday that “The Great American Race” would start on Feb 24, 2013. 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 early March weekend off.


Read more from ESPN


NASCAR’s Highest-Paid Drivers
Danica Patrick was a lightning rod for attention while she was racing in the IndyCar series, where she was the most popular driver the past six years. She was Yahoo’s most searched-for athlete (male or female) last year. The attention has been good for Patrick’s bank account helping her earn $12 million in 2011, by our (Forbes) estimation.


Read more from Forbes


The Most Valuable NASCAR Teams
The top nine NASCAR teams are worth $141 million, down 3% from last year as sponsorships at high prices continue to be a tough sell. There is optimism in the garages though after a multiyear slide that saw fans and sponsors abandon the sport, TV ratings for the season increase 10%, attendance at the tracks stabilized and 18 different drivers found the winner’s circle in 2011, one shy of the record.


See Most Valuable NASCAR Teams in pictures from Forbes


Call Center Insourcing Company TMone Will Join TBR for Daytona 500
TMone, a US Call Center Insourcing firm, will join Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) for the 54th Annual Daytona 500. TMone, pronounced T-M-one, will be an associate sponsor of the No. 36 Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Chevrolet driven by Dave Blaney in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series (NSCS) season opener.


Read more from TBR-PR


Outback Steakhouse Offers Fans Tasty Reason to Cheer for Newman
As if race fans needed another reason to cheer for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) driver Ryan Newman during the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup series season, there’s yet another good one courtesy of sponsor Outback Steakhouse.


Whenever Newman finishes in the top-10, fans will get a free Bloomin’ Onion at Outback Steakhouse on the Monday immediately following the race. It’s a promotion that is sure to generate more interest than ever in where Newman and his No. 39 Chevrolet finish during each Sprint Cup race in 2012.


Read more from Outback Steakhouse-PR

Friday, February 24, 2012
2012 NCWTS NextEra Energy Resources 250 Race Results

ROTY contender, John King in Victory Lane

The first 2012 NCWTS points race is in the books, and after the third (and final) green-white-checkered (flags) restart attempt, it was John King taking the checkered flag under caution to win the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway.


NCWTS Rookie of the Year contender King, received his first series career win in eight years, and joined Michael Waltrip (2011) and Robert Pressley (2002) to be the third driver to earn his first series career victory at Daytona.


(Unofficially) following King to the drop of the checkered/yellow flags was his Red Horse Racing teammate, Timothy Peters finishing in second, Justin Lofton third, Travis Kvapil fourth and Jason White finishing in fifth.


Rounding out the top-ten finishers were Todd Bodine finishing sixth, Chris Fontaine seventh, Ward Burton eighth, Rookie contender Ty Dillon ninth and Clay Greenfield finishing in the tenth position.


Unofficial Top-Ten in Point Standings: 1. John King 2. Timothy Peters (-5) 3. Justin Lofton (-6) 4. Jason White (-7) 5. Todd Bodine (-9) 6. Chris Fontaine (-10) 7. Ward Burton (-11) 8. Ty Dillon (-12) 9. Clay Greenfield (-13) 10. Parker Kligerman (-14)


NCWTS will return to action when they head to Martinsville Speedway on March 31st for the 14th annual Kroger 250 with an approximate start of 1:40pm ET and television coverage by SPEED at 1pm ET.


Results   Standings

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

Danica Patrick takes the pole for the Nationwide Race February 25th at Daytona
The last woman to take a pole in the Nationwide series was Shawna Robinson in March 1994 at Atlanta.  Today, Danica Patrick has matched that accomplishment as a female competitor in the Nationwide series in Daytona as the Pole Winner.  


Live Leaderboard for Drive4COPD 300


The 54th Daytona 500 Draws Sports and Entertainment Star Power
Every February, “The Great American Race” brings both the biggest stars in NASCAR and the biggest stars in sports and entertainment to Daytona International Speedway. This year is no different as NASCAR kicks off its season with the biggest stock car race in the world – the 54th Daytona 500 – on Sunday, Feb 26.


Read more from DIS-PR


SPEED Adds Indy 500 Champ Hornish Jr. as SPEED Center Analyst
Three-time IndyCar series champion Sam Hornish Jr. signed with SPEED this week to be an analyst on the popular weekend motor sports news program, SPEED Center. Hornish, who is competing this season in the NASCAR Nationwide series for Penske Racing, won the Indianapolis 500 in 2006 and recently became a Nationwide series winner in Phoenix this past November.


Read more from SPEED-PR


Budweiser to sponsor Speedweeks and Duels at Daytona beginning in 2013
Budweiser and Daytona International Speedway to day 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.


Read more from DIS-PR


DirecTV NASCAR HotPass Featured Drivers
See this week’s featured drivers on channels 795-798. Harvick, Johnson, Earnhardt Jr. and Carl Edwards.


Read more from DirecTV


2012 NNS DRIVE4COPD 300 Practice Session Speeds
The 2012 NNS season officially got underway Thursday morning as drivers took to the 2.5 mile track at Daytona International Speedway for their firs DRIVE4COPD 300 practice session.


NSCS regular Denny Hamlin, with a lap speed of 197.472 mph, was the fastest during the session, while NNS driver Brian Scott posted the second fastest lap with a speed of 197.468 mph, followed by Kurt Busch (196.019mph) who was third fastest, Kyle Busch (196.014) fourth and Tony Stewart (194.966) was fifth fastest.


Rounding our the top-ten fastest in practice were Joey Logano (194.957) who was sixth fastest, Kasey Kahne (193.715) seventh, Dale Earnhardt Jr. (193.715) eighth, Joe Nemechek (192.625) ninth and Michael Annett (192.612) posting the tenth fastest lap speed.


Final Practice
It was James Buescher and Kasey Kahne, with the identical lap speed of 195.355 mph, at the top of the speed charts during the final NNS DRIVE4COPD 300 practice session at Daytona International Speedway.


Third fastest with a lap speed of 194.422mph, was Kurt Busch, followed by David Ragan (194.414) who was fourth fastest and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (193.920) fifth fastest.


Rounding out the top-ten fastest during “Happy Hour” were Trevor Bayne (193.911) who was sixth fastest, Elliott Sadler (193.761) seventh, Austin Dillon (193.757) eighth, Joey Logano (193.386) ninth and Tony Stewart (193.374) posting the tenth fastest lap speed.


The teams will return to the track again for their 2:05pm ET scheduled qualifying session this afternoon at 2:05pm ET, and the DRIVE4COPD 300 race is scheduled to get underway around 1:15pm ET Feb 25, with ESPN beginning their (pre) race coverage at 12 noon ET.


Practice Speeds
Qualifying Line up

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

Kurt Busch apologizes to Jerry Punch
NASCAR driver Kurt Busch publicly apologized Thursday to the ESPN reporter he berated during last season’s finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.


Busch began an on-camera interview with ESPN’s Jerry Punch by hugging him and saying he was “so sorry with the way last year ended.”


Read more from ESPN-Associated Press 

#31 and #33 Honoring a Friend
The Nos 31 and 33 Chevrolets driven in this week’s events by Burton and Elliott Sadler will carry a special decal honoring Donald E. Becker, an executive vice president of The Kroger Co. and friend of the General Mills motorsports family who passed away last year during Speedweeks. During Becker’s career, he held a number of leadership positions at Kroger, including Vice President of the Cincinnati/Dayton Ohio Division and President of the Central Division. Becker joined Kroger in 1969 as a clerk in the Cincinnati/Dayton Ohio Division. He helped Kroger strengthen relationships with customers and suppliers alike and was also an avid supporter of the Darwin T. Turner Scholars Program at the University of Cincinnati, the Greater Cincinnati Boy Scouts of America, Crayons to Computers, the Easter Seals Work Resource Center and St. Michael’s Center. He earned an undergraduate degree from Central State University, graduating first in his Army ROTC Honors program and retired from his military service with the rank of Captain.


From Jeff Burton & Elliott Sadler Daytona Preview-PR’s

2012 NCWTS NextEra Energy Resources 250 Practice Speeds
It was the 2012 NCWTS turn to officially get their season underway as drivers took to the high banks of Daytona International Speedway for their first NextEra Energy Resources 250 practice session


At the end of the session and with a lap speed of 185.578 mph, it was Timothy Peters the fastest, while Todd Bodine with a lap speed of 185.552 mph, was second fastest, Chris Fontaine (185.418mph) third fastest, Joey Coulter (184.634) fourth and Brendan Gaughan (184.302) was fifth fastest.


Rounding out the top-ten fastest during practice were Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Cale Gale (184.049 mph) who was sixth fastest, Miguel Paludo (181.752) seventh, Sunoco Rookie contender, Bryan Silas (181.583) eighth, JR Fitzpatrick (181.580) ninth and Jason White (181.014) posting the tenth fastest lap speed.


NCWTS Final Practice
It was Parker Kligerman, with a lap speed of 192.872 mph, showing the fastest way around Daytona International Speedway during the final NCWTS NextEra Energy Resources 250 practice session.


Second fastest was Brad Keselowski, with a lap speed of 192.868 mph, followed by Nelson Piquet Jr. (191.767) who was third fastest, Miguel Paludo (191.559) fourth and James Buescher (191.546) was fifth fastest.


Rounding out the top-ten fastest during “Happy Hour” were Johnny Sauter (190.351) who was sixth fastest, David Starr (189.593) seventh, Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Paul Harraka (189.557) eighth, Chris Fontaine (189.538) ninth and Jake Crum (189.330) posting the tenth fastest lap speed.


The teams will return again today for their 4:05pm ET qualifying session for the race – scheduled to get underway around 7:45pm ET with coverage provided by SPEED beginning at 7pm ET.


Practice Speeds
Qualifying Line up

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia


Successful Deal at High Speed Hold ‘Em On the Halifax

Popular drivers, well-known celebrities and national media went “All in” during the year’s first fundraiser for the NASCAR Foundation, raising money for deserving children of Daytona Beach with a fun and rewarding charity poker tournament at MG on the Halifax.


Avid poker player and event winner, The NASCAR Foundation Chairwoman Betty Jane France, deemed the event an all-around success, “Whether you were a winner or loser at the table really didn’t matter, because this event was the ultimate ‘win-win’ situation,” said France. “We all had a great time and we raised a lot of money for a great cause. The support from the Daytona Beach area and from the many NASCAR drivers who played was awesome. We are so very appreciative.”


High Speed Hold ‘Em on the Halifax saw guests come together for a night of Pro/Am high stakes hold’ em action at the grand opening event for the MG Clubhouse. Commissioner of the Epic Poker League and Honorary Tournament Director, Annie Duke oversaw 14 tables as players vied for a grand prize entry into an Epic Pro/Am event valued at $1,500. Another big draw for the evening was an art auction featuring local Daytona Beach artists.


The NASCAR Foundation Chairwoman Betty Jane France will be joined by even co-host and The NASCAR Foundation board member Rusty Wallace for the ceremonial check presentation during Daytona 500 pre-race festivities. A $300,000 donation will be made to the Speediatrics unit at Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, FL. The donation will represent funds raised during the event as well as The NASCAR Foundation’s NASCAR Unites and NASCAR Day programs.


The NASCAR Foundation Board Member and MG Resident Rusty Wallace, said, “Its wonderful to see that we can host this caliber of an event at the beautiful new clubhouse at MG. This has surpassed my expectations, and I couldn’t be happier to see them join hands with NASCAR to do something wonderful for our community.”


Founded by France in 1999, Speediatrics at Halifax Health Medical Center is a NASCAR-themed pediatrics unit and is the only one of its kind in Central Florida that cares for more than 2,000 children each year, including about 300 of those receiving care in the Pediatric ICU.


Fans who followed the event will be able to secure a piece of the action. By donating $25 at NASCAR.com/foundation they will receive a commemorative set of poker chips fresh from the evening’s festivities.


Next up for The NASCAR Foundation is their wildly successful initiative, the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award. In 2011 four philanthropic dynamos won a total of $175,000 for their favorite organizations to continue their charitable efforts. This year The NASCAR Foundation is looking to expand the program and will join forces with Toyota which will award a 2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid to the 2012 winner. Nominations for individuals who have gone above and beyond to support children’s organizations close on May 31, 2012. Please log on to NASCAR.com/foundation for information on how to nominate a local NASCAR fan making a difference for children.


From NASCAR/NASCAR Foundation-PR

Thursday, February 23, 2012
2012 Gatorade Duel at Daytona Race 1 & 2 Results
Tony Stewart took the checkered and yellow flags to win the first NSCS Gatorade Duel at Daytona race Thursday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway. There was an incident that happened on the backstretch after the white flag was flown to bring out the caution, when Danica Patrick took a hard hit into the infield wall after being caught up with Aric Almirola. Thanks to the SAFER barries, Patrick came away unscathed.


Following Stewart to the drop of the checkered and yellow flags were Dale Earnhardt Jr. finishing second, Marcos Ambrose third, Jeff Burton fourth and Carl Edwards finishing fifth.


Rounding out the top-ten finishers were Michael McDowell finishing sixth, Kevin Harvick seventh, AJ Allmendinger eighth, Robby Gordon ninth and Jamie McMurray finishing in the tenth position.


Duel 1 Results

Matt Kenseth celebrates Duel2 Victory
with daughter Kaylin
Photo – AP/Terry Renna

Race two of the NSCS Gatorade Duel at Daytona was less eventful then the first, as there were no cautions during the race at Daytona International Speedway.


Taking the checkered flag was Matt Kenseth, and he was followed by Regan Smith finishing second, Jimmie Johnson third, Elliott Sadler fourth and Greg Biffle finishing in fifth.


Rounding out the top-ten finishing positions were Joey Logano finishing in sixth, Kyle Busch seventh, Jeff Gordon eighth, Ryan Newman ninth and Kasey Kahne finishing in the tenth position.


Duel 2 Results


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia  Daytona 500 Lineup


Krissie Newman scheduled to speak at ACES International Conference
Krissie Newman is scheduled to be a guest speaker at the 2012 ACES (Animal Center Education Services) International Conference at Sea World in San Diego, CA. The three-day event will be held September 27th-30th.


Read more from Ryan Newman Foundation-PR


Hamlin, Bowyer and Harvick Headline All-Star cast of Celebrity Appearances
Racing fans will be treated to a star-studded lineup of NASCAR drivers and celebrity guests making special appearances throughout the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 race weekend, Saturday and Sunday March 3-4 at Phoenix International Raceway. NASCAR superstars Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick headline the list of drivers and VIPs who will make special appearances at the track.


Read more from PIR-PR


2012 NNS DRIVE4COPD 300 First Practice Session Speeds
The 2012 NNS season officially got underway Thursday morning, as drivers took to the 2.5 mile track at Daytona International Speedway for their first DRIVE4COPD 300 practice session.


NSCS regular Denny Hamlin, with a lap speed of 197.472 mph, was the fastest during the session, while NNS driver Brian Scott posted the second fastest lap with a speed of 197.468 mph, followed by Kurt Busch (196.019 mph) who was third fastest, Kyle Busch (196.014) fourth and Tony Stewart (194.966) was fifth fastest.


Rounding out the top-ten fastest in practice were Joey Logano (194.957mph) who was sixth fastest, Kasey Kahne (193.715) seventh, Dale Earnhardt Jr. (193.715) eighth, Joe Nemechek (192.625) ninth and Michael Annett (192.612) posting the tenth fastest lap speed.


The teams will have their “Happy Hour” (final) practice session from 10:45 – 11:50 am ET this morning, and won’t return to the track again until their 2:05pm ET scheduled qualifying session Friday afternoon. 


The DRIVE4COPD 300 race is scheduled to get underway around 1:15pm ET on Saturday, Feb 25th with ESPN beginning their (pre) race coverage at 12:00 pm ET.


From Timing and Scoring provided by NASCARmedia – Practice Speeds


Last call for smoking in Speedway grandstands
Joie Chitwood III looked at the calendar, and then he decided it was time to clear the air at the Daytona International Speedway.


Smoking will no longer be allowed in the grandstands starting with the Coke Zero 400 in July.


Read more from Daytona Beach News Journal


New BK Racing owner committed to running successful Cup team
Tomato grower Wayne Press had invested in TRG Motorsports, a team that showed potential but eventually wound up folding its Sprint Cup operation after three seasons.


That experience, though, didn’t sour him nor some of his other partners enough to keep them out of the Cup garage.


Read more from Scene Daily


Allmendinger on FOX and Friends
Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driver AJ Allmendinger will be a featured guest on Sunday’s edition of FOX and Friends on the FOX News Channel. The program starts at 6am Sunday morning, with Dinger scheduled to join hosts Alisyn Camerota, Dave Briggs, and Clayton Morris at 8:30 am.  


From TRPR 


Rick Hendrick says he will appeal if Knaus gets penalty from NASCAR
Hendrick spoke with USA Today about the sponsorship, the inspection failure of Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 Chevy last week and the return of pack racing (and big wrecks) at Daytona:


Q: Are you planning to appeal if NASCAR penalizes the No. 48?
A: Yes. I think NASCAR does a good job in the garage area, and sometimes you agree and sometime you don’t. I’m gathering all the facts on our end about when the car raced and who worked on it. We have really good documentation in our shop for every hour spent on a car and who does what with the mill and paint work. I’ve talked to the guys who do that work in the shop. I feel good about our position, but I have to sit down and go through it and present our case and go from there.


Q: You believe the car was legal?
A: Yes. I ran every restrictor-plate race we raced last year and went to the R&D Center. So, it’s only been painted since then. It’s been seen an awful lot (by NASCAR). So I need to get down to why it was wrong this time and (why) it’s OK the other times.


Q: Did crew chief Chad Knaus tell you there’s nothing different about the car?
A: The guys who do the body work have told me that. Chad doesn’t do that work. I talked to Chad, but I talked to the other guys too. They’ve stated they absolutely didn’t touch that area since it was built before the 2011 Daytona 500.


Q: Is Knaus’ history as a repeat offender counting against him?
A: Well history is history, and you can’t change it. I feel like Chad has been a good citizen the last few years, and he’s tried really hard. He goes to the R&D Center. Before he takes air boxes to the track, he shows it to (NASCAR) because he doesn’t want to have a problem. I know he works really hard, and I’ve been told in several situations that he’s done a good job in that area. And we have not had any problems. We’ve had our share in the past, but I think it’s a little different. There were a lot of other cars being sanded and (worked) on. Why didn’t (the No. 48) get an opportunity to get some of that done if they didn’t like it?


Read more from USA Today (scroll down to see this segment in the Q&A’s)


Mama Lucia Meatballs Partners with RCR’s No. 22 NASCAR CWTS Team
Quaker Maid Meats, a leading supplier of frozen meat products has reached a partnership agreement with Richard Childress Racing for the company’s Mama Lucia Meatballs brand to be the primary sponsor of the February 24 race at Daytona International Speedway with RCR’s NASCAR Camping World Truck series No. 22 team driven by 2011 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Joey Coulter.


Read more from RCR-PR


Schaeffer Oil Joins Forces with Max Gresham for Daytona
Schaeffer Oil – which has manufactured lubricants longer than any other company in America – today announced a promotional association with NASCAR driver Max Gresham for the upcoming NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway.


The NASCAR Camping World Truck series event is scheduled for Friday, February 24 on the 2.5-mile ‘World Center of Speed’ Daytona oval.


Read more from Max Gresham-PR


Pro Motor Engines and Tristar Choose G-OIL for 2012

As a 30-year veteran of NASCAR competition Mark Smith knows engines. Smith is the owner of Pro Motor Engines (PME), a leading builder of race engines for all three NASCAR series, and owner of the TriStar Motorsports NASCAR Nationwide series team.


Building and preparing high performance racing engines is Smith’s business and key to his team’s success. Starting this season, TriStar has chosen G-OIL, the world’s first and only American Petroleum Institute (API) and USDA BioPreferred certified bio-based full synthetic motor oil for all four of his 2012 NASCAR Nationwide series cars.


Smith’s engines have won three NASCAR Truck series championships (2003, 2004 and 2009). He also received the prestigious MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Year award in both 2008 and 2009 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck series competition.


G-OIL will be the motor oil for Tayler Malsam in the #19 G-OIL Toyota, Eric McClure in the #14 Hefty Reynolds Wrap Toyota, former NASCAR Camping World Truck series champion Mike Bliss in the #44 TriStar Toyota and the Toyota driven by former Nationwide series champion Jeff Green.


Read more from Green Earth Technologies-PR

Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Roush Fenway Once Again Sets Pace at Daytona
Roush Fenway Racing kept its perfect streak alive, once again leading all speeds at Daytona International Speedway as the Sprint Cup series concluded practice for tomorrow’s Gatorade Duel qualifying races. Matt Kenseth turned a lap of 44.809 during the first practice session (200.853mph) to lead all speeds during the day’s two practice sessions. Trevor Bayne, in the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford, was second fastest and Roush Fenway’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was third. Greg Biffle had the best 10-lap average at 196.259mph.


The performance continued Roush Fenway’s stellar effort at the 2012 Speedweeks, that has included RFR leading speeds in all three days of practice, Biffle leading a race-high 17 laps in the Budweiser Shootout and Roush Fenway sweeping the front row in Sunday’s qualifying session.


Tomorrow’s (Thursday, Feb 23) Twin 150 duel races will decide the remaining 41 starting positions for the Daytona 500, the races are set for 2pm ET. The duels will be televised live on SPEED.


Edwards (starting 1st), Stenhouse (4th) and Bayne (Wood Bros.) (5th) will start in the first qualifying race, while Biffle (1st) and Kenseth (7th) will compete in the second duel. RFR has never won a Duel at DIS, but has finished second twice (Martin-1991 and Edwards-2006).


Roush Fenway Racing is the winningest team in NASCAR history, fielding multiple teams in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series with championship drivers Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne. Celebrating 25 years in 2012, Roush Fenway is the leader in NASCAR marketing solutions, pioneering its exclusive Roush Fenway OnTrack sponsorship measurement services, motorsport’s first team-focused TV show and its award-winning social marketing channel RickyvsTrevor.com


From RFR-PR

Bill France Jr. Statue Unveiled at Daytona
Members of the France family gathered on Wednesday afternoon 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.


From DIS-PR


NASCAR considering minor changes for Daytona 
NASCAR Live reports this afternoon that NASCAR is allowing teams to change the PSI on the radiator’s pressure release valve from 25 psi to 28 psi.


From Jayski’s


Sunoco Rookie Classes announced
Earlier than they have been in recent memory, the classes of Sunoco Rookie of the Year contenders for NASCAR’s three national series have been set, for the time being.


In the Sprint Cup series, two drivers have registered for the program, though neither is entered for the Daytona 500. Timmy Hill will attempt to win his second consecutive rookie of the year award for Rick Ware Racing after grabbing the Nationwide series honor in 2011. At this point his competition is Josh Wise, who recently has dabbled in all three national series – with 91 starts since 2007. Owner Larry Gunselman, who is fielding a car for superspeedway ace Mike Wallace at Daytona, had said over the winter he wanted to run Wise for rookie of the year, depending on sponsorship.


The Nationwide series has five contenders, including Jason Bowles who’s driving for MacDonald Motorsports. The other four contenders are Joey Gase, 2011 Camping World Truck series champion Austin Dillon, Cole Whitt and Johanna Long, who plans a partial schedule of about 20 races for ML Motorsports.


As has been the case for the past few years, the Truck series rookie class is the largest, with 11 contenders, nine of whom are entered at Daytona. The list includes Dakota Armstrong, Ross Chastain, Dusty Davis, 2011 ARCA Racing series champion Ty Dillon (Austin’s brother), Cale Gale, Max Gresham, Paulie Harraka, Caleb Holman, John King, Bryan Silas and John Wes Townley, who is currently under suspension by RAB Racing after a DUI arrest earlier this month in Georgia. Holman is the other driver not entered at Daytona.


From NASCAR .com (scroll to bottom of article)


Romney delays fundraiser to keep campaigning, will still visit Daytona 500
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.


Read more from Daytona Beach News Journal


‘Night of Champions’ promotion gives fans chance to meet Daytona 500 Champ
Beginning today, Texas Motor Speedway is providing a unique “Night of Champions” promotion that will reward 18 fans with a meet-and-greet with the 2012 Daytona 500 champion as well as be entertained by the NBA World Champion Dallas Mavericks from a luxury suite.


Read more from Texas Motor Speedway-PR


Pioneer Hi-Bred Named Title Sponsor for Nationwide Race at Iowa Speedway
Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business and Iowa Speedway today announced Pioneer as the title sponsor for the May NASCAR Nationwide series race at Iowa Speedway. The Pioneer Hi-Bred 250 will be held Sunday, May 20, at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, IA.


Read more from Iowa Speedway-PR


Vickers says he’s just waiting for right 2012 option
Speedweeks 2012 at Daytona International Speedway is a third of the way complete and maybe the most significant face that hasn’t been seen is that of Sprint Cup driver Brian Vickers.


Vickers, who most recently drove for the former Red Bull Racing Team, posted a video update on his Facebook page in which he thanked his fans, the media and the entire NASCAR industry for its support and concern…


Read more from NASCAR .com


Jeremy Mayfield says he is innocent
Former race car driver Jeremy Mayfield says the new criminal charges against him are “baseless” and suggests he’s the target of a conspiracy involving NASCAR and law enforcement officials.


Read more from ESPN/Associated Press


Mears adds B’Laster Corp as Associate Sponsor for Daytona 500
Just three days removed from recording a top five qualifying effort, Casey Mears and Germain Racing announced a new sponsor, B’laster Corp., one of the world’s leading retail automotive manufacturing companies. B’laster Corp. will join the team as an associate sponsor for the 2012 Daytona 500 on the #13 GEICO Ford Fusion.


Read more from Player Management International, Inc., for GEICO Racing-PR


If Stenhouse Jr. or Bayne wins Daytona 500, One Fan wins $100,000
When the green flag drops at the Daytona 500, more than bragging rights will be on the line for drivers Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne.


If either Stenhouse or Bayne wins The Great American Race, Lionel NASCAR Collectables (LNC) – The Official Die-Cast of NASCAR – and the Racing Collectables Club of America (RCCA) will give $100,000 to a lucky fan. as part of the company’s “Ultimate Ricky vs. Trevor: Duel at Daytona” contest.


Bayne and Stenhouse announced the contest tonight on Performance Racing Network’s “Up to Speed” broadcast where they also announced they will be brand ambassadors for LNC and RCCA in 2012.


To enter the “Ultimate Ricky vs. Trevor: Duel at Daytona,” fans can log on to duelatdaytona.com


LNC and RCCA will also be bringing a surprise special guest to the pre-Daytona 500 Tweetup at 9am Sunday, February 26.


From Lionel NASCAR Collectables-PR

Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Grime Boss to Sponsor Ryan Truex in NASCAR Nationwide series at Daytona
Grime Boss, a new brand from Nice-Pak Products, Inc. will sponsor the Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) No. 36 Chevrolet driven by Ryan Truex for the NASCAR Nationwide series (NNS) race in Daytona Saturday, February 25.


Read more from TBR-PR


ESPN’s NASCAR Coverage Set to Take Green Flag at Daytona
ESPN’s coverage of the 2012 NASCAR season launches with a live flag-to-flag telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide series season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb 25, on ESPN. The telecast is presented by GoDaddy.com and begins at noon ET with NASCAR Countdown. The 300-mile race’s green flag flies at 1:34pm ET.


All 33 races on the NASCAR Nationwide series schedule this season will appear on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC. ESPN also will televise the final 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races of the season, including all ten races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Fourteen of the 17 races will air on ESPN, with three Saturday night races appearing on ABC, ESPN’s NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage begins July 19 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway while the Chase begins Sept 16 at Chicagoland Speedway.


In addition to race coverage for both series, the networks also will televise practice and qualifying from select races, season preview and review programs and a special Chase preview. Races include NASCAR Countdown, a dedicated pre-race program, and comprehensive coverage of NASCAR appears on ESPN2’s NASCAR news and information program, NASCAR Now.


All of ESPN’s NASCAR television content is also viewable digitally through WatchESPN and WatchESPN.com, the groundbreaking online-accessible authenticated version of ESPN. WatchESPN is available on computers, smartphones and tablets through WatchESPN.com and the free WatchESPN app, which are accessible to fans who receive their video service from an affiliated provider.


ESPN’s team of announcers has five former NASCAR Sprint Cup champions in analyst roles in 2012, including 1999 champion Dale Jarrett and 1989 champion Rusty Wallace. Two-time champion crew chiefs Tim Brewer and Andy Petree also will offer expert analysis during the season while three-time champion crew chief Ray Evernham returns to ESPN this season after taking the 2011 season off.


Lap-by-lap announcer Allen Bestwick will join Jarrett and Petree in the booth for race telecasts, with pit reporters Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch. From the ESPN Pit Studio, Nicole Briscoe will host NASCAR Countdown with analysts Wallace and Brad Daugherty, joined by Evernham for selected races, mostly in the second half of the season. Brewer will report from the Emmy-winning ESPN Tech Garage during race telecasts to help viewers better understand the technical and mechanical aspects of NASCAR racing. 


Wallace, Evernham and NASCAR Now analyst Ricky Craven also will help call some of the races from the booth as fill-ins for Jarrett and Petree. NASCAR Now co-hosts Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake will work as pit reporters for selected races as will Rick DeBruhl, a pit reporter on ESPN’s coverage of the IZOD IndyCar series, and Jim Noble.


ESPN’s NASCAR race telecasts will be produced under the oversight of ESPN vice president, motorsports, Rich Feinberg and coordinating producer Kate Jackson. NASCAR Sprint Cup races and selected Nationwide series races will be produced by Jamie Shiftan while Jim Gaiero will produce other Nationwide series races. Richie Basile will be director. 


ESPN’s multimedia approach to coverage of NASCAR touches multiple ESPN platforms, including ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN2, ESPN2 HD, ABC, ABC HD, WatchESPN, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, ESPNEWS, ESPN Radio, ESPN International, ESPN Mobile, espnW and Jayski.com.


NASCAR race schedules for the ESPN Networks in 2012 are as follows:


2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Schedule on ESPN Networks

Date Site Network Time
Jul. 29 Indianapolis Motor Speedway ESPN 1 p.m.
Aug. 5 Pocono Raceway ESPN 1 p.m.
Aug. 12 Watkins Glen International ESPN 1 p.m.
Aug. 19 Michigan International Speedway ESPN 1 p.m.
Aug. 25 Bristol Motor Speedway ABC 7:30 p.m.
Sep. 2 Atlanta Motor Speedway ESPN 7:30 p.m.
Sep. 8 Richmond International Raceway ABC 7:30 p.m.
Sep. 16 Chicagoland Speedway ESPN 2 p.m.
Sep. 23 New Hampshire Motor Speedway ESPN 2 p.m.
Sep. 30 Dover International Speedway ESPN 2 p.m.
Oct. 7 Talladega Superspeedway ESPN 2 p.m.
Oct. 13 Charlotte Motor Speedway ABC 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 21 Kansas Speedway ESPN 2 p.m.
Oct. 28 Martinsville Speedway ESPN 2 p.m.
Nov. 4 Texas Motor Speedway ESPN 3 p.m.
Nov. 11 Phoenix International Raceway ESPN 3 p.m.
Nov. 18 Homestead-Miami Speedway ESPN 3 p.m.

2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series Schedule

Date  Site Network Time
Feb. 25 Daytona International Speedway ESPN 1:15 p.m.
Mar. 3 Phoenix International Raceway ESPN2 4:30 p.m.
Mar. 10 Las Vegas Motor Speedway ESPN2 5 p.m.
Mar. 17 Bristol Motor Speedway ESPN 2 p.m.
Mar. 24 Auto Club Speedway ESPN 5:30 p.m.
Apr. 13 Texas Motor Speedway ESPN2 8:30 p.m.
Apr. 27 Richmond International Raceway ESPN2 7:30 p.m.
May. 5  Talladega Superspeedway ABC 3:15 p.m.
May. 11 Darlington Raceway ESPN2 7 p.m.
May. 20 Iowa Speedway ESPN 2 p.m.
May. 26 Charlotte Motor Speedway ABC 2:45 p.m.
Jun. 2 Dover International Speedway ESPN 2 p.m.
Jun. 16 Michigan International Speedway ABC 3:45 p.m.
Jun. 22 Road America ESPN 3:30 p.m.
Jun. 29 Kentucky Speedway ESPN2 7:30 p.m.
Jul. 6 Daytona International Speedway ESPN 7:30 p.m.
Jul. 14 New Hampshire Motor Speedway ESPN 3:30 p.m.
Jul. 22 Chicagoland Speedway ESPN 3 p.m.
Jul. 28 Indianapolis Motor Speedway ESPN 4:30 p.m.
Aug. 4 Iowa Speedway ESPN2 8 p.m.
Aug. 11 Watkins Glen International ABC 2:15 p.m.
Aug. 18 Circuit Gilles Villeneuve ESPN 2:30 p.m.
Aug. 24 Bristol Motor Speedway ESPN 7:30 p.m.
Sep. 1 Atlanta Motor Speedway ESPN2 7 p.m.
Sep. 7 Richmond International Raceway ESPN 7:30 p.m.
Sep. 15 Chicagoland Speedway ESPN2 3:30 p.m.
Sep. 22 Kentucky Speedway ESPN 4 p.m.
Sep. 29 Dover International Speedway ESPN2 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 12 Charlotte Motor Speedway ESPN2 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 20 Kansas Speedway ESPN 3:30 p.m.
Nov. 3 Texas Motor Speedway ESPN 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 10 Phoenix International Raceway ESPN 4 p.m.
Nov. 17 Homestead-Miami Speedway ESPN2 4:30 p.m.

From ESPN Communications-PR


NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile provides Daytona Speedweeks Content
Sprint announced today that its customers can access hours of NASCAR on SPEED programming through its popular NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile application leading up to this weekend’s Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.


Accessed by more than 3 million unique users in 2011, NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile is a wireless application that provides a wealth of NASCAR content and information at no additional charge to Sprint customers with Android-powered devices with any data plan.


Sprint customers will be able to watch live coverage of the Gatorade Duel 150 races, all practice sessions for the Daytona 500, as well as popular NASCAR on SPEED programs like NASCAR Live, NASCAR RaceDay, NASCAR Victory Lane and Trackside via the application.


From Sprint Nextel-PR


Reutimann, RBR Enterprises ready to roll in Daytona
After an offseason of changes, the Ricky Benton Racing (RBR) Enterprises No. 92 BTS Tire and Wheel Distributors/fleetHQ.com team is read to tackle Daytona International Speedway and the 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck series season.


Read more from RBR-PR


So-Cal Race Fans Rev Up start of 2012 Season with Daytona 500 Viewing Party
Fans start your engines! And start them at Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, CA for the Official Auto Club Speedway/NASCAR Daytona 500 Viewing Party and Fan Festival on Sunday, February 26. It’s THE PLACE for Southern Californians to party with fellow race fans, kicking off the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup series season with the “Great American Race” – the Daytona 500.


Read more from Auto Club Speedway-PR


New Season and High Expectations for New Nationwide series Team at KBM
Kyle Busch is anxious to see his team’s hard work pay off in the season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway this Saturday. Expectations are set high for the full-time No. 54 Monster Energy team as a new addition to Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) this season in the NASCAR Nationwide series. The team’s goal will be to capture an Owner’s Championship in its inaugural season, similar to the Owner’s Championship accomplished by KBM in its first full year in the Camping World Truck series in 2010.


Read more from KBM-PR


Drive to End Hunger Revs Up for Second Season in NASCAR
Following a successful first year in NASCAR, AARP and AARP Foundation’s Drive to End Hunger is revving up for the 2012 race season with new at-track activities for fans at select races, as well as new initiatives in communities across the country to advance the fight against older adult hunger.


The centerpiece of Drive to End Hunger in 2012 will once again be four-time NASCAR Cup series champion Jeff Gordon driving the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports in 22 races, including the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400. Fans at these races and 12 others throughout the year will be able to visit the Drive to End Hunger Experience, an at-track mobile unit that will allow fans to play video games and compete with friends in the “Hungry for Knowledge” trivia game. Game winners and donors can receive Drive to End Hunger collectors’ items, including commemorative coins, autographed hats and beverage koozies.


From AARP-PR


3M, USG and Freescale Add Special Awards to 2012 NASCAR Contingency Program
As teams make final preparations to start the 2012 race season, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) announced the lineup of 2012 NASCAR Contingency Program sponsors for all three national series.


The NASCAR Contingency Program is administered by the Charlotte, NC-based NASCAR Automotive Group. The program strives to build strong relationships with high quality, performance driven brands that are leaders in their respective categories, and award money to NASCAR teams via per race and year-end awards. Competitors become eligible for prize money by displaying sponsor decals on the front fender of their race cars and trucks. In some instances, use of a sponsor’s product is also required.


Three new special awards highlight the 2012 contingency program award lineup. This season, longtime NASCAR Official Partner and Roush Fenway Racing primary sponsor 3M will present the 3M Lap Leader Award in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide series. The award will go to the eligible driver who leads the most laps in each race throughout the season. USG Corp., the Official Building Product Supplier of NASCAR, will present the USG “Improving the Finish” Award to the eligible NSCS driver who improves the most positions from starting position to finishing position in each NSCS race event.


Freescale, the Official Automotive Semiconductor of NASCAR, is not only helping to usher in electronic fuel injection to the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, but also will present a new contingency special award to NSCS competitors. The Freescale “Wide Open” Award will be given to the eligible NSCS driver that is the most aggressive during the final 20% of the race, measured by having the throttle “wide open” the greatest amount of time and finishing in the top five.


From NASCAR-PR


Daytona 500 Ticket Offer Presented by Coca-Cola
Fans who purchase tickets for this year’s Southern 500 during the week of the Daytona 500, scheduled for Sunday, Feb 26, will receive a special Southern 500 pre-race ceremony pass courtesy of the track’s beverage provider Coca-Cola, which will give a select group of fans the opportunity to watch driver introductions on the track in front of the pre-race stage.


It is the first time Darlington Raceway has offered a pass for driver introductions thanks to a strong partnership with Coca-Cola.


Read more from Darlington Raceway-PR


ALSO – With the recent release by NASCAR of this season’s start times, Darlington Raceway’s new 7pm ET start for the Sprint Cup series Southern 500 on Saturday, May 12, should be a win for all race fans attending this year’s traditional Mother’s Day weekend event.


With many ticketholders traveling in their personal vehicles locally and regionally for raceday, fans view night racing at Darlington Raceway a must-see on their NASCAR Sprint Cup series schedule.


However, getting the 60,000 plus fans that attend the races at Darlington home in time for Mother’s Day is a task that the track staff wants to ensure will happen each year. Many fans have openly suggested an earlier start time through Darlington’s fan surveys and the track is listening.


From Darlington Raceway-PR


Jennifer Jo Cobb Returns to Race Full Truck series schedule
Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing (JJCR) announced today plans to race the full 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck series (NCWTS) schedule. In addition, the team will enter select NASCAR Nationwide series events this season. For owner and driver Jennifer Jo Cobb, this marks a fresh canvas and she and her No. 10 team are more ready than ever to make a lasting impression.


The team will enter a combination of Ford and Dodge-manufactured trucks in the NCWTS and Dodge Challengers in the NNS. Cobb’s “Driven2Honor” program will adorn her vehicles until primary sponsorship is secured.


Other changes that Cobb made in the off-season include a new race shop and … Steve Kuykendall is returning as Cobb’s crew chief, however, he will only lead Cobb’s NCWTS efforts allowing the team to focus on the full schedule.


From Breaking Limits Marketing for Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing-PR


MAKE Motorsports Kicks Off 2012 Season Heading “Eastbound & Down”
On February 25, NASCAR Nationwide series (NNS) team MAKE Motorsports will kick off the 2012 season with a sponsorship from HBO and the hit comedy series, “Eastbound & Down.” In celebration of the HBO series’ season three debut on Feb 19, the network will sponsor the #50 Chevrolet driven by TJ Bell at DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway.


The #50 Eastbound & Down/Make Motorsports Chevrolet features elements of lead character, Kenny Powers’ prized jet ski, with a purple and leopard-print scheme, as well as the likeness of the “legend” himself, who also hails from Shelby, NC.


See the car and read more from MAKE Motorsports-PR


Race-Winning Move at Daytona Might Not Happen on Track
The most critical move of a race at Daytona International Speedway this weekend might occur when the car is standing still. As any NASCAR driver, team member of fan can tell you, a pit stop can make or break a team’s race effort. That’s why the six guys who jump off the wall to service their team’s car have to be fit and focused.


Read more from FRM-PR


Calinoff Launches New Social Media, Branding and Public Relations Company
At the conclusion of 2011, the combined number of active Facebook and Twitter users was 1.55 billion. By comparison, those social media channels would make up the third largest country in the world. Add to those others such as newcomer Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn and you’ll have enough people connected to rival the population of China.


So the timing just seemed right for Mike Calinoff, the Spotter for NASCAR Champions Matt Kenseth (@MattKenseth), Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (@StenhouseJr) and Truck series sophomore Nelson Piquet (@NelsonPiquet) to create 140BUZZ with which to serve the motorsports community, as well as all categories of business with budgets of all sizes.

“Our online visibility tactics with Social Media, SEO, Public Relations, Branding and integrated digital marketing services are geared not only to drive traffic, but to build relationships for our clients,” said Calinoff, “so we’re keeping our clients current and relevant.”

140BUZZ services will be available a la carte in an effort to target specific needs of grassroots and NASCAR-level racers and teams, along with small to medium-sized business.


From 140Buzz-PR


GoodInfo .com Primary Sponsor on Shepherd’s #89 at Daytona
GoodInfo.com will be the primary sponsor on Morgan Shepherd’s #89 NASCAR Nationwide series race car for the upcoming Daytona event on Feb 25th. Whether it’s good people, good business, good deals, good news, good sharing, or just good fun, rest assured, GoodInfo.com is bring it soon! You can join the revolution by going to GoodInfo.com to learn more about their upcoming launch! The GoodInfo.com company logo will be on Shepherd’s hood and both sides of his Nationwide series #89 race car for Daytona.


Shepherd and Stan Fulton, chairman and founder of GoodInfo.com, believe that only good will become of this partnership. Said Fulton, “As the founder of GoodInfo.com, I am focused on things which are good and valuable in the local community – good information, good deals, good news, and good people. We are sponsoring Morgan Shepherd because he is also focused on good things and I’m proud to work with him. GoodInfo.com, Morgan and NASCAR are all about hometown American values and about speed. Good news also travels fast, and when people are doing such good work together, others want to join in. I am excited about the opportunity for GoodInfo.com and Morgan Shepherd to do good things together.”


From Morgan Shepherd-PR


Rusty Wallace Racing facebook posting regarding Steve Wallace
“I want to thank everyone for their questions about my plans for 2012. I’ll tell you what, it’s definitely hard watching everyone get ready for Daytona – this time last year we had just qualified for my first Daytona 500 and were getting ready to run both the Nationwide and Cup races down there.


I’m definitely planning on being in a race car this year, but want to make sure that it’s the right opportunity with a team that’s competitive and can win races. I’m very grateful to have had a lot of teams call – everyone from some of the top Cup-affiliated teams, to Truck series teams. There are some really great opportunities out there for me if we can put together sponsorship.


In the meantime, my friend Blake Bainbridge and I are building a couple of really nice Super Late Model cars that we’re planning on running for fun this year. You’ll see us at a lot of the big races for those cars, like the Snowball Derby and the Winchester 400.


I’ll be in Daytona later this week and am just going to keep working hard to put together the right opportunity for me to race in 2012.”


From Rusty Wallace Racing-facebook


NASCAR Sprint Cup starts ’12 season with Bud Shootout overnight up 3%
Fox earned a 4.0 overnight Nielsen rating for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Budweiser Shootout on Saturday night, up 3% from last year’s race. The telecast was the top-rated program of the day and gave Fox a win in primetime amont all nets.


From Sports Business Daily


Mark Martin’s Early Daytona Memories
Mark Martin begins his 30th season in NASCAR Sprint Cup racing on Sunday in the 54th running of the Daytona 500. Like many of the 180,000 fans who will attend NASCAR’s premier event or the 13 million television viewers watching at home, Martin grew up a fan of “The Great American Race.”


One of his first Daytona 500 experiences came in 1976 when the 17-year-old’s family drove a motorhome from their Batesville, AR home to Daytona. They spent the night on the speedway’s grounds before watching the famous last-lap duel between Richard Petty and David Pearson when the pair crashed in the tri-oval grass just short of the checkered flag. Petty’s car wouldn’t restart, but Pearson dumped the clutch and kept the car from stalling. Pearson straightened out his damaged machine and slowly crossed the start/finish line to capture the Daytona 500.


A young Mark Martin watched it all from the grandstands.


Read more from MWR-PR


Smith Tours CSX Locomotive
It wasn’t the “little engine that could” that NASCAR driver Regan Smith toured. Instead, it was a big, powerful machine with a weight of approximately 125 times more than his 3,400-pound No. 78 Chevrolet stock car.


Smith, who is currently residing at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Daytona 500 Sprint Cup season opener, took a side trip last week (Friday) to Jacksonville, FL to pay a visit to the CSX Transportation headquarters. The visit also included a trip to a railroad yard where Smith got up-close-and-personal to a 434,000-pound CSX locomotive.


Read more from Furniture Row Racing-PR


Driving the Dollar General Tundra is “Chance of a Lifetime”
When asked about the opportunity to drive the No. 18 Dollar General Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) this season, Jason Leffler described it as the “Chance of a Lifetime.”


That’s high praise from a man who has raced in the Indianapolis 500, piloted Sprint Cup series cars for Chip Ganassi and Joe Gibbs, and has been a fixture in the top-ten of the final NASCAR Nationwide series (NNS) standings the last five years.


So why is driving the Dollar General Tundra the chance of a lifetime? Every driver strives to land a competitive ride which allows him the opportunity to run up front and win races. In its first two seasons competing in the Truck series, KBM’s No. 18 Tundra has visited Victory Lane 16 times, led 1,895 laps and recorded 31 top-five finishes in 50 starts.


Read more from KBM-PR

Monday, February 20, 2012
Fans Can Register to “WinCamaroSynergy”
To help celebrate Tony Stewart’s incredible 2011 NASCAR Spring Cup championship, race fans can enter for a chance to win a 2012 Camaro Synergy Edition and meet Stewart at the race track at WinCamaroSynergy.com now through March 20, 2012.


One Grand Prize Winner will receive a 2012 Camaro Synergy Edition, and trip for two to Talladega Superspeedway for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series race in May and a meeting with three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion Tony Stewart.
“This is an exciting opportunity for fans of Tony Stewart, Chevrolet and racing,” said Maria Stenbom, Assistant Manager, Motorsports Marketing, Chevrolet. “Team Chevy is proud to partner with ExxonMobil, GoDaddy.com Quicken Loans, Stewart-Haas Racing and Sprint to help celebrate Tony Stewart’s unforgettable run to the 2011 championship by offering fans the chance to win a 2012 Chevy Camaro Synergy and an opportunity to meet a celebrated champion at a famed race track.


No purchase is necessary. See official rules at WinCamaroSynergy.com

From Team Chevy-PR

Street & Racing Technology (SRT) Motorsports Team Announcement
Chrysler Group’s Street and Racing Technology (SRT) Motorsports team will unveil its new Dodge Charger for 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup series competition on Sunday, March 11 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS). Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – Street and Racing Technology Brand (SRT) and Motorsports, announced the reveal date during a conference call todya with the national media.


The reveal will take place in the Neon Garage at LVMS at 10:30 am prior to the running of the Kobalt Tools 400. Along with the 2013 Sprint Cup series car will be a production 2012 Dodge Charger R/T, giving fans and media an opportunity to see the many features of the production Charger that have been incorporated into the new race car.


In October 2009, Dodge introduced the Challenger R/T as the “new car” for the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide series season. “The reception for the Dodge Challenger was simply outstanding,” said Gilles. “It’s been another remarkable effort by our SRT Motorsports design and engineering teams and Penske Racing, working together with NASCAR, to achieve a Dodge Charger that embodies so many of the characteristics of the production version. Our team is confident, that even with the iconic design features incorporated into the Sprint Cup car, there has been no compromise in the area of competition.”


Gilles also alerted the media of the realignment of specific motorsports efforts under the SRT Brand and the addition of Beth Paretta as the Director – SRT Brand and Motorsports Marketing and Operations.


SRT Motorsports includes all of Chrysler Group’s NASCAR racing efforts for Dodge and RAM. The engineering and marketing teams are also included under the new SRT Motorsports umbrella. Paretta joins SRT from Aston Martin, where most recently she served as Operations Manager for Aston Martin Lagonda managing sales, marketing, service and events in eastern North America. In 2009, Paretta was included in AutoWeek magazine’s list of  ’10 Secret People’ of the auto industry.


From Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports-PR


NASCAR mulls minor engine changes
NASCAR will consider minor adjustments to reduce the possibility of engines overheating prior to the Daytona 500.


But otherwise officials were pleased with the results of Saturday night’s Budweiser Shootout, the first race since implementing changes to reduce tandem racing.


See a Video with Ryan Pemberton and read more from ESPN .com


Ryan Newman Foundation Launches Innovative New Site
Since its inception in 2005, the Ryan Newman Foundation has awarded over a half a million dollars to organizations throughout the country that support the Foundation’s mission of promoting spay/neuter education, environmental conservation and college education programs. Additionally, Ryan and Krissie have personally served as spokespersons for several local and national campaigns, fought for animal rights bills and donated countless hours to causes close to their hearts.


Today the Ryan Newman Foundation is proud to announce another major milestone: the launch of its new, completely revamped website, developed by Charlotte, NC-based firm Fame Foundry, at RyanNewmanFoundation.org.


The new site will promote the Foundation’s outreach efforts with a beautifully designed, highly intuitive interface that will make it easy for both potential donors and grant recipients to keep tabs on news, upcoming events, grant application deadlines and opportunities to support the Foundation.


The site also features a first-of-its-kind social network for pets called the Pet Club. The Pet Club is open to all animal lovers, and there is no cost to join. Members can establish a profile for each of their pets, add photos and share their pet’s day-to-day thoughts and activities through status updates, which can even be posted to their Facebook profile. As an added bonus, the Foundation will hold monthly contests and giveaways for Pet Club members.


Read more from Ryan Newman Foundation-PR


Wauters Motorsports & Paulie Harraka Debut at Daytona
New team and new driver together take to the high banks at Daytona International Speedway on Feb 24th.


Wauters Motorsports, with veteran crew chief turned team owner Richie Wauters, head to the historic Daytona International Speedway with Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Paulie Harraka for the NASCAR Camping World Truck series season opener on Friday, February 24, 2012.


Read more from Wauters Motorsports-PR


Jeremy Mayfield indicted on possession of stolen goods charges
Suspended NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield was indicted by a Catawba County (N.C.) grand jury Monday on charges of possession of stolen goods stemming from a Nov. 1 search of his property.


The charges – three counts of possession of stolen goods from Fitz Motorsports, Red Bull Racing and office equipment from DEA Ventures, according to indictments posted online by Charlotte television station WSOC – were not a major surprise as law enforcement officials last November seized more than $100,000 worth of goods that had been reported stolen. Also found was 1.5 grams of methamphetamine, and Mayfield was indicted on charges of felony possession of the drug in November. The drug case is pending with March 5 as the next scheduled court date.


Read more from Scene Daily


UFC SuperStar Jon “Bones” Jones named Honorary Race Official for 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 (FOX, 1pm ET).


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.


Read more from DIS-PR


NASCAR continues to evaluate controversial points transfers, damage to credibility
With points swaps for the Daytona 500 officially complete, NASCAR will continue to evaluate its top-35 rule and how it oversees the transfer of points.


About the only consensus in the debate is that NASCAR has a complicated system that brings its credibility into question.


Read more from Scene Daily 


Craig Campbell to Headline Pre-Race Concert at Daytona 500

Country Music’s “Family Man” Craig Campbell will pay a visit to the Daytona International Speedway this weekend as he is set to headline the Coca-Cola stage in the Midway Fan Zone prior to the start of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 26. Campbell will take the stage at 10:45am ET for a FREE 90 minute set before the start of the race at 1pm ET.


In addition to “Family Man” and “Fish,” found on his self-titled debut CD, the neo-traditionalist country singer will perform his latest everyman anthem, “When I Get It” during the pre-race show. Co-written by Campbell with Jason Matthews and Jim McCormick, “When I Get It” is described by Music Row as an “extremely likeable, hard-times, sing-along tune.”


From Monarch Publicity-PR


Derrike Cope to drive for new team at Daytona
“…I will however have a ride in the Nationwide series in a new effort with partners Dave Fuge and Gary Keller, with Dale Clemons assisting us as well. It will be called CFK Motorsports, the car number will be 73 and it will be a Chevy with PME engines. So, I am excited about the horsepower and the new cars that we will have at our disposal. We are still looking for sponsorship for the season, but we do have a new sponsor for the race at Daytona.”


From Derrike Cope Racing facebook post


Hyland’s to support Shepherd at Daytona
Just four weeks into their partnership with Morgan Shepherd, Hyland’s Inc., the Los Angeles-based homeopathic all-natural medicine company has seen enough positive results in their marketing and advertising efforts with the NASCAR Nationwide series driver to sponsor his #89 team at Daytona.


Hyland’s will be an associate sponsor and the company logo will appear on Shepherd’s rear decklid for Daytona. Through the advertising and marketing efforts of Asheville-based Darby Communications, Hyland’s Inc. and the Shepherd team, using state-of-the-art commercial and print ads on YouTube, in USA Today, NYC’s Time Square, social networking and web sites, Hyland’s has been quite pleased with the results of the Master Athlete program with Shepherd as their ambassador who targets healthy lifestyles after 40.


To learn more go to Hylands.com or MorganShepherd.com


More sponsorship announcements for the Shepherd team are expected this week.


From Darby Communications


Creative Recycling Systems, Inc. joins NASCAR as Official Green Partner
NASCAR announced today that Florida-based Creative Recycling Systems, Inc. (CRS), a leader in the processing of end-of-life electronics, has joined the stable of Official NASCAR Green Partners.


CRS supplies small, mid-size and Fortune 100 companies, government agencies, non-profit organizations, educational institutions and concerned citizens with the best solutions for electronics reuse and recycling. By providing electronic asset disposition management, data security services and by utilizing state-of-the art processing and separation technology, CRS prevents millions of pounds of electronics from entering the world’s landfills each year.


The Information Age has created a virtual tidal wave of electronics worldwide. Each year in the United States just less than three million tons are made ready for end of life management, with residential households responsible for more than five times more computer products (by weight) than commercial establishments, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. However, 75% of those items end up going into landfill.


NASCAR fans are more likely than non-fans to recycle and describe their households as green. They are also more likely to own electronics and be involved in purchasing decisions at work. Nearly two-thirds of NASCAR fans describe their household as very or somewhat green (Sources: Ipsos, 2011 NASCAR Brand Tracker and Experian Consumer Research – Simmons National Consumer Survey, Fall Full Year 2010).


According to research 91% of NASCAR fans say they recycle items at least some of the time, compared to 87% for non-fans. Additionally, NASCAR fans are more likely than non-fans to say they plan to buy various mobile devices in the coming year (such as an iPhone, Blackberry, Android-powered phone or other mobile device), suggesting they will have millions of “old” electronic devices that can be recycled. (Sources: Ipsos, 2011 NASCAR Brand Tracker and Experian Consumer Research – Simmons National Consumer Survey, Fall Full Year 2010.)


Since its 2008 launch, NASCAR Green has focused on three key areas: waste, emissions and power. Aside from a host of new partners joining the effort with substantive programming, many track and team operators have launched their own programs in areas such as recycling, advancing land and energy conservation, and adopting alternative energy sources.


From NASCAR-PR


ESR & Skinner sign PAYTAS Homes to back the No. 8 in Daytona
Over the last week, NASCAR Camping World Truck series (NCWTS) veteran Mike Skinner has landed a ride for the season-opening race and the support of two local sponsors. The former Daytona Beach resident announced that he would race for Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR) at Daytona International Speedway after landing the support of American Auto last week, and has since signed Paytas Homes to support the No. 8 Chevrolet.


Read more from Eddie Sharp Racing-PR


Travis Kvapil to Drive RAB Racing’s Toyota at Daytona
RAB Racing with Brack Maggard has named 2003 NASCAR Camping World Truck series champion Travis Kvapil as the driver of their No. 09 Toyota for the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb 24.


Kvapil, 35, has compiled nine wins, 50 top-five and 84 top-ten finishes in 142 Camping World Truck series starts since 2001.


Read more from RAB Racing-PR


Krispy Kreme Fan Event to include games, giveaways, and more
At 8 am on Feb 23, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts will launch its 75th Birthday celebrations with the revealing of a Sweet Surprise for its fans, and the unveiling of the newly branded #2 Krispy Kreme Race Car at Krispy Kreme, 980 International Speedway Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL 32114.


On Feb 8, Krispy Kreme announced its partnership with Coulter Motorsports and sponsorship of Gray Gaulding, just weeks before the championship winning driver’s fourteenth birthday. In addition to racing #2 in 16 Super Late Model South Races, Gray and #2 will make several personal appearances at Krispy Kreme Shops and events in the Southeast.


NASCAR Sprint Cup series driver Kevin Harvick is largely responsible for Gaulding’s success to date. Gaulding was a developmental driver with Kevin Harvick Incorporated in 2011 and learned a lot from the company owners. Visit KrispyKreme.com/racing for a list of Gray’s current titles, stats and 2012 PASS South race schedule.


July 13, 2012 marks Krispy Kreme Doughnuts’ 75th year of sharing delicious treats and creating joyful memories. The international sweet treat retailer will reveal its celebration plans at a festive fan event at the Krispy Kreme shop in Daytona, FL.


In addition to an 8am unveiling, reveal and meet and greet with #2 driver Gray Gaulding and a number of racing legends, there will be special activities, games and giveaways throughout the day. 


Fans who arrive at the event betwen 7:30 – 8:00 am ET will receive One Free Original Glazed Doughnut, while supplies last.


Fans of Krispy Kreme can get event details, photos and live updates on the event and reveal throughout the day on the Daytona Event Facebook Page and #Krispykreme.com/racing on Twitter. Find our more at krispykreme.com/racing.


From Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation


Qualifying Mission Accomplished: Bayne will defend Daytona 500

#21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford driven by Trevor Bayne
Photo – Wood Brothers Racing

For the past year Trevor Bayne and his No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion team have been referred to as the defending Daytona 500 champions. But to actually defend their title, they first had to earn a staring spot in this year’s Great American Race.


Since Bayne and his Wood Brothers team run a partial schedule, they’re not among the top 35 teams in car owner points, a group that is guaranteed a starting spot for upcoming races.


That meant Bayne had to either be one of the three fastest of those outside the top 35 in pole qualifying or race his way into the 500 in Thursday’s Gatorade Duels, a risky proposition at best.


On Sunday, Bayne was best in class and ninth overall with a lap at 193.615 miles per hour, assuring himself and his team of being able to defend their 500 title.
“Mission accomplished,” said team co-owner Eddie Woods after Bayne overcame windy conditions to be among a group of Ford drivers who led the way in qualifying.


Read more from Wood Brothers Racing-PR


Keep checking back for updated news throughout the week. Each day’s news stories will be posted here as a digest of NASCAR news for the entire week.


As always, Thanks for reading and participating.  

Welcome to the Wide World of Excitement in Daytona!

NASCAR fans now have two races in the 2012 books for the much anticipated opening weekend at Daytona International Speedway. And at this point, it seems NASCAR has accommodated the request of fans with two wreckfest feature events in the Camping World Truck and Nationwide series’ races. The net result is two unexpected winners with John King of Red Horse Racing in the Camping World Truck series and James Buescher from Turner Motorsports in the Nationwide series. 


From all appearances, it seems we now have a new hybrid between two-by-two and pack racing. Drivers are still capable of racing in tandem, knowing this is still the fastest way around the track and in some cases, the only way to advance in the field. But now they’re doing two-by-two drafting within packs instead of independently throughout the field. The result is exactly what fans wanted…right?


Add in that NASCAR has eliminated radio communications between teams and now we have the back pushing driver with no visibility of what is happening in front of the car being pushed. When something does happen the pushing driver has no time to react going at 195-200mph – the only concluding result is collecting any and all within reach. And in pack racing, within reach means the “Big One.” 


When Denny Hamlin was taken out of the Nationwide event in one of the Big Ones in Saturday’s race, his comment was somewhat ironic as he said, “So hard to control your own fate.”  Why was this ironic? Because in post race comments after the Bud Shootout, when asked about the return of pack racing, Denny Hamlin said this, “I am happy to see the big pack return. I feel it puts it back in the drivers’ hands with how they want to run the race…There will be a little more carnage as a product of the big packs as opposed to the tandem racing we have seen the last few (restrictor) plate races, but you no longer have to rely on someone else to control your destiny…” 

So in a matter of days Hamlin went from being happy that drivers “no longer have to rely on someone else to control your destiny” to “So hard to control your own fate,” after becoming an innocent victim of the anticipated carnage on the track. Somehow I suspect, this same change of opinion will be repeated throughout the garage, one-by-one, or perhaps, ten-by-ten as they become by-standing victims of the “Big One.”

And is that really the point fans?  Are we that caught up in the “not” knowing what is going to happen next? Are fans really craving the element of suspense when drivers, at 195-200mph cannot see what is happening in front of them and have no means of communicating with their tandem partner to coordinate their efforts? Do we really want the top-ten drivers taken out of the race at the finish line so we can celebrate the survivorship of those left after the carnage on the track?


For those fans that have asked for the return of the pack and for NASCAR to do something to bring it back, one can only hope, it’s not the same fans that criticize NASCAR for becoming more like the WWE.  NASCAR has given fans exactly what they asked for and now the sport at restrictor plate tracks looks more like the WWE with that same excitement factor than ever before. Does anyone else see the irony – or perhaps mixed message – in this?


Already, we have an owner, Jack Roush saying it may be a good idea to let the teams take a mulligan.  In essence he is asking that every team be given the chance to take their worst finish out of the equation when determining their points for the season and ultimately the champion for the series. For those thinking this might be a good idea, fans of the sport of “racing” must be wondering what new twist will next be suggested as a means of bringing more excitement to NASCAR?


It’s only a matter of time before fans and drivers begin their dawning of realization, that restrictor plate racing could mean the difference between winning a title in NASCAR’s elite series’, with four such events in the 36-race schedule. 


Think not? Think again, last year’s competition came down to a tie in points when the dust settled on the last race of the season – the determining factor was the number of wins. How would you like to be a contender for the championship and lose a restrictor plate race as a hapless victim of the “Big One?”

In the most recent previous years, this fan saw some skill and strategy used in restrictor plate racing to coordinate tandem drafting within the full race. The skill was directly in the hands of each team to coordinate their strategy and skill to win the race. It was tandem racing that gave us some of the closest finishes we’ve seen in recent history. And to this fan, watching the team dynamics at play while coordinating their unfolding strategy as the race progressed was fascinating. It wasn’t just the end of the race that held my attention, it was the strategy discussion and watching the teams working together throughout the race that held my attention.  The close finish at the end was the culmination of skill, strategy and good hard racing!  


This year, and in this one fan’s humble opinion, those elements are now gone.  The communication has been restricted between teams, strategy goes out the window when teams are caught up in random wrecks on the field and good hard racing may very well net nothing at that the end of the race.


At the request of ‘the fans,’ restrictor plate racing has taken a turn right down the path of the WWE and the Lucky Lottery games that are so popular. Will fans tune in to the next episode of NASCAR Survivor to see which lucky driver has maneuvered their car to be in position to win after the carnage of the “Big One” takes out the top contenders of the race, allowing them to become the next Lucky Lottery Winner? 


Further irony? Today, the person waving the green flag to start our next episode of NASCAR Survivor is none other than the face of the WWE, John Cena.  


Welcome to the Wide World of Excitement in Daytona!
  

Chad Knaus Pushing the Envelope: NASCAR responds next week

Mike Helton President of NASCAR

Following rules is a part of every aspect of life. In NASCAR, breaking the rules warrants punishment. Sometimes the punishment is simple with a small fine, a small points penalty and probation. The more severe the infraction, the harder the punishment handed down. The most severe punishment handed down in recent years was handed to the #55 of Michael Waltrip Racing.


During the opening weekend of Speedweeks in February of 2007, Michael Waltrip’s car failed post-qualifying inspection and was found to be in violation of three rules: 12- 4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing), 12-4-Q (car, car parts components and/or equipment not conforming to NASCAR rules) and 20-15.2C (gasoline must not be blended with alcohols, ethers or other oxygenates). The car was impounded and taken by NASCAR to be gone over further at their R&D center. As a result of the infractions, Bobby Kennedy, MWR’s VP of Communication, and David Hyder, the #55 crew chief, were both ejected from Daytona and suspended indefinitely. Hyder was also fined $100,000. Michael Waltrip was docked 100 driver points, his wife Buffy, listed as the owner of the car, was docked 100 owner points, and Waltrip’s qualifying time was disallowed.

#48 during Daytona opening day inspection

This year at Daytona, one of the infractions found involved the C-posts on Jimmie Johnson’s #48 car. The issue was discovered during opening day inspections and because this issue was discovered prior to any track time, the team was allowed to make corrections and move forward. No penalties have been announced yet and none are expected to be announced until after the Daytona 500. Rick Hendrick has already said that he will appeal if there are any penalties announced for the team. According to the team, these same posts have passed previous inspections repeatedly without any infractions cited by NASCAR.


This is not the first time that the 48 team has been caught with parts not conforming to the templates. In 2006, the team was found to have infractions involving unapproved modifications to the rear window area of the car during post-qualifying inspection for the Daytona 500. Because the car had track time posted, Chad Knaus, Johnson’s crew chief, was ejected from Daytona, suspended for four races, put on probation until the end of the season, and fined $25,000. The team was not assessed a points penalty for this infraction. 

Chad Knaus, #48 Crew Chief 

One other time the team was caught with a major infraction involving unapproved body modification was in July of 2007 at Sonoma. The front fender on the front of the car was too wide. Johnson was not allowed to practice or qualify the car and had to start at the rear of the field for the race. Knaus was fined $100,000, suspended for the next six races following Sonoma, and placed on probation until the end of the season. Johnson was penalized 100 driver points and his car owner Jeff Gordon was penalized 100 owner points.


Given NASCAR’s history with doling out penalties and fines, I would anticipate that the team could see a points deduction, a monetary fine, and some sort of probation for this latest infraction. Since they didn’t act as they did with other infractions from this team, it seem unlikely there will be any suspensions doled out this time. If this does happen and Hendrick appeals as he has said he will, whether or not it will be overturned is another story. The Appeals committee has a long history of upholding penalties, only reducing a few penalties in recent history but not overturning any.


What do you think should happen to Chad Knaus for this latest infraction?

Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth win Gatorade Duels at Daytona

Duel 1
                   

Tony Stewart wins first Gatorade Duel

The Gatorade Duel Qualifying race for the Daytona 500 had some fireworks. Tony Stewart was victorious in the race followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Marcos Ambrose, Jeff Burton, and Carl Edwards. Michael McDowell and Robby Gordon earn starting spots in the Daytona 500. 


The first incident of the day occurred in between turn 1 and 2 when David Gilliland came up across the track after being tapped in the rear left corner by Michael McDowell. When Gilliland came up across the track he collected Paul Menard and Juan Pablo Montoya. Brad Keselowski also had minor damage. Gilliland, Montoya, Menard will have to start from rear of the Daytona 500 due to having to go to back up cars. 


After a long stretch of a green flag run, we started to see green flag pit stops. When Denny Hamlin and Marcos Ambrose pitted for stops together so they could have each other to draft with once they got back out onto the track. 
For the first time in a few years, the pack overtook the two car tandem and Ambrose and Hamlin both went a lap down. 


After Michael Waltrip took a pit stop he came back onto the track and with no help at the beginning of the backstretch got loose and turned up head first into the wall and ruined his chances of racing in this year’s Daytona 500. 


On the final restart with 4 laps to go. Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick were out front. On the final lap on the backstretch, Jamie McMurray got into Aric Almirola which sent Almirola’s car into Danica Patrick’s car spinning head on into the inside wall on the backstretch causing some of the barrier to give and her car was totaled. Danica was fine after the wreck. In an interview with SPEED Danica described the wreck; she said it “Happened really quick.” At the end of the interview she says (laughing) “maybe the back-up car will be faster.” 


When the caution came out, the race went to yellow and Tony Stewart won. After the race Stewart commented on Michael Waltrip missing the 500, Tony said “Michael Waltrip eats, sleeps and breathes Daytona and Talladega. It’ll be a shame if he misses (the 500).”  


Trevor Bayne, who is already locked into 500, failed to finish in top 2 Go-or-Go homers spots which means in Duel 2 Kenny Wallace will have to race his way into the Daytona 500. After a crazy first duel we’ll see what the second one brings.


Duel 1 Results


Duel 2
Matt Kenseth wins Duel 2 at Daytona

A very cautious and quiet duel 2 ended up with Matt Kenseth winning the race. Dave Blaney and Joe Nemechek raced their way into the Daytona 500. Most of the race had little action, teams were very cautious not to wreck their Daytona 500 cars. 


Kenny Wallace’s car lost the draft halfway through the race and never re-grouped and he will miss the Daytona 500. 


The most action occurred at the last 2 laps. Going to the white flag Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson got a run drafting each other and when Greg Biffle tried to move up in front of them he slid up the track and Kenseth and Johnson moved lower down the track and continued on. At the end of the backstretch on the final lap, Regan Smith and Jimmie Johnson made contact which allowed Matt Kenseth to pull ahead and win the race. 


Finishing 2nd was Regan Smith and 3rd was Jimmie Johnson. The 2nd race had much more of a qualifying race feel to it. Expect the Daytona 500 to be more like the first Gatorade Duel.


Duel 2 Results

Daytona 500 Line up