Monday, February 29, 2016

Travel Tips: Las Vegas Motor Speedway – March 4-6, 2016

credit: NASCAR Media
The third weekend of the 2016 NASCAR season finds the Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series teams heading west to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Friday through Sunday, March 4-6. The Xfinity Series will race in the Boyd Gaming 300 on Saturday, while the Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 goes green on Sunday.

Looking for some extra action this week? On Thursday and Friday, March 3-4, check out The Dirt Track at LVMS, where the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series continues its 2016 schedule. Grandstands open both nights at 5 p.m. PT, with hot laps beginning at 6:15 p.m. PT on Thursday and 6:45 p.m. PT on Friday. Get more information on the Dirt Track here.

Key on-track times:

Friday, March 4
  • Sprint Cup Series practice – 10:30 a.m. PT
  • Xfinity Series practice – 12:30 and 3 p.m. PT
  • Sprint Cup Series qualifying – 4:45 p.m. PT
Saturday, March 5
  • Sprint Cup Series practice – 8:30 and 11:30 a.m. PT
  • Xfinity Series qualifying – 9:45 a.m. PT
  • Xfinity Series Boyd Gaming 300 – 1 p.m. PT
Sunday, March 6
  • Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400 – 12:30 p.m. PT
Find a schedule of driver appearances for the weekend here.

First-time fan information can be found here, and the track’s rules and policies can be found here.

Get more information on the schedule and purchase tickets at www.lvms.com

Right Sides Only: Notes from Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500 Winning Crew Chief, Chad Knaus

By Stacey Owens

Hollywood may not include a Best Crew Chief as it hands out Academy Awards, but if they did include such a category, it's a safe bet that Chad Knaus would be among the nominees ... and would likely walk away with the Oscar.

Knaus helped lead Jimmie Johnson to the team's 76th win, which ties Dale Earnhardt Sr. on the all-time wins list. When the two were paired early in Johnson's career, did Knaus ever imagine reaching such a milestone?

"Wow, I mean, on so many levels it's pretty amazing. When we started this thing back in 2002, I never would have thought that we'd be here today with 76 victories as a team. It's pretty impressive, and it's an honor to have been able to do it. We've done it with a lot of great people, obviously, with various team members, some still with us, some not. Obviously an amazing owner and a great group at Hendrick Motorsports, but probably one of the biggest ones is Lowe's hanging with us and contributing to our efforts year in and year out.
             
"Jimmie is pretty awesome, isn't he? Let's be honest, he's just a heck of a race car driver. He's a lot of fun for me to work with.
             
Credit: Charlotte Bray for Skirts and Scuffs
"Today was great. We were able to get out there and race and race our way to the top four or five I think it was, and just kind of manage that position all day long, waiting until the end. I don't think we necessarily had anything for the 4 and the 78. We were a little bit better than the 78 in one corner and a little bit better than the 4 in another corner, but we weren't better than either of them in both corners. So we were really just kind of stuck in third, so we needed to try to figure out a way to get to the front and get the lead, obviously, through those pit cycles. Through the middle portion of the race we were really monitoring what everybody was doing, our tire wear, what everybody else's tire wear was, and what people were thinking about doing, and you could just see it. Around 40 laps, everybody wanted to pit and everybody was getting nervous about their tires. As we were going through the race ours was getting better, so we were like, 'Shoot, let's go ahead and throw it out there and see what happens.'
             
"It gave everybody an opportunity to come down pit road with us at that point.  It would have been kind of a moot point, but they were nervous I think, obviously, and didn't want to get tires on that early, and it worked out.
             
"After the pit cycle, I think we had a 10-second lead, maybe an 11-second lead, and we just needed to try and manage that throughout the rest of the race.  Unfortunately that dang caution came out, but the guys had a great pit stop, we got out there and Jimmie get a heck of a restart and was able to bring it home," Knaus said.

Having reached such a monumental achievement, most drivers would begin their celebration with a burnout before heading to Victory Lane, but Johnson, at the admonition of Knaus, did not. Why would his crew chief not want him to have a little fun burning up the tires?

"Man, did you see what happened to the 18 on Friday? I'm not taking any chances right now. I don't want anything bent or broken or anything to warrant any type of problem right there. So until we understand exactly what's going on with all the post-race measuring, which it's a pretty big deal, we don't know how all this -- we don't know what these cars do during a race, especially at a racetrack like this where there's a bunch of bouncing and moving and so on and so forth, that pit stops, there's a lot of wear and tear on these race cars throughout the course of an event and I just didn't want to take a chance on him tearing something up doing a burnout and not passing post-race LIS. Yeah, that's why," Knaus explained.

Getting to the win started early for Johnson. He began the race mid-pack but quickly soldiered to the front. Atlanta Motor Speedway, however, lends itself to long green-flag runs, and the field didn't get an opportunity to take any kind of rest until they passed the halfway point of the 500-mile race.
 
"This is the type of racetrack honestly that you see a lot of long green-flag runs because the tire wear is so high that the drivers, they're just trying to stay away from everybody and just stay in control. I wasn't really shocked that we came out of the gate with a couple long green-flag runs at that point.
             
Credit: Charlotte Bray for Skirts and Scuffs
"I was a little surprised how quickly people were willing to short pit and not wait for a failure. That showed a lot of maturity, I think, throughout the whole garage area. Nobody wanted to take a risk and have a situation where they created a big caution or had a tire come apart, which is different than what we've seen in the past. Typically people go and go and go until they do have a tire failure and then it just becomes habitual after that, right?
            
"It wasn't unexpected by any stretch," Knaus said.

Knaus gambled with a risky call for Johnson to short pit for tires ahead of the field. Was he confident in that call?

"It was a gamble for sure. We hadn't gone that far yet on a set of tires. We were trying to figure out what to do. We were chatting about it, myself and my engineers, who do a great job, and we could have easily just hung out and finished third, but we weren't going to pass those guys, so we had to do something. So it was just a matter of how early to pit because if we didn't pit early enough, if we only pitted just a couple laps earlier than everybody else, it would have pulled the rest of them down with us, so we had to make it to where we did it to where it would make them uncomfortable and not willing maybe to take that risk.
             
"Yeah, we felt confident that once we got out there and once the No. 4 started to get into some traffic and we were monitoring his lap times, that we kind of had it at that point, if it went green, which it didn't," Knaus explained.

Knaus and Johnson continue to add to their list of impressive achievements, which includes two Daytona 500 wins, the most wins on 1.5-mile tracks and six Sprint Cup championships, among others. 

The pair has already qualified for the 2016 Chase. A seventh championship win for the No. 48 team would tie Earnhardt Sr. as well as Richard Petty for the most championships. Could this be the year Johnson ties the record? Hang on. It's going to be an interesting season.

---------------------------

   Stacey Owens lives just outside Music City USA. She's always wanted to be a NASCAR writer, so working as a columnist and support editor for Skirts and Scuffs allows her to live that dream every single weekend.
    The sole NASCAR enthusiast in her home, she's hopeful that one of her three daughters might also harbor an appreciation for NASCAR, but it isn't looking good so far.
    This self-admitted grammar nerd also loves country music, though she can't carry a tune; collegiate football, though she needs a lot of work on her spiral; and Kentucky basketball, even though at 6' tall, she's never played a day in her life.



Friday, February 26, 2016

Major Implications: Five Questions for Atlanta

Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images
By Kristen Schneider

Who’s ready for some real racing?
I’m not discrediting what we saw at Daytona International Speedway—I’ll discuss that later on. However, the second race of the season is when teams start flexing their muscle. It’s a better gauge of who will be strong throughout the year since the schedule is comprised of so many 1.5-mile tracks.
 
We’re switching gears to Atlanta Motor Speedway, and it’s going to be a gorgeous weekend, weather- and racing-wise. Here are my five questions ahead of this race weekend.

Which XFINITY team will make a statement this weekend? With Chase Elliott winning the XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway, one has to look at the point standings to get a feel for the current situation. The current top 10 in points includes seasoned drivers like Elliott Sadler and Justin Allgaier while newcomers Brandon Jones and Blake Koch also make an appearance. Between these drivers and the others high in the standings, who will have a strong showing?

Koch will continue to shock people, as his newly-formed Kaulig Racing has an alliance with Richard Childress Racing and runs ECR engines, which explains how they’re so good right out of the gate. I don’t see that strength fading anytime soon. As Sadler, Allgaier, and Jones shake out their new cars and teams, a driver who has remained with a single team may be ready to strike. Darrel Wallace, Jr. is second in points, and his record in XFINITY and the Camping World Truck Series assures his talents on tracks between one and two miles. Atlanta fits right in there. It may take a few races to get a true feel on who will seriously contend throughout 2016, but Koch and Wallace stick out in my mind.

Will the low downforce package shine? This is the weekend we’ve all been waiting for; Sprint Cup Series teams are slated to run the low downforce package at all 1.5-mile tracks, and Hotlanta is the first on the list. There’s a lot of buzz, and it’s all for good reason. This weekend will give us a glimpse of what to expect at mile-and-a-half tracks this year. Will we be disappointed or thrilled? I’m leaning toward the latter. After the fantastic races at Kentucky Speedway and Darlington Raceway last year, there’s no doubt that low downforce works. With the aged surface at Atlanta, you have the potential for intense racing and the factor of tire wear. Those elements make for a great weekend of racing, and I have high hopes.

Did the Daytona 500 sizzle or fizzle? The sport’s prestigious race left a bad taste in some people’s mouths because it wasn't as chaotic as many had hoped, making it a hot-button topic this week. Even as we near another race, it hangs in fans’ minds. The question hanging in my mind is, what’s the big deal? The race played out to all my expectations—it went from pack racing to single-file, had a few spins, and was calm overall. Last week, I got the sense that the Daytona 500 would be a bit mundane, and it was. However, I can’t say I expected that remarkable finish. All in all, I think the Daytona 500 was decent; it had a memorable moment (the finish) and good racing, yet it fell short with many fans. I may not agree with them, but I understand their point of view.

Can Toyota harness their momentum? Speaking of Daytona, it was a Toyota driver’s dream. Joe Gibbs Racing took up most of the spotlight, with their racers winning the Sprint Unlimited, a Duel race, and the big kahuna. However, Furniture Row Racing -- who is now aligned with JGR -- gave winner Denny Hamlin a run for his money on the way to the checkered flag.

Many would say Toyota is the manufacturer to beat, but I’m not so quick to agree. Sure, they were dominant for the second half of 2015, leading to Kyle Busch’s first Sprint Cup Series championship. But we have to remember that there was an off-season—no matter how short it was—and teams used that time to dissect JGR’s dominance. The organization, and Toyota as a whole, is in the garage’s crosshairs. Atlanta will be the real tell if we are in for another year of Toyotas in victory lane.

Will Stewart-Haas Racing’s Ford announcement have major implications for 2016? While Toyota and Hamlin took over headlines on Monday, Stewart-Haas Racing blew them out of the water Tuesday. The long-time Hendrick Motorsports satellite team will switch to Ford in 2017, building their own chassis and running Roush-Yates motors. To say this made waves within the industry is an understatement; it took everyone off guard.

Although this doesn’t start until next season, there are consequences this season as well. As AP journalist Jenna Fryer wondered on Twitter, when does HMS stop sharing information? Probably last week. No matter what they say about sharing, that relationship has been altered. In many people's eyes, that’s a bad thing for SHR. However, Hendrick is at a disadvantage as well—they’re losing a prized ally, and the Chevrolet camp is shrinking. Tony Stewart assured us that there’s no bad blood between him and Rick Hendrick, and I believe him; business is business, you know. Despite this, one would think their professional relationship would go through a major shift as soon as the news broke. Will it affect either team’s performance? We’ll have to wait and see.

TV Schedule: Feb. 26-28

Atlanta Motor Speedway. Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images
By Rebecca Kivak

NASCAR makes its annual stop at Atlanta Motor Speedway for a triple-header weekend. The 1.54-mile raceway hosts the second race weekend of the season. The Sprint Cup Series' new low downforce package makes its debut.

The following is a handy guide to television coverage and track events at Atlanta. All times are in Eastern Standard Time.

Friday, Feb. 26:
9 a.m. XFINITY Series practice, FS2
10 a.m. Camping World Truck Series practice, FS1
11 a.m. Sprint Cup Series practice, FS1
12:30 p.m. XFINITY Series practice, FS1
1:30 p.m. Camping World Truck Series practice, FS1
2:30 p.m. XFINITY Series final practice, FS1
4 p.m. Camping World Truck Series final practice, FS1
5:30 p.m. Sprint Cup Series Qualifying, FS1

Saturday, Feb. 27:
4 a.m. Sprint Cup Series practice (re-air), FS1
5:30 a.m. Sprint Cup Series Qualifying (re-air), FS1
8:30 a.m. XFINITY Series Qualifying, FS1
10 a.m. Camping World Truck Series Qualifying, FS1
11:30 a.m. Sprint Cup Series final practice, FS1
1 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay: XFINITY, FS1
1:30 p.m. XFINITY Series: Heads Up Georgia 250, FS1
4 p.m. Camping World Truck Series Setup, FS1
4:30 p.m. Camping World Truck Series: Great Clips 200, FS1

Sunday, Feb. 28:
Midnight XFINITY Series Heads Up Georgia 250 (re-air), FS1
6 a.m. Camping World Truck Series: Great Clips 200 (re-air), FS1
8 a.m. Sprint Cup Series final practice (re-air), FS1
11 a.m., NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
12:30 p.m. Sprint Cup Series FOX Pre-Race Show, FOX
1 p.m. Sprint Cup Series: Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500, FOX
11 p.m. NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1

Thursday, February 25, 2016

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Debuting the 2016 Rules Package at Atlanta


Track Classification: Intermediate
Similar Tracks:  Charlotte Motor Speedway • Chicagoland Speedway • Darlington Raceway   Homestead-Miami Speedway • Kansas Speedway • Kentucky Speedway 
Las Vegas Motor Speedway • New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Texas Motor Speedway
Distance: 1.54 miles

By Carol D'Agostino

Debut of the 2016 Rules Update
Although we got a sneak peek last year at Darlington Raceway and Kentucky Speedway, this weekend officially unveils the 2016 Sprint Cup rules update, aka the lower downforce rules package. The new specs are designed to enable more off-throttle time for drivers and decreased corner speeds. Theoretically, this will create more passing zones over the entire track. Tune in to see if it lives up to its promise.

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Both with 4 - Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth
All with 3 - Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski
All with 2 - Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and A.J. Allmendinger

By Track 
All with 3 - Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr.,  Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Newman
All with 2 -  Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski

2015 Race Winner: Jimmie Johnson

Driver Averages at Intermediate Tracks (Since February 2014)
  1. Joey Logano         111.1
  2. Kyle Busch           105.0
  3. Kevin Harvick      119.5
  4. Brad Keselowski   110.1
  5. Ryan Newman        91.0
  6. Jeff Gordon            103.6
  7. Carl Edwards          90.8
  8. Matt Kenseth           96.6
  9. Jimmie Johnson      101.4
  10. Martin Truex Jr.       93.3
  11. Dale Earnhardt Jr.    94.2
  12. Denny Hamlin          94.0
  13. Jamie McMurray      85.0
  14. Kurt Busch                91.3
  15. Kyle Larson              88.9
Recent Pole Winners:
2015 Joey Logano
2014 Kevin Harvick

The Likely Suspects: This weekend think top 10, and Chevy and Ford when making your picks. These drivers will perform well this weekend: Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards and AJ Allmendinger.

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick this week is a tie between Matt Kenneth and Joey Logano. I will round out my team with Martin Truex Jr., Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman, AJ Allmendinger, Ty Dillon and Regan Smith.

My Final Four: Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Martin Truex Jr. and Regan Smith.

Points to Ponder:
  • The fifth starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (15) than any other starting spot at Atlanta Motor Speedway; the most recent was Jeff Gordon in 2011.
  • Of the 108 Sprint Cup races at Atlanta, 85 (78.7%) have been won from a top-10 starting position.
  • Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at Atlanta in the Sprint Cup Series with 13, followed by the Wood Brothers with 12 and Joe Gibbs Racing with 11.
  • Ryan Newman leads all active drivers in the Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Atlanta with a 7.391.
Enjoy the race! Post your comments here or follow me on Twitter at @purplecatpr.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Rookie Stripe: The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series


NCWTS driver John Wes Townley's No. 9 truck; Texas Motor Speedway, June 2012
Credit: Lisa Janine Cloud for Skirts and Scuffs
By Logan Stewart

"Where I grew up, we rode in trucks.” – Luke Bryan

Learning how the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series works can be mind-boggling for a rookie fan, but strap yourself in for the long haul, because there’s more. The Sprint Cup Series is NASCAR’s top tier, but beneath it are two others of which the new fan should be aware: the Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Yes, they race trucks in NASCAR. Some people actually call NCWTS the truest form of racing in NASCAR, because it's reminiscent of the sports’ roots of hard-nosed, aggressive competition.

NCWTS driver Todd Peck at Charlotte Motor Speedway, May 2015
Credit: Logan Stewart for Skirts and Scuffs

The best way to think of NCWTS -- as well as the Xfinity Series -- is as minor leagues that feed into the big league. NCWTS is a training ground for emerging drivers looking to move up through the ranks into the Xfinity and Sprint Cup eschelons, and it isn’t an easy playing field.

The relatively short 20-year history of this series has produced some of the most exhilarating, close and dangerous finishes in the sport. The amped-up modified trucks feature engines that produce about 750 horsepower and can go as fast as 180 mph, depending on the race track.

Here are some facts about the NCWTS:

· An experimental test truck was first driven in 1994 at Daytona International Speedway after a group of truck enthusiasts helped develop the idea to create a racing truck prototype.

· Sprint Cup Series owners and drivers supported the new series, which helped make it popular in the NASCAR world. The inaugural race was held at Phoenix International Raceway in 1995.

· NCWTS ranks as the third tier sanctioned by NASCAR, behind the Xfinity Series and Sprint Cup Series and is the only NASCAR series that involves pickup trucks.

· Just like the other tiers, NCWTS has sponsors with naming rights. It was originally called the NASCAR SuperTruck Series presented by Craftsman and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series before becoming the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

· The field consists of 32 trucks each weighing 3400 pounds.

· Sprint Cup cars are 54 inches in height; Xfinity cars are 51 inches and trucks are 60 inches.


NCWTS driver Ty Dillon at Texas Motor Speedway, June 2012
Credit: Lisa Janine Cloud for Skirts and Scuffs
· The trucks are harder to handle than stock cars because of their aerodynamics, including a more vertical nose and windshield that makes it a challenge for air to reach the rear spoiler.

· Races are shorter than Xfinity and Sprint Cup Series races.

· Future Xfinity and Sprint Cup drivers often use NCWTS as a catalyst for their racing careers -- for example, Erik Jones, 19-year old 2015 Truck champion, has driven in the Xfinity Series and filled in for Sprint Cup drivers Kyle Busch (who also started in the Truck Series) and Matt Kenseth. (See also: Fast Facts: 2015 Camping World Truck Series Champion Erik Jones)

· There are some drivers who are perfectly happy driving in the Truck Series with no intention of becoming Xfinity or Sprint Cup drivers.

· Eldora Speedway is the only dirt track that hosts a race for one of NASCAR's three national series -- the Trucks.

· The NCWTS pole position winner gets the Keystone Light Pole Award. However if the pole-sitter is younger than 21 years, the award is renamed the 21 Means 21 Pole Award.

· The recently added NCWTS Chase format features eight drivers and three rounds. Two drivers are eliminated after each round. The final round is the Championship 4, which takes place at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The highest-finishing driver in that round wins the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will run 23 events in 2016, hosted by 21 tracks in the U.S. and Canada.

2016 Camping World Truck Series schedule
Like NCWTS on Facebook
Follow NCWTS on Twitter

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Fast Facts: Drive for Diversity Driver Ali Kern

credit: NASCAR via Getty Images/
Todd Warshaw
By Paula Thompson

With the recent successes of Drive for Diversity graduates Kyle Larson, Daniel Suarez and Darrell Wallace Jr., the next batch of D4D drivers are ready to make a name for themselves. Over the next few weeks, Fast Facts will take a quick look at the young careers of these talented and diverse drivers. Next up: Ali Kern.
  • Ali Kern was born May 11, 1993 in Fremont, Ohio. She began quad motorcross racing at age 7, picking up more than 150 wins at eight tracks from 2001-2005. She moved to go-karts from 2006-2008, winning over 200 events and eight championships in those three seasons.
  • In 2009, Kern raced modifieds at Sandusky (Ohio) Speedway, earning one win and 12 top 10 finishes. In 2010, she became the youngest female to race in a NASCAR-sanctioned development series race, and finished 20th in her K&N Pro Series East debut at Lee USA Speedway in New Hampshire. In 2011, she moved into Late Models in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and competed in two more K&N Pro Series East races.
  • 2012 found Kern racing in the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour presented by Chevrolet Performance and finishing 10th overall. In 2013, she moved to the ARCA/CRA Super Series powered by JEGS, winning rookie of the year and finishing runner-up in the championship hunt; she followed that up with a sixth-place finish in the standings in 2014.
  • In 2016, Kern will compete for Rev Racing in the K&N Pro Series East; she finished 20th at the season opener at New Smyrna.
  • Learn more about Kern at her website, alikern.com. Learn more about Rev Racing and the D4D program at revracing.net.
More D4D information:










Monday, February 22, 2016

Travel Tips: Atlanta Motor Speedway – Feb. 26-28, 2016

credit: NASCAR Media
By Paula Thompson

NASCAR’s Sprint Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series will all race this weekend, Friday through Sunday, Feb. 26-28, at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Georgia. The Cup Series' Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 goes green on Sunday, while the Trucks and Xfinity Series both race on Saturday.

There will be a number of live musical performances during the weekend, including a pre-race concert from country star and Georgia native Mark Wills. Click here for a listing of performances this weekend.

Key on-track times:

Friday, Feb. 26:
  • Xfinity Series practice – 9 a.m., 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. ET
  • Camping World Truck Series practice – 10 a.m., 1:30 and 4 p.m. ET
  • Sprint Cup practice – 11 a.m. ET
  • Sprint Cup qualifying – 5:45 p.m. ET
Saturday, Feb. 27:
  • Xfinity Series qualifying – 8:35 a.m. ET
  • Camping World Truck Series qualifying – 10 a.m. ET
  • Sprint Cup Series practice – 11:30 a.m. ET
  • Xfinity Series Heads Up Georgia 250 – 1:30 p.m. ET
  • Camping World Truck Series Great Clips 200 – 4:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, Feb. 28:
  • Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 – 1 p.m. ET
Find a complete weekend schedule here, and find tips for first-time fans here.

Find out more about this weekend’s races and purchase tickets at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.

Right Sides Only: Notes from Daytona 500 Winning Crew Chief, Mike Wheeler

By Stacey Owens

The first race of the 2016 season was full of, well, firsts.

Denny Hamlin wasn't the only member of the No. 11 FedEx Racing Team who won his first Daytona 500. His crew chief, Mike Wheeler, though a long-time member of the team, won his first regular-season race ever as the crew chief for the JGR team.

Wheels, as Hamlin calls him, worked tirelessly for several years to get to the top of the box and is thrilled with the photo-finish results of his first time calling the shots.
Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

"It's pretty crazy, that's for sure. You work your butt off all these years trying to get to this spot. You put in the hours. You work your guts out trying to be the best. Finally have the opportunity to be the crew chief, lead the team, it's really satisfying to see everybody so happy, sponsors so happy between Toyota and FedEx and everybody.
            
"Seeing Denny say it's his biggest race, biggest thing he's got, makes me happy.
           
"I'm a small part of this. Racing has a lot to do with the driver, the actual car, people that build that car, with the spotter involved. Just really happy to be a small part of that," Wheeler said.

The new chief has worked for Joe Gibbs Racing for several years in an engineer's role but has aspired to sit atop the war wagon for many of those years. Hamlin discussed Wheeler's ambition.

"I knew he had aspirations to be a crew chief in the Cup Series. You can only be a great engineer for so long before other teams are going to come knocking.
             
"Joe gave him that opportunity in the XFINITY Series. Even though I probably premature promised him the job, a little soon, you know, I was happy that Gibbs said, 'Let's just take you through the same process that all of our other crew chiefs had.'
            
"I'm glad he was only gone for a year.
             
"Honestly, I love all the crew chiefs I've ever worked with. Mike Ford, Darian Grubb, Dave Rogers, all of them did really great things. We all did great things together. There's something about Wheels that I felt was right. Our communication is right.
             
"I think a lot of it is we're friends first. Him being my crew chief, it's a mere sidebar for our relationship. So this is one that I'm very proud and happy for him. He's got a new family of his own that he gets to go back to. Like I said, this is my guy," Hamlin explained.

Now that he's in the position he's dreamed about for years, was Wheeler nervous about calling the biggest race of the year?

Credit: Logan Stewart for Skirts and Scuffs
"I wasn't too nervous. I was actually amazed how not nervous I was. I don't want to say calm. But Denny reassured me weeks and years ago that I'm his guy, that I can do the job. Joe's had my back for a long time since I've been here.
             
"I wasn't nervous because I knew I had a chance of doing it. All I had to do was do the job.
             
"Speed racing is a little bit different from intermediate and short track stuff where I'm a small part of it. I'm the lead guy, but the driver and the spotter are the guys that can really dictate the race.
             
Looking back on the Great American Race from Victory Lane, would Wheeler have done anything differently?
 
"Watching the last 20 laps, I thought the race was over. I knew we won for Toyota, and that was a big thing for us. I knew we had to swallow it because we messed up as a group. We were going to get a top five out of that and I was okay with that. But I was pretty calm on the box because I knew my work was pretty easy compared to other races. You have enough time to think about a plan. We had a plan for a couple days now how we were going to do this.
             
"But watching him wheel it the last lap, that's my boy. He was getting it and he made it happen," Wheeler said. 

With Wheeler at the helm now, he and Hamlin might just be the series' new dynamic duo. They're off to a pretty great start. 

---------------------------

   Stacey Owens lives just outside Music City USA. She's always wanted to be a NASCAR writer, so working as a columnist and support editor for Skirts and Scuffs allows her to live that dream every single weekend.
    The sole NASCAR enthusiast in her home, she's hopeful that one of her three daughters might also harbor an appreciation for NASCAR, but it isn't looking good so far.
    This self-admitted grammar nerd also loves country music, though she can't carry a tune; collegiate football, though she needs a lot of work on her spiral; and Kentucky basketball, even though at 6' tall, she's never played a day in her life.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Denny Hamlin Wins Daytona 500 by a Nose

Credit: Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images  
By Lisa Janine Cloud

Denny Hamlin earned the title of “Daytona 500 Champion” Sunday. The fact that he did so in a photo finish by the smallest margin in race history -- 0.010 seconds -- over Martin Truex Jr. matters not to Hamlin.

On the other hand, those few feet do matter to Truex Jr., who said after the race that he’s “just going to have to watch that on the highlight reel for the rest of my career, I suppose, the rest of my life.”

Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
Hamlin became only the fifth driver to win both the Sprint Unlimited and the Daytona 500 in the same year. No lesser luminaries than Bobby Allison, Bill Elliott, and Jeff Gordon accomplished that feat, as did former JGR driver Dale Jarrett, who was the last Gibbs driver to win the Great American Race back in 1993. Of note, Jarrett also gave the same combination of wins to the Ford team of Robert Yates Racing in 1996.

Hamlin was, understandably, excited about the victory, and howled with glee as he entered the media center for his post-race interview. 

"It's the pinnacle of my career, for sure,” exclaimed Hamlin. “I haven't got a championship yet. This is obviously the biggest win for myself. It's just the circumstances. J.D. Gibbs, who found me about 12, 13 years ago, it's his birthday today, he's been so pivotal to myself and my team and supporting me for the past 11 years.” 

“FedEx has been a huge supporter of me throughout my career,” Hamlin continued. “It's very unusual that the driver and the sponsor have such a great relationship like we have. They stuck by us. They're so heavily invested in myself and this sport and this race team.”

His rookie crew chief, Mike Wheeler, shared Hamlin's excitement, but in a more low-key manner.

"It's pretty crazy, that's for sure," Wheeler said. "You work your butt off all these years trying to get to this spot. You put in the hours. You work your guts out trying to be the best. Finally have the opportunity to be the crew chief, lead the team, it's really satisfying to see everybody so happy, sponsors so happy between Toyota and FedEx and everybody. Seeing Denny say it's his biggest race, biggest thing he's got, makes me happy."          

Hamlin’s 11th try at the Great American Race also gave Toyota their first Daytona 500 victory, one that an emotional David Wilson, president of TRD, called “our single biggest race in our company's history.” Wilson added, “I'll put it in front of the Indy 500, which was a pretty special one back in 2003.” 

Despite the hype that surrounded Chevy drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., a two-time winner of the Harley J. Earl trophy, and rookie polesitter Chase Elliott, who won Saturday night in the Xfinity Series Powershares QQQ 300, Toyotas dominated the race, while Earnhardt and Elliott crashed in separate incidents, finishing 36th and 37th, respectively.

Hamlin was out front for 95 of Toyota’s total of 158 laps led, with teammates Matt Kenseth on point for 40 and Kyle Busch for 19 laps. 

Toyotas also finished second, third and fifth, including Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards, respectively.

For Toyota to follow up their 2015 Sprint Cup Championship season with the Daytona 500 championship doesn’t bode well for the competition. Toyota drivers took 14 of the 36 race-winning trophies in 2015, along with the Sprint Cup Championship, by putting Toyotas in four of the top-five finishing positions.

Wilson explained that the Toyota contingent had a plan and executed it well.

“Today was the quintessential, perhaps, example of what that teamwork has paid off in,” he stated. “I am truly impressed, proud, moved by what our drivers did, our teams did together. We had a plan. When we went out in practice, I think it was Saturday afternoon, the five Toyotas lined up, we were the top of the timing and scoring. We realized that our five cars working together could truly do something special on Sunday.

“... Our teams, our drivers, had the discipline and the trust in each other to execute that plan to a T. To come all the way to the white flag, 1‑2‑3‑4‑5, and then it was a race,” Wilson said. “Today was a special day for Toyota and a special day for Joe Gibbs Racing and Furniture Row, our new partner.”

Hamlin, who added win number 27 to his Sprint Cup resume, concurred.

“This is a total team effort from Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota,” Hamlin said. “Martin Truex and those guys – all of our cars up front at the end. I said with two to go that we have to get the team victory no matter what it takes and I essentially was trying to go up there and block the 4 to keep him from getting to those guys, but he gave me such a strong push I just went with it and we ended up with a victory.”

Saturday, February 20, 2016

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Season Opener at Daytona


Track Classification: Superspeedway
Similar Tracks: Auto Club Speedway (Fontana)
Indianapolis Motor Speedway  • Michigan International Speedway • Pocono Raceway
Talladega Superspeedway
Distance: 2.5 Miles

By Carol D'Agostino

Welcome to the 2016 NASCAR racing season. As a sold-out audience -- 101,500 race fans -- check out the new fan experience at the Daytona International Speedway, the rest of us with buckle up for what will surely be a memorable Daytona 500, the 58th running of this iconic race. Remember, this race will not feature the new rules package, so when picking your fantasy drivers stick to historic Daytona and restrictor-plate race greats with a sprinkling of rookie standouts.

Drivers with Most Top 10s in the Last 5 Years:
By Race
Both with 4: Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Greg Biffle
Both with 3: Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson
All with 2: Joey Logano, Regan Smith, Carl Edwards, Casey Mears, Paul Menard, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth

By Track
Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 6
Denny Hamlin - 5
All with 4:  Casey Mears, Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer,  Ryan Newman and Kevin Harvick

Top 15 Active Drivers for Past 10 Years on Restrictor Plate Tracks:
  1. Chase Elliott           
  2. Chris Buescher           
  3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.           
  4. Ty Dillon           
  5. Clint Bowyer           
  6. Austin Dillon           
  7. Jimmie Johnson           
  8. Kevin Harvick
  9. Brad Keselowski           
  10. Denny Hamlin           
  11. Greg Biffle           
  12. Kurt Busch           
  13. Matt Kenseth              
  14. Kyle Busch             
  15. Carl Edwards
SOURCE: Yahoo Sports

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Daytona:
  1. Kyle Busch             96.2
  2. Matt Kenseth          91.6
  3. Kurt Busch             90.5
  4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.  90.3  
  5. Tony Stewart          87.9
  6. Jeff Gordon            87.1
  7. Jimmie Johnson     87.0
  8. Denny Hamlin        86.4
  9. Clint Bowyer           83.7
  10. Joey Logano          82.5
SOURCE: NASCAR Media. Driver Ratings are compiled from 2005-2014 races (18 total) at Daytona  

The Likely Suspects: The Daytona 500 is a fun race to watch because a good car from the back could win as well as a medium-good car with friends. A rookie could win, a restrictor plate great could win, or a one-off driver who you may not see in every race this season could take the checkers. This scenario makes picking fantasy drivers a bit of a nightmare. Try not to over think it though. Stick to consistent drivers and add perhaps one sleeper pick. My favorite Daytona fantasy picks include: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenneth, Clint Bowyer and Casey Mears.

My 2 Cents: Odd, but likely things, such as over-heating cars with debris on the grille may be an issue. Apparently Daytona Rising is not only an amazing redo of the track experience, but also a wrapper and debris magnet. Focus your picks on drivers with the best ability to overcome obstacles.

It appears as though this race may be Joe Gibbs Racing's best chance to end its 23-year draught at the Daytona 500, if Dale Earnhardt Jr. doesn't snatch it from their hands. Dale Jr. is in his favorite car, named Amelia. In 2015, he drove the chassis to three wins – one in the first Daytona Duel in February, another at Daytona in July and one at Talladega in May.

My no-brainer pick is a tie between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin. My next picks are Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards, Casey Mears and Clint Bowyer. I will round out my fantasy team with Chase Elliott and Ty Dillon.

My final four: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Chase Elliott.

Enjoy the race! Post your comments here or follow me on Twitter at @purplecatpr.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

TV Schedule: Feb. 18-21

Daytona International Speedway. Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images
By Rebecca Kivak

Speedweeks continues at Daytona International Speedway as the 2016 NASCAR season gets underway.

The Can-Am Duels on Thursday complete the starting lineup for NASCAR's Super Bowl, the Daytona 500. The Camping World Truck Series, XFINITY Series and Sprint Cup Series return to the track for their opening events, culminating with Sunday's Daytona 500.

The following schedule is a handy guide to track events and television coverage at Daytona. All times are in Eastern Standard Time.

Thursday, Feb. 18:
Noon Sprint Cup Series practice, FS1
1:30 p.m. Camping World Truck Series practice, FS1
4 p.m. Camping World Truck Series final practice, FS1
5 p.m. NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
7 p.m. Sprint Cup Series Can-Am Duels at Daytona, FS1
10:30 p.m. NASCAR K&N Pro Series Race (taped), NBCSN

Friday, Feb. 19:
3 a.m. Sprint Cup Series Can-Am Duels at Daytona (re-air), FS1
7:30 a.m. Sprint Cup Series: Can-Am Duels at Daytona (re-air), FS1
10:30 a.m. XFINITY Series practice, FS1
Noon Sprint Cup Series practice, FS1
1 p.m. XFINITY Series practice, FS1
2 p.m. Sprint Cup Series practice, FS1
3 p.m. XFINITY Series practice, FS1
4:30 p.m. Camping World Truck Series Qualifying, FS1
7 p.m. Camping World Truck Series Setup, FS1
7:30 p.m. Camping World Truck Series: Nextera Energy Resources 250, FS1

Saturday, Feb. 20:
3:30 a.m. Camping World Truck Series Nextera Energy Resources (re-air), FS1
10 a.m. XFINITY Series Qualifying, FS1
Noon Sprint Cup Series final practice, FS1
3 p.m. NASCAR RaceDay: XFINITY, FS1
3:30 p.m. XFINITY Series: Powershares QQQ 300, FS1

Sunday, Feb. 21:
3:30 a.m. XFINITY Series Powershares QQQ 300 (re-air), FS1
10:30 a.m. NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
Noon Sprint Cup Series FOX Pre-Race Show, FOX
1 p.m. Sprint Cup Series: Daytona 500, FOX
1 a.m. (Monday) NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Fast Facts: Drive for Diversity Driver Jairo Avila Jr.

credit: NASCAR via Getty Images/Todd Warshaw
By: Paula Thompson

With the recent successes of Drive for Diversity graduates Kyle Larson, Daniel Suarez and Darrell Wallace Jr., the next batch of D4D drivers are ready to make a name for themselves. Over the next few weeks, Fast Facts will take a quick look at the young careers of these talented and diverse drivers. Next up: Jairo Avila Jr.


  • Jairo Avila Jr. was born May 11, 1995 in Alhambra, California and is of Columbian descent. He’s also known as “J.A. Junior.”
  • Avila began racing go-karts in 2002, spending six years in the machines until moving up to Bandoleros in 2008; he earned 18 wins in go-kart competition. In Bandolero competition, Avila won 10 times in 2008 before advancing to Legends cars, where he won 75 times in five seasons (2009-2013); he also raced a Thunder Roadster in 2013, winning five times in five starts.
  • In 2014, Avila picked up three top 10 finishes in five Lucas Oil Modified starts and four top 10s in five starts in the K&N Pro Series West. In 2015, he made two ARCA Racing Series starts with Lira Motorsports, finishing 16th at Pocono and 10th at Kansas.
  • In 2016, Avila will compete for Rev Racing in the K&N Pro Series East; he finished 23rd in his first race of the season at New Smyrna. He also competed at Daytona International Speedway in the ARCA Racing Series this year, finishing 39th.
  • Learn more about Avila at his website, www.jajunior56thebullet.com. Learn more about Rev Racing and the D4D program at revracing.net
More D4D information:






Monday, February 15, 2016

Travel Tips: Speedweeks at Daytona – Feb. 17-21, 2016

credit: NASCAR Media
The 2016 NASCAR season kicked off last weekend with the Sprint Unlimited on Saturday night and Daytona 500 qualifying on Sunday. This week, Daytona International Speedway continues to host Speedweeks at Daytona, culminating with the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 21. Over the next week, fans will see the season-opening points races for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series.

Fans heading to Daytona for Speedweeks will want to check out the Sprint FANZONE for off-track activities, including garage tours, driver and team appearances, live music and the kids’ area. Find out more about the Sprint FANZONE here.

The annual Hot Rods and Reels fishing tournament to benefit the Darrell Gwynn Quality of Life Chapter and the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis takes place Friday, Feb. 19 at 8 a.m. ET on Lake Lloyd at the Speedway. Find out more about the event here and more about the Darrell Gwynn Quality of Life Chapter here.

Key on-track times for the second weekend of Speedweeks at Daytona:

Wednesday, Feb. 17 –
  • Sprint Cup Series practice – 5-5:45 and 6:10-6:55 p.m. ET
Thursday, Feb. 18 –
  • Sprint Cup Series practice – noon to 12:55 p.m. ET
  • Camping World Truck Series practice – 1:30-2:55 p.m. and 4-4:55 p.m. ET
  • Can-Am Duel qualifying races for the Daytona 500 – 7 p.m. ET
Friday, Feb. 19 –
  • Xfinity Series practice – 10:30-11:55 a.m., 1-1:55 and 3-3:55 p.m. ET
  • Sprint Cup Series practice – noon-12:55 and 2-2:55 p.m. ET
  • Camping World Truck Series qualifying – 4:30 p.m. ET
  • Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250 - 7:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, Feb. 20
  • Xfinity Series qualifying – 10 a.m. ET
  • Sprint Cup Series practice – 12:15-1:55 p.m. ET
  • Xfinity Series PowerShares QQQ 300 - 3:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, Feb. 21
  • Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 – 1 p.m. ET
Get information about and purchase tickets for Speedweeks at Daytona, and find a complete schedule for Speedweeks, including scheduled driver appearances, at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.

Are you on Twitter? Follow @SkirtsandScuffs for updates on Daytona - schedules, driver news and more!

Friday, February 12, 2016

TV Schedule: Feb. 12-14

By Rebecca Kivak

The NASCAR off-season is over - let's go racing!

Daytona Speedweeks gets underway at Daytona International Speedway with Sprint Cup practice Friday; the non-points exhibition race, the Sprint Unlimited, on Saturday; and the first part of Daytona 500 qualifying on Sunday.

The following is a a handy guide to track events and television coverage at Daytona. All times are in Eastern Standard Time.

Friday, Feb. 12:
5 p.m. Sprint Cup practice, FS1
6:30 p.m. Sprint Cup final practice, FS1

Saturday, Feb. 13:
4 a.m. Sprint Cup practice (re-air), FS1
5 a.m. Sprint Cup final practice (re-air), FS1
10:30 a.m. Sprint Cup practice, FS1
1:30 p.m. Sprint Cup practice, FS1
6 p.m. NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
8 p.m. Sprint Unlimited, FOX

Sunday, Feb. 14:
3:30 a.m. Sprint Unlimited (re-air), FS1
9 a.m. Sprint Unlimited (re-air), FS2
11:30 a.m. NASCAR Race Hub: Weekend Edition, FS1
1 p.m. Sprint Cup Qualifying - Daytona 500, FOX

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Fast Facts: Drive for Diversity driver Collin Cabre

credit: NASCAR via Getty Images/
Todd Warshaw
By: Paula Thompson

With the recent successes of Drive for Diversity graduates Kyle Larson, Daniel Suarez and Darrell Wallace Jr., the next batch of D4D drivers are ready to make a name for themselves. Over the next few weeks, Fast Facts will take a quick look at the young careers of these talented and diverse drivers. Up first: Collin Cabre.
  • Collin Cabre was born Oct. 8, 1993 in Tampa, Florida. He began motocross racing at age 4, spending six years racing on the national circuit. At age 10, Cabre made the switch to go-karts, then into the Open Wheeled Series, where he won the Rookie of the Year award in 2008 and finished seventh in points.
  • At age 16, Cabre jumped into a sprint car for the first time. Before joining the D4D program, he was racing dirt and asphalt sprint cars in the USAC, USCS and AVSS series.
  • Cabre first joined D4D and Rev Racing in 2015, racing in the K&N Pro Series East. He picked up his first top 10 start and finish at Iowa in July, and also picked up a fourth-place finish at Virginia International Raceway in August before winning the season finale at Dover in October. The win moved Cabre into the top 10 in points for his rookie season.
  • Cabre will once again compete in the K&N Pro Series East for Rev Racing in 2016, his second season with D4D.
  • Learn more about Rev Racing and the D4D program at revracing.net
More D4D information:


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Travel Tips: Speedweeks at Daytona – Feb. 12-14, 2016


The first weekend at Daytona is capped off with Daytona
500 qualifying on Sunday, Feb. 14.
Credit: NASCAR Media  
by Paula Thompson

It’s time to kick off the 2016 NASCAR season at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL, home of Speedweeks at Daytona beginning Friday, Feb. 12, and culminating with the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 21. During the eight days of on-track action, fans will see the season openers for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series and the ARCA Racing Series, as well as the Sprint Unlimited and Daytona 500 qualifying.

Fans heading to Daytona for Speedweeks will want to check out the Sprint FANZONE for off-track activities, including garage tours, driver and team appearances, live music and the kids’ area. Find out more about the Sprint FANZONE here.

Key on-track times for the first weekend of Speedweeks:

Friday, Feb. 12 –
  • ARCA final practice – 9:30-10:30 a.m. ET
  • ARCA qualifying – 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited drawing for starting positions and pit positions – 3:30 p.m. ET in the Sprint FANZONE
  • Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited practice – 5-5:55 p.m. and 6:30-7:25 p.m. ET
Saturday, Feb. 13 –
 
  • Sprint Cup Series practice – 10:30 a.m.-12:25 p.m.  and 1:30-3:25 p.m. ET
  • ARCA Racing Series Lucas Oil 200 – 4:15 p.m. ET
  • Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited – 8:15 p.m. ET
Sunday, Feb. 14 –
 
  • Sprint Cup Series qualifying for the front row of the Daytona 500 and for starting positions in the Can-Am Duel – 1:15 p.m. ET
While there are no on-track activities for the NASCAR teams on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 15-16, the Richard Petty Ride-Along Program will run both days from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET – find out more here.

Get information about and purchase tickets for Speedweeks at Daytona, and find a complete schedule for Speedweeks, at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Tony Stewart Injury Update from Stewart-Haas Racing


KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Feb. 4, 2016) – Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, sustained a burst fracture of the L1 vertebra in an all-terrain vehicle accident Sunday while vacationing on the West Coast.

Stewart was transported to a local hospital following the non-racing accident and promptly evaluated. He was awake and alert throughout the process and able to move all of his extremities.

Stewart flew to North Carolina Tuesday evening and was admitted to a Charlotte-area hospital for further evaluation. On Wednesday, he underwent surgery.

The subsequent recovery period means Stewart will miss the beginning of the Sprint Cup season. A timetable for Stewart’s return has not been determined, but he is expected to make a full recovery and return to the No. 14 Chevrolet in 2016. Plans for an interim driver have not been finalized.

 Source: Stewart-Haas Racing

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Fast Facts: Daytona Rising

credit: NASCAR Media
Originally opened in 1959, Daytona International Speedway is the long-time home of the Sprint Cup Series’ “Super Bowl,” the Daytona 500. In 2013, the track unveiled a speedway renovation project called “Daytona Rising,” pumping $400 million into the speedway grounds with an emphasis on improving the fan experience. The completed project debuted at the Rolex 24 at Daytona Jan. 30-31 – here are the Fast Facts on what fans can expect at the track during 2016 Speedweeks.
  • “Founding partners” for the project at the 2.5-mile superspeedway are Chevrolet, Florida Hospital, FOX, Sunoco and Toyota.
  • The project includes five expanded and redesigned entrances called “injectors,” which will lead visitors to the escalators and elevators which will take them to three concourse levels. These three levels will feature social areas called “neighborhoods” along the frontstretch.
  • There are 11 “neighborhoods,” each the size of a football field, which will feature dedicated bars, premium food options and charging stations. Concourse areas will be covered and approximately 90 feet wide, with 1,400-plus video monitors throughout the concourses and free Wi-Fi available. Free Wi-Fi will also be available in the Sprint FANZONE and the Midway area.
  • The grandstands will provide seating for 101,500 spectators with wider and more comfortable permanent seats, three times as many restrooms and twice as many concession stands as previously available. There will also be more than 60 luxury suites and revamped hospitality for corporate guests.
  • Among the features that were removed from the track as part of the project were the Sprint Tower on the frontstretch and the Budweiser Party Porch on the backstretch.
  • Find out more about “Daytona Rising” and the upcoming events at the track at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com