Speedway Digest Staff
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star of CNBC’s ‘The Profit,’ will serve as the grand marshal and honorary starter for The Profit on CNBC 500 Presented by Small Business Fueling America NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, March 2.
On ‘The Profit,’ Lemonis, the Chairman and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises, steps in to save struggling businesses by investing his own money and teaching the owners his secrets to business success. The second season of ‘The Profit’ premiers on Tuesday, Feb. 25 on CNBC.
As grand marshal, Lemonis will say the four most famous words in racing – “Drivers, start your engines!” prior to the start of the race. After giving the command, Lemonis will head to the flag stand where he will wave the green flag to officially start The Profit on CNBC 500 Presented by Small Business Fueling America.
Lemonis headlines an exciting pre-race schedule. Fan favorite and Phoenix-native trumpet soloist Jesse Maguire will perform the national anthem, while UFC fighter and FOX Sports analyst Chael Sonnen will be the honorary pace car driver.
The popular rock group P.O.D. (Payable On Death) will perform on the pre-race stage beginning at 11:00 a.m. MST. Adding to the scene during pre-race will be an appearance by the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales, who will make a parade lap along the front stretch prior to the start of the race.
Maguire has performed his powerful and moving trumpet rendition of the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ for three presidents as well as crowds in NASCAR, Major League Baseball and the NFL. He has toured worldwide with the band Tower of Power, and he served as the lead trumpet for the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra of New York. He currently performs regularly at The Phoenician resort in Phoenix.
Sonnen, also known as “The American Gangster, will participate in pre-race ceremonies and will lead the pack of cars on Sunday to the green flag. Currently ranked eighth among in the light heavyweights in the world, Sonnen is one of the most popular fighters to ever compete in the UFC. His quick wit and controversial commentary have made him a crowd favorite.
Known for their passionate lyrics and energy P.O.D. is scheduled to release their eighth and latest record, Murdered Love, this spring. Following the album release, P.O.D. will be embarking on a national tour. Formed in 1992, the group has sold over 10 million albums, garnered four No. 1 music videos, three Grammy nominations and over a dozen rock radio hits, including “Southtown,” “Alive,” “Youth of the Nation,” and “Goodbye for Now.”
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, is scheduled to appear at Phoenix International Raceway’s ROLL-BAR Club for a question-and-answer session with NASCAR fans before The Profit on CNBC 500 Presented by Small Business Fueling America NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, March 2.
Patrick is scheduled to appear at 9:50 a.m. MST. She will be followed on the stage by her new Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick, who is scheduled to appear at 10:00 a.m. MST on Sunday. Race fans are encouraged to check PhoenixRaceway.com and follow @PhoenixRaceway on Twitter for additional driver appearance information.
ROLL-BAR Club, located on the west side of the track behind the Bobby Allison Grandstands, features the best in live entertainment each day throughout the entire The Profit on CNBC 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at PIR, as well as appearances by some of NASCAR’s top personalities.
Patrick is entering her second full-time season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. She finished second in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings in 2013. A year ago, she made history by becoming the first woman to win the pole position and the first woman to lead a lap at the Daytona 500.
Daytona International Speedway announced today that Kingspan Insulated Panels, a market leader in sustainable building product technology, will become the first partner in the “We Built Daytona” platform for the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project.
The “We Built Daytona” platform is designed specifically for partners involved in the construction of DAYTONA Rising. It provides an opportunity for manufacturers to become a part of the project and showcase their involvement through a marketing presence following completion of the new facility in 2016. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Kingspan’s insulated metal panels, totaling 125,000 square feet, will help to create the interior sections of the injectors – five large redesigned entrances spanning the nearly mile-long frontstretch. Approximately 400,000 square feet of the Speedway’s new exterior will be constructed using metal wall systems by Morin, a Kingspan company. About 80 percent of the metal panels to be used will be manufactured at Kingspan Insulated Panel North American Headquarters in DeLand, Florida, less than 20 miles from Daytona International Speedway.
Following construction, the three-year marketing agreement will allow Kingspan to feature its building panel products in-use at the new speedway, providing them with a real-time showroom. Additionally, Kingspan will receive special recognition as a “We Built Daytona” partner within the facility, brand exposure opportunities via digital display boards as well as corporate hospitality for entertaining guests during major events.
“From day one, we’ve committed to maximizing sustainable building practices as part of DAYTONA Rising, including utilizing recyclable content where possible and reusing the existing steel structure,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. “Kingspan, a great locally-based manufacturer, is an ideal partner for us and we believe the new frontstretch will provide a great platform for them to showcase their product portfolio.”
“With our recent facilities expansion and the location of our North American headquarters in DeLand, Kingspan Insulated Panels made a strong commitment to Volusia County. We can’t think of a more exciting partner than Daytona International Speedway,” said Fergal Murphy, vice president of sales, Kingspan US. “DAYTONA Rising is a once-in-a-lifetime project that will enable us to increase our customer base, especially within the local business community.”
Following the first in-person meeting among the NASCAR Hall of Fame nominating committee in the hall’s history, NASCAR today announced the 20 nominees for the 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame’s sixth induction class, as well as the five nominees for the inaugural Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR.
Included among the list up for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame are an eclectic – and exemplary – group of individuals whose skillsets span all levels of racing and areas of expertise.
Among them are two-time NASCAR premier series champion Terry Labonte; 1988 NASCAR premier series champion and 16-time Most Popular Driver Bill Elliott; nine-time NASCAR champion Mike Stefanik, whose titles came in both the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East; Buddy Baker, a 19-time NASCAR premier series winner; and championship winning engine builder and team owner Robert Yates.
From the list of 20 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on NASCAR.com. Voting Day for the 2015 class will be Wednesday, May 21. Fans can attend the announcement at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.
As was announced last November during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week, potential Landmark Award recipients could include competitors or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role. Award winners remain eligible for NHOF enshrinement.
The five nominees for the inaugural Landmark Award are H. Clay Earles, Anne B. France, Raymond Parks, Ralph Seagraves and Ken Squier (more on each below). Parks is the only individual who was included as both a NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee and a Landmark Award nominee.
This round of nominees was selected by a 22-person nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and track owners from both major facilities and historic short tracks, as well as one at-large member. The committee’s votes were tabulated by accounting firm Ernst & Young.
Following are the 20 nominees for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, listed alphabetically:
Buddy Baker,won 19 times in NASCAR’s premier (now Sprint Cup) series, including the Daytona 500 and Southern 500
Red Byron, first NASCAR premier series champion, in 1949
Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series
Jerry Cook, six-time NASCAR Modified champion
Bill Elliott, 1988 premier series champion, two-time Daytona 500 winner and 16-time Most Popular Driver
Ray Fox,legendary engine builder and owner of cars driven by Buck Baker, Junior Johnson and others
Rick Hendrick, 14-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series
Bobby Isaac, 1970 NASCAR premier series champion
Terry Labonte, Two-time NASCAR premier series champion
Fred Lorenzen, 26 wins and winner of the Daytona 500 and World 600
Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner
Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier series champion
Larry Phillips, only five-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion
Wendell Scott,NASCAR trailblazer was thefirst African-American NASCAR premier series race winner, and first to be nominated for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
O. Bruton Smith, builder of Charlotte Motor Speedway and architect of Speedway Motorsports Inc
Mike Stefanik, winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships
Curtis Turner, early personality, called the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing"
Joe Weatherly, two-time NASCAR premier series champion
Rex White, 1960 NASCAR premier series champion
Robert Yates, won NASCAR premier series championship as both an engine builder and owner
The five nominees for the inaugural Landmark Award are as follows…
H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway
Anne Bledsoe France, helped build the sport with husband Bill France Sr. Affectionately known as "Annie B.," she is the first woman to be nominated for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner
Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
Ken Squier, legendary radio and television broadcaster; inaugural winner / namesake of Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence
The 22-person Nominating Committee follows...
NASCAR Hall of Fame: Executive Director Winston Kelley; Historian Buz McKim.
NASCAR Officials: Chairman/CEO Brian France; Vice Chairman Jim France; President Mike Helton; Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton; Executive Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell; Executive Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps; Competition Administrator Jerry Cook; former Vice President Ken Clapp. (Note: Due to Jerry Cook’s inclusion on the ballot for the 2014 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, he was recused from voting for the 2015 nominee class.)
Track Owners/Operators: International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa Kennedy; Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell; Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage; Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark; former Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George; Dover Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn; Pocono Raceway board of director member Looie McNally; Bowman Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis; Riverhead Raceway operators Jim and Barbara Cromarty (1 vote); Rockford Speedway owner Jody Deery; Kingsport Speedway Operator Robert Pressley.
At-Large: Mike Joy, lead announcer for NASCAR on FOX.
Alex Bowman will now pilot the No.23 Borla Exhaust Toyota Camry in Sunday's 56th running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Dr Pepper however will remain as an associate sponsor on the No. 23 BK Racing entry. Bowman will start from the 29th position.
For over three decades, Borla has been the leader in the manufacture and design of high-performance exhaust systems for racing and the street. Made with pride in the heartland of the USA, Borla's aircraft-grade T-304 stainless steel mufflers, headers and complete exhaust systems reflect what the company has learned from racing, innovating, testing and more racing. Available for all popular cars and trucks, a Borla exhaust provides a boost in performance and torque, improved fuel economy, longer engine life, fine motorsport styling, precision fit and a variety of sound-level options to suit any driver's preference.
BK Racing PR
How lucky you can be. This was part of the conversation as the Germain Racing crew was returning to the garage after Duel number two at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday evening. Just a day earlier, a practice crash involving Cole Whitt sent Brian Vickers across the nose of Casey Mears’ #13 Chevrolet SS, forcing the GEICO driver to the garage for minor repairs. A lap later, cars were crashing, but Mears was out of harm’s way thanks to the inadvertent contact just moments prior.
Last night, after 58 laps of clean racing, the final five miles culminated in a cruel swing of emotions that found the GEICO team in tears of pain and then joy, all inside of a couple of minutes.
Their driver, Casey Mears, experienced misfortune that only served to benefit the team moments later. Mears’ #13 GEICO Chevrolet SS was strong throughout the 60-lap mad dash, running solidly in the top seven cars for the bulk of the evening. He ascended the leaderboard and the #13 GEICO Chevrolet even sat atop the scoring tower as the race leader on lap 36.
It was lap 56 that got Mears’ heart racing when he noticed a drop in fuel pressure, causing concern among the Germain Racing engineering staff. Two laps later, Mears found himself shaking his racecar side-to-side hoping to re-fire his GEICO Chevrolet. Fortunately, he was able to make it around the 2.5-mile superspeedway without incident and delivered his Germain Racing entry to the attention of his pit crew. Just after Mears departed pit road, the ‘big one’ took place a lap later as the field approached the checkered flag. Jimmie Johnson ran out of fuel, initiating a crash that would collect a handful of drivers and also see Clint Bowyer flip over, land on his wheels and drive away. If not for Mears’ misfortune a lap earlier, the #13 GEICO Chevrolet SS would have most certainly been collected, as well. Instead, Mears was credited with a lead lap, 14th place finish that placed him comfortably in the 2014 Daytona 500 starting field. Most importantly, he was left with a clean, undamaged racecar. For the second time in as many days, pain quickly turned to comfort as the racing gods smiled down on Mears and his Germain Racing crew.
“We’ve been fortunate the last two days and it’s nice to have things go our way here. We would’ve definitely been in that mess tonight if I didn’t have the fuel issue, so in retrospect it worked out,” Mears said. “Our GEICO team has worked hard all week and I’m glad they are having some positive things happen. We’re really strong and I’m thankful to all of the Germain guys and the folks at RCR (Richard Childress Racing, Germain’s technical partner) for giving me a fast racecar. We’re looking forward to Sunday.”
Mears and his GEICO team have been strong since they unloaded their #13 GEICO Chevrolet a week ago for the season’s opening practice session. To this point, fortune has favored the team, so both crew and driver excitedly await Sunday’s Daytona 500.
Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has expanded its partnership with Atlas Copco, which will serve as an associate sponsor of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS and driver Kurt Busch during the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
“We enjoy a longstanding and successful partnership with Stewart-Haas Racing,” said John Brookshire, president, Atlas Copco Compressors LLC. “We are proud to be part of their team at the track and in the race shop, and we’re looking forward to supporting the expanded SHR lineup in the 2014 Sprint Cup Series.”
“It is especially exciting to kick-off this close partnership with the No. 41 team in our 141st year in business,” added Brookshire.
As part of the relationship, Atlas Copco is providing new compressed air equipment and installing its SmartLink monitoring technology into SHR’s new 125,000 sq.-ft. state-of-the-art race shop expansion located next to the team’s existing headquarters in Kannapolis, N.C. SmartLink provides 24/7 remote monitoring of the team’s compressed air system to ensure continuous uptime and peak performance.
“Atlas Copco has been a consistent, committed partner since the beginning of Stewart-Haas Racing and we’re proud to have them in our shop and at the track for another season,” said Brett Frood, executive vice president, SHR. “Sustainability is a key theme to our shop expansion and Atlas Copco equipment will ensure that despite doubling our capacity, we won’t have to double our energy bill. In fact, with the new energy-saving equipment, we’ll see only a minimal increase, which will help keep our resources focused on putting our racecars in victory lane.”
This year is the first time Atlas Copco will appear as an associate sponsor of an SHR car for the full season. Atlas Copco will appear on the B-post of Busch’s No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet and on the sleeve of Busch’s firesuit.
A video featuring Tony Stewart talking about Atlas Copco’s products is available at www.atlascopco.us/racing.
Between the mind-bending speeds, bumper to bumper action and hairpin turns, many observers would say the high-octane world of stock car racing is a little nuts. Now, for the start of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ season, Mars Chocolate North America and M&M'S® Racing are taking the nuttiness of M&M'S Peanut in NASCAR® to new extremes by unveiling an M&M'S® Peanut-themed paint scheme for the No. 18 M&M'S® Toyota Camry on NASCAR'S biggest stage.
The eye-popping new design will pair "America's Favorite Nut" – M&M'S® Peanut spokescandy, Yellow – on the exterior of the car driven by one of the sport's most talented drivers, Kyle Busch. The paint scheme marks the first time Yellow has made a solo appearance on the No. 18 car.
"As a driver I'm not usually a fan of seeing the color yellow during the race, but this is definitely the exception to that rule," said Busch. "Yellow is America's Favorite Nut, and I love having him on the car since M&M'S® Peanut is my go-to snack at home or in the hauler."
"M&M'S® Peanut taking a lead position for us at the biggest race of the NASCAR 2014 racing season gives Kyle Busch fans – and Yellow fans – even more incentive to stand up and cheer," said Seth Klugherz, Senior Director, M&M'S® Chocolate Candies. "Just as there will only be one winner in victory lane, only 1 in 100 peanuts is lucky enough to make its way into a bag of M&M'S® Peanut."
The No. 18 M&M'S® Peanut Toyota is the latest exciting effort in the brand's "Year of Peanut" integrated marketing campaign, a yearlong effort to showcase the irresistibility of M&M'S® Peanut. The campaign has incorporated several exciting activations, including:
- a 45-second spot which aired during the first half of Super Bowl XLVIII on FOX – the third straight year the M&M'S® Brand has appeared during the Super Bowl
- fully integrated push behind the Super Bowl XLVIII spot that included a witty trailer and social media campaign fueled by Yellow and his fellow M&M'S® spokescandies
- a star-studded event on New Year's Eve in Atlanta – the nation's unofficial peanut capital
- a humorous, award-winning online video series called the "Search for the One," which starred actor and comedian David Koechner as an eccentric explorer searching for the "perfect peanut"
Yellow was first introduced along with M&M'S® Peanut in 1954. Since then, the irresistible chocolate-coated peanut has captured the hearts and "taste buds" of the nation, but he usually plays a supporting role to his best friend and fellow race fan, Red.
Fans can get in on all of the nuttiness of M&M'S® Peanut in NASCAR® at Facebook.com/mmsracing, and get up close and personal with Yellow on Twitter via the handle @mmsyellow.