Brad Keselowski showed off the new racing surface of Daytona International Speedway to members of the media on Wednesday afternoon and assisted renowned nationally syndicated radio personality Bubba The Love Sponge® in Honorary Pace Car driver practice for the upcoming 53rd annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 2.
As Honorary Pace Car driver, Bubba will be behind the wheel of the Dodge Charger pace car as he leads the 43-car field to the green flag for the 160-lap, 400-mile Independence Day holiday classic under the lights at Daytona.
“I’ve always been a race enthusiast, but I never would have thought I would have the opportunity that Daytona and (DIS President) Joie Chitwood has given me,” Bubba said. “I’m still pinching myself.”
“We can’t wait to see him back here for the 400, especially if I qualify well and can spin him out,” Keselowski quipped. “I think there’s a long line of drivers that are hoping to qualify well just to spin out Bubba the Love Sponge on the first lap.”
Keselowski drove Bubba around the legendary 2.5-mile tri-oval in the Dodge Charger before switching seats and letting Bubba tackle the daunting 31-degree high banks. For Bubba, he felt more comfortable behind the wheel of the Dodge Charger.
“It’s a lot scarier to be a passenger than it is to be a driver … it’s a lot scarier to not be in control,” Bubba said.
Keselowski and his Penske Racing team are riding a wave of momentum heading into the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. He recently won the pole at Charlotte and captured his second career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway.
“It’s great to be here in Daytona,” Keselowski said. “This is obviously the track for NASCAR racing. You look at the Daytona 500 – what we had there was phenomenal. A great turnout in the crowd, great weather, and most importantly, a great race. I think coming into the Coke Zero 400 we’re all looking for the same thing. It’s going to be a little different, obviously a lot hotter so the big question on all of our minds will be can we still do the two-car draft. A lot of variables out there. A lot of different things to look forward to coming back here for the race. We’re all ready to get going and get back here.”
About the Bubba Army Tailgate ticket package
In addition to Bubba’s role as Honorary Pace Car driver, a special Bubba Army Tailgate ticket package has been created for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola.
With packages starting at $104, admission to the outdoor infield tailgate area includes:
• Grandstand ticket for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 2
• Designated infield tailgate parking
• Three drink tickets for beer, wine, soda or water
• NASCAR celebrity appearances and special giveaways
• Appearances by Bubba The Love Sponge® and Bubba The Love Sponge® Show personalities
• Happy hour specials
• Live entertainment and games