Sprint (NYSE: S) confirmed today fans will have a direct impact on several competition elements of the newly titled The Sprint Unlimited At Daytona, the 75-lap non-points race that opens the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season Saturday, Feb. 16 (8 p.m. EST, Fox) at Daytona International Speedway.
Fans are invited to design the race by casting votes on the number of laps in each segment, the type of pit stop a team makes after the first segment, how many cars will be eliminated after the second segment, and which fire suit Miss Sprint Cup will wear in Victory Lane after the final segment. Votes can be cast on NASCAR’s new official mobile app – NASCAR Mobile ’13 – or at NASCAR.Com/SprintUnlimited. All votes made through the NASCAR Mobile ’13 app will count twice.
“Giving fans such a strong voice in the design of the race is a fitting way to launch our 10th season in the sport,” said Steve Gaffney, vice president of corporate marketing for Sprint. “For the first time, we are giving them the ultimate access to the sport, the decision-making power to sculpt the type of race they want to see.
“With today’s technology, fans can make these decisions in real time as the race is happening, and Sprint customers with one of our Unlimited plans have the added comfort of knowing they can vote as often as they want without additional fees.”
The voting window for the race format will close at 11:59 p.m. (EST) Wednesday, Feb. 13. The voting windows for the pit stop, elimination and Miss Sprint Cup’s Victory Lane fire suit will close at various times throughout the race broadcast. Vote results will be relayed to teams during each segment and announced live on the Fox race broadcast.
“We are excited to provide our fan base this first-of-its-kind opportunity to directly be involved in determining the race’s format and in-race decisions,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition for NASCAR. “By allowing our fans this type of interaction, we hope that more fans will be tuned in to the event than ever before.”
The Sprint Unlimited is the second race entitlement in Sprint’s sponsorship portfolio. For the past nine years, Sprint has sponsored the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Sprint also is the title sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Sprint’s involvement in NASCAR has always been driven by its technological advances and a mission to bring fans closer to the sport. It began in 2004 with the simple introduction of driver-themed mobile devices and has evolved to NASCAR’s first-ever mobile application and ultimately fans designing their own race.
“Sprint has been a great partner for the sport, and I applaud them for developing new and innovative ways to give the race fans an unprecedented role in The Sprint Unlimited,” said Joie Chitwood III, president of Daytona International Speedway. “We have some of the most passionate and knowledgeable fans in sports and I’m looking forward to seeing the choices they make and how it will impact this exciting star-studded event.”
Fan voting categories, include:
· Length of each of the three race segments:
o Choice A: 40 laps, 20 laps, 15 laps
o Choice B: 35 laps, 30 laps, 10 laps
o Choice C: 30 laps, 25 laps, 20 laps
v Race format voting ends at 11:59 p.m. (EST) Wednesday, Feb. 13.
· Team pit stop after the first segment:
o Choice A: No pit stop
o Choice B: Two (2) tire change
o Choice C: Four (4) tire change
v Pit stop voting concludes at the green flag of the first segment.
· How many cars will be eliminated after the second segment:
o Choice A: None (0)
o Choice B: Two (2) cars eliminated
o Choice C: Four (4) cars eliminated
o Choice D: Six (6) cars eliminated
v Elimination voting concludes at the green flag of the second segment.
· Fire suit to be worn by Miss Sprint Cup in Victory Lane:
o Fans have a choice of three different fire suit styles
v Fire suit voting concludes at the green flag of the third segment.