Speedway Digest Staff
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Dear RaceView Subscriber,
As promised, we wanted to follow-up regarding our ongoing efforts to improve the user experience with our RaceView Premium and RaceView Audio PC products. We've spent a great deal of time this week working with our technology providers assessing the issues experienced by many users last week and testing possible solutions.
Heading into the race weekend at Phoenix, we have put several contingencies in place so that if problems arise, we can offer alternate options as quickly as possible. There is nothing to do on your end, but at times you may notice a different appearance of the login screen when attempting to access RaceView from the NASCAR.com homepage. This will require you to login again, even if you have already done so on the site, to access RaceView.
The complete weekend schedule is as follows:
|RaceView Premium for PC:|
|•||Subway Fresh Fit 500 - Sunday 3/3, 3:00pm ET|
|RaceView Audio for PC:|
|•||Nationwide Series Dollar General 200 - Saturday 3/2, 4pm ET (includes in-car driver audio and radio broadcast)|
|•||Sprint Cup Subway Fresh Fit 500 - Sunday 3/3, 3:00pm ET|
In addition to these efforts, we have also increased staffing of our call centers and other support functions so that we can improve our response time in addressing any questions or concerns.
Thank you for your patience and look forward to a successful weekend of RaceView. Enjoy the races!
After a successful surgery to repair a fractured and dislocated sternum, Richard Petty Motorsports NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Michael Annett has been released from the hospital in Charlotte, N.C. He is now resting at his home.
The news is encouraging and is ahead of schedule. Doctors expect a two month recovery time, but Annett has responded quickly to all treatment so far and is hopeful to return sooner.
On the heels of a top-10 finish in the Daytona 500, Phoenix Racing is announcing sponsorship opportunities for its No. 51 Sprint Cup Series entry. Opportunities are available for select races throughout the remainder of the 2013 season, including the upcoming Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway, Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway and STP 400 at Kansas Speedway.
Phoenix Racing has started its season off with a bang. Regan Smith powered the No. 51 Chevrolet to a seventh-place finish in the season's biggest race, the Daytona 500, last week at Daytona International Speedway. The team has a talent-stacked roster of drivers to fill in the balance of the Sprint Cup season. A.J. Allmendinger, Austin Dillon and Ryan Truex will share the remaining races of the schedule with Smith in their campaign for the 2013 Sprint Cup Owner Championship. The team is optimistic about the season ahead.
"Phoenix Racing is a tremendous value and we hope to find an organization that can use our help in meeting its marketing objectives," said Steve Barkdoll, general manager of Phoenix Racing. "We have several races available for sponsorship on the No. 51 Chevrolet. We've proven that we are contenders and have what it takes to run up front week in and week out. I'm really excited about our potential and hope that someone joins with us to capture the exposure and branding that we can offer."
Phoenix Racing has been fielding cars in NASCAR's top-three series since 1989. The organization has visited victory lane 13 times in the Nationwide Series and one time in the Sprint Cup Series. Several of the sport's top stars have driven for the squad including, Bill Elliott, Sterling Marlin, Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski.
For more information on sponsorship opportunities at Phoenix Racing, please call Steve Barkdoll at (864) 583-3767.
Phoenix Racing PR
The International Motorsports Hall of Fame, which features an incredible array of classic racing automobiles and historical, exclusive motorsports memorabilia, is proud to announce the Hilton Garden Inn in Oxford, AL, will serve as the Preferred Host Hotel for the 2013 Induction Ceremony set for May 2.
Located less than 20 minutes from the IMHOF and the SPEED Channel Dome (located on the grounds of Talladega Superspeedway) where the ceremony will take place, the Hilton Garden Inn Oxford promises complete customer satisfaction. The Hilton Garden Inn focuses strongly on hospitality and integrity, providing guests with an excellent hotel experience with affordable pricing and an abundance of amenities for maximum comfort and convenience.
The partnership is just in time for this year’s exciting event, which will see four of motorsports biggest names enter the Hall. They include: eight-time NASCAR champion crew chief Dale Inman; 1989 NASCAR Champion driver Rusty Wallace; along with team owners Rick Hendrick (NASCAR) and Don Schumacher (NHRA), both of whom have won multiple championships.
“The Hilton Garden Inn Oxford is a great facility for families to stay when they come to both the International Motorsports Hall of Fame or to events at Talladega Superspeedway,” said IMHOF Executive Director Russell Branham. “With the magnitude of this year’s class of inductees, there will be a need for accommodations. Fans should book their hotel rooms now, and make sure to guarantee their seating at the induction ceremony. It’s going to be huge!”
“The International Motorsports Hall of Fame is a treasure to this area,” said Joy Henninger, Director of Sales of the Hilton Garden Inn Oxford. “We are thrilled to welcome fans and supporters of this year’s Hall of Fame class, and promise to make their stay in the area the very best it can be. We have countless shopping opportunities and a variety of eateries close by. We are excited to play a part in the year’s ceremony.”
The Hilton Garden Inn is located just off I-85 at Exit 188, at 280 Colonial Drive, Oxford, AL. For reservations, call 256-831-0083.
Tickets are on sale now for the 2013 International Motorsports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which will include a reception, banquet and awards ceremony. The coat & tie event will take place in the SPEED Dome at the Hall.
Individual tickets are $125, while a table for eight may be purchased for $1,000 by calling 256-315-4725. VISA, MasterCard and Discover are accepted. For additional information on the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, call 256-362-5002.
Phoenix International Raceway NASCAR fans will be treated to a star-studded line-up of drivers taking time to visit with crowds as part of the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500™ NASCAR weekend, March 1-3.
Guests for fan Q&A appearances throughout the weekend include America’s “Favorite Driver” Dale Earnhardt Jr., 2013 Sprint Cup contender Kevin Harvick and UFC Champion Dominick Cruz. Fans with Grandstand Tickets for the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500™ will have access to the Junior Q&A, while the Harvick and Cruz appearance will require a pass for the Budweiser ROLL-BAR Club which are still available for purchase.
PIR will also offer fans a host of live entertainment options, headlined country sensation Craig Campbell. Campbell will perform at 11 a.m. on March 3 on the Budweiser ROLL-BAR main stage – just before the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500™ pre-race ceremonies commence. The pre-race ceremonies promise to be equally exciting with Adam Gontier, former lead singer for 3 Days Grace, performing the Star-Spangled banner and “The Office’s” Brian Baumgartner serving as Grand Marshal for the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500™.
The weekend’s full schedule of entertainment is listed below. Please note that events scheduled within the Budweiser ROLL-BAR Club, Turn 4 Wine Trackside Club or Octane requires patrons to purchase a ticket to those areas.
Tickets to the Budweiser ROLL-BAR Club are available for advance purchase at $149 for March 3 and $99 for March 2. A grandstand ticket is still required for track admission. A three-day package for Octane is $1,900 per person and includes unlimited food/beverage and many other plush accommodations. Tickets to the Budweiser ROLL-BAR Club and Octane are available online at PhoenixRaceway.com or by calling 1-866-408-RACE (7223).
SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500™ NASCAR Weekend Entertainment Schedule:
Thursday, February 28
9:00 p.m. Harry Luge Jr. SPEED Cantina
Friday, March 1
7:00 p.m. Whiskey’s Quicker SPEED Cantina
9:00 p.m. Conjunto Primavera Budwesier ROLL-BAR
9:00 p.m. Harry Luge Jr. SPEED Cantina
Saturday, March 2
11:00 a.m. Michael McDowell Budweiser ROLL-BAR
11:30 a.m. Michael McDowell Trackside Club
11:45 a.m. Mark Dacascos Budweiser ROLL-BAR
12:15 p.m. Mark Dacascos Trackside Club
3:00 p.m. Mark Dacascos Octane
Sunday, November 13
9:15 a.m. Dominick Cruz Budweiser ROLL-BAR
9:30 a.m. John Skelton Budweiser ROLL-BAR
9:30 a.m. Bobby Labonte Trackside Club
10:00 a.m. Kevin Harvick Budweiser ROLL-BAR
10:30 a.m. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Main Stage (Midway)
10:30 a.m. John Skelton Budweiser ROLL-BAR
2:00 p.m. John Skelton Octane
The Jolly Roger colors will be flying this weekend in the Arizona desert on Scott Speed's No. 95 Ford Fusion.
Racing fans and potential sponsors alike won't be seeing a mirage when Speed drives the all-black Ford with the white skull and crossbones from Leavine Family Racing. Across the back of the new Generation-6 race car will be the words: "Surrender the Sponsor."
The race team is trying to build on the momentum of a 23rd-place finish at the season-opening Daytona 500. Part of that process is the continued search for a primary sponsor.
"It is exciting just to see the hype about the No. 95," Speed said. "We are not trying to make this a money stunt; we're just trying to draw attention to our car. Hopefully, a potential sponsor will see this and want to be teamed up with us.
"There is no way I could have pulled off this paint scheme with any other team, which is why it was so appropriate for LFR - they are up for anything."
The nearest ocean may be 357 miles away, but it won't keep LFR from living a pirate's life during Sunday's Subway Fresh Fit 500 at the Phoenix International Raceway.
The idea was a collaborative effort between Speed and crew chief Wally Rogers. Team owner Bob Leavine quickly signed off on the idea.
"The reality is, anything that brings attention to our race team is positive," Leavine said. "It's not a stunt. It's a way for Corporate America to see what this little team from Texas can do."
"We're still looking for partners," vice president of marketing Terance Mathis said. "DISH was a great partner for us at Daytona, but they're not on for the full season. We're getting to the point where we've got to be strategic with how we use our resources and continue to run as well as we can and attract more sponsorship."
Speed raced his way into the starting lineup for the Daytona 500, and he followed that up with a lead-lap finish.
"The minute we got back to the shop, our attention shifted from Daytona to Phoenix," Rogers said. "We're confident about our race car for that track, and we're confident about Scott. We thought it would be a great idea to work on the sponsorship side. It was an interesting idea and it probably wouldn't fly with a lot of other race teams. That's what makes LFR so unique."
Speed agreed. "Daytona was a good start, but we have so much more to do," he said. "We will improve on that. It is our hope the 'Surrender the Sponsor' idea will attract a sponsor excited to come along for the ride for the other 25 races we've selected this year."
In six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Phoenix, Speed qualified second in 2010 with Red Bull Racing. He also has two Nationwide and one Camping World Truck series start at the one-mile D-shaped oval. But none in a four-wheeled pirate ship.
For most 17-year-old NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) rookies, 200 laps on the rough one-mile Rockingham Speedway would be quite an intimidating experience.
But Chase Elliott isn't your average rookie. Before he could legally drive on the street, he had two victories on the track where his dad, 1988 Winston Cup champion Bill Elliott, won his last race.
"We won the 2011 Pro Cup race at Rockingham," said Chase, "and I think that was my most memorable time at the track. That was a big race and it was cool because dad had won there in the Cup car right before the series stopped racing there.
"I remember being in Victory Lane with him when he won, so it was cool to get back there on my own."
Chase also won in a Sunoco National Tour race at the track in 2010 at 14.
"The biggest thing is that Rockingham is unique when compared to other race tracks," said Chase. "You can run all over it, and that something you don't see often in racing today. You can run from the white line to the wall and win races running. It puts on some great shows and I think it's going to continue to do that."
Despite his success at the track, Chase expects the competition to be tough when the NCWTS returns to Rockingham for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at The Rock presented by Cheerwine on April 14.
"I think everyone is going to be on a pretty equal playing field," said Chase, who makes his series debut April 6 at Martinsville. "They know what they're looking for in the trucks and we'll still be kind of new in that series. Those guys having laps in a truck in general, and having run there last year - they'll have some knowledge.
"A lot of guys will be tough, but hopefully we can be right there with them."
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be joined by the UARA-STARS Late Model Series and the Frank Kimmel Street Stock Nationals (FKSSN) for the weekend. The UARA and FKSSN will be competing on Saturday, April 13, with qualifying on Friday, April 12.
The trucks will practice on Saturday with qualifying and racing on Sunday, April 14.
The Rock PR
It was a long week for the driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet fielded by Hendrick Motorsports in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. And while there was certainly no rest for the wicked after the five-time champion won the Daytona 500 last Sunday, Johnson wouldn’t deny that it was wicked awesome and well worth the chaos that ensued.
Highlights of the week: visits to the Late Show with David Letterman and Good Morning America, cupcake making in Los Angeles, stops in Las Vegas, Dallas and New York, a contract extension with Johnson’s longstanding sponsor, Lowe’s, and a late-night video that went viral with the 48 crew dancing on the front stretch of Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and crew chief Chad Knaus popping wheelies on a dirt bike.
Now, a little rest is in order as Johnson gets back to his day job Friday morning at Phoenix International Raceway. His victory in the Great American Race has him atop the point standings. It’s a precarious hold, but one he looks to keep as he visits the mile oval in the Arizona desert.
Johnson’s record has been strong at Phoenix. He has 12 top-five finishes and 15 top-10s in 19 starts. But, in typical Team 48 fashion, he never wants to stop improving on those finishes. In fact, Johnson is slated for double duty in the No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet fielded by JR Motorsports in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race.
Rest may have been at a premium after winning the sport’s premiere event, but there were enough awesome perks that Johnson is sure to say it was a wicked good time.
Nielsen Media Research reports that five regional Kentucky Speedway markets generated huge NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Daytona 500 television ratings that surged well past the event’s 10.0 average national rating.
Dayton, Ohio’s 19.1 rating represented 191 percent of the national rating. Its rating spiked 19 percent and ranked fifth nationally. Cincinnati, Ohio’s 14.1 rating represented 141 percent of the national rating following a 28 percent surge that led to a 17th ranking. Louisville, Ky.’s 15.4 rating represented 154 percent of the national rating. The market was the 12th–best in the nation following 12 percent growth.
Columbus, Ohio ratings represented 133 percent of the nationwide rating after a 45 percent increase that brought the market in 21st. Indianapolis, Ind., generated a 20.5 rating that represented 205 percent of the national rating and ranked second nationally. Greensboro, N.C., led the nation with 21.8 rating.
The 55th “Great American Race” garnered a national 10.0 rating and 22 share on Fox Sports while averaging 16.7 million viewers. Fox Sports Media Group reported this season’s Daytona 500 was the highest rated and most viewed in eight years while its year-to-year rating and viewership advances were the best in event history.
“Massive surges in Daytona 500 ratings reveal the overwhelming strength of our regional markets and the passion fans in those markets possess for NASCAR racing. We are ready to welcome those fans to our venue in just four short months,” Kentucky Speedway General Manager Mark Simendinger said.
KY Speedway PR