Speedway News (8367)
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Reserved tickets for the 61st annual DAYTONA 500, the season-opening event for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, are sold out, Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile announced today. This is the fourth consecutive year that the DAYTONA 500 has sold out.
“This is a tribute to our fans,” Wile said. “They are responsible for making this ‘The Great American Race’ through their passion for our flagship event and incomparable facility. We thank them for their support as we get the new NASCAR season started appropriately – in front of a packed house at the ‘World Center of Racing.’”
Premium hospitality, infield admissions and UNOH Fanzone/Pre-Race access still remain for the DAYTONA 500 and are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP as well as through PrimeSport.com, the official ticket exchange and travel package provider of Daytona International Speedway.
This year’s DAYTONA 500 will be attended by fans representing 45 different countries and every state in the U.S.
Statement from Bristol Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Jerry Caldwell on the passing of Sam Bass:
“Our hearts are saddened today with the passing of Sam Bass. We’ve been blessed to have had many of Sam’s amazing designs as our program covers over the years that fans have been eager to collect at our races. He’s been a special friend and a one-of-a kind person that will be greatly missed in the NASCAR community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
Statement from Speedway Motorsports, Inc. President and CEO Marcus Smith on the passing of Sam Bass:
"Our deepest sympathies are with Denise and her family today. Sam Bass has been a significant part of NASCAR's history. He poured his heart, soul and talent into producing souvenir program covers at many speedways including Charlotte for more than 30 years. His work provided our fans a keepsake to treasure, and that was so appropriate, because Sam was always such a fan of our sport and he was such a treasure to the entire NASCAR family. His body of work will be a legacy that lives forever. We will miss Sam's smile and positivity."
Watkins Glen International to match KB100 with 100 additional Go Bowling at The Glen tickets to service members, veterans16 Feb 2019 Written by Steven B. Wilson
Watkins Glen International announced today that it would donate 100 additional tickets to Kurt Busch’s KB100 Ticket Giveaway, which offers tickets to active duty service members and military veterans for each Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race in 2019.
On Tuesday, Busch announced that the program, which is part of a relationship with the Veterans Tickets Foundation (Vet Tix) will begin with Sunday’s 61st running of the Daytona 500.
“We are so proud of what Kurt is doing for military service members and their families,” said WGI President Michael Printup. “We are pleased to include the additional 100 tickets for the Go Bowling at The Glen, and look forward to hosting these great men and women at our race weekend this coming August.”
Busch, the 2017 Daytona 500 and the 2004 series Champion, who will be competing in his 20th season in the MENCS, said, “I am appreciative of the sacrifice and commitment of our military service members and families.” Busch plans to personally purchase the KB100 tickets throughout the 2019 MENCS season to be distributed through Vet Tix.
Vet Tix is a national 501 (C)(3) which has provided over 6 million free event tickets to more than one million members. The nonprofit organization spends over 95 percent back to its programs, giving back to those who have given so much. Fans can visit VetTix.org or 1stTix.org to learn more.
Austin Hill won an action-packed NextEra Energy 250 on Friday night at Daytona International Speedway, as the season-opening race for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series was extended to “NASCAR Overtime.”
For Hill, the 24-year-old driver of the No. 16 CHIBA Toyopet Toyota, it was his first career victory in the series. He edged runner-up Grant Enfinger (No. 98 Grant Power Equipment Ford) by 0.278 seconds. Ross Chastain (No. 45 TruNorth Chevrolet) finished third.
A late-race multi-truck incident necessitated the overtime that took the finish to 111 laps – 11 laps beyond the scheduled distance on the 2.5-mile tri-oval. The first restart in OT was on Lap 106. An incident in Turn 2 again brought out a caution.
The second OT restart was on Lap 110. Hill cagily fended off his challengers to get his first victory in 51 truck series starts.
“This truck was fast,” Hill said. “I knew we had a truck that could compete. It got a little scary there at the end. I thought [Enfinger] was gonna get me. He had a big run but we were able to protect it.
“I can’t believe I got my first win at Daytona. This is surreal.”
The race was divided into three stages of 20, 20 and 40 laps. In the first stage, polesitter Christian Eckes (No. 51 Sirius XM Toyota) relinquished the lead on Lap 2 to Sheldon Creed (No. 2 United Rentals/A.M. Ortega Chevrolet). Creed went on to lead the remaining 19 laps to win the stage. The second stage was dramatically different; Johnny Sauter (No. 13 Tenda Heal Ford) took the win with a stirring Lap 40 charge to the line.
DAYTONA Speedweeks Presented By AdventHealth continues Saturday as the NASCAR Xfinity Series opens its season with the NASCAR Racing Experience 300 (2:30 p.m.; TV–FS1; Radio–MRN, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio). Rookies Chase Briscoe and Justin Haley led the race’s practice sessions on Friday. Briscoe (No. 98 Nutri Chomps/Chewy.com Ford) had a fast lap of 196.455 mph in the first session. Haley (No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet) led the second, at 189.581. Qualifying is set for Saturday morning at 9:40, with a single-car/two-round format.
Also Friday, two practices were held for Sunday’s 61st annual DAYTONA 500, the season-opener for the headlining Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Former series champion Kyle Busch, still seeking a victory in “The Great American Race,” topped the first session with a 200.285 mph lap in the No. 18 M&M’s Chocolate Bar Toyota. The second session was led by Paul Menard, at 200.758 in the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford. There have been a total of four DAYTONA 500 practices; the fifth and final practice is scheduled for Saturday (12:05-12:55 p.m. ET).
The starting lineup for the DAYTONA 500 was finalized on Thursday night after the Gander RV Duel, two 150-mile/60-lap races that determined starting positions 3-40 for the DAYTONA 500. The front row was “locked in” on Feb. 10 with DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger, as William Byron (No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet) and Alex Bowman (No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet) qualified 1-2. Two former DAYTONA 500 champions, Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Busch Beer Car2Can Ford) and Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford), won the Duel events and will start third and fourth, respectively, on Sunday. Logano is the reigning Monster Energy Series champion.
Tickets for the 61st annual DAYTONA 500 and all other Daytona International Speedway events can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat, and by downloading Daytona International Speedway’s mobile app, for the latest Speedway news throughout the season.
Watkins Glen International and NextEra Energy Resources announce largest solar project at a U.S. racetrack15 Feb 2019 Written by Steven B. Wilson
Watkins Glen International and a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC., the world’s largest generator of wind and solar energy, today announced plans for a 50-megawatt solar energy center to be built at Watkins Glen International, adjacent to the historic circuit in the Southern Tier region of New York. Upon completion, The Glen will house the largest solar field to be located at a racetrack in the United States.
The project will provide the region with an important and unique opportunity to diversify its energy resources with clean, renewable energy that is free of water, waste, and emissions. It will also help the state of New York achieve its renewable energy goals. Watkins Glen International will provide the land to host the project, with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources owning and operating the solar facility.
“The Watkins Glen Solar Energy Center will be an incredible step in our facility’s quest to become more environmentally-friendly,” track President Michael Printup said. “We have taken part in several green programs over the years – including several NASCAR initiatives, a leading recycling plan, and efforts to move toward a paperless media center. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with NextEra Energy Resources to create this large-scale renewable energy opportunity right in our backyard, and supporting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s continuing efforts to make New York State a leader in going green.”
"We're proud to partner with Watkins Glen International on this innovative project to create renewable energy to help power New York," said Ross Groffman, Executive Director for NextEra Energy Resources. “By utilizing this land for clean, renewable energy, Watkins Glen International is helping New York win the race for a sustainable future.”
On Thursday prior to the Gander RV Duel 150-mile qualifying races, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers Daniel Suarez and Matt DiBenedetto and NASCAR President Steve Phelps flew with the world-renowned United States Air Force Thunderbirds.
In 2019, both Suarez and DiBenedetto are driving for new teams beginning with Sunday’s 61st DAYTONA 500. Suarez will start from 23rd in the No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing. DiBenedetto will roll off ninth in the No. 95 Procore Toyota Camry for Leavine Family Racing.
The USAF Thunderbirds will perform the flyover for the DAYTONA 500 for the 10th year. The Thunderbirds flyover will feature six F-16 Fighting Falcons, the Air Force’s premier multi-role fighter aircraft.
Richmond Raceway (Richmond) and Sunoco have partnered to continue the evolution of the track’s growing eSports platform. Sunoco, the official fuel of NASCAR since 2004 and the exclusive fuel provider for all three national racing series in the sport, will be the naming rights sponsor for the entire Richmond Raceway eSports program including competing in the eNASCAR Peak Antifreeze iRacing Series (NPAiS) as well as hosting over 20 eSports race competitions on Xbox One and Playstation 4 this year. The program’s official name is Richmond Raceway eSports Fueled by Sunoco.
“The world of eSports is growing in NASCAR and around the world, and Richmond continues to be at the forefront of its development,” said Richmond President Dennis Bickmeier. “Partnering with Sunoco, we have a partner that is driving value to this new venture and recognizes the importance of connecting with a new generation of fans. We look forward to working closely with Sunoco as we continue to support the growth of eSports in NASCAR.”
To download the new Richmond Raceway eSports Fueled by Sunoco logo and an image with the Richmond Raceway simulator with Dennis Bickmeier and Fred McConnell and Michael Barrows of Sunoco, click here.
As the presenting sponsor for Richmond Raceway eSports, Sunoco will have naming rights associated with all Richmond Raceway eSports activations and entitlement sponsorship of individual competitions that Richmond hosts. Over the past year, Richmond has grown its eSports presence through competing in the NAPiS, season-long fan competition on the NASCAR Heat series by 704Games, and introduction of the Richmond Raceway Simulator for outbound events. Richmond is the only track participating in these eSports platforms.
“We are excited to partner with Richmond Raceway eSports as we find new and different ways to connect with a new generation of NASCAR fans and loyal Sunoco customers,” said Fred McConnell, Director of Brand & Consumer Marketing, Sunoco. “Richmond has been a leader within the NASCAR industry through its eSports programs, so we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them and integrate the Sunoco brand into the platform.”
The partnership will kick off when the state-of-the-art Richmond Raceway Simulator is loaded into the Sunoco Injector at Daytona International Speedway for fan activations throughout DAYTONA Speedweeks Presented By AdventHealth. Sunoco has its injector closest to the Ticket and Tours Building, with a view of Turn 4, at Daytona International Speedway. The Richmond Raceway Simulator will be active for fans to drive from the moment gates open to the waving of the green flag for the 61st Annual DAYTONA 500 and all other Daytona International Speedway events on Feb. 14-17.
The Richmond Raceway Simulator is an interactive two-seat, in-car driving simulator that allows fans to get behind the wheel to drive Richmond’s famed ¾-mile D-shaped oval and 79 other tracks including some select Racing Virginia tracks. The Richmond Raceway Simulator is powered by iRacing, the world’s premier motorsports racing simulation platform. Richmond-based Sim Seats designed and installed the hardware for the simulator. The Richmond Raceway Simulator is featured at select outbound events throughout the year.
2019 marks the second year Richmond Raceway eSports Fueled by Sunoco will compete in the eNASCAR Peak Antifreeze iRacing Series. In this season’s first-ever draft, the team selected Jimmy Mullis and Malik Ray to represent the team. This will be Mullis’ second year with the team, while Ray will be competing with the team and in the series for the first time.
Ray will drive the No. 90 in honor of Richmond native and long-time NASCAR team owner, Junie Donlavey. His No. 90 team represented NASCAR in the 1976 24 Hours of LeMans, then got its only Cup victory with Jody Ridley at Dover 1981. Donlavey was one of the inaugural members of the Garage Walk of Honor at Richmond, which was unveiled this past September in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in the new DC Solar FanGrounds. The No. 90 paint scheme will consist of the Sunoco colors and branding.
The NPAiS will showcase 40 of the world’s best sim racers across 12 different teams. NASCAR teams Joe Gibbs Racing, JR Motorsports, Wood Brothers Racing, and Roush Fenway Racing are fielding cars in the series. NPAiS is will be celebrating its 10th season in 2019. There will be 18 races in 2019, taking place every two weeks. The season kicks off on Feb. 12 at Daytona International Speedway, and ends in mid-October with the championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Richmond Raceway eSports Fueled by Sunoco will also host a NASCAR Heat 3 League, where fans can test their skills against one another. The league will be available on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and will run in two five-week sessions. The first league will take place February through March prior to the Toyota Spring Race Weekend, and the second league will begin in July and end in August prior to the NASCAR Playoff Race Weekend. One grand prize winner will be selected along with second and third place finishers.
For more information on Richmond Raceway eSports Fueled by Sunoco, visit richmondraceway.com/esports.
Richmond Raceway PR
Former Champions Harvick and Logano Win Gander RV Duel Races, Earn Row 2 Starting Spots for 61st Annual DAYTONA 50015 Feb 2019 Written by Steven B. Wilson
1st annual DAYTONA 500 (2:30 p.m. ET; TV–FOX; Radio–MRN, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio), the season-opening race for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Harvick’s victory gives him a third-place start – inside, second row – in the DAYTONA 500. He led the last 44 laps of the first Gander RV Duel race en route to his eighth victory overall at Daytona International Speedway and his second in Duel competition. Harvick won the DAYTONA 500 in 2007 and the Monster Energy Series championship in 2014.
Experience, talent and a strong No. 4 Busch Beer Car2Can Ford notwithstanding, Harvick also credited a four-leaf clover given to him by his 6-year-old son Keelan as a factor in the win.
“He brought it home and said we should put it in the car for good luck,” Harvick said. “It worked out pretty well … Maybe it’s the lucky charm.”
Two other Ford drivers – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17 Fastenal Ford) and Paul Menard (No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford) finished second and third.
“Our Ford was fast,” Harvick added, “and I had [Stenhouse and Menard] behind us; we wanted a Ford in [Gatorade] Victory Lane.”
Logano, the reigning Monster Energy Series champion, will start fourth on Sunday in the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford. He charged from fourth to first on the final lap to edge Clint Bowyer (No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Ford). Aric Almirola (No. 10 Smithfield Ford) came home third.
“It’s great to see two Mustangs in [Gatorade] Victory Lane already,” said Logano, the 2015 DAYTONA 500 champion. “Hopefully we can keep that going on Sunday.”
The Gander RV Duel, two 150-mile/60-lap races on the famed 2.5-mile DIS tri-oval, determined starting positions 3-40 for the DAYTONA 500; the first race set the odd-number positions while the second race set even-number positions. The front row was “locked in” on Feb. 10 with DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger, as William Byron (No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet) and Alex Bowman (No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet) qualified 1-2, leading a Hendrick Motorsports/Chevrolet sweep of the top four spots.
Two DAYTONA 500 starting spots were up for grabs in the Duel, among those drivers not guaranteed a start. (Thirty-six drivers were guaranteed to make the field, due to their teams being part of NASCAR’s charter system.) Parker Kligerman (No. 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota) claimed one of those spots by finishing 12th in the first Duel race. In the second race, Brendan Gaughan (No. 62 Beard Distributing/South Point Chevrolet) finished 15th to get the last open spot.
Also Thursday, there were two NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series practice sessions in advance of Friday night’s (7:30 p.m.) NextEra Energy 250, the truck series’ season opener. Clay Greenfield (No. 68 Rackley Roofing Chevrolet) and Austin Hill (No. 16 CHIBA Toyopet Toyota) led the sessions. Qualifying for the NextEra Energy 250 is Friday at 4:40 p.m., with a single-truck/two-round format.
ISM Raceway is excited to announce that Chevel Shepherd, winner of “The Voice” season 15, will be performing the National Anthem prior to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series TicketGuardian 500 on Sunday, March 10.
“As a longtime fan of cars and racing, I am absolutely thrilled to honor our country by performing ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ at ISM Raceway’s upcoming TicketGuardian 500,” Shepherd said. “I’ve heard so much about the new facility and I’m excited to experience it in person.”
At just 16 years old, Shepherd consistently impresses listeners with her powerful voice. The New Mexico native was raised on country music and the outdoors – often doing crafts, feeding the animals and fixing cars with her dad. When Shepherd turned eight, she began singing in town whenever she could, always looking for musical opportunities. In 2018, that opportunity came when she propelled herself into the spotlight by winning season 15 of the hit TV show, “The Voice,” and earlier this month when she performed on the Meaning of Life Tour with her Voice Coach Kelly Clarkson.
Tickets to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series TicketGuardian 500 weekend March 8, 9 and 10, are available online at, by phone at 1-866-408-RACE (7223), or in person at the ISM Raceway ticket office.
ISM Raceway PR