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Construction crews using dump trucks and excavators have begun preparations for the debut of the world’s largest HD video board at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s 2011 May race events.

Crews from Granite Contracting, of Concord, N.C., are using the heavy earth-moving equipment this week for the initial grading on the backstretch near Gate 25 where the gigantic, nearly 16,000-square-foot board will be located. View the photo gallery here.

Designed and created by Panasonic, the approximately 200-foot-wide and 80-foot-tall screen will be centered along the backstretch between Turns 2 and 3, across from the start/finish line. Fans seated throughout the frontstretch from Turn 4 to Turn 1 will have clear viewing angles of instant replays, leaderboard updates and interactive entertainment displayed in 720P high-definition visuals. The screen will be illuminated by more than nine million LED lamps during each NASCAR race event at Charlotte Motor Speedway this spring, including the May 21 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the May 29 Coca-Cola 600.

To prepare the base of the construction site, approximately 18,000 cubic yards of dirt and 3,000 cubic yards of concrete will be removed during the month of January to bring the current grade down to the track wall level. The concrete will be removed during demolition of bleachers that were part of the speedway’s original construction in 1960.

Later this month, site work will include drilling 12 holes more than 50 feet deep for the installation of concrete piers to support the massive 165,000-pound structure.

Frontstretch tickets with the best views of the new HD video board and pit road start at just $49 for the May 21 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.  Fans can also purchase two frontstretch tickets for just $99 to the May 29 Coca-Cola 600 by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.

 

Credit: CMS PR

Tickets for Richmond International Raceway’s April 28-30 NASCAR tripleheader weekend are available for purchase beginning tomorrow (Friday, January 14) at 8:30 a.m. To purchase seats, visit www.rir.com, call 866-455-RACE (7223) or visit the ticket office at 600 E. Laburnum Ave., Richmond, VA 23222. Ticket office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Additionally, fans who purchase tickets Friday at the ticket office will receive a complimentary Richmond International Raceway souvenir from past race events.

This season features three new policies:

· Larger Coolers Permitted: Fans are permitted to enter the grandstands with soft-sided coolers measuring up to 14 x 14 x 14 inches—six times the size of coolers that were previously allowed at America’s Premier Short Track. Fans may continue to bring in their own food and beverages.

· Wider Seats: Nearly all of Richmond International Raceway’s grandstand seats now measure 22 inches wide.

· Non-Smoking Grandstands: Smoking is not allowed in and in front of the grandstands, or in portals leading to seating. Smoking is permitted underneath and behind the grandstands, on the Midway, in all parking lots, among other areas.

The Saturday, April 30 Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race marks hometown hero Denny Hamlin’s return to Richmond International Raceway following his runner-up finish in the 2010 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Hamlin will attempt to win back-to-back races at America’s Premier Short Track following his victory on September 11 this past season.

Kyle Busch, the two-time defending spring race champion, will defend his title against the likes of five-time series champion Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hamlin, Tony Stewart and all the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Tickets start at $45.

The Spring 2011 NASCAR Tripleheader Weekend begins with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race on Thursday, April 28, followed by the BUBBA burger 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race “under the lights” on Friday, April 29. Friday’s events include practice and pole qualifying for both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series.

All seats for Thursday’s race are general admission and $10. Tickets for Friday’s events start at $30 in advance. Children 12 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission seating on Thursday and Friday.

For tickets and additional information, please log on to www.rir.com or call the ticket office at 866-455-RACE (7223).

 

Credit: RIR PR

Five Tri-Cities area hotels, in partnership with Bristol Motor Speedway, lowered per-night room rates for 2011 and dropped a previous three-night minimum to two in a continuing effort to address issues facing race fans today.

“This is just the beginning of our efforts to offer more affordable lodging options to our race fans,” said Jerry Caldwell, BMS Executive Vice President and General Manager.  “We want to work with properties in the region, not just limited to the Tri-Cities area, to give our fans more options when planning their trip to Bristol.”

The AmericInn Lodge & Suites in Jonesborough, Tenn., The Comfort Inn in Abingdon and Bristol, Va., The Comfort Suites in Abingdon, Va., and the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites in Bristol, Va., lowered requirements for the coming racing season, the first properties to join the fan-friendly Bristol initiative.

“In recent years, we talked with many of our race fans who face more challenges, obviously many of them financial,” said Caldwell. “They want to come to the races, and our challenge is to remove any obstacles so that they can continue to enjoy the Bristol Experience.

“We adjusted our own pricing structure here at BMS, and some of the area properties agreed to do the same. Surely, others have made similar moves, but these notified us of their plans to give race fans a break.”

The participating hotels will be listed on the BMS website, in the BMS Magazine and named in mailings to ticket holders.

“If other hotels – both local and across the region – reduced prices and minimum requirements from a year ago, we gladly will highlight their initiatives as well,” Caldwell said. “We also want to thank the Bristol, Kingsport and Johnson City Chambers of Commerce and the Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association for helping us reach out to local and regional lodging property owners.”

Bristol Motor Speedway kicks off its 50th NASCAR season with Ford Fan Friday qualifying March 18, followed by the Scotts EZ Seed 300 March 19 and the Food City 500 March 20. In August, night racing returns with the Aug. 24 O’Reilly 200 and UNOH Perfect Storm 150 doubleheader, followed by the Food City 250 Aug. 26 and the IRWIN Tools Night Race Aug. 27.

Tickets are available to all events and may be purchased by calling the BMS ticket office toll free at 1-866-415-4158, 423-BRISTOL (274-7865) or 423-989-6900 or by visiting www.bristoltix.com.

 

Credit: BMS PR

For the third year in a row, one aspiring singer will get the opportunity of a lifetime before the start of the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Race sponsor Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall KVVU-FOX5 and LVMS are staging an open audition called Speedway Superstar to find a singer to perform the national anthem prior to the March 5 NASCAR Nationwide Series event at the speedway.

The first audition will be conducted Saturday, Feb. 5 at Sam’s Town on Boulder Highway. All performers must sing the national anthem a cappella. The top 25 singers chosen will advance to the next round of competition on Saturday, Feb. 12. On that day, the winner will be announced.

The Feb. 5 auditions will begin at 10 a.m. Registration will open at 9 a.m. Anyone wishing to audition must arrive at Sam’s Town before noon on Feb. 5. The first 150 applicants are guaranteed an audition. Participants must be 14 years of age as of March 5, 2010. For more information on the competition, please contact Aubrey Hall at (702) 632-8251, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Holly Spoor at (702) 436-8254, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Credit: LVMS PR

The SHOWTIME Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway has long been known as one of the best races on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule and the 2011 installment has been named a top-10 event by SceneDaily.com.

Darlington has built a reputation as the track Too Tough To Tame because of the tricky configuration of the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval. The unique configuration is something that brings out the best in NASCAR’s elite competitors.

The Darlington Raceway record book reads like a who’s who of NASCAR’s best drivers. The names of legends like Pearson, Petty and Yarborough sit alongside the names of more recent champions like Gordon and Johnson on the all-time winners list. In fact, of 44 different drivers who have won a Sprint Cup event at Darlington, 17 of them have won a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.

Here is what Jeff Owens of SceneDaily.com had to say about the upcoming SHOWTIMESouthern 500:

There are few tracks in racing more intriguing than NASCAR’s toughest track. Watching drivers fly around the odd, egg-shaped oval is a mesmerizing experience. Someone tags the wall nearly every lap and few finish without at least minor sheet metal damage. The cream usually rises to the top at Darlington, guaranteeing a showdown among a handful of the sport’s top drivers in the closing stages of the race.

“It’s an honor to be recognized as one of the most anticipated races of 2011 by SceneDaily.com,” said Darlington Raceway President, Chris Browning. “The competition level in the Sprint Cup Series is second to none, and when you couple that with the most challenging track on the circuit you are guaranteed to get one of the most action packed races of the year.”

Other races receiving mentions on the list include the season opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway and Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The article can be read in its entirety here.

You can keep up with all of the latest news from Darlington Raceway at DarlingtonRaceway.com, on Facebook at Facebook.com/DarlingtonRaceway and on Twitter at Twitter.com/TooToughToTame.

Darlington Raceway, or the track “Too Tough To Tame” as it is known to many, is where the purest of NASCAR competition meets true southern hospitality. A NASCAR staple since 1950, Darlington Raceway has seen some of motorsports most talented drivers thunder to Gatorade Victory Lane. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will kick off the 2011 racing season at Darlington on March 12, 2011. On Mother’s Day weekend, May 6-7, 2011, NASCAR’s biggest stars return to battle the track “Too Tough To Tame” in the Sprint Cup Series SHOWTIME Southern 500® and Nationwide Series Royal Purple 200 Presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts.

 

Credit: Darlington Raceway PR

Phoenix International Raceway will kick off the 2011 NASCAR season by honoring five-time defending Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson – driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet – with a special No. 48-themed ticket offer for February’s SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500™.


The ‘48-Hour Special’ will offer fans a unique discounted opportunity to take in NASCAR Sprint Cup action at PIR on February 27. Beginning at noon today, January 12, and ending at noon on January 14, race fans can purchase a regularly-priced $90 ticket to the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500™ for just $48. This ticket, located in the Upper AJ Foyt Grandstand, offers a full view of PIR’s one-mile oval and pit road. ‘48-hour Special’ tickets will be available at PhoenixRaceway.com/Jimmie-Johnson or by calling 866-408-RAC E beginning at noon Arizona time today, January 12, and ending at noon on January 14.

 

Credit: PIR PR

In the past, Auto Club Speedway has given race fans who purchased tickets on “Ticket Tuesdays” such goodies as zucchinis, pirate hats and pizzas – all in an effort to help celebrate “National Days” like ‘Sneak a Zucchini onto Your Neighbors Porch Day’, ‘Talk Like a Pirate Day’ and ‘National Pizza with Everything (Except Anchovies) Day.’

Some have deemed our promotion ‘dumb’ (and that’s putting it nicely).  So for all those who have that kind of attitude, purchase a $35 ticket any Tuesday in January and help us celebrate “National Nothing Day” on January 16th by getting NOTHING (except of course the ticket you purchase).  That’s right, buy a ticket to the March 27th Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway and get no cupcakes, no tacos, no ice cream.  You’ll get NOTHING and like it.

But for those of you who think our promotion is clever, purchase a ticket on any Tuesday in February or March and we’ll reward you for your support.

February is “National Plum Pudding Day (12), National Gum Drop Day (15), National Chocolate Mint Day (19), National Tortilla Chip Day (24), National Pistachio Day (26) and National Surf and Turf Day (29).  If you celebrate this month correctly, you’re definitely going to have stomach issues.  We’re here to help.  Purchase a ticket to the March 27th Auto Club 500 and we’ll reward you for buying and ticket AND celebrating February with an antacid for your possible bloating, indigestion and gas.

Extraterrestrial Abductions Day is March 20th and there’s no doubt UFOs and aliens will be out in full force looking to abduct humans.  For those of you who don’t duck, dodge or hide well enough or for those who forget to put on their protective anti-alien amulet, purchase a ticket on any Tuesday in March and we’ll give you a three-in-one – compass, whistle and light – to help you find your way back from Mars, Jupiter or wherever it is you disappeared to … and strangely reappeared from ...

For numerous ticket packages starting as low as $35 visit www.autoclubspeedway.com or call 800-944-RACE (7223).

 

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Credit: Auto Club Speedway Press Release

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to take a heart-pounding hot lap around the legendary Infineon Raceway road course at speeds topping 100 mph?

Or, maybe you'd like to walk the pits at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend and stand on-track during pre-event ceremonies as star drivers like Vallejo’s Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are introduced?

If all-access and value is what you’re looking for, then Infineon Raceway’s 2011 Track Pass is the ticket package for you.

You will secure the best seats for the 2011 Big O Tires Racing Season, which includes NASCAR (June 24-26), NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing (July 29-31), IZOD IndyCar® Series (Aug. 26-28), motorcycles (May 11-15), historic car racing (June 4-5) and more. But that’s just the beginning.

Here are all the extra benefits:

  • VIP Lot 2 Parking Pass for all events
  • Exclusive hot lap track day
  • NASCAR Pre-Race Pit & Track Pass
  • IndyCar Garage/Pit/Pre-Race Pass
  • NHRA Thunder Alley Pass
  • FREE bonus tickets
  • Additional ticket discounts
  • Unused ticket exchange benefits
  • Save $20 on track apparel and gifts
  • Your account name can appear on every ticket!

The Track Pass is valued at more than $850, but the raceway is selling them for $399, which is more than a 50-percent savings.

"I buy the Track Pass for the value, flexibility and the VIP access passes that come with the tickets," said race fan Pen Parks.  "I attend a few races and use the rest of the tickets for clients, vendors and staff.  Getting tickets is great, but being able to give tickets and VIP passes to the biggest races of the season is a huge hit.”

To find out more about the 2011 Track Pass, please contact the Infineon Raceway Ticket Office directly:

 

Credit: Infineon Raceway PR

Richmond International Raceway president Doug Fritz announced today that Richmond International Raceway’s grandstands will be smoke-free beginning this season. Fans who smoke may continue to do so, but in approved areas only. The new policy is in response to fan feedback.

“Beginning this season, smoking will not be permitted in and in front of the grandstands or in portals leading to seating areas,” said Fritz. “Additionally, restrooms, buildings and areas that were already smoke-free at Richmond International Raceway will continue to be smoke-free,” said Fritz. “We are implementing this policy based on comments received from fans. Those who wish to smoke may continue to do so in designated areas.”

Approved smoking areas include:

· Underneath and behind the grandstands

· Designated areas of the Commonwealth Mezzanine concourse

· All parking lots

· The Midway

· In the campgrounds

· Outdoors areas in fan hospitality

· Miller Lite Ultimate Tailgate

Grandstand ushers will monitor seating areas to ensure the grandstands remain smoke-free at America’s Premier Short Track. Fans can notify an usher or use our text messaging service if they wish to report a violation of the non-smoking policy.

This initiative comes on the heels of the track’s wider seats and larger cooler policy. Fans will enjoy more spacious seating and be allowed to bring in coolers measuring up to 14 x 14 x 14 inches (six times larger than was previously allowed).

Tickets for the Spring NASCAR Tripleheader Weekend at Richmond International Raceway go on sale this Friday at 8:30 a.m. The weekend includes the Saturday, April 30 Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race (tickets start at $45), the Friday, April 29 BUBBA burger 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race (tickets start at $30) and the Thursday, April 28 NASCAR K&N Pro Series race (all tickets are $10).

Children 12 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission sections on Thursday and Friday.

For tickets and additional information, log on to www.rir.com or call 866-455-RACE (7223).

 

RIR PRESS RELEASE

A critical vote will decide whether Nashville keeps its historic racetrack or demolishes it to make way for development. 

Although Mayor Karl Dean is delaying plans to relocate other events held at the city's fairgrounds, he supports tearing down the racetrack in favor of a public park.

Murky finances and unstable operations have plagued the Nashville Speedway for decades, but the issue of whether the track should stay open could be decided in 2011. Metro Council is considering a bill that, among other things, would clear the racetrack for a 40-acre park. The legislation is up for a public hearing and its second vote on Jan. 18.

Demolishing the racetrack is the next step in Dean's plans to redevelop the 117-acre fairgrounds property. Dean backtracked on his proposal to move the flea market and expo center to Hickory Hollow Mall but wants to move forward with tearing down the racetrack.

Racing fans started a petition drive to save the track last year through Metro Councilman Duane Dominy, who collected more than 40,000 signatures.

"It's the mecca of amateur racing, and it's the finest short track in the entire world," said two-time track champion Chad Chaffin, who launched his career in Nashville and climbed the ranks all the way up to NASCAR's senior circuit. "Its glory could be restored, if the city leaders would just realize what they have and invest in the track."

But some city leaders question whether the racetrack is a worthwhile investment. In 2010, Metro received $22,600 in rent from the racetrack's operator. Previous operator Straight Up Promotions still owes the city $27,500 in rent payments from the 2009 season. Besides financial concerns for its operations, some neighbors complain about the racetrack's noise.

"When you look at the revenue generated by the track, it's marginal," said Metro Finance Director Rich Riebeling, one of Dean's top advisers. "There have been three or four operators in the last decade, and none of them have been able to keep it going on a sustainable basis. There's not a real market there for that."

 

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The richest-ever Super Late Model race in the United States and the first USAC Silver Crown Championship Series event in North Carolina's foothills highlight the 2011 Historic North Wilkesboro Speedway schedule announced Friday.
After returning to the motorsports community in September 2010 with three racing weekends over a two-month period, the historic short track will more than double the number of weekends in which the roar of racing engines will reside at the popular five-eighths-mile facility.
“We look forward to the fans of HNWS coming back in just a matter of weeks to experience all of the great events that will be sure to provide the biggest bang for the buck,” Speedway Associates Inc. President Alton McBride Jr. said. “We want everyone to be a part of making history again in 2011.
Historic North Wilkesboro Speedway's season kicks off April 7-9 with the richest-ever Super Late Model Race race, the North Wilkesboro 300. Nicknamed “The Big Race” by the competitors, the winner is guaranteed $75,000 with a $25,000 bonus up for grabs for PASS competitors who ran all of the 2010 point races in either the North or South series, plus four PASS national events. PASS is sanctioning the North Wilkesboro 300.
Fifty-nine drivers have already filed an entry for the unprecedented showdown for asphalt short-track racers. Entries include two-time Daytona 500 winner Sterling Marlin, Ryan Blaney, and Jay Fogleman. John Flemming, from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Patrick Laperle, of St. Denis Sur Roch, Quebec, also have entered the event. Joining PASS on the historical weekend will be the ground-pounding, fist-pumping, tour-type Stadium Modifieds with $5,000 going to the winner.
On July 23, USAC's  Silver Crown Championship Series visits North Wilkesboro for the first time in the circuit's history. The 100-lap event is the fifth on the series 10-race schedule. Also on tap for the Saturday afternoon event is a MOPAR National Midget Championship race. It is the 16th event on the series 26-race schedule.
USARacing Pro Cup Series cars return to North Wilkesboro June 18 with a 200-lap event. Also scheduled for the “Crash and Bash” weekend are a demolition derby and a car  train race. The latter consists of one car towing another, with the front car handling the steering duties and the rear the braking requirements.
Labor Day weekend will again be devoted to the PASS circuit, which kicked off the track's 2010 schedule with the Labor Day Classic. In addition to PASS, the Sept. 2-3   weekend will host other racing series to be announced at a later date.
Wilkes County's Apple Festival will once again have the Triple Header weekend at the speedway. There will be the Brushy Mountain 250 for the USAR Pro Cup cars, the tour-type Stadium Modifieds will return and a Limited Late Model race will round out the weekend.
North Wilkesboro Speedway will celebrate Halloween with its second annual Short Track Shootout. This year, however, the event that raised 400 pounds of food for the county's food bank last October will be an action-packed two-day event, Oct. 28-29.
The speedway ends its season Nov. 12 with a Chump Car 8-hour Enduro event.
In addition to the race weekends, HNWS will host the Southern Truck and Tractor Pullers Association May 13-14 and a first-ever historic racers festival weekend Sept. 23-24. The Back Roads to North Wilkesboro Museum will be open for the historical event, which will be a time for owners of historic race cars to show them off, enjoy some time on the speedway and bench race. On Sept. 24, the Wilkes County Cruisers also will conduct a car show and swap meet.
“It will be nice to have the Cruisers invade Historic North Wilkesboro Speedway just as they did up through 1992,” McBride said. “The Cruisers are known for holding the biggest event of this type in the race track's long history. Car clubs throughout the region are already making plans for this to be the new bench mark; the largest event of show cars, hot rods and garage-and-shop swap meet warriors to ever set foot at Historic North Wilkesboro Speedway.”
Tickets for the April 7-9 weekend are now on sale and may be purchased at the speedway office or at www.historicnws.com.

Historic North Wilkesboro Speedway 2011 Schedule

April 7-9       PASS North Wilkesboro 300; Tour-type Stadium Modifieds

May 13-14       Southern Truck & Tractor Pullers Association

June 18 USAR Pro Cup 200; Crash and Bash Weekend (Demolition Derby, Chain Race).

July 23 USAC Silver Crown, MOPAR National Midget series

Sept. 2-3       2nd annual Labor Day Classic PASS 200

Sept. 23-24 Back to Basics Historic Race Weekend

Sept. 24        Wilkes County Cruisers Car Show and Swap Meet

Oct. 2  2nd annual Triple Header Weekend (Brushy Mountain 250 USAR Pro Cup Race,        Tour-type Stadium Modifieds and Limited Late Model.)

Oct. 28-29      2nd annual Short Track Shootout

Nov. 12 Chump Car 8-Hour Enduro

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