Wednesday, Jun 29
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team Germain Racing is proud to announce that Caymus Vineyards, part of the prestigious Wagner Family of Wine, will be on board the No. 13 GEICO Ford Fusion as an associate sponsor for the upcoming Sonoma Raceway event.

"We are very proud to have Caymus Vineyards and the Wagner Family of Wine partner with us on the 13 GEICO Ford Fusion at Sonoma this year. I had an opportunity to visit Caymus with friends in 2011 and Chuck Wagner actually took the time to give us a personal tour. The Wagners are certainly one of the most well respected families in the wine-making business and we're looking forward to representing them on the track,” said Bob Germain Jr., team owner of Germain Racing.

Having a prestigious California winery with such a strong commitment to family tradition and producing quality products makes the Caymus Vineyards pairing with Casey Mears, of Bakersfield, CA, and Germain Racing a perfect match.

“We are pleased to be an Associate Sponsor of Casey Mears from Germain Racing and supporter of NASCAR for this year’s Sonoma race. In addition to enjoying this great sport, Caymus has many friends connected with NASCAR and we are happy to be able to support them in some way,” said Chuck Wagner, Owner/Winemaker, Caymus Vineyards and Wagner Family of Wine.

Sunday’s race day broadcasts begin with RaceDay on SPEED at Noon Eastern, followed on TNT by Countdown to Green starting at 2:00 PM ET and the race coverage at 3:00 PM. Radio broadcasts can be heard on PRN and Sirius XM Ch. 90.

The Toyota/Save Mart 350 is a 350K/218.9-mile,110-lap event which will be live from Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, CA. The track has a Twitter feed @RaceSonoma and NASCAR keeps fans in the loop @NASCAR and @NASCARStats.

Germain Racing PR

There will be a familiar name to road course racing next weekend as Jacques Villeneuve takes over the No. 51 TAG Heuer Eyewear Chevrolet for Phoenix Racing at Sonoma Raceway.

The 42-year-old native of Montreal, Quebec, CAN isn’t a stranger to NASCAR competition making three previous Sprint Cup Series, nine Nationwide and seven Camping World Truck Series starts. His best results were in the Nationwide Series where he earned four top-fives and six top-10 finishes; all on road courses.

Villeneuve has also competed in F1, CART, and USAC races. He was most successful in F1 winning 11 times and CART where he won five times and was the series champion in 1995.

“We wanted to put a driver in our No. 51 Chevrolet who would give us the best chance to win at Sonoma Raceway,” said James Finch, team owner. “When the opportunity came up to have someone like Jacques Villeneuve in our car, we were very happy to make that happen.

“It’s a long way out there to not be competitive. He gives us the chance to not only do really well, but to actually win the race. We led laps there last year and almost did win it; we plan on getting the trophy this time.”

Sponsorship from TAG Heuer Eyewear isn’t a new thing for Villeneuve as the two were partnered up during his F1 competition days.

“We are very happy to have Jacques Villeneuve representing our eyewear in the race at Sonoma Raceway,” said Robert Cooper, Racing Director for TAG Heuer Eyewear. “He was an excellent ambassador for us during his F1 days and we’re glad to be part of his return to NASCAR racing.

“We’d like to thank James Finch and Phoenix Racing for making this possible. We know Jacques is going to be looking good in our TAG Heuer Eyewear, and on the track in the No. 51 Chevrolet.”

Tag Hauer PR

International Speedway Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select Market: ISCA; OTC Bulletin Board: ISCB) (“ISC”)today approved funding to redevelop the frontstretch of Daytona International Speedway, the Company’s 54-year-old flagship motorsports facility, to enhance the overall experience for its fans, marketing partners and the motorsports industry. This historic, multi-year project will break ground on July 5, 2013, and is targeted for completion in January 2016, in time for the 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona and the 58th DAYTONA 500.

“We are truly creating history with this unprecedented endeavor,” said ISC’s Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy. “I commend the board’s decision to move forward on our plan to redevelop the Company’s signature motorsports facility, thereby shaping the vision of Daytona for the next 50 years.

“The decision was made with strong consideration of the current macroeconomic condition and a clear view for our long-term growth,” Ms. France Kennedy continued. “This significant private investment is a strategic use of our capital that will ensure the long-term viability of the iconic speedway, and when completed, will contribute favorably to the Company's revenues, as well as to our community and the sport as a whole.”

The redevelopment is expected to cost between $375 million to $400 million, excluding capitalized interest. Total expenditures incurred for the redevelopment through May 31, 2013 were approximately $15 million. The Company expects to fund the redevelopment from cash on hand, cash from its operations and may use borrowings on its credit facility for a limited period of time to even out cash flow.

The five-year capital expenditure plan (2013-2017) that ISC’s Board of Directors approved is not to exceed $600 million over that period. This is consistent with the Company's previous guidance on its average annual capital expenditures range of between $100 million to $120 million for the next several years. The five-year capital expenditure plan encompasses all the capital expenditures for ISC’s 13 major motorsports facilities, including the Daytona International Speedway redevelopment, as well as any equity commitments to undertake a proposed mixed-use entertainment-oriented destination development across from Daytona International Speedway, which is still in the planning stage and subject to a number of approvals.

The vision for the redevelopment of the Daytona International Speedway frontstretch places an emphasis on enhancing the complete fan experience, beginning with five expanded and redesigned fan entrances, or injectors, along International Speedway Boulevard. Each injector would lead directly to a series of escalators and elevators that would transport fans to any of three different concourse levels, each featuring spacious and strategically-placed social "neighborhoods" along the nearly mile-long frontstretch.

A total of 11 neighborhoods, each measuring the size of a football field, will enable fans to meet and socialize during events without ever missing any on-track action, thanks to an open-sightline design throughout each concourse and dozens of added video screens in every neighborhood. The central neighborhood, dubbed the "World Center of Racing," would celebrate the history of Daytona International Speedway and its many unforgettable moments throughout more than 50 years of racing.

Every seat in the Speedway frontstretch will be replaced with wider and more comfortable seating, with more restrooms and concession stands throughout the facility. At the conclusion of the redevelopment, Daytona International Speedway will be comprised of approximately 101,000 permanent seats with the potential to increase permanent seating to 125,000.

There will be no capacity changes for the 2014 DAYTONA 500. The eventual decrease in capacity could occur in stages following the 2014 DAYTONA 500 and will include the complete removal of the backstretch grandstand by the start of the 2016 motorsports season. By moving all seating to the frontstretch, all attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy a full race day experience including pre-race ceremonies, pit road action and the facility’s new amenities. “We will take great care of our loyal existing customers throughout this renovation,” said John Saunders, President of ISC. “They can expect to receive additional direct communication as we proceed with construction.”

The redevelopment will also provide an expansive platform for ISC’s corporate marketing partners. Hospitality is elevated with a completely revamped design that will exceed partners’ expectations for a more intimate, affordable and effective experience. The new frontstretch will include 53 suites that will offer superb views of the track.

Daytona International Speedway and ISC's operations in Daytona Beach generate $1.6 billion in annual economic benefit to the state of Florida. Following an unsuccessful bid for a public / private partnership with the State of Florida during the most recent legislative session, the Company was forced to reduce the scale of its redevelopment plan. Among the features that were revised and no longer included in the redevelopment plan was a major overhaul of the midway area. “It is unfortunate we are forced to scale back some elements, but the project will be designed for additional enhancements should future economic incentives present themselves,” said Mr. Saunders. In 2014, the Company intends to pursue incentives including those currently available to all other major sports venues in Florida. ISC will reevaluate additional potential amenities based on the outcome of those efforts.

Construction for the redevelopment project will begin after the 2013 Coke Zero 400 NASCAR weekend. As a result, the redevelopment will impact certain ancillary events at the Speedway through 2014. However, major races such as those associated with Budweiser Speedweeks, the Daytona Supercross by Honda, the Daytona 200 and the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola, will be held as scheduled. Additional information on events beyond 2014 will be provided upon completion of the full construction schedule.

“The redevelopment of Daytona International Speedway reaffirms its status as the ‘World Center of Racing’ for years to come,” said Ms. France Kennedy. “It is imperative that we build upon my grandfather’s vision to create a world-class facility with premium amenities to provide unparalleled experiences for our guests and partners. Doing so will ensure that the DAYTONA 500 and all our other events continue to drive our business while serving as a significant economic engine for the region.”

DIS PR

Alex Kennedy is attempting to make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at Sonoma Raceway this weekend driving for Humphrey Smith Racing, LLC (HSR). Kennedy, who is familiar with the 2.52-mile road course, will pilot the No. 19 MediaMaster/Dream Factory Toyota Camry.

"I want to thank Mark Smith and Randy Humphrey for providing this great opportunity,” said Kennedy, a 21-year-old driver from Aztec, N.M. “I look forward to working with the team this weekend and doing a good job for them."

As an aspiring race car driver, Kennedy, then 12, competed in multiple Legends Car events at the hilly, 12-turn course. Known for its motto, “Think Outside the Oval”, Sonoma Raceway is one of only two road courses on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule.

Kennedy brings NASCAR racing experience with him, having competed in 14 events in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, nine of which were on the road courses of Watkins Glen, Road America and Montreal. He earned his best finish of 15th last year at Montreal.

“I look forward to racing at Sonoma with the Sprint Cup drivers,” said Kennedy. “I love road course racing and I think it puts the race back into the driver’s hands. As long as you can get your car to turn left and right, and stay out of trouble, you should have a good day.”

When asked his goals, Kennedy explains, “Each lap will be a learning experience in practice and the race, that’s for sure. My goals are to learn from the other Cup drivers, earn their respect and have a good finish for HSR.”

Kennedy will pilot HSR’s chassis No. 318, which was last raced by Jason Leffler at Pocono Raceway on June 9th. As a tribute to Leffler, who was tragically killed in a sprint car accident last week, Kennedy’s Toyota will carry the familiar “LEFturn” decal above the right side door.

HSR PR

Josh Wise has only raced Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway once before, but it's already one of his favorite tracks. After last year's visit to the 1.99-mile road course, the driver of the No. 35 MDS Transport Ford found it reminded him of his dirt-track racing days. Like on a dirt track, the winding course allows more leeway for overdriving the car and being more aggressive.

 

Wise was an eager student of the raceway last year, taking more than three pages of notes to help him in his return. He'll look forward to applying what he's learned this weekend for Sunday's Toyota-Save Mart 350, a 218.9-mile (350 kilometer) trek through the hills of California wine country.

 

Wise has one Cup start at Sonoma - a 30th-place finish in 2012.

 

Comments from MDS Transport team driver Josh Wise heading to Sonoma:

 

"Road course racing is my favorite thing to do. I don't really have any road racing background or experience but I truly enjoy it and look forward to it and the challenge that it is. Sonoma last year was probably one of the most fun races I've ever run. I didn't do very well - I think I finished 30th - but I learned a lot. I took three and a half pages of notes that I wrote down from there as far as shift points and things that I felt like I learned during the race. I'm super excited to go back there.

 

"Keeping notes like that is big for me. I try to get as much information documented as I can every week just because it's easy to forget little things that you learn and that information is valuable. It'll be big for me having those notes going back, to be able to unload off the truck and be fast and be able to give feedback for the racecar right away.

 

"For me, it's the physicality of road course racing, both while you're racing people but also just in driving the car. When we go to the larger tracks and even some of the short track ovals, you can drive the car hard but you still have to be within some parameters. If you push too hard, you actually slow the car down. But on the road courses, those parameters are a lot broader. So you can really overdrive the car, which caters a little more to my dirt-racing background."

 

FRM PR

When it comes to Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, David Gilliland is like the child in the backseat who can't wait to get to Disneyland. "Are we there yet?" is the frequent, excited thought in the driver's head in the weeks leading up to the Sprint Cup Series' first road course race of the season.

 

The California native has always performed well on the winding, hilly course, including a second-place finish in 2008 that is tied with last month's Talladega runner-up finish for his best Cup career result. He also has two wins in the NASCAR K&N West Series at the venue.

 

The No. 38 Long John Silver's team will welcome Pick-N-Pull as an associate sponsor on its Ford Fusion for the race weekend. The California-based company is a chain of self-service auto parts stores providing recycled original equipment manufacturer parts. Visit www.picknpull.com to learn more.

 

Comments from Long John Silver's team driver David Gilliland heading to Sonoma:

 

"Sonoma is one of those places that's circled on our calendar. Obviously we're going to put a lot of effort going in there because it's one of those places where we can run well and even contend for a win. I got one of my best finishes there, second, in Cup and I've won multiple races in all other classes there, so I've had a lot of success at that racetrack. I love it and I can't wait to get back out there. I always enjoy heading out to the west coast, which is home for me. It's just a great event and a great racetrack, and it's a type of racing that I really enjoy doing.

 

"It's one of those racetracks where you can get to the guy's bumper ahead of you at any time. A lot of these tracks we go to are very aero-sensitive and you can't get to a guy's bumper to move him and it's just hard to pass. At Sonoma, it can still be hard to pass, but you can overdrive a corner to get to a guy's bumper and move him. And the double-file restarts there, too, have made it a very physical race.

 

"To me, places like Bristol and Martinsville are places that you pull in the pits and the cars are just tore up. Well, the last couple years at Sonoma, you come in and it looks like a racecar graveyard, like a destruction derby. So it has definitely turned into a very physical race with a lot of bumpin' and bangin'. And that's what kind of makes it fun, too.

 

"We're glad to have Pick-N-Pull on our car for the Sonoma race. I've raced with them before - actually won with them last year in the West race - and we're happy to have them back. I think they bring good luck so we're happy to have them along for the ride."

 

FRM PR

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team Front Row Motorsports and Carson-Newman University (C-N) have forged a one-race partnership featuring the University on Front Row's No. 35 Ford Fusion. The Carson-Newman car will be driven by Josh Wise during the IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on Aug. 24.

 

"We are very excited about this unique opportunity that specific University donors and Front Row Motorsports have afforded us," said Carson-Newman President Randall O'Brien.

 

O'Brien says he is impressed with both the integrity and humbleness in which Front Row owner and Dandridge, Tenn., resident Bob Jenkins operates his team.

 

"To be able to partner with Mr. Jenkins and his organization in showcasing Christian higher education on a national stage - well, it just doesn't get much better than that," O'Brien said.

 

"One of the most gratifying parts of running a Sprint Cup team is bringing new partners into the sport," said Jenkins. "And when it's an organization as respected as Carson-Newman, it's even better. Throw in that it's one of the biggest races of the year and that's going to make it a pretty special weekend."

 

The Front Row car will also highlight several area C-N supporters including Knoxville's Ted Russell Automotive Group and Premier Building Maintenance Corporation, as well as Oak Ridge's Denton Financial Group.

 

Planning is also under way for a Carson-Newman/Front Row VIP event that will take place on C-N's Jefferson City campus during the week leading up to the race. Proceeds from the event will go to the local Boys & Girls Clubs of Dumplin Valley. Details will be announced at a later date.

 

The IRWIN Tools Night Race will air live in primetime on ABC.

 

FRM PR

Get ready to start your engines! Eutechnyx’s newest racing game, NASCAR The Game: 2013, is available now for pre-purchase with Beta Access on Steam. This is the first title in the series available on Steam and PC, featuring all of the official drivers, teams and tracks from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

In NASCAR The Game: 2013, players can drive straight into an authentic NASCAR experience, filled with intense graphics and competitive AI, all backed from a strong and supportive multiplayer system. Jump into the driver’s seat of a Gen 6 model stock car and race towards the finish line in hopes to be crowned the Sprint Cup Series Champion. Featuring Inside Line Highlights, relive and rewrite iconic moments from recent NASCAR races, all recreated using telemetry data. Update packs including the Inside Line Highlights will be released throughout the 2013 NASCAR season*.

Here are some key details for NASCAR The Game: 2013:

-          Race your way to the highest rank and become the renowned champion of the official NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

-          Delivering an authentic NASCAR experience in stunning visuals, duel against competitive and aggressive AI in every race

-          Design and drive a Gen 6 model stock car using the brand new paint booth toolkit

-          Race as any of the 43 NASCAR drivers and challenge others on official 2013 NASCAR tracks

-          Immerse yourself in full race weekends, including practice, qualifying and race sessions

-          Relive and rewrite history from the most recent NASCAR races, including the 2013 season as it happens

-          NASCAR The Game: 2013 is supported by BigPicture, allowing for full controller support when playing on a TV

Steam Link: http://store.steampowered.com/app/225220/

NASCAR The Game: 2013 is available now for pre-purchase with Beta Access on PC via Steam at a special 10% discount of £26.99. NASCAR The Game: 2013 will be released at the end of July for £29.99. For more information, visit www.NASCARTheGame.com. Follow along on Twitter and Facebook.

*Races from Bristol, Kansas and Dover will not be available.

Eutechnyx PR

Travis Kvapil and the No. 93 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry team finished 27th at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday afternoon.  With a fast car, the team had to fight back through the running order after a pit road incident slowed their pace early in the day.

 

Kvapil and the No. 93 BK Racing team worked hard throughout three practice sessions at the two-mile track in Brooklyn, Mich., to determine the best race setup for their Toyota Camry.  Prepared for long green-flag runs and changing track conditions, the BK Racing team rolled off in the 41st position on Sunday afternoon.  With a solid setup and a fast car, Kvapil was able to race his No. 93 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry all the way up to the 25th position in just the opening 20 laps. 

 

Heavy rain early Sunday morning washed the rubber off the track and led NASCAR to call for a competition caution on lap 20.  More than halfway through a fuel run, the leaders came into the pits leaving nearly 40 cars on a tight pit road.  Without much room to maneuver Kvapil and another competitor made contact, which resulted in fender damage on the No. 93 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Camry.  Knowing the importance of aerodynamics at the fastest track in NASCAR, the BK Racing crew worked to repair their car and get Kvapil back on track.  Slightly hindered by the damaged aerodynamics, the BK Racing team utilized each remaining pit stop to work on their Camry, make adjustments, and assist Kvapil on his race through the field. 

 

Under caution on lap 133, Kvapil was in a position to stay on the track and inherit and lead during pit stops, while also earning a bonus point for the championship point standings.  After pitting, Kvapil returned to the track and set a steady pace to maintain his position inside the top 30.  Following 400 miles of racing, the No. 93 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry crossed the finish line in the 27th position. 

 

"Our No. 93 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry started off the race really strong today," commented Kvapil.  "We got a little fender damage on pit road early in the race, and unfortunately the car was never really the same.  The BK Racing guys did a great job making adjustments to try to improve the car, and even putting us in a position to lead a couple laps.  This was our first of two trips to Michigan this season; I'm excited to see what we're able to accomplish when we come back in August." 

 

BK Racing PR

David Reutimann and the No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota team finished 32nd at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday afternoon. 

 

Racing just outside "Motor City" formally known as Detroit, Mich., competitors in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series fight for not only the top spot, but also bragging rights for their manufacturer.  Race teams spent the three practice sessions at the two-mile track preparing for high speeds, long green flag runs and changing track conditions at NASCAR's fastest track.  While some teams looked to break the 200 mph barrier for their average lap speed, Reutimann and the No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Camry spent their time dialing in the balance of their car to prepare for Sunday's Quicken Loans 400. 

 

As temperatures and the track heated up throughout the weekend, Reutimann started to experience a "loose in" condition entering the corners.  The BK Racing team worked through a variety of options, but was challenged to find the setup that was right for Reutimann's driving style.  An even bigger hurdle was thrown at the No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper team when a heavy rainstorm early Sunday morning washed most of the rubber off the racing surface and changed track conditions for Sunday's race. 

 

Faced with a green track and rising temperatures, Reutimann's loose-in condition persisted throughout most of Sunday's 400-mile race.  The No. 83 crew utilized each pit stop to make adjustments and work on the Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry, while Reutimann maintained his position on the track.  After 200 laps at the fast Michigan International Speedway, Reutimann crossed the finish line in the 32nd position.   

 

"Our No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry team worked very hard this weekend to get the right setup on our car, but we weren't able to shake the loose-in condition that we fought most of the weekend," commented Reutimann.  "We unloaded fast, but once the track started to heat up, we just couldn't rotate through the corners like we needed.  The guys have done a great job developing our setup every other week this year, so I'm not going to let this break our momentum.  I'm looking forward to getting to Sonoma next weekend to race in our first road course event of the season.  It's an entirely different experience from what we do every other week, so I'm excited to see what we are able to do."

 

BK Racing PR

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