Speedway News (3000)
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The start of the 2015 racing season in Monterey is just 60 days away, and with it comes an array of hospitality options. With ticket sales racing ahead of last year, now is the time to consider the full range of hospitality packages before they sell out to obtain unparalleled views and access at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
There are a limited number of Premier Pit Row Suite packages still available in the middle of the paddock and pit lane action. Not only do guests enjoy an up-close view, the climate-controlled suite comes with breakfast and lunch, refreshments, live television feed, private restroom and parking. And, guests are only steps away from the flurry of activity in the race paddock. Full details are listed on the Buy Tickets page of MazdaRaceway.com.
If motorcycle racing fans want a very special vantage point of the racers roaring past the Start/Finish bridge just below, there is a very limited number of Trackview Club (located in the Hospitality Pavilion formerly known as the Red Bull Energy Center) passes available for the eni FIM Superbike World Championship GEICO Motorcycle U.S. Round July 17-19. Guests may purchase a 3-day general admission and paddock ticket, enjoy breakfast and lunch, and beverages, as well as parking and more.
Another popular option is the Flagroom, which is perched on the fence line between Turns 4 and 5. Offering a panoramic view, the canopied tent Flagroom provides an ideal location to watch the competition accelerate out of the turn and prepare for the uphill climb after Turn 5. Inside, guests enjoy breakfast and lunch (Saturday and Sunday) and refreshment service. Full details are available on MazdaRaceway.com.
The first race showcases the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship series that returns for its second year as the feature race of the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix, powered by Mazda, May 1-3. Four classes, including the stunning prototypes, will compete simultaneously in a 2-hour, 40-minute mini-endurance race to provide fans with non-stop wheel-to-wheel action.
“The Premier Pit Row Suites and Flagroom hospitality packages provide guests with the best possible experience and puts them deep into the racing action,” said Gill Campbell, CEO/general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “There is no better way to enjoy a race.”
2015 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Season
May 1-3 Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix, powered by Mazda
July 17-19 eni FIM Superbike World Championship GEICO Motorcycle U.S. Round
August 13-16 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion
Sept. 11-13 Pirelli World Challenge
Sept. 25-27 Porsche Rennsport Reunion V
For more information on ticket pricing for each event, visit MazdaRaceway.com or call 831-242-8200831-242-8200.
For the third time, the popular DAYTONA 500 Fancam has returned to Daytona International Speedway for the 57th annual “Great American Race,” which was held last Sunday and won by Team Penske driver Joey Logano, who became the second youngest DAYTONA 500 champion in history.
The DAYTONA 500 Fancam is a photo technology that transforms a high-definition, 360-degree crowd image of Daytona International Speedway into a social media fan experience. Designed to commemorate the passion of loyal fans, Fancam captures high-definition images of the crowd all the way down to the seat level and uploads them to a custom landing page where fans can tag themselves and share on Facebook, Twitter and e-mail.
Fans attending the 2015 DAYTONA 500 can prove they were there by tagging themselves in the image and sharing. For fans unable to attend, the DAYTONA 500 Fancam offers the chance to explore Daytona International Speedway. For all fans, the 2015 DAYTONA 500 Fancam will memorialize the DAYTONA 500 experience they've always known - before the unveiling of the new stadium in 2016.
To explore the 2015 DAYTONA 500 Fancam, go to daytona500.fancam.com.
Dover International Speedway and Pocono Raceway will meet for the third time in their annual Dover vs. Pocono Celebrity Softball Game, featuring the two most recent winners of the Daytona 500, Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2014) and Joey Logano (2015). The game will be played at ARM & HAMMER Park, the home of the Trenton (N.J.) Thunder, Double-A Affiliate of the New York Yankees, on Tuesday, April 21, 2015.
Earnhardt, driver of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet SS, is scheduled to captain Team Pocono, while Logano, who pilots the No. 22 Team Penske Ford Fusion, will lead Team Dover. The softball series between the two tracks is currently tied at one game apiece. Pocono came from behind to win the inaugural game in 2012 and Dover evened the score with a walk-off victory two years ago.
In addition to Earnhardt and Logano, the rosters from each team will be made up of members of national and local motorsports media, as well as other local media personalities, and a few other special guests.
Access to the celebrity softball game is free with a ticket to the April 21 matchup between the Thunder and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Tickets for the Trenton Thunder’s baseball game start at just $11, and all children ages 12 and younger receive a free hot dog, popcorn and drink. Additionally, it will be “1-Dollar Dog Night” for all fans, courtesy of Black Bear Franks. Tickets for the Thunder game are currently on sale for groups of 20 or more and for ticket plans; individual game tickets will available beginning March 14. For tickets to this special event, please call 1-609-394-3300 or visit www.TrentonThunder.com,
Gates for the softball game will open at 4 p.m. with the event beginning at 4:30 p.m. Following the softball game, time permitting, Earnhardt and Logano will throw out the first pitch for that evening’s 7 p.m. baseball game versus the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
Throughout both the softball and baseball games, both tracks will be promoting and giving away tickets to their respective NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races being held on Sunday, May 31 (Dover) and June 7 (Pocono).
Dover Motorsports/Pocono Raceway PR
From laps to cars, NASCAR is full of numbers, and there aren’t many as recognizable or iconic to the sport as the number three. During the morning of the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 29, fans holding a ticket to the Green Flag Experience will hear from not one, but two people closely affiliated with the number.
Austin Dillon, the current driver of the famed number three, and Danny “Chocolate” Myers, long-time gas man for Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Sirius/XM NASCAR Radio personality, have joined a lineup that includes Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson on race morning.
The pair will participate in separate question-and-answer sessions prior to the start of the STP 500.
“When fans come to Martinsville Speedway they know they are getting a first-hand look at a piece of NASCAR history, while also seeing into NASCAR’s future,” Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell said. “By adding both Chocolate Myers and Austin Dillon to our Green Flag Experience our fans will be able to hear from two people who are closely associated with both the history and the future of one of our sport’s most famous numbers, the number three.”
Last season, Dillon became the first driver since the death of Dale Earnhardt to drive the number three in NASCAR’s top series. He immediately turned heads by winning the pole for the 2014 Daytona 500. He is also the grandson of car owner Richard Childress.
Myers was a crew member for Richard Childress Racing for more than 20 years and was a part of six of Dale Earnhardt’s record-tying seven Sprint Cup championship teams. He currently oversees the RCR Museum in Welcome, N.C.
The Green Flag Experience also gives fans the chance to watch driver introductions from the track, along with a morning full of fun and excitement on the track and under the large tent in The Plaza, located on the hill behind the souvenir display area.
In addition to the emceed question-and-answer sessions with well-known NASCAR personalities and driver introductions, the Green Flag Experience offers fans the opportunity to walk the frontstretch on race morning, photo opportunities in the flag stand and mock victory lane, enjoy music, sign the start/finish line, games and prizes along with show cars and doughnuts, Danishes, coffee and juice. The cost of the Green Flag Experience is $30.
The driver question-and-answer sessions, food, music, games and prizes, and show cars will be held in The Plaza from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. The track portion will open at 9:15 and will remain open until the finish of driver introductions.
The $30 charge for the Green Flag Experience does not include a ticket for the STP 500.
Advance ticket prices for the STP 500 begin at just $45.
Martinsville Speedway PR
Officials at Las Vegas Motor Speedway have worked diligently with local and county representatives to make vehicle flow into and out of the 1.5-mile superspeedway an easier and more efficient process. The upcoming NASCAR weekend should put that on full display, as the speedway prepares to welcome more than 100,000 rabid fans to Sunday’s Kobalt 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
Speedway officials recommend fans head to the track early and also remember that Sunday at 2 a.m. is Daylight Savings Time and everyone needs to turn their clocks ahead one hour.
The speedway also will put more emphasis on exiting from all lots. Speedway officials will have three gates dedicated to the Lucky 7 Preferred Lot for the first hour following the races on Saturday and Sunday. All fans parked in the Blue Lot can exit through the remaining gates until Lot 7 is cleared. Once Lot 7 is empty, all gates will be opened to those parked in the Blue Lot.
“We obviously want to do all that we can to create a smooth flow of vehicles in and out of our parking areas,” said LVMS president Chris Powell. “Little things like planning to arrive early, remembering to move clocks ahead one hour and patience when exiting are ways all race fans can help us achieve that goal. We also have a very strong responsibility to our fans that purchase parking passes to accelerate their ability to leave quicker. Like last year, we recommend purchasing a Lot 7 pass or using mass transportation as alternatives.”
Traffic updates will be provided on Sunday, March 8 via the LVMS Twitter feed (@lvmotorspeedway) and radio on KBAD AM-920.
Race Day Shuttles, which began service during the 2013 race season, is the preferred means of mass transportation from downtown and the Strip. To book this service, fans can log on to www.racedayshuttles.com or call (702) 362-0264.
For those wishing to take a private charter to the races, LVMS recommends Key Tours. Key Tours has been providing service to the speedway for several years. Key Tours can be contacted at www.keytourslv.com or (800) 261-2691. All buses and taxis will have dedicated exit lanes following the events.
Counterfeit handicapped placards have been an issue in the past, and speedway security will continue to monitor and examine the authenticity of such passes on every vehicle. Fans also will have the ability to use the speedway’s video assist feature, which shows preferred entry points and exits. The video can be found online at www.lvms.com.
The LVMS NASCAR weekend will begin with Stratosphere Pole Day on Friday, March 6 – highlighted by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying at 4:45 p.m. The Xfinity Series Boyd Gaming 300 will be the featured event on Saturday at 1 p.m., while the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 caps off the weekend on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Two nights of dirt-track racing will take place at the LVMS Dirt Track March 4 and 5, featuring the World of Outlaws.
David Ragan, a Unadilla, Georgia native, made the jump from the No. 34 Ford for Front Row Racing to the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs racing to fill in for Kyle Busch after Busch was injured in an accident at Daytona last week. Ragan spoke about making the jump to the No. 18 for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend.
On how the day’s test session went in a new car:
“The day was great, really uneventful. And just learning the Joe Gibbs racing bunch and their process, how they conduct business on a practice day, so we were fortunate to have a few hours today where we can hot lap our M&M’s Camry and just enjoyed getting to the race track. It had been a busy week and working through a lot of the details.”
“Atlanta Motor Speedway is one of my favorite tracks for a lot of reasons. The race track’s in great shape. It’s got a lot of speed. The tires fall off throughout the run, so a lot of characteristics that makes it fun to drive. The weather worked out just perfect, and it was a lot of fun for sure.”
On making the jump to fill in for a different team:
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to get in one of the premier rides in our sport for a little while to see where I stand in my career as a driver. It’s been a few years since I’ve been with one of the larger teams. I’m grateful that all the parties really worked hard. It all came together to benefits us in a lot of different ways.”
“It all really happened quick Monday night and Tuesday to be down here a day early for a practice session. A lot of the people involved had to have some give and take and it worked out great.”
“Working with a different team, there is a lot of newness that surrounds, so it’s different but it’s also a challenge that I’m up for. Any time you can get an opportunity to work with a lot of smart people that go about the weekend in a different way, it only gives me a better experience on what’s going on.”
On the timeframe for being in the No. 18 car:
“Atlanta Motor Speedway is obviously the next race, and I’m looking forward to 500 miles on Sunday and really just taking it race by race. I’m sure over the next few weeks we’ll get a better feel for the timeframe for Kyle’s return and what the expectations are for going forward for the second half of the year.”
Gateway Motorsports Park (MSP) announced that Declan O’Neill has joined the sporting and entertainment venue as Director of Business Development. “Declan has exactly the kind of experience and relationships we need to continue our strategy of building this track into the world-class facility the people of this community deserve,” said Chris Blair, Gateway Motorsports Park General Manager and Executive Vice President.
O’Neill served as the Manager of Local Sports and Stadium Signage for Anheuser-Busch’s Busch Media Group, which is the in-house advertising and media agency for the company. He managed professional sports property relationships and team broadcast partners in major U.S. markets. His sports property relationships included the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, National Basketball League and Major League Soccer.
In December, AB announced through an internal letter, that the company was planning to move the sales and marketing teams to New York. Local media reported that this and other moves could impact dozens of jobs in the St. Louis area.
Monday, February 16, 2015 served as O’Neill’s first day at the racetrack, which boasts five racing surfaces. “Gateway Motorsports Park is a St. Louis treasure,” said O’Neill. “I have strong roots here and solid relationships in the business. I’m excited to see what kind of impact I can have on this wonderful facility to support its growth and its goal of offering the very best professional racing in the industry.”
Prior to joining A-B, O’Neill worked for St. Louis University in various roles of including Event Manager Director of Sales and Marketing and Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing and Corporate Sales.
“Our search for the right candidate to fill this position took more than 18 months and involved interviews with dozens of potential candidates,” said Blair. “Declan came highly recommended by executives of both NASCAR and the Chicago Cubs. His strong local ties and national relationships will open important doors and foster critical relationships.”
O’Neill will oversee Gateway MSP’s sales staff. While his department’s primary focus will be on sales, his marketing experience will complement our current efforts in building the Gateway Motorsports Park brand.
O’Neill has a Master’s in Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from St. Louis University. He remains a member of the University Sports Business Advisory Board.
Gateway Motorsports Park PR
Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing, was the first car out of the garage and onto the Atlanta Motor Speedway track for the first open team test of the 2015 NASCAR schedule. Larson is seeking his first Sprint Cup Series win after being named last year’s Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year.
On the opportunity to get onto the track for the open team testing:
“We were all pretty anxious to get out there. This is really what I feel like the start of our season is, because this is the majority of size race track we run on.”
“I really didn’t notice anything. I thought it came up to speed pretty well. Maybe it doesn’t carry to the end of the straightaway as hard as what it did before but we have less downforce too but it still feels fast. I really didn’t notice much difference between this year vs. last year.”
On how the new rules package affects the feel of the race car:
“I felt like the car really didn’t drive much different than how it did with the old rules. This track’s pretty tough to run on anyways.”
On trying out the new in-car track bar adjuster:
“So far when I played with it, I just thought it affected my exit at the corner. I just gotta learn that kind of stuff and how far you can go with it. I think that’ll be a really neat tool that we get to use as drivers.”
On whether he can get his first Sprint Cup Series win at Atlanta:
“I enjoy the mile-and-a-half tracks the best but Harvick's really, really good here, so he’ll probably be the one to beat.”
Carl Edwards swapped teams to join Joe Gibbs Racing this year. Edwards is the driver of the No. 19 Toyota. Last year, Edwards finished ninth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings in 2014.
On driving at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
“To me, this is pure racing.”
“This place is just fun. It’s as good as ever. It’s fun to drive here.”
“It’s a fast track with a lot of character. There’s bumps and seams and spots with no grip and spots with a ton of grip. It’s a real fun race track. If you don’t have the fastest car in one area, you can make it up somewhere else, and you just have to drive the whole way.”
“To me, we could race here every week and I’d be happy.”
“What happens here is you go out there right now and the track’s green from top to bottom. It’s got a ton of grip, and then as we run, the rubber fills in and it gets slicker the more people run in certain areas so the groove moves around. That’s what’s neat about this place; there’s no perfect, preferred line. You can make things work anywhere.”
“This is a big, fast, scary race track, and there’s no place to be comfortable here. It’s a really tough place to manage the tires.”
“The first couple laps here are pretty exhilarating, to be honest with you. You’ve got to catch your breath. You’ve got to drive the car down into the corner and manhandle it and slide it sideways and deal with all the balance and things like that. It takes a couple of laps to get used to this place.”
On what the new rules package feels like:
“This was a big deal to have this day. We get to put a little more rubber on the race track. To us in particular, it’s a great test. These few hours are worth a lot.”
“The car feels great. The new package is a little bit different. It feels like we have more on-throttle time, so we’re not out of the throttle as much. It changes the way you drive this place.”
“Even when you take away a little power, we’re making so much speed in the middle of the corner.”
The open team test continues this afternoon and wraps up at 5 p.m.
Following the test, Richard Petty will be inducted into the City of Hampton’s Speedway Lane Hall of Fame at 6 p.m. Immediately following the ceremony, the XFINITY Series haulers will parade through downtown Hampton in the 3rd Annual Hauler Parade before entering the Atlanta Motor Speedway infield for the weekend.
Two-time Olympian and current UFC star Dan Henderson will lead the field to the green flag behind the wheel of the Official Toyota Camry Pace Car at the start of the CampingWorld.com 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, March 15. Henderson’s appearance was the result of a partnership between PIR and Niner Sports & Entertainment. As the official pace car driver, the 44-year old mixed martial artist will take an honorary lap around the one-mile oval.
“I’m excited to get behind the wheel and pull out onto the track at Phoenix International Raceway and help start the CampingWorld.com 500,” Henderson said. “NASCAR drivers are the best in the world at what they do, and I can’t wait to see them in my rear view mirror just before they take the green flag. It’s a great honor and it’s going to be a huge thrill.”
Henderson represented the United States in the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games. He also wrestled collegiately at Arizona State and was a three-time USA University Greco-Roman National Champion. He began his mixed martial arts career in 1997, winning the championship in that year’s Brazil Open Lightweight Tournament.
Henderson owns more major tournament titles than any other athlete in MMA history, winning four different international events in three weight divisions – heavyweight, light heavyweight and middleweight. He is the only man in MMA history to hold the title in multiple weight classes at the same time.
In addition to his duties behind the wheel, Henderson will make a promotional appearance at PIR prior to the race on Sunday, March 15. For more information on timing and other appearances, please visit PhoenixRaceway.com.
For the first time, Kansas Speedway will sell pre-race Track Passes to non-season ticketholders.
“We’ve had a growing demand from ticket buyers wanting to buy the Track Pass, which provides access to the infield for each of our NASCAR Sprint Cup events,” said Kansas Speedway President Patrick Warren. “After discussing this with a number of current season ticketholders, I feel this is the perfect time to start selling the pre-race Track Pass.”
The cost of the pre-race Track Pass, which is being offered for a limited time, is $75 per ticket per NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, and includes the opportunity to sign the Start/Finish Line, visit Sprint FanWalk, and access to the pre-race concert and driver introductions. Pre-Race Track Passes will not be available for purchase on race weekend.
For season ticketholders, the pre-race Track Pass will still be included at no charge for each NASCAR Sprint Cup event as part of their season ticket package, a $150 value per season ticket.
Racing returns to Kansas Speedway this May and tickets for Kansas Speedway’s 2015 schedule, which includes the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series May8-9, and the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the NASCAR XFINITY Series (Kansas Lottery 300), and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (Hollywood Casino 400) Oct. 16-18, are currently on sale. Season tickets, which include a Track Pass that allows access to the infield for each Sprint Cup Series event, are also on sale now.
Kansas Speedway PR