Speedway News (1557)
Keep up on racing and speedway news from around the US
Talladega Superspeedway fans are known for being patriotic, but this Sunday they will have more reason to feel proud to be an American a historic flyover takes them back to the earlier days of the speedway.
Two combat veteran T-28 Trojan aircraft from the Museum of Flight, Chattanooga’s Aviation Museum (TN) will soar above Talladega Superspeedway near the conclusion of the National Anthem to the road of thousands of fans, minutes before the start of the Aaron’s 499 Sprint Cup Series Race at NASCAR’s Most Competitive Track.
Lt. Col. Peyton “XMan” Dehart and Pete “Wheeler” O’Hare who both served in Vietnam, will pilot the aircraft, used by the United States Air Force and United States Navy beginning in the 1950s. The T-28 was successfully employed as a Counter-insurgency (COIN) aircraft, primarily during the Vietnam War. They were produced from 1950-58 and was retired in 1994.
The flyover will occur at the end of the Star-Spangled Banner, which will be performed by recording artist Robin Meade, also host of HLN’s “Morning Express with Robin Meade.” Moments later, fans will be treated to Talladega’s famous tradition of presenting an American flag on the back of a semi-truck as it barrels around the track. Sunday is guaranteed to become part of Talladega’s patriotic lore.
“Talladega Superspeedway and our great fans both have a long and storied history of being fiercely patriotic, and we wanted to continue that patriotism this year with aircraft that have helped protect our nation,” Talladega Superspeedway Chairman Grant Lynch said. “You can see the patched bullet holes on the Bravo model, and the Alpha model’s story is an incredible one.”
That story includes being sold by the US Navy to Honduras for only one dollar in 1969 and shortly thereafter downing an El Salvadorian P-51 during the 100-Hour War between Honduras and El Salvador.
Both aircraft can now be seen close up at the Museum of Flight, Chattanooga Aviation Museum, located in the suburban community of Hixson, TN.
Aaron's Dream Weekend at Talladega to feature VIP guests, U. of Alabama tribute, and can drive to feed Alabama's hungryWritten by Steven B. Wilson
Aaron’s, Inc., a lease-to-own retailer specializing in the sales and lease ownership of residential furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, will sponsor the Aaron’s Dream Weekend at Talladega Superspeedway for the 12th year, May 3-5. The weekend’s events will include special guests serving as Grand Marshals for the Aaron’s 312 on Saturday and the Aaron’s 499 on Sunday, a tribute to University of Alabama’s BCS championship with a custom paint scheme on the No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine, and a partnership with the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama to collect cans to address hunger in Alabama.
Former Atlanta Braves star and Major League Baseball icon, Chipper Jones, will deliver the most famous words in NASCAR – “Drivers Start Your Engines” – for Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race. In tribute to the nation’s military, Saturday’s honor has been given to four members of the Wounded Warrior Project – David Boggs, Marine Corps Lance Corporal; Brad Ingram, Army Sgt.; Chris Crawford, Army Sgt. and Andrew Coughlan, Army Specialist.
Other VIP guests include honorary starter and winner of the Aaron’s Weekend of Your Dreams sweepstakes, Jim Bauerle from Carmel, Indiana; 2012 NCAA Championship University of Alabama quarterback, A.J. McCarron; renowned motorsports artist and trophy designer Sam Bass; President of the Armed Forces Foundation, Patricia Driscoll; National Anthem performer, Robin Meade; Ron Allen, Aaron’s Chairman, President and CEO; and Andrea Freeman, Aaron’s VP of Marketing.
The weekend’s events will also feature a tribute to current BCS Champion, the University of Alabama. Aaron’s No. 55 Toyota Camry, driven by two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip, will hit the track for Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race and will feature a custom University of Alabama paint scheme.
New this year at Aaron’s Dream Weekend, the more than 200,000 NASCAR fans that attend will have an opportunity to help the hungry in Alabama by bringing cans to the Aaron’s Corporate Display at the speedway. Throughout the weekend, Aaron’s associates, representatives from the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama and can drive volunteers will be collecting non-perishable food items such as canned meat, dry cereal, canned fruits and vegetables, paper towels, toilet paper and hygiene products.
“Aaron’s is proud to recognize so many outstanding organizations at this year’s races, including the Wounded Warrior Project and the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama,” Freeman said. “Over one weekend, we have the opportunity to bring the excitement of NASCAR racing to millions of race fans while giving back to local communities and our nation’s military in the process.”
Celebrate NASCAR DAY with Lefty’s Track Days at Auto Club Speedway on Thursday, May 16 between 3-7p.m. Paced by the Speedway’s 1948 Fleetmaster Hot Rod Woody or the Speedway Pace Car, participants that make a$10 donation will get to drive their cararound Southern California’s premier motorsports 2-mile track, the very same track that NASCAR and INDYCAR stars battle side-by-side on. Additional dates for Lefty’s Track Days will be announced.
For $20 per person, race fans can also experience speeds over 100 mph with a ride in the official Speedway Pace Car. NASCAR Day wristbands will also be available for $5, as will the NASCAR Day collectible lapel pin for $10. Photo opportunities with the Auto Club Speedway Show Carand Kids Club Mascot Lefty will be available while on site.
All proceeds from the event will benefitThe NASCAR Foundation and the Auto Club Speedway Foundation which supportsLefty’s Reading Challenge, a program that encourages reading excellence from Southern California elementary school children and provides grants to school libraries.
The challenge, named after Auto Club Speedway mascot Lefty, is part of Auto Club Speedway’s heralded youth initiative. More than 100,000 students from San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles Counties read nearly 700,000 books from 180 elementary schools during Lefty’s Reading Challenge,Jan. 14 – Feb. 8, for a chance to win thousands of dollars for their school libraries. In the coming weeks, $27,000 will be distributed to the libraries of the winning schools and students will celebrate with a school-wide pizza party.
Along with Auto Club Speedway, The NASCAR Foundation and many throughout the NASCAR industry will celebrate the 10th Annual NASCAR Day. This special day is an unprecedented celebration of drivers, corporate partners, media and the sport’s millions of fans uniting with The NASCAR Foundation to support a range of charitable causes relevant and meaningful to those within the NASCAR family. Since 2008, NASCAR Day efforts at Auto Club Speedway have raised nearly $200,000 for local charities.
Race fans will be treated to a FREE NASCAR test session and also get a sneak peek at some tasty new food options on Tuesday, May 7, at Sonoma Raceway. The test will also mark the debut of the new NASCAR Gen-6 car in Sonoma
Richard Petty Motorsports will visit the road course for a two-day NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test with Marcos Ambrose (No. 9 Ford) and Aric Almirola (No. 43 Ford) in preparation for the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 21-23. This will be the first time the new Gen-6 NASCAR stock car will lay tracks on the Sonoma Valley road course. Ambrose claimed the pole in Sonoma last year and nearly took the checkers in 2010 before a late-race stall cost him the victory.
In addition to the great on-track action, fans can also preview the raceway’s newest concession concept, the Sears Point Grill. Located at the north-end of the main grandstand, the Sears Point Grill will feature handmade burgers, locally-sourced sausages and other savory grilled items. Three Sears Point Grill locations will open officially during NASCAR race weekend, but fans can purchase food and drinks near the main grandstand during the test session from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
A press conference and fan event with the drivers will be held at the Sears Point Grill during the lunch break at approximately 12:15 p.m., and fans are welcome to attend.
Fans can also test their skills with Grand Prix Karting in front of the Simraceway Driving Performance Center during the test session. Karting will take place from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Tuesday in front of the racing school and is free for attendees.
Testing will span from approximately 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fans who purchase tickets to the Toyota/Save Mart 350 during the test on May 7 can save up to $50 on a special NASCAR ticket package. Tickets for NASCAR’s 25th annual visit to the Sonoma Valley are also available at 800-870-RACE (7223) or racesonoma.com/nascar. Great options are still available, including the all-new NASCAR Express train package, Save Mart 2-Pack and more.
Sonoma Raceway PR
Charlotte Motor Speedway Kicks Off May Motorsports Month With Speedway Superstar Auditions, Track PrepWritten by Steven B. Wilson
May 1 marks the beginning of an action-packed Motorsports Month at Charlotte Motor Speedway and track officials as well as fans spent the morning gearing up for the 10 greatest days in racing, highlighted by the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 18 and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 26.
The speedway, with help from NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace, welcomed fans for the opening day of auditions for Speedway Superstar. Prospective singers vying for a chance to perform either the national anthem or “God Bless America” during the 10 greatest days in racing auditioned in a mobile recording studio set up outside the track. The studio will travel to locations across North and South Carolina over the next two weeks giving fans the chance to perform. Each contest will record a video which will be uploaded to www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/star, where fans can vote for their favorite performers. The top five vote-getters will be invited to perform at various races throughout race weeks at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Inside the track, crews got an early start painting the bright yellow walls around the 1.5-mile superspeedway and striping the lines on the legendary race facility. Others were busy power washing the stadium-style seating, checking electrical systems and performing other routine maintenance.
“It’s a busy and exciting time at Charlotte Motor Speedway as we prepare to host two of the country’s largest sporting events of the year, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600,” said Marcus Smith, president and general manager at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “We’ve got crews putting in countless hours of work to make sure that every race fan who visits our facility during our Motorsports Month of May has an unforgettable experience from the time they arrive until the checkered flag falls.”
Pocono Raceway announced today the Second Annual Pocono Celebrity Charity Poker Showdown, benefitting The NASCAR Foundation and the Armed Forces Foundation, will be held on Thursday, June 6, at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre, PA. The event precedes the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series “Party in the Poconos 400 Presented by Walmart” on June 9 at “The Tricky Triangle,” and will feature NASCAR drivers, celebrities and race fans.
A limited number of playing spots are available. Fans can choose from four donation options: A $250 donation offers a pre-tournament, VIP meet-and-greet with drivers and celebrities on hand as well as entry to participate in the Poker Showdown; a $150 donation offers entry into pre-event VIP reception and attendance at the event as a spectator; a $100 donation reserves a seat in the poker tournament; and, a $50 donation allows for fans to attend the event as spectators. The top-finishing fan will receive a choice between two exciting prizes - a VIP Race Experience at Pocono Raceway or a VIP Stay and Play Experience at Mohegan Sun.
To register for the Pocono Celebrity Poker Showdown, fans can visit NASCAR.com/foundation.
“We had so much fun with the drivers, military personnel, the folks at Mohegan Sun, and, especially, the fans, we had to do this event again,” said Brandon Igdalsky, Pocono Raceway’s President and CEO. “Like last year, race fans will have the chance to play against some of NASCAR’s top drivers and personalities, with all proceeds benefiting the efforts of The NASCAR Foundation and the Armed Forces Foundation. This year, if any fan takes a celebrity out of the poker tournament, they will receive a free $100 chip they can use in the casino. We can’t wait and hope to see ever more fans there this year to benefit these great causes!”
The entire team at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is proud to support the work of The NASCAR Foundation and the Armed Services Foundation for the second year, said Mike Bean, President of Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. “The Pocono Celebrity Charity Poker Showdown is a great event for both poker players and NASCAR fans.”
Pocono Raceway PR
Homestead-Miami Speedway today announced that tickets for 2013 Ford Championship Weekend are now available for purchase by the general public. It’s the first opportunity for fans to secure the best seats for each of the three season ending championship races in NASCAR’s top three national series. The races are scheduled for Nov. 15-17.
Tickets, which are expected to sell briskly, are available:
§OnlineatHomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com, via smartphones -- utilizing a redesigned interface, the Homestead-Miami Speedwaymobile app, and the easier-to-use Facebook Store tab.
§By phoneat 305.230.5255.
§In personat the Homestead-Miami Speedway box office (1 Speedway Boulevard, Homestead, FL 33035)
Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski, five-time champion Jimmie Johnson, four-time champion and last year’s race winner Jeff Gordon, three-time champion Tony Stewart, and Miami’s own Juan Pablo Montoya are among the top drivers scheduled to compete. They will race door-to-door around the 1.5-mile variable banked Homestead-Miami Speedway oval in theFord EcoBoost 400 on Nov. 17.
“It was great to see Brad Keselowski win the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship for legendary team owner Roger Penske last year,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matthew Becherer. “South Florida will witness another dramatic conclusion to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase for the Sprint Cup, as well as the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series seasons. When you add in the big-event atmosphere and the fact that it’s three-straight series-crowning championship finales on one of the most ‘racy’ tracks, it’s a ‘can’t miss’ weekend.”
Homestead-Miami Speedway annually produces one of the most thrilling races given the track’s multiple lines of racing on its 1.5-mile banked oval. Last year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship saw 19 lead changes an average race speed of more than 142 mph. In 2011, the 400-mile contest had a race record 26 lead changes.
Various pricing options are available for 2013 Ford Championship Weekend starting at $55. Children 12 and younger are free in general admission sections Friday and Saturday, and half price in reserved sections for Saturday and Sunday’s championship races.
Homestead-Miami Speedway offers Three-day Champion ticket packages that include: Savings over single-day purchases; parking passes; exclusive entrance gates; and hard cards and lanyards that grant access to post-race championship celebrations.
Other highlights of Ford Championship Weekend include:
§Free daily on-site parking
§Live music, concerts and entertainment
§Spectacular pre-race ceremonies, including celebrities, fireworks and a signature musical performance
§Bring own food and beverage inside the gates
§Unlimited re-entry (leave, refill and come back)
For the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 weekend, many race fans will flock to Atlanta Motor Speedway to fulfill their need for speed on the historic 1.54-mile speedway. But AMS wants its customers to take in more than just the race, and the perfect way to do that is with an array of camping options available for the Labor Day weekend date, Aug. 30-Sept. 1.
AMS knows that campers come with many different situations and needs, whether it is a RV requiring full hook-ups, pop-up units or classic tent camping, the near 900-acres of property at the speedway will offer a fit for each person.
A limited-number of infield camping spaces is currently available. Join fellow die-hard race fans in getting the full race weekend experience from inside the track. All practices, qualifying and race action can be viewed from your infield position, as well as socialize with your camping neighbors.
Outside campgrounds open on Saturday, Aug. 24 at 8:00 a.m. allowing campers to enjoy the entire race week and build-up to race weekend for an affordable price. Infield and trackside camping will open on Thursday, Aug. 29 at 2:00 p.m.
Below is a complete list of camping options at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
Campground Type Approx. Size Hook-Ups Cost
East Turn RV 20x40’ No $150
Elliott Reserved RV 25x45’ No $150
Family RV 25x40’ No $150
Family Tent Tent/Pop-Up 20x30’ N/A $100
First Turn RV 20x40’ No $150
First Turn RV 25x42’ No $175
Flock Bros. Infield RV 15x40’ No $300
Handicapped** RV 20x40’ No $150
High Speed Infield Tent/Pop-Up 10x30’ N/A $200
Legends RV 25x45’ No $150
Legends Premium RV 25x45’ No $250
Legends Tent Tent/Pop-Up 20x30’ N/A $125
Speedway Blvd. RV 20x50’ No $100
Terrace* Luxury RV 25x50’ Yes $3,500
Terrace Back Row^ Luxury RV 25x50’ Yes $2,500
Turn One* Luxury RV 20x50’ Yes $3,995
*Trackside Terrace and Trackside Turn One Luxury RV campsites include 10 race tickets for each day, 10 pit passes for each day, and tow passes for extra vehicles (one in Turn One; two in Trackside Terrace).
^Trackside Terrace Back Row Luxury RV campsites include 10 race tickets for each day, 10 pit passes for each day, two tow passes for extra vehicles and a viewing veranda located above the track’s backstretch.
**Handicapped RVs must have handicap placard and owner of placard must be camping in the RV.
Pocono Raceway will host the third-annual Jimmie Johnson Fan Experience, which includes an exclusive question-and-answer session with the five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, prior to the start of the “Party in the Poconos 400” on Sunday, June 9. Additionally, Lowe’s, the sponsor of the No. 48 Chevrolet SS driven by Johnson, and Pocono Raceway will make a donation to support “Crossing Abilities” of Monroe County (PA).
The 2013 Jimmie Johnson Fan Experience ticket package offers two options for either an individual race fan or for a family of four. This driver-ticket package is available for purchase by calling 1-800-RACEWAY (1-800-722-3929) or by visiting www.poconoraceway.com/jj48.
The $48 individual ticket package includes: one June Sunday Grandstand ticket, exclusive access to Johnson’s fan question-and-answer session, one Racing Electronics scanner rental and one Lowe’s “Build and Grow” car.
The $148 family four pack includes: four June Sunday Grandstand tickets, exclusive access to Johnson’s fan question-and-answer session, two Racing Electronics scanner rentals and four Lowe’s “Build and Grow” cars.
This year’s Jimmie Johnson Fan Experience, per donations from Lowe’s and Pocono Raceway, will support “Crossing Abilities” of Monroe County. Crossing Abilities, sponsored by Pocono Alliance, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, is a project comprised of volunteers with a collective vision for making a safe, all-inclusive playground a reality in Monroe County. The future site for this playground will be Mountain View Park, located in Tannersville, PA. For more information about this project, please visit www.crossingabilities.org.
Pocono Raceway PR
Marcus Smith’s Statement on Charlotte Being Selected as One of Four Finalists Considered to Host Summer Edition of X GamesWritten by Steven B. Wilson
ESPN announced today that Charlotte is one of four cities being considered to host three years of the summer version of the X Games beginning in 2014. If selected, a majority of the action sports competitions, which range from skateboarding and BMX to Rally Car and Moto X, would be hosted at different venues within the Charlotte Motor Speedway complex.
“We're honored to be one of four finalists in consideration to host the X Games in 2014 and beyond,” said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. “In many respects, Charlotte Motor Speedway was one of the original action sports venues, having hosted world-class NASCAR and NHRA events that have drawn the attention of international audiences for more than 50 years.
“These events combine extreme action sports entertainment with the ESPN brand for more than 100,000 fans on site and tens of millions watching worldwide. Like the annual running of our NASCAR races or last year’s Democratic National Convention, the X Games would bring a tremendous spotlight to the greater Charlotte region and the great state of North Carolina.
“As we move forward in the selection process, working with our business and tourism partners from across the region, we look forward to showing the ESPN selection committee what makes Charlotte the best fit for years to come.”
To help with any news coverage surrounding today’s announcement, here are some facts about X Games:
• X Games (originally known as the Extreme Games) were first held in Rhode Island and the summer of 1995. Two years later, ESPN added the Winter X Games;
• The 2010 X Games, hosted by Los Angeles, had an economic impact of at least $50 million, according to a 2010 study by the LA Sports & Entertainment Commission;
• In 2010, ESPN broadcast 31 hours of original content live, reaching all 50 states, 175 countries and more than 380 million households around the world, according to the study;
• Several notable X Games athletes call North Carolina home, including Rally Car driver Dave Mirra and BMX biker Rob Darden, both from Greenville, and skateboarder Dan Murphy, from Raleigh.
ESPN is expected to name the host city later this summer. In addition to Charlotte, other cities under consideration are Austin, Texas; Chicago and Detroit.