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RCR NextEra 250 Advance
RCR's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series History ... In 74 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts, Richard Childress Racing has earned 27 wins, 102 top-five finishes, 169 top-10 finishes and 37 pole awards, along with the inaugural series championship in 1995 with Mike Skinner and with Austin Dillon in 2011. The organization has an average starting position of 9.6 and an average finishing position of 10.2.
2013 Driver Line-Up ... Brendan Gaughan returns to the RCR driver line up for the 2013 Camping World Truck Series season driving the No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet. Gaughan joins the 2012 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Ty Dillon and the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops team.
RCR at Daytona ... This weekend's 250-miler at Daytona International Speedway marks RCR's sixth Camping World Truck Series appearance at the track. The Welcome, N.C.-based team has earned one pole award at the 2.5-mile speedway.
Social Media ... To keep up-to-date with the latest news and information and to view exclusive content, visit RCR's Twitter page - @RCRracing, RCR's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team Twitter pages - @RCR3TDillon and @RCR62BGaughan. RCR's Camping World Truck Series driver Twitter pages - @tydillon and @Brendan62.
Catch the Action ... Flag-to-flag coverage of this weekend's NextEra Energy Resources 250 will be televised live on Friday, Feb. 22, beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern Time on SPEED and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM Satellite Radio.
No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet Silverado
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week's Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway ... Ty Dillon will pilot chassis No. 011 from the Richard Childress Racing stable in Friday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250. Dillon earned the pole award with this RCR-prepared Chevrolet at Talladega Superspeedway last October and finished in the fourth position.
Sunshine State Details ... Friday night's 100-lap affair marks Dillon's second appearance at Daytona International Speedway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The Welcome, N.C., native earned a ninth-place finish after starting from the fourth position last season.
Back in Action ... Bass Pro Shops returns for the second-consecutive season with Dillon and the No. 3 Chevrolet team. Named one of the America's premier outdoor retailers, Bass Pro Shops serves more than 75 million sportsmen a year in 39 locations across the United States and Canada.
Meet the Driver ... Dillon is scheduled to participate in a question-and-answer session on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 4:30 p.m. ET at the Team Chevy stage located in the merchandise area outside of turn four at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. He will also sign autographs at the UNOH display on Friday, Feb. 22 at 10 a.m.
Tune In ... The 2012 Camping World Truck Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year and the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops team will be featured on SPEED Trackside Live on Friday, Feb. 22 beginning at 5:30 p.m. Tune in to see what the sophomore driver is doing before the NextEra Energy Resources 250.
Dirt Trackin' ... Dillon's 2013 Speedweeks actually started on Feb. 12 at Volusia Speedway Park, where he, his brother, Austin, and RCR teammate, Brendan Gaughan raced dirt Modifieds as part of the 42nd annual DIRTCar Nationals. The 20-year-old driver fielded the No. 41 racer for Team Dillon Racing throughout the eight-day event.
Blazin' Candles ... After this weekend's season-opener at Daytona International Speedway, Dillon will celebrate his 21st birthday on Wednesday, Feb. 27.
TY DILLON QUOTES:
What are your thoughts about the season opener at Daytona
"I'm really excited to get back behind the wheel of the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet. Marcus (Richmond, crew chief) and the guys have worked really hard over the off season. We don't have a rookie stripe on our bumper anymore, and we've learned from our mistakes last season. It's time to go racing."
No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet Silverado
Event Preview Fact Sheet
South Point Hotel & Casino ... Opened in December of 2005, the South Point resort was the first megaresort located south of McCarran International Airport and the Las Vegas Strip. The facility consists of a 25 story hotel tower and 90,000 square feet convention center located on a 60 acre site along Las Vegas Boulevard in Enterprise, Nevada. South Point Hotel offers a total of 2,163 rooms and 160,000 sq. ft. meeting and convention space; the largest of any hotel in Las Vegas that is not on the Strip. For more information, visitwww.southpointcasino.com or call 1-866-796-7111.
Welcome to the Team ... Alliance Coach and JoinAPS.com have joined forces with Gaughan and the No. 62 team for the 2013 season. Alliance Coach is a full service RV dealership providing a custom paint and collision center, cabinet fabrication, upholstery shop and chassis area, with technicians that are RVIA master certified, factory trained and experienced in all types of RV service. Advanced Payment Services' [APS] is a Long Island based company in New York and a registered ISO/AGENT of HSBC Bank USA, National Association, Buffalo, N.Y. that provides Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover merchant services. With national merchant accounts, APS has developed into the premier Independent Sales Organization (ISO).
Meet the Driver ... Fans will have an opportunity to meet Gaughan and other Camping World Truck Series drivers during a NASCAR autograph session on Friday, Feb. 22 beginning at 4 p.m. Eastern Time at Daytona International Speedway in the Sprint FANZONE.
BRENDAN GAUGHAN QUOTE:
What are your thoughts heading into the first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race of the season at Daytona International Speedway?
"It's time to go racing. Richard Childress Racing started the season off on the right foot with Kevin Harvick winning the Sprint Unlimited. That win has the entire organization energized for this season, and I can't wait to get back on the track. My teammate Ty Dillon and I have been picked as favorites to do well this season and I've been reunited with my former crew chief. It's going to be a great season, and I can't wait to get it started."
Hillman Racing and Team 7 Motorsports join forces for Daytona
Hillman Racing and Team 7 Motorsports today announced that they will combine efforts to field the No. 27 Chevrolet for driver Jeff Agnew for the start of the 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. Agnew, who competed in 11 truck series races last season and has 14 total truck series starts to his credit, will take the wheel of the No. 27 Hillman Racing Silverado this weekend at Daytona in his first visit to the famed 2.5-mile speedway. The Copper Hill, Va., native will look to build upon his two Pro Cup Series championships – where he holds numerous series record including total series starts (237) and top-10 finishes (153) – as he prepares for his first full-time season of truck series competition.
“I can’t wait to get to Daytona, get strapped into the truck and add this to the list of goals and achievements in my racing career,” Agnew said. “We’re taking the Team 7 guys that have worked with me in the past and combining forces with Hillman Racing, and I think it’s going to be a potent combination.”
The 2013 season will mark Hillman Racing’s second year of competition in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, but it’s the same equipment and management team that won two truck series championships in 2006 and 2010. Agnew will utilize MHR-004 in Friday’s 100-lap NCWTS race at Daytona International Speedway. Chassis MHR-004 is a proven winner on NASCAR’s two superspeedways, visiting Victory Lane on four separate occasions: Daytona (2008 & 2009); Talladega (2007 & 2008). Doug Weddle, the long-time friend and crew chief of Agnew, will work alongside Mark Hillman as the two will call the shots this weekend.
“We started talking with Jeff back in December about providing him trucks for Daytona and it progressed into an agreement where we are going to help him at the start of the season,” said team owner Mike Hillman, Sr. “Jeff has proven himself on the short tracks winning numerous championships and I believe Hillman Racing, the assets and the knowledge that we have, can help his transition to NASCAR as he takes the next step in his career.”
Hillman Racing PR
Test with Penske gives Allmendinger chance to evaluate options
A winter test day at Sebring International Raceway was meant to be routine, the first test of the year for IZOD IndyCar Series teams as they continue preparations for the season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 24.
But having A.J. Allmendinger join the group of IZOD IndyCar Series regulars was far from standard. The last time Allmendinger ran laps in an Indy car was on Oct. 21, 2006, at Surfers Paradise, Australia.
Now a veteran of six stock car seasons, Allmendinger was sitting behind the wheel of a race car much lower to the ground, attempting not to add pressure to the session but anxiously envisioning where this day would lead.
"How do you get into this thing?" Allmendinger joked with the Team Penske crew.
"Just be careful you don't break anything," replied Penske Racing president Tim Cindric. "Remember the goal is to start here and stop here."
Team owner Roger Penske and Cindric offered Allmendinger a testing opportunity with the potential for a partial season during the 19-race IZOD IndyCar Series schedule. Cindric said the April 5-7 race at Barber Motorsports Park would be a good event to enter Allmendinger, who would benefit from a March 12-13 Open Test at the road course in Birmingham, Ala. The possibility also exists for Allmendinger to race in the Indianapolis 500.
"My heart was beating fast and the first couple of runs the car was definitely driving me," said Allmendinger, who edged Justin Wilson for Champ Car Rookie of the Year honors in 2004. "I'm looking for the best opportunity. It slowly has come back to me. Everything feels real fast. A Cup car has more horsepower, but because of its weight that sensation of speed is a lot different. When you get an IndyCar on a road course, it feels like it has 1,500 horsepower."
Allmendinger, 31, of Los Gatos, Calif., was suspended by NASCAR last summer for failing a random drug test. His "B" sample also came back positive for a banned substance and he was released by Penske Racing from his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series contract. Allmendinger completed the Road to Recovery program and was reinstated in September. He is in good standings with INDYCAR.
"Will and Helio have welcomed me into their race team with open arms and I'm definitely happy to be here," he said. "I'd love for it to lead to some races, especially Indy. I'm so grateful to the organization to give me this opportunity. To what I went through last year, to have Roger ask me to come here and drive one of his race cars happy is an understatement.
"In this process, I've learned a lot about myself and how to be a better person. All I can do is take care of myself and the things you can control. Waiting (for a call to race) doesn't matter. I'm just going to be ready physically and mentally for when they do call."
Power, who competed against Allmendinger in the '06 Champ Car season, said he's already fitting in with the team.
"He's easy to get along with. When I raced him, he was very fast. That year, had he started with Forsythe, he probably would have won the championship. I'd love him as a teammate."
Former competitors would welcome Allmendinger back: What stands out to Justin Wilson about the multi-dimensional AJ Allmendinger?
"He's just a really fun guy to be around, easy-going and obviously fan favorite. He's quick as well and can back up all his kidding around off the track with the speed on the track," said Wilson, who has competed against and has been a teammate of Allmendinger.
The two, who most recently teamed up to co-drive a Michael Shank Racing entry to third place in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, crossed paths again as the fog was lifting at Sebring International Raceway to start a team/manufacturer test day. Both had work to attend to - Wilson in a Honda-powered Dale Coyne Racing car and Allmendinger getting his initial laps in the No. 2 Team Penske-prepared Chevrolet entry - so catching up was limited to a few pit lane pleasantries.
Wilson and Allmendinger also were teammates in Champ Car at RuSPORT during the 2005 season, in which Wilson finished third in the championship (behind titlist Sebastien Bourdais and Oriol Servia) and Allmendinger placed fifth. The previous season, Allmendinger edged out Wilson for Rookie of the Year honors.
Wilson remained at RuSPORT for 2006 and was runner-up to Bourdais in the championship. Allmendinger competed in the first four races of the season for RuSPORT, but was replaced by 2002 CART champion Cristiano da Matta. Five days later, he joined Forsythe Championship Racing and won the next three races. He earned five victories in all and placed third in the standings.
On this particular winter day, Allmendinger was examining another career option. Surrounded by familiar faces, he got reacquainted with an Indy car.
"He'll get back up to speed quickly. It's the finer details of the car that takes time," Wilson said. "I enjoy racing him and would love to do so again. I think he would bring some interest to the series."
Bourdais, a four-time Champ Car champion, who is entering his second season with Dragon Racing agrees.
"He's a tough racer," said Bourdais, who joined new teammate Sebastian Saavedra in testing Feb. 18 at Sebring. "He's fast and the records speak for themself. We had some pretty serious battles. It will be interesting to see how it shakes out. Maybe he'll get back full time (in the series). (If so) he's going to be running at the front with one of the best cars."
Multiplatinum Album and Grammy Award Winning Artist Lupillo Rivera to Perform at Auto Club 400
Mexican Regional musicianLupillo Rivera will perform live at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 race at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, March 24 at 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Lupillo is expected to perform his first single of 2013 “Yo Te Extrañare” (I Will Miss You) on the Auto Club Speedway FanZone Entertainment Stage. He recorded the single in honor of his late sister, Jenni Rivera, who passed away in December.
The Rivera family came from humble beginnings. After immigrating to the United States from Mexico, Lupillo’s father Don Pedro Rivera saved enough money picking fruits at local farms and selling souvenir buttons at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles to launch the Rivera musical dynasty. Don Pedro established his own record label and as fate would have it, when a singer of a band did not show up for the recording session, Lupillo stepped in, sang and recorded his first songs.
In 2000, his single “El Moreno” was the hit song that jump started his musical career. After the success of “El Moreno,” he recorded the album titled “Despreciado,” where he covered traditional Mexican songs. “Despreciado” went multiplatinum and garnered popularity in both the United States and Mexico. Lupillo went on to win several industry awards including a Grammy Award for Best Banda Album in 2010 for “Tu Esclavo y Amo”.
K&N Series Battle at the Beach results from Daytona
|1||24||Cameron Hayley||Cabinets by Hayley/GPM||155|
|2||20||Gray Gaulding*||Krispy Kreme||155|
|3||4||Bryan Ortiz||Putinka Vodka||155|
|4||2||Ryan Gifford||Sunoco/Langley Speedway||155|
|5||96||Ben Kennedy||EMCO/Mac Tools/Mechanix Wear||155|
|6||6||Derek Thorn||Sunrise Ford/Lucas Oil/Eibach||155|
|7||28||D J Kennington||N.P.P./NAPA Know How||155|
|8||21||Michael Self||Golden Gate Meat Co./Bay Bio Diesel||155|
|9||26||Greg Pursley||GPM/Star Nursery/Real Water||154|
|10||69||Kyle Larson||Curb Records||154|
|11||47||Cale Conley||Tait Towers||154|
|12||55||Noel Dowler*||EMCO/Apollo Motorsports||154|
|13||0||Jorge Goeters*||NASCAR Toyota Mexico Series||153|
|14||00||Tyler Reddick*||Ken Schrader Racing||152|
|15||36||Dalton Zehr*||Whelen Engineering||151|
|16||90||Martin Roy*||King Auto Sport Canada||148|
|17||77||Austin Self*||AM Technical Solutions||148|
|18||19||Chuck Buchanan Jr.*||Spring Drug||145|
|19||71||Daryl Harr||i World||139|
|20||37||Dylan Presnell||American Mountain Rentals/Amtrol||122|
|21||16||Sergio Pena||NAPA Auto Parts||119|
|23||92||Ander Vilarino*||Euro Racecar NASCAR Touring Series||98|
|24||17||David Mayhew||MMI Services/Ron's Rear Ends||94|
|25||39||C J Faison||Sherwin Williams||80|
|26||72||Carl Harr||West World Computers||78|
|27||98||Dylan Kwasniewski||Rockstar Engery Drink/Royal Purple Oil||75|
|28||8||John Hunter Nemechek*||AM/FM Energy||59|
NASCAR Whelen Modified results from Daytona Battle at the Beach
|2||58||Eric Goodale||RBS Design Showroom||151|
|3||3||Ted Christopher||Cape Cod Copper/Silver Dollar Const.||151|
|4||52||Doug Coby||Seekonk Grand Prix/Sypher Const||151|
|5||07||Patrick Emerling||Emerling Chevrolet Dealership||151|
|6||51||Justin Bonsignore||M3 Technology||151|
|7||23||Brian Loftin||L & R Transmission||151|
|8||73||Cole Powell*||Copp's Buildall/Tricar||151|
|9||18||Ken Heagy||Buoy One Seafood||151|
|10||8||Dalton Baldwin*||Woman 2 Woman Breast Cancer Fdn||151|
|11||6||Ron Silk||T.S. Haulers/Calverton Tree Farm||151|
|12||79||Woody Pitkat||Hill Enterprises/Coors Light||151|
|13||22||Mike Stefanik||Robert B Our Co/John H Canto & Sons Paving||150|
|14||21||J.R. Bertuccio||Gershow Recycling||148|
|15||1||Burt Myers||CitruSafe/Budget Sales & Licensing||147|
|16||7||Kyle Larson*||Menards/McDonald's/Curb Records||145|
|17||33||Gary Fountain, Sr.||APR/Brunns Racing/Uncle Kenny's BBQ||145|
|18||97||Bryan Dauzat||OB Builders Inc||143|
|19||40||Luke Fleming*||Jerry Hunt Auto Sales/Koma Unwind||140|
|20||4||Jason Myers||Westbend Vineyard & Brewhouse||139|
|21||2||Todd Szegedy||UNOH/Dunleavy Repair||135|
|22||70||Jeremy Gerstner*||GMR Complete Lawn Care/MagneGas||133|
|23||41||Donny Lia||Mystic Missile Racing||124|
|24||44||Bobby Santos||Robert B. Our Co/Canto & Sons Paving||123|
|25||65||Danny Bohn||Rustoleum/Rifenburg Construction||117|
|26||16||Ryan Preece||East West Marine/Diversified Metals||117|
|28||60||Matt Hirschman||B.C. Brennenstuhl/L.I. Mod Maniac||108|
|29||99||Jamie Tomaino||Supreme Manufacturing||97|
|30||14||Brandon Ward||Kevin Powell Mtspts/Crane & Rigging||86|
|31||11||Andy Seuss||Phoenix Pre-Owned Motors/RAMOD Engines||59|
|32||98||Dave Brigati*||JDL Environmental/Rubble Master||42|
|33||80||Jimmy Zacharias*||WRC Incorporated/Wilbur Auto Sales||21|
Regan Smith Seeks Additional Crown Jewel in His Collection
Regan Smith, 2011 winner of the prestigious Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, aims to claim an additional NASCAR crown jewel this weekend. Smith and Phoenix Racing will team up to tackle the high banks of Daytona International Speedway in one of NASCAR's most coveted races, the Daytona 500. Smith will pilot the No. 51 Guy Roofing Chevrolet in his sixth Daytona 500 attempt.
"Daytona is one of our most special races," Smith said. "If you win the Daytona 500, your name is forever followed by 'a former Daytona 500 winner'. It's a victory that will always be a highlight of your career. Like the Southern 500, it's one of NASCAR's most historic and coveted events. It's one that everyone wants to win and say that they reached victory lane there. I am excited about working with Phoenix Racing this weekend and our chance to make history with our Guy Roofing Chevrolet."
"This race can be an emotional roller coaster," continued Smith. "Anything can happen at Daytona. There's never a dull moment. Just when you think you're safe or expecting to get a good finish, you can run into trouble and ruin your day. At the same time, you can race from the back of the pack to the front in just a few laps, so you're never out of it. You'll experience some very highs and lows during the 500 miles, that's for sure."
Smith has 10 previous Sprint Cup Series starts at the 2.5-mile historic track. He's garnered one top-10 and six top-25s, achieving a best finish of seventh place in 2011. Leading Smith's charge will be crew chief Nick Harrison. Harrison and Smith worked together for two Sprint Cup races in 2012. The duo's best finish was at Phoenix International Raceway, which Smith started eighth and finished 24th.
Guy Roofing will make its Sprint Cup Series debut as sponsor of Smith's No. 51 Chevrolet. Guy Roofing Inc. is a family owned and operated business with a national footprint specializing in storm related roof replacements. All of their roofing specialists are experienced and trained in the insurance claim process.
"Guy Roofing is next door to our race shop, so we better give them a good race or they know where to find us," joked Steve Barkdoll, general manager of Phoenix Racing. "In all seriousness, I'm delighted to have them as a partner. NASCAR's fan loyalty and broad fan base make our sport a terrific venue for them to share their brand and message, and I look forward to racing with them this season."
The Daytona 500 will start at 1:00 on Sunday, February 24. The event will broadcast on FOX, MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio.
Phoenix Racing PR
RCR Team Advance - Daytona 500 Advance
Richard Childress Racing
RCR NSCS resume at The World Center of Racing ... Dating back to 1976, Richard Childress Racing has won 10 poles and collected five victories at the most-storied race track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit. RCR owns two Daytona 500 wins (Dale Earnhardt - 1998, Kevin Harvick - 2007), three Coke Zero 400 trophies (Earnhardt - 1990, 1993 and Harvick - 2010) and 14 qualifying races, including 10-consecutive victories with Earnhardt (1990 - 1999) and Jeff Burton's most recent win in 2011. Harvick became the fourth driver to win back-to-back Sprint Unlimited titles (2009 and 2010) and tallied the eighth win in the event last Saturday night for RCR, which is more than any other NSCS organization. In addition to Harvick's victories, Earnhardt won the Sprint Unlimited five times (1986, '88, '91, '93, and '95).
RCR in the NSCS ... In 2,273 Sprint Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 101 wins, 435 top-five finishes, 910 top-10 finishes and 42 pole awards, with an average starting position of 17.9 and an average finishing position of 15.8 among all races contested. RCR has earned six Sprint Cup Series championships with Dale Earnhardt (1986, '87, '90,'91, '93, '94), 14 total championships (five NASCAR Nationwide Series titles, two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series titles and one ARCA Racing Series title) and was the first organization to win titles in NASCAR's three national series.
Interactive RCR ... For up-to-date news and exclusive content, visit RCR's Twitter page - @RCRracing - along with the RCR Sprint Cup Series team Twitter pages - @RCR27PMenard, @RCR29KHarvick, @RCR31JeffBurton and driver Twitter page @KevinHarvick. Information about the 14-time championship winning organization can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RichardChildressRacing and at www.RCRracing.com along with official driver pages - www.facebook.com/PaulMenard27, www.facebook.com/OfficialKevinHarvick and www.facebook.com/OfficialJeffBurton.
Catch the Action ... The 55th running of the Daytona 500 will be televised live Sunday, Feb. 24 beginning at 1 p.m. ET on FOX and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The Budweiser Duels at Daytona, two 150-mile qualifying races will take the green flag Thursday, Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on SPEED, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
No. 27 PEAK/Menards Chevrolet SS
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week's PEAK/Menards Chevrolet ... Paul Menard will pilot chassis No. 409 for both the Budweiser Duel and Daytona 500. This No. 27 Chevrolet SS is a new addition to the Richard Childress Racing stable this season.
Stats for "The Great American Race"... Menard has 11 starts at Daytona International Speedway. His best start of first came in July 2008 and his best finish of sixth came in last year's Daytona 500. The Wisconsin native has completed 1,933 of 1,948 laps attempted at the 2.5-mile superspeedway, leading 37 of them.
PEAK Colors Adorn the Hood of No. 27 Menards Chevrolet ...PEAK's parent company, Old World Industries, LLC, headquartered outside of Chicago in Northbrook, Ill., was founded more than 30 years ago. Today, the company conducts business in more than 52 countries around the Globe and is a symbol of growth and success. Peak Performance Products provides a variety of consumer products for automotive enthusiasts. For more information, visit www.peakauto.com.
Time to Duel ... The Budweiser Duels at Daytona feature two 150-mile races to determine the final starting grid for the Daytona 500. By virtue of qualifying 14th in last Sunday's qualifying session, Menard will start seventh in the second of the two qualifying races on Thursday, Feb. 21.
Let's Get "Sirius"... Be sure to tune in to Sirius XM Radio Channel 90 at 3:15 p.m.ET on Saturday, Feb. 23. Menard will join hosts Dave Moody and Angie Skinner atop the Fan Deck at Daytona International Speedway to chat about what to expect heading into Sunday's Daytona 500.
Don't Miss Your Chance to See Paul Menard at the Chevy Q&A ... Fans can participate in a question-and-answer session with Menard on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 12:30 p.m. ET on the Team Chevy Stage, located in the merchandise area outside of Turn 4.
PAUL MENARD QUOTES:
Paul Menard's Strategy for the Budweiser Duels on Thursday:
"We aren't locked into the "500", so we've got to go race. After watching the Sprint Unlimited Saturday night, the cars seemed to drive pretty well, even though it was really cold out. We are going to be racing the Duels on Thursday in the daylight. I'm not sure what the temperature is going to be, but nonetheless it's going to be a little more of a handful. We've got to keep the nose clean on our PEAK/Menards Chevrolet and just go out and race hard."
Menard's Thoughts on the Daytona 500:
"There are a lot of unknowns going into the Daytona 500. We learned a little bit about how this new Gen-6 car will handle in the draft during testing in January and practice last week. I think it's going to be a handful in the draft. We will get some drivability built into the cars between now and the "500", but it's going to be a wild race. It feels a lot like the old surface before they repaved it. It has a lot less grip and the cars slide around quite a bit, but that what makes for a fun and exciting race."
No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week's Budweiser Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway ... Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No.407 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in both the Budweiser Duel and Daytona 500. New to the fleet, this Chevrolet SS will run its first competitive laps at the 2.5-mile superspeedway during Budweiser Speedweeks.
The Champion Returns ... When the 2007 Daytona 500 champion takes the green flag for the 55th running of the "Great American Race", it will mark his 24th points-paying Sprint Cup Series appearance at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Over the years, the Bakersfield, Calif., native has collected two victories (2007 Daytona 500 and July 2010), five top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. Harvick is also credited with 178 laps led.
Draught-ing School... While on-track at DIS, drivers focus on drafting, but on Wednesday night Harvick will learn about draught beer as he and Budweiser's own Scott Seggi host a private Budweiser Draught School event in Daytona Beach, Fla., for local retailers.
Budweiser Clydesdales... DIS fans can get a close look at the Budweiser Clydesdales, an enduring symbol of Anheuser-Busch's heritage, tradition and commitment to quality for nearly 80 years. The Budweiser Clydesdales will be stationed in the DIS midway for the remainder of Budweiser Speedweeks. In addition, the hitch, consisting of eight Clydesdales, the famous red, white and gold beer wagon, and two drivers seated next to the hitch's signature mascot Dalmation will take part in a pre-race parade lap prior to the Budweiser Duel on Thursday, Feb. 21 and the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24.
Dueling for a Position ... Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team posted the 25th-fastest lap in Daytona 500 qualifying, earning the team a 13th-place starting spot in the first Budweiser Duel 150 race on Thursday, Feb. 21. SPEED will provide live television coverage of the twin qualifying races starting at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.
You've Got Questions, He's Got Answers ... Harvick will participate in a fan question-and-answer session prior to the start of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 9:40 a.m. ET at the Team Chevy Stage.
2012 Race Rewind ... Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team finished seventh in the 54th running of the Daytona 500 after being delayed one day by rain and a fire that erupted as a car made contact with a jet dryer.
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE:
Kevin Harvick discusses the unknowns heading into the Daytona 500.
"I think you have to keep an open mind about things. You have to be ready for anything as we go through the week. Budweiser Speedweeks is always a little bit different than every other race, because the week kind of evolves from start to finish. I've been through weeks where we've wrecked anything in sight, and I've been through weeks where you've won races and been successful through the week. You have to stay calm and not get too high on the highs or too low on the lows and be ready for Sunday."
Kevin Harvick shares what he has learned about restrictor-plate racing throughout the years.
"The biggest thing is you have to try and be around at the end. We have been successful with varying strategies as we've gone through the years, especially running in the back. I think the safest place to be, especially right now, is running up front, to be able to understand the cars and you wind up with a little more experience on when to make the move. We're going to race hard, and see where we fall in the end and hopefully miss the wrecks."
No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This week's No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet ... Jeff Burton will race chassis No. 296 in the second Budweiser Duel and Daytona 500. This chassis was utilized last season in the Daytona 500 by Burton and saw action at multiple restrictor-plate events during the 2010 and 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series seasons with driver Clint Bowyer.
Burton at "The World Center of Racing" ... Burton's has 38 starts at Daytona International Speedway with one win (July 2000), nine top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. Burton also scored the pole position for the 2006 Daytona 500 and has led 145 laps at the historic 2.5-mile superspeedway.
Featured Caterpillar Dealers ... Pon CAT, Ring Power CAT and Toromont CAT will be featured on the deck lid of the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet this weekend in the Daytona 500.
- Pon CAT is the Dutch, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish CAT dealer. Pon Equipment and Pon Power focus on the marketing, sales, rental and distribution of CAT earthmoving equipment, CAT marine engines, generators, emergency power generators and diesel engines for various industrial applications. For more information, visit www.pon-cat.com.
- Ring Power CAT is the Central and Northeast Florida Caterpillar dealer, headquartered in St. Augustine, Fla. Ring Power is comprised of eight divisions and has 50 years of experience selling, servicing and supporting Caterpillar and allied equipment. Additional information about the Ring Power organization, its products, services and employment opportunities can be found on the Internet at www.ringpower.com.
- Toromont CAT is your Canadian Caterpillar dealer in Ontario, Manitoba, Nunavut, Newfoundland and Eastern Labrador. Toromont offers a complete line of Caterpillar equipment. Toromont also provides products for electric power generation, gas, marine, and industrial engines, as well as used equipment, rental equipment, and supplies all parts and service needs. For more information, visit www.toromont.com.
Speedweeks Public Appearances ... Burton will participate in two different question-&-answer sessions at Daytona International Speedway this week. The first will take place at the Team Chevy Stage on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 11 a.m. ET and the second on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 8:40 a.m. ET in the Sprint FANZONE located in the DIS infield.
Before the main event ... The Budweiser Duels at Daytona feature two 150-mile races which will determine the final starting grid for the Daytona 500. By virtue of qualifying 20th in last Sunday's Daytona 500 qualifying session, Burton will start 10th in the second race on Thursday, Feb. 21.
New faces in 2013 ... Luke Lambert returns to the No. 31 pitbox in Sprint Cup Series competition after spending 17 races as interim crew chief of the No. 31 team to finish the 2011 season. Most recently, Lambert served as crew chief on the No. 2 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide Series leading driver Elliott Sadler to four wins, four pole awards, 15 top-five and 24 top-10 finishes en route to a second-place finish in driver championship point standings. Veteran Keith Barnwell will also join the No. 31 team as Burton's primary spotter for the 2013 season.
Restrictor-plate ringer ... Over the past five points-paying restrictor-plate events at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, Burton has tallied five consecutive top-10 finishes including a runner-up effort in the Coke Zero 400 at DIS last July.
JEFF BURTON QUOTE:
How big is the Daytona 500 for you as a driver?
"We've been close to winning so many restrictor-plate races lately at Daytona (International Speedway) and Talladega (Superspeedway) the last few years. We actually came really close here at Daytona last July and finished second. The Daytona 500 is huge. To win the Daytona 500 after my brother (Ward) won it in 2002 would be a really cool family feat. With our children working up through the racing ranks, if we could build a family legacy of winning the Daytona 500, that would be really special."
No. 33 Honey Nut Cheerios Chevrolet SS
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Week's Honey Nut Cheerios Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway ... Austin Dillon will pilot Chassis No. 334 in the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. This is a new addition to the RCR fleet that is being utilized for the first time this week.
Dillon at Daytona ... Although this year's Daytona 500 marks Dillon's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series attempt at DIS, the Welcome, N.C., driver has a pair of top-five finishes at the 2.5-mile restrictor-plate track in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. He finished fifth in February 2012 and fourth in July 2012. In addition, He has two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at the track with a best finish of 20th in 2011.
Welcome, Buzz ... Dillon's pal Buzz, the official SpokesBee of Honey Nut Cheerios, will be featured on the hood of the No. 33 Chevrolet for the Great American Race. This marks the fifth year of Richard Childress Racing's partnership with General Mills, which is a major associate sponsor throughout the year in the Sprint Cup Series on the No. 31 Cheerios Chevrolet and driver Jeff Burton. Cheerios, America's No.1 cereal franchise, debuted in 1941 as Cheerioats. The nation's first ready-to-eat oat cereal has since become one of the most trusted and recognized brands in America. In fact, one of every eight boxes of cereal sold in America is a box of Cheerios. General Mills' popular franchise includes Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Multi Grain Cheerios, Multi Grain Cheerios, Peanut Butter Cheerios, Chocolate Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios, Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, Cinnamon Burst Cheerios, Fruity Cheerios, Dulce de Leche Cheerios, Yogurt Burst Cheerios and Banana Nut Cheerios.
Dillon's DRIVE4COPD ... Dillon's paternal grandfather, Stan Dillon, passed away following a battle with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease (COPD) in May 2012, sparking Dillon to partner with the COPD foundation to encourage all Americans aged 35 or older to log onto www.drive4copd.org/screener to take a brief, five-question screener to see if they might be at risk for COPD, a serious and progressive lung disease that is the third leading cause of death of Americans.If the screener indicates risk, patients are encouraged to take the next step and speak with their healthcare professional or call the C.O.P.D. Information Line (1-866-316-2673) to discuss what their score may mean. Because COPD is a progressive disease that causes irreversible lung damage, early diagnosis and disease management are critical to helping patients breathe better in the future.
Time to Duel ... The Budweiser Duels at Daytona feature two 150-mile races from which the majority of the final starting grid for the Daytona 500 will be set. By virtue of qualifying 16th in last Sunday's qualifying session, Dillon will start eighth in the second of the two qualifying races on Thursday, Feb. 21.
Double Duty ... In addition to competing at Daytona International Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this weekend, Dillon is scheduled to drive the No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday, Feb. 23. The Daytona Nationwide Series race kicks off a season-long campaign in which Dillon plans to battle for the 2013 Driver's Title after earning Rookie-of-the-Year honors and finishing third in the final Driver's Championship Point Standings in 2012. The DRIVE4COPD300 is live on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Off Season ... Dillon has spent much of the off season hunting throughout the U.S., traveling to locations such as Texas, Kansas, Georgia and Montana to hunt with friends and family members.
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTES:
This will be your first Daytona 500. What does that mean to you?
"The prestige that this race holds and being out here and being able to watch some of RCR's guys go to Victory Lane throughout the years and be in Victory Lane to celebrate with them has really helped me appreciate the race and made me even more excited to participate myself. It's just awesome to be able to fire the engine and try and make this race. It's just a great opportunity and I can't wait until Sunday comes."
What did you learn during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing in January that might help you here at Daytona International Speedway for the Daytona 500 this weekend?"Drafting. It was pretty good to be able to get out there and run near the other drivers and see what the cars handled like. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars didn't handle as well as the NASCAR Nationwide Series cars. There's just so much more power and less downforce. We're out there and it's going to be wild. You have to be able to be there at the end to make something happen. I think that's what all of these races come down to. I think we are going to have a shot just like anybody else once we get into the race."
Mark Martin Daytona Preview
No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Mark Martin returns to Daytona International Speedway Wednesday in preparation for Thursday’s Daytona Duels that set the starting field for Sunday’s running of the 55th annual Daytona 500.
Martin will start 14th in the second Duel on Thursday. It’s been a tough Speedweeks so far for the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing team. The team wrecked in Friday practice and during Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited. Martin said despite the introduction of the new Gen-6 cars this season, there are no worries about having enough cars for this week.
PLANS FOR WEEK: “We’re going to race -- we came here to race and we’re going to race. We may not race in practice on Wednesday, but we’re going to race on Thursday and continue to try to learn. I guess I’ve got 20 laps of drafting so far out of this whole thing and two cars down. We’re still going to try to learn Thursday for the 500. I’m not so much worried about where we start.”
CAR COUNT: “I think we don’t mind tearing one more up before the (Daytona) 500. But that’s something we certainly want to avoid. We are fortunate, MWR has worked really hard to have cars ready and that’s going to pay off this week.”
DAYTONA 500: “I’m not superstitious and I don't believe in lucky charms or anything like that. In fact, I avoid all that stuff. But I have noticed this is the 55th Daytona 500 and the No. 55 is a pretty cool number, don't you think?