Tuesday, Nov 28
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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International Speedway Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select Markets: ISCA; OTC Bulletin Board: ISCB) ("ISC") today provided additional details on NASCAR's domestic broadcast rights contracts for its Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck series, as well as other related programming. 

In a press release dated July 23, 2013, NASCAR and NBC Sports Group announced they have reached a 10-year comprehensive agreement granting NBCUniversal ("NBC") exclusive rights to the final 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, final 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series events, select NASCAR Regional & Touring Series events and other live content beginning in 2015.  Further, NBC has been granted Spanish-language rights, certain video-on-demand rights and exclusive 'TV Everywhere' rights for its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series events.  Financial terms were not provided but according to NASCAR it is the largest media rights deal in the sport's 65-year history.   

Of NBC's 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, seven will be carried on NBC annually, with 13 airing on NBC Sports Network. Four of NBC's 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series races will air on NBC, with 15 airing on NBC Sports Network.

"We are excited for the return of NBCUniversal and its family of networks to NASCAR," stated ISC Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy.  "This groundbreaking agreement demonstrates the increasing value of our sport and builds upon the significant positive momentum seen recently in our industry.  From the introduction of the Gen-6 car to the recently launched DAYTONA Rising project, we continue to build for the successful future of our sport by providing fans with the best live event experience at the racetrack and through various channels like television and online.

"Broadcast rights represent ISC's largest revenue segment and these recent deals provide us the long-term visibility to continue investing in our business to the benefit of our fans, partners and local communities while continuing to build shareholder value.  We are poised to elevate ISC and the sport by having two of the world's largest media companies – NBC and FOX – promote NASCAR."

The NBC agreement follows the FOX Sports Media Group ("FOX") announcement for its NASCAR broadcast rights.  In October 2012, FOX signed an eight-year extension of its broadcast rights (2015 – 2022), which industry sources valued at approximately $2.4 billion or an average annual rights fee of $300.0 million.  FOX retains the television rights to 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races beginning each year with the prestigious DAYTONA 500®. In addition, FOX retains the rights to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, The Sprint Unlimited, the Budweiser Duel At Daytona, the entire NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season and practice and qualifying for both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races that FOX broadcasts.

Of the 39 total NASCAR Sprint Cup events (points and non-points) there are only 3 Sprint Cup broadcast rights that remain to be negotiated.  And, 14 of 33 NASCAR Nationwide series broadcast rights also remain to be negotiated.  All NASCAR Camping World Truck series events broadcast rights have been secured through 2022.  

ISC PR

Having raced in every season since the Nascar Camping World Truck Series debuted in 1995, MB Motorsports has experienced a lot of firsts. The Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway was not only their first race on dirt, but also marked another first for the little, part time team from Wright City, MO.

"In the nineteen seasons we've been racing in the truck series," notes team owner Mike Mittler, "we had never run four consecutive races- until now.  In the past, the schedule has been broken up with a track that's beyond the distance we usually travel within.  This year, though, things just worked out so we ran four in a row and that's really something for us."

The trip to Eldora was a learning experience for all the teams, as not only had the NCWTS never run on dirt, but the last time NASCAR raced on dirt, 1970, most of the drivers in the field hadn't been born yet.  "Eldora was definitely a learning experience for me," says 20 year old Justin Jennings, driver of the #63 LG Seeds Ford.  "Mike [Mittler] saw that I was wracking my brain just to get a handle on things and asked Kenny Schrader if he'd give me some pointers, which he did.  Everybody in racing loves Kenny Schrader and for good reason.  He took the time to help me out when he had his own team to take care of.  Everything he told me, I was able to apply out on the track and man, I went from slippin' and slidin' to runnin' smooth, fast laps.  Well, at least as smooth a lap as you can run on dirt," he adds with a smile.

Jennings finished 4th, behind Ryan Newman, in his Heat Race to make the field, which required him to make the field by scoring a top 5 finish in the last chance qualifying race.  A gutsy dive to the inside at the start of the qualifying race propelled Justin into thrid place, where he stayed before the caution came out with four to go.  An eventual fourth place finish secured a 29th starting position for the LG SEEDS Ford. Jennings applied what he learned from Schrader to keep the fenders on the LG SEEDS Ford and bring it home in 23rd place.

 

"This race is easily the biggest race I've ever been in.  It was like the Daytona 500 had come to the truck series- on dirt.  It was amazing," said Jennings. Mittler agreed, adding "This Mudsummer Classic was just a class act from start to finish.  Tony Stewart and his folks made an unbelievable effort to make this event happen and it was flawless.  I can't say enough about it.  My old friend Kenny Schrader helped us out a bunch, too, mentoring young Justin on the ways of dirt track racing."

 

MB Motorsports PR

U.S. Cellular continues its summer of Better Moments with a  series of events in Iowa throughout July and August, including fun and games at the U.S. Cellular 250 and Iowa State Fair along with special appearances by NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace and television personality and Iowa-native Frank Fritz.

Kenny Wallace will kick-start the fun July 31 at the Jordan Creek Town Center in West Des Moines. Residents are invited to meet Wallace and race against him using remote controlled cars on a custom-built racetrack. The free event is open to the public and runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wallace and members of U.S. Cellular's Band of Better also will provide attendees with giveaways and will offer exclusive perks to U.S. Cellular customers, such as Fan Walk tickets to the U.S. Cellular 250 race and general admission tickets to the Iowa State Fair. 

At the Iowa Speedway on Aug. 2, Wallace will take a break from the driver's seat from 10:30 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 2 p.m. to again partner with the Band of Better to surprise attendees with VIP perks, such as free concessions, trips to the Press Box and chauffeured golf cart transportation.

"I'm excited to join U.S. Cellular this summer to give back to the great people of Iowa and am looking forward to meeting and having fun with racing fans," Wallace said. "If there's one thing I stand for, it's loyalty and U.S. Cellular certainly understands the value of rewarding customer loyalty."

The fun continues Aug. 9 at the Iowa State Fair when the Band of Better is joined by Frank Fritz from HISTORY Channel's American Pickers from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Fritz and the Band of Better will reward patrons with hand-picked surprise perks and deliver U.S. Cellular customers VIP experiences.

"At U.S. Cellular, we want to create memorable moments for friends and families, and we can't wait to see everyone's excitement at these events," said Don Cochran, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Iowa. "We appreciate our customers and are recognizing their loyalty by creating fun and unique experiences they can't get anywhere else."

The Band of Better also will make an appearance at River Roots Live Aug. 16 and 17 in Davenport.

To find out how you can become a U.S. Cellular VIP and win the Ultimate Summer Experience at this season's upcoming hottest festivals, fairs and sporting events, visit U.S. Cellular's Facebook page and click on the Sweepstakes Tab to enter.  

The sweepstakes is open only to individuals who are U.S. Cellular customers on or before June 13. No purchase is necessary. The sweepstakes ends Aug. 2. Complete information on eligibility and official rules is available on the Sweepstakes tab.

US Cellular PR

Ron Otto thought his traveling days were through when his duties at Richard Childress Racing shifted a few years ago. But being that the Columbus, Ohio, native is – by his own admission – a racer at heart, it wasn't long before he had the itch again.

In fact, before he even realized said itch to be at the race track existed, he was ready already racing virtually every weekend.

“I traveled for 18 years for different teams,” said Otto, who is now the crew chief for Brandon Gdovic in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. “I'm a racer. When I'm not working, I'm racing. After I stopped traveling, I did a couple K&N races with Jake Crum (in 2010) – and we ran pretty good, it fulfilled the need for a couple of races for me, and it gave me the itch.

“It's a second full-time job for me. Again, if I'm not doing this, I'm doing some dirt racing with my son, or I'm doing some consulting with other teams on dirt and asphalt. Most every weekend I'm at a race somewhere.”

Last season, Otto led Corey LaJoie to within a whisker of winning the K&N Pro Series championship. He picked up right where he led off this year, leading Gdovic to his first career victory at Greenville Pickens Speedway in the spring. A template specialist at Michael Waltrip Racing by day, Otto has nearly 40 races on his resume as a crew chief at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series levels.

Otto isn't alone.

A series dominated by young, aspiring drivers has a wealth of veteran experience calling the shots atop the pit boxes and behind the scenes. From Turner Scott Motorsports competition director Mike Greci to  Rev Racing crew chief Mark Green, NASCAR's national series are finding their way to the K&N Pro Series through a lot more than driver development programs.

There's Doug George, Lee McCall, Mark McFarland, Wes Ward, Mardy Lindley – all either accomplished drivers or crew chiefs in one of NASCAR's three national series, and all now crew chiefs in the K&N Pro Series East.

Five years ago, Mark Green never imagined he'd be a winning crew chief in this series.

“Back then I thought, 'Well, I still love to drive the cars,'” said Green, who has more than 300 career Nationwide Series starts on his driving resume. “I'd done it forever, but I couldn't see the forest for the trees. It really evolved into what I'm doing now with the way economy and the sponsorship side of it was going. It took opportunities away from me as a driver, so on the other side of it, I probably thought crew chief would be my next stop.

“It's not only me, but a lot of the guys that drove back when I was starting out – we built our own cars, we set them up, we did the maintenance. It was kind of a natural progression to become a crew chief.”

Ryan Gifford is happy to have Green working as the crew chief on the No. 2 Rev Racing Toyotas. In his fourth full season in the series, Gifford grabbed his first career win at Richmond International Raceway this season.

Green understands that part of his role extends beyond race track setups. He knows that he can help shape a driver like Gifford – who will make his Nationwide Series debut at Iowa Speedway next week – as he climbs the NASCAR ladder.

“I've been through the experiences and stuff like that,” Green said. “Basically for Ryan, I can kind of help him – not necessarily become a better driver, because he's very good – but I can help him see the pitfalls to avoid and help him on his way there.”

Greci, who worked at the national level for a good portion of his career with drivers like Martin Truex Jr. and Mike McLaughlin, and more recently with Danica Patrick and Travis Pastrana, enjoys the K&N Pro Series. He's won three championships as a crew chief in the series, including back-to-back ones with Ryan Truex in 2009-2010.

“I enjoy it here at this level,” Greci said. “I enjoy the enthusiasm the kids come in with. I've been Cup racing. I've been Nationwide racing. But this is where I want to be.

“Kids don't have any bad habits. They haven't learned everything yet, and that makes it a good teaching position to be in for me. These kids don't come in with mindset that they know how to do it all already. When we walked into Bristol (earlier this season), all five of our drivers had never even seen the place before.”

While the “kids” might not have learned every trick in the book just yet, the crew chiefs they're paired with certainly have. With any number of teams capable of contending for Victory Lane on race day, you can be certain the signal-callers are pulling out all the stops in their stuffed notebooks.

“You know, not really a whole lot of what I do (at MWR) helps me with the K&N stuff,” Otto said, “but my past experience that I carried into this certainly does. Basically, it's simple, old-school, 'we're going racing' here. A lot of us are doing what we were doing before we moved down here to work.

“Sure, there are some things – springs, coil binding, that stuff – where there's a direct correlation between (the K&N Pro Series and the national series), but there's really not a whole lot else. We're running totally different setups. Aero doesn't come into play much here, where the Cup Series is all about aero. The cars, the setups, the technology, it's all very similar to what we had 10-15 years ago. The biggest thing is just that the competition is a lot tougher.”

Green likened the K&N Pro Series today to what the Nationwide Series was four or five years ago. When he looks at the knowledge and technology that's being utilized, he can't help but see the similarities.

And he also can't help but fight the urge to drive again.

“We actually went to Motor Mile three or four weeks ago and tested for a day, and I told Ryan that I'd probably like to shake this car down a little bit,” Green said with a chuckle. “We had all four teams there, and he went out there and ran a good lap right off. He did all the right things, so I figured I didn't have to go out there and do it.

“I would love to continue to crew chief or some type of manager-type job. I love the racing. It's all I've ever done.”

NASCAR PR

Danica Patrick will race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car for the first time Sunday, July 28, but she's still in her comfort zone.

Sprint Cup rookie Patrick will drive the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet in the Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com, adding to her start in the Indiana 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race last year and her seven starts in the Indianapolis 500 from 2005-12.

Patrick was named 2005 Indianapolis 500 Chase Rookie of the Year after finishing fourth and leading 19 laps, becoming the first woman to lead in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing." She finished third in 2009 in the race.

"I don't care what I drive around Indy, I love being there," Patrick said. "I just like everything about it. I like the facility, obviously. And, to me, the special thing about Indy is, obviously, I've had great experiences, but it's about the track. It doesn't matter what kind of car I drive there, I've had great experiences, memories. So that's what I like so much about it.

"And I love the tradition. The older I get, the more I realize how much history and tradition plays a role in what's important and what matters and what means the most to you."

***

Official Program packed with details: The Official Program for the 20th Running of the Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com is on sale now for $10 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

A digital version of the program is on sale for $9.99. The digital program can be downloaded for viewing on an iPhone, iPad, Amazon Kindle Fire or Blackberry. Search for IMS Books in the App Store to find both books.

The Official Program contains 160 pages of interesting, essential content for fans, including driver bios, a track map and historical statistics and highlights from the first 19 editions of the classic NASCAR race.

Feature story subjects include a look back at the inaugural race in 1994, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, a tribute to Jason Leffler, the IZOD IndyCar Series test by Kurt Busch, the new Gen-6 Sprint Cup car, pit reporter Dr. Jerry Punch, reigning Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski, sports car legend Hurley Haywood and Indianapolis-based GRAND-AM team Wayne Taylor Racing.

***

Super Weekend on radio: The IMS Radio Network will provide live coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series action this weekend during the Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard.

All broadcasts will be heard on IMS Radio Network affiliates and Sirius XM Channel 90. A Sprint Cup qualifying show is scheduled from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, July 27, with coverage of the Indiana 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race from 4-7 p.m.

Live coverage of the Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com Sprint Cup race will start at noon Sunday.

The IMS Radio Network team: Doug Rice, anchor; John Andretti, driver analyst; Donald Davidson, historian; Mike King, Turn 1 reporter; Jake Query, Turn 2 reporter; Mark Jaynes, Turn 3 reporter; Chris Denari, Turn 4 reporter; Brett McMillan, Brad Gillie, Pat Patterson, Nick Yeoman, pit reporters.

***

Quick change: Activity took place on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval and Grand Prix road course on the same day for the first time in IMS history Friday, July 26.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series practice took place in the morning on the 2.5-mile oval, with the Brickyard Grand Prix for the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the Brickyard Sports Car Challenge for the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge races taking place Friday afternoon on the 13-turn, 2.534-mile Grand Prix road course.

The inaugural Kroger Super Weekend last year was the first time the IMS oval and Grand Prix road course were used in the same weekend. But NASCAR and GRAND-AM did not run on the same day.

***

Double duty: AJ Allmendinger is participating in unique double-duty this weekend at IMS, competing in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series on the IMS Grand Prix road course and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on the IMS oval.

Allmendinger finished 10th Friday in the No. 6 Aero/Tuvacol/Curb Records Ford Riley Daytona Prototype in the Brickyard Grand Prix and will attempt to qualify Saturday for the Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com in the No. 51 Phoenix Construction Chevrolet.

Allmendinger also raced as a rookie in the Indianapolis 500 in May, finishing seventh for Team Penske.

"This is Indy, so this is pretty special," Allmendinger said. "It is such a prestige race. To be able to race three different cars here in one year is something. To come to a racetrack with so much history really means a lot."

***

Home cooking: Indiana native and resident Tony Stewart won the Brickyard 400 in 2005 and 2007, driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. But Stewart, a resident of nearby Columbus, Ind., admitted that earning a third victory - but his first as owner of Stewart-Haas Racing - would be special Sunday in the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet.

"It would be awesome," Stewart said. "A perfect example was the first year we won the Chili Bowl, which is the biggest Midget race in the country. I won it for good friends of mine, Keith Kunz and Pete Willoughby. Then we were able to win it two years later, but it was the first time I had won it driving my car, and it was just an unbelievable feeling knowing that I had a hand in helping build the program.

"It's always been a dream to win in Indianapolis, and I've been very blessed and fortunate to win it twice now, and that's something that if I died tomorrow I would die a happy man because of those two races. But it would be that much more special to win it as a team owner, too. It's been so much fun working with this group of guys, and even if I didn't win it, if Ryan (Newman) or Danica (Patrick) won the race, I would have the same feeling of gratification just being a part of it and being able to help one of them realize their dream. It would mean just as much to be the winning car owner for Ryan or Danica as it would to win it as a driver and owner."

***

Good luck, Jimmie: 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan presented Jimmie Johnson with his winner's ring for the 2012 Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 Powered by BigMachineRecords.com on Friday, July 26. But Kanaan had a caveat before handing it over.

"I'm going to rub it for luck like (Alex) Zanardi did before he gave me his gold medal before the 500," said Kanaan, referring to a good-luck gesture done by former CART champion and Paralympic gold medalist Alex Zanardi before Kanaan won the Indy 500 in May.
Johnson, a five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion going for his fifth win at Indianapolis, was honored to receive the ring from Kanaan.

"That was special with TK," Johnson said. "What a great surprise. The fact he was here racing and was able to present the ring to me was a lot of fun. Excited to receive it and hope I can get another one next year."

IMS PR

Fans have until Monday, August 5thto take advantage of ticket specials for the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR night race weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.  Offers include a free Sunday pre-race pit pass in addition to being able to purchase two front stretch tickets for $99.

For just $149, fans can get an Upper Champions grandstands ticket for both the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips/Grit Chip 300 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500. A Sunday pre-race pit pass is also included, providing a savings of more than $100 per ticket.

The 2 for $99 special includes two lower front stretch tickets to the AdvoCare 500 for $99. The tickets are located in the Petty and Winners grandstands.

Fans purchasing five tickets in the upper or lower Earnhardt grandstands for the AdvoCare 500 will receive a sixth ticket for free.

The weekend upgrade package adds general admission tickets for just $35 to both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying on Friday, August 30 and the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clip/Grit Chips 300 on Saturday, August 31. 

The High Speed Hospitality upgrade for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 adds a ticket to the infield hospitality tent, a guided pit tour as well as food and beverage for $60.

NASCAR night racing returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Labor Day Weekend for the AdvoCare 500 race weekend. Tickets are on sale now and adult tickets start at $39. Student tickets cost just $19. Other specials are available while supplies last. For more information, visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com or call the AMS Ticket Office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX or (770) 946-4211.

AMS PR

Friday morning at Martinsville Speedway was filled with kid power, not horsepower.

More than 200 children age four to 12 walked two laps around the half-mile oval as part of the Sixth Annual Martinsville-Henry County Family YMCA Walk-A-Thon.

“The kids love coming out here walking around the track,” said Brad Kinkema, executive director of the Martinsville-Henry County Family YMCA. “They know not many people can say they did it.”

While the mile walk was fun and healthy for the excited, but well-behaved group of kids, it was also practical for the YMCA Daycare students. Each year the proceeds from the walk go toward covering the cost of a major summer-ending field trip. This year’s trip is to Natural Bridge.

“Every year we do one great field trip. The whole trip is fairly expensive and the walk helps cover the cost of the charter buses and tickets,” explained Kinkema

Kinkema said the children obtained sponsorship from family, friends and neighbors. “The goal is that the kids don’t have to worry about the expense when it comes time to go,” Kinkema said.

Any funds left after paying for the Natural Bridge trip will be used to purchase back-to-school supplies for children in need.

Horsepower, the NASCAR Sprint Cup kind, returns to Martinsville Speedway October 27 with the running of the Goody’sHeadache Relief Shot 500 Powered by Kroger.

Martinsville Speedway PR

Dover Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE: DVD) today reported results for the three months ended June 30, 2013.

The Company promoted a NASCAR triple-header in Dover during the second quarter of 2013 and 2012. The Company also hosted the second annual Firefly Music Festival from June 21-23, 2013 on the Company’s parking grounds. The Company’s involvement included renting the land to the promoter, providing logistical assistance and handling certain concessions for which the Company retained a certain percent of the gross sales. The inaugural Firefly Music Festival was held in the third quarter of 2012.

Revenues for the second quarter of 2013 were $24,465,000 compared with $23,719,000 in the second quarter of 2012. The increase in revenues was primarily due to the contracted increase in broadcasting revenue and revenue from the Firefly Music Festival offset by lower admissions revenue from lower attendance for the Dover NASCAR weekend.

Operating and marketing expenses were $13,123,000 in the second quarter of 2013 compared to $12,528,000 in the second quarter of 2012. The increase was primarily due to the scheduled increase in purse and sanction fees and increased promotion and security costs during the Dover NASCAR weekend, as well as from costs related to the Firefly Festival.

General and administrative expenses increased slightly to $1,839,000 in the second quarter of 2013 from $1,765,000 in the second quarter of 2012.

Net interest expense decreased to $275,000 in the second quarter of 2013 from $372,000 for the second quarter of 2012. The decrease was due to lower borrowing costs and lower average outstanding borrowings in the second quarter of 2013 compared to 2012.

Earnings from operations before income tax expense for the second quarter of 2013 were $8,391,000 compared with $8,477,000 in the second quarter of 2012.

Net earnings for the second quarter of 2013 decreased slightly to $4,903,000 or $0.13 per diluted share compared to $5,018,000 or $.14 per diluted share for the second quarter of 2012.

During the second quarter of 2013, the Company repurchased 79,896 shares of its common stock on the open market at prices ranging from approximately $2.05 to $2.18 per share.

This release contains or may contain forward-looking statements based on management's beliefs and assumptions. Such statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties which could cause results to vary materially. Please refer to the Company's SEC filings for a discussion of such factors.

Dover Motorsports PR

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