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All-Star Appeal: Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves Preparing for 56th Rolex 24 At Daytona In Two-Day Test03 Nov 2017 Written by Steven B. Wilson
The inherent all-star flavor of the Rolex 24 At Daytona has become a tradition, one that will be especially well-served on Jan. 27-28 at the 56th running of the sports car endurance classic at Daytona International Speedway.
Champions from various other forms of motorsports will once again come to the “World Center of Racing” for the International Motor Sports Association’s (IMSA) season-opening event weekend, helping to form respective “dream teams.” One of those teams, Acura Team Penske, tested on Friday at DIS. Team owner Roger Penske has returned to sports car racing with Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud, Graham Rahal, Dane Cameron and Ricky Taylor co-driving new Acura ARX-05s at the Rolex 24 in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s Prototype class.
Castroneves and Montoya are former Indianapolis 500 champions who will drive full-time this year in the WeatherTech Championship with Cameron and Taylor, Prototype class champions the last two seasons. In addition, Pagenaud and Rahal are IndyCar Series regulars on board for the Rolex 24.
Montoya is a three-time (2007-08, ’13) Rolex 24 champion and two-time (2000, ’15) Indianapolis 500 champion. Castroneves has three Indy 500 victories (2001-02, ’09) and has competed in the Rolex 24 twice, co-driving to a third-place finish in 2008.
“It’s always exciting to come to the Rolex 24 and it’s exciting being involved with Team Penske and Acura,” Montoya said. “I feel like we’re going to start off being really competitive. This car is insane; it really moves. I think with Acura and Team Penske you come in knowing you’re going to probably be the best well-prepared team. With the background of Acura and Team Penske and the driver lineup which is unbelievable … I think we’re going to be tough to beat.”
“When you’re talking about [events like] the DAYTONA 500, the Indy 500, the Super Bowl … the Rolex 24, for the IMSA series, is definitely one of those,” said Castroneves. “It’s the big one. If you’re going to win one race this is where you want to make it happen. Plus it’s a challenge. It is big and that’s why we’re here testing. We want to prepare as much as we can.”
Further adding to this year’s all-star appeal is the entry of two-time (2005-06) Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso, who will co-drive a Ligier LM P2 Prototype for United Autosports.
“Fernando is in kind of the same boat as myself,” said Montoya, who also has raced in F1 and NASCAR. “He’s wanting to try a lot more racing. And he’s passionate about racing.”
Acura Team Penske and other WeatherTech Championship teams will return to DIS on Jan. 5-7 for the annual Roar Before The Rolex 24 – the official preseason test sessions on the 3.56-mile DIS road course.
Tickets for the Roar Before The Rolex 24, the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA, the 60th annual DAYTONA 500 and other Daytona International Speedway events can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat, and by downloading Daytona International Speedway’s mobile app, for the latest news throughout the year.
Race fans will not only have the opportunity to watch a host of ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards drivers on the high banks of Talladega Superspeedway next Tuesday, Nov. 7, but to also mingle with the competitors and receive autographs. Admission is free.
During the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) sanctioned open test, teams will be using new composite material bodies for the first time at the 2.66-mile venue. In part of the day's activities, fans will be able to stroll in the Garage area and mingle with more than 20 teams of the ARCA Racing Series from Noon until 1 p.m. CST. The infield will actually be open from 11 a.m. through 3 p.m., and can watch the practice sessions from the covered Paddock Club, which is directly adjacent to the Garage area and overlooks pit road.
Fans will enter through the North Tunnel near the main entrance of the speedway (look for the giant American Flag). Once checked in at security, fans will be asked to follow the directional signs inside the track to the parking area near the NASCAR XFINITY Garage.
Among the drivers expected to be at Talladega Tuesday include Alabama natives Bret Holmes (Munford) and Thomas Praytor (Mobile), along with Kyle Weatherman, Gus Dean (2016 General Tire 200 at Talladega champion who finished fourth in the 2017 title chase), and Riley Herbst, who wound up fifth in the season-long standings.
The teams will be testing the new bodies, which will be utilized next season at both restrictor-plate tracks – the historic Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway. Talladega’s General Tire 200 in 2018 is set for April 27 where Justin Haley will look to become the first ARCA driver to win back-to-back Talladega events since Tim Steele won three straight events between 1996 and 1998.
“This test will provide a format for us as Series officials to work with the race teams and our key supplier partners at General Tire, Ilmor Engineering, Five Star Bodies, Eibach Springs and JRI Shocks to be as prepared as possible when our product hits the track in 2018 at Daytona and Talladega,” said ARCA Director of Competition & Race Car Technology Grayling Call. “For the teams, it’s an opportunity to begin to gather data to improve their on-track performance and get track time with the new rules package both in single car runs and in the draft.”
ARCA announced in May of 2016 that all teams racing at Daytona and Talladega in 2018 would be required to run the composite material body.
“This is a great opportunity for us as team owners to get a jump start on 2018,” said Billy Venturini of Venturini Motorsports. “We’ve got good data on the new composite material bodies at the short tracks and the intermediate tracks now, but very little at Daytona and Talladega. Those are very important races for us as race teams and for the series overall, so this test is a really good way to start working with the new configuration on our Toyota Camrys.”
“We’re happy to host this test, in the interest of safety and on-track competition,” said Talladega Superspeedway President Grant Lynch. “We’ve seen the new composite bodies on the ARCA Series cars at other ISC tracks and they look great. We’re excited enough about the test that we’ve invited race fans to come on out and watch the cars on-track as well as visit with the drivers and teams in the garage area during the mid-day break.”
Body styles eligible for competition in the ARCA Racing Series at Daytona and Talladega in 2018 include the Chevrolet SS, Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry. Teams have the option of running the ARCA Ilmor 396 or the Legacy engine package.
For more information on Talladega Superspeedway and its upcoming 2018 spring race weekend (April 27-29), which will also include the Sparks Energy 300 for the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the GEICO 500 for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, visit www.
Pocono Raceway announced today the VIP Tailgate packages for the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series weekends are now available for purchase. This announcement comes with 12 days remaining for 2017 ticket purchasers to save 20% on select 2018 Sunday tickets as part of ‘The Tricky Triangle’s’ ticket renewal program.
There are two VIP Tailgating packages currently available for the 2018 season. The VIP Tailgate includes a reserved tailgating spot with space for two vehicles and up to eight guests, private portable restrooms and a secured area. The Premium VIP Tailgate includes all of the items that are featured with the VIP Tailgate as well as a tent, an eight foot table with table cover, four tailgating chairs and a cooler filled with ice. For additional information and to purchase, please visit www.poconoraceway.com/tailgate.
Time is running out on the 2018 Ticket Renewal Program, which ends on November 15, 2017. Those eligible for renewals can save 20% on select 2018 Sunday NASCAR and/or INDYCAR tickets, gain automatic entry for a chance to win an Arctic Cat ATV, Side by Side or Snow Machine upon renewing and have the opportunity to be the first fans to upgrade or move their 2018 seats. Visit www.poconoraceway.com/renewals for more information or call 1-800-722-3929.
Pocono Raceway will host seven motorsports events in 2018, including two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races and the Verizon IndyCar Series. One NASCAR XFINITY Series, one Camping World Truck Series and two ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards races are also on the schedule for 2018.
2018 Pocono Raceway *Event Dates
Friday, June 1: General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 – ARCA Racing Series
Saturday, June 2: Pocono Green 250 - NASCAR XFINITY Series
Sunday, June 3: Pocono 400 – Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Friday, July 27: ARCA 150 – ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards
Saturday, July 28: Overton’s 150 – NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Sunday, July 29: Overton’s 400 – Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Sunday, August 19: ABC Supply 500 – Verizon IndyCar Series
*All events and dates mentioned are schedule to change without notice. Start times and weekend schedules will be announced at a later date by each of the respective sanctioning bodies (NASCAR, INDYCAR and ARCA.) Certain terms and conditions may apply for tickets. A VIP Tailgate package does not include a Sunday Grandstand Gate Admission ticket.
Pocono Raceway PR
Bristol Motor Speedway officials announce that a new pricing structure will go into effect in 2018. The Speedway’s main goal is to introduce new options that benefit both returning fans and new customers who act before upcoming deadlines.
Guests who purchased 2017 tickets will pay the same or a lower price for their 2018 tickets if they renew by Friday, Nov. 10 (Food City 500) and Friday, Feb. 2 (Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race). Meanwhile, new customers who are interested in checking out the Bristol experience can save up to $20 per ticket if they buy before the November and February cutoff dates. Single-day tickets start at just $50 for the Food City 500 on Sunday, April 15 and $60 for the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race on Saturday, Aug. 18.
“Bristol Motor Speedway offers the best views in racing and now fans will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of new price points offered around the stadium,” said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway. “In reviewing data and research from the Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol football game, we accommodated a wider range of ticket options and we think our NASCAR guests will appreciate this new pricing flexibility.”
Season tickets continue to provide the best value and lowest price at Bristol Motor Speedway. A season ticket includes admission to April’s Food City 500 and August’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race NASCAR Cup Series races as well as the NASCAR XFINITY Series Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 in April and August’s Food City 300. In addition, season ticket holders will receive a free ticket to Bush’s Beans Pole Day plus additional incentives and benefits.
The Speedway will also continue to offer interest-free, fee-free payment plans, which will break up payments into smaller increments. The sooner a fan purchases a plan, the smaller their payments will be.
For more information on the new ticket prices, please call the BMS Ticket Office at 423-BRISTOL or visit www.BRISTOLTix.com. Kids tickets will continue to be $10 for kids 12-and-under for the Food City 500 and Bass Pro Shops and free to the remaining NASCAR events.
In addition to watching some of the greatest racing on the NASCAR circuit, there are so many cool options to make a complete weekend of family fun, including great video entertainment provided by Colossus, the world’s largest center-hung video screen, lots of party zones like the Bristol Lawn Party, premium VIP experiences like the Chairman’s Experience, tailgating, on-site camping, concerts, great food and beverages in the concession stands throughout the property, and so much more.
Phoenix Raceway is partnering with the United Food Bank and Levy Restaurants to bring the ZOOMTOWN Market Supporting the United Food Bank to offer race fans who are camping during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Can-Am 500 weekend a one-stop shop for all their race weekend necessities.
“We are delighted to partner with the United Food Bank and Levy Restaurants to provide our fans with an on-site grocery store during the Can-Am 500 race weekend,” Phoenix Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber said. “Our fans will be excited to have a convenient location for all their race weekend needs, and we are proud to help raise funds and support such a worthy cause in the process.”
The ZOOMTOWN Market Supporting the United Food Bank will be in the same location as the previous on-site grocery store, providing a convenient place for campers to purchase food, supplies, alcohol and tobacco. Proceeds from the store will go towards the non-profit organization.
“The race to end hunger never runs out of gas and United Food Bank is honored to have been invited by Phoenix Raceway to participate in this year’s event,” said CEO of United Food Bank Dave Richins. “Their help to ‘race to give’ will help us raise money to provide nutritious food to those in our service area. Thank you to all of NASCAR’s great fans for the support.”
The market will be open every day of race week during the following hours:
- Monday, Nov. 6: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
- Tuesday, Nov. 7: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
- Wednesday, Nov. 8: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
- Thursday, Nov. 9: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
- Friday, Nov. 10: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
- Saturday, Nov. 11: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
- Sunday, Nov. 12: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
- Monday, Nov. 13: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Race fans will be able to find all of their camping and cooking needs in the store, from firewood to food and groceries, as well as ice, beer, snacks and other campground favorites. The store will also serve as the unofficial social hub of the campground as race fans start each day with coffee, donuts and the morning paper.
Tickets to all events throughout the Can-Am 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series weekend at Phoenix Raceway are available online at PhoenixRaceway.com, by phone at 1-866-408-RACE (7223) or in person at the Phoenix Raceway ticket office.
At the 2017 SEMA Show, Pennzoil® announced that Jiffy Lube will be the presenting sponsor of the first ever Pennzoil 400 race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) in 2018. The Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube will race on March 4, 2018, at LVMS as the anchor of a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) triple header weekend.
“The Pennzoil 400 is a tremendous opportunity for the Jiffy Lube brand to further leverage Shell’s rich motorsports history,” said Steve Ledbetter, President, Jiffy Lube International. “It’s exciting to see Pennzoil and the largest automotive maintenance provider, Jiffy Lube, come together for this exhilarating event to deliver race fans an action-packed weekend.”
The Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube is an expanded relationship with Speedway Motorsports Incorporated (SMI) and its motorsports properties; in addition to key B2B elements, the new title race and Jiffy Lube’s presenting sponsorship offer the brands exclusive, one-of-a-kind experiences to extend to their customers.
“It feels like a milestone moment to see Pennzoil and Jiffy Lube, two iconic brands, come together for one thrilling weekend of racing,” said Colin Abraham, President of Shell Lubricants Americas. “In its first year, the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube will promise race fans an adrenaline-inducing track experience.”
Las Vegas is a valued market for Pennzoil with significant brand activations around NASCAR, NHRA, and the SEMA Show in recent years. The race consistently has had one of the highest TV ratings on the circuit and has traditionally enjoyed sell-out crowds in attendance.
"We're pleased to welcome Pennzoil and Jiffy Lube, two respected automotive brands, to fabulous Las Vegas for our spring NASCAR weekend," said Chris Powell, President, Las Vegas Motor Speedway. "Pennzoil has a rich history in NASCAR, showcasing its faith in the future of our industry and sport. We appreciate Pennzoil bringing in Jiffy Lube as presenting sponsor for its first Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway."
Follow all the action and updates from the 2017 SEMA Show on social media via #ShellatSEMA and #Pennzoil400 and check out www.shell.us/sema for a full schedule of events at the Shell “Pioneering Performance” experience and Live Stage. For more information about technical relationships between Pennzoil and motorsports teams, visit www.Pennzoil.com.
Race fans, start your engines for the Month of May 2018.
Tickets for all Month of May events in 2018 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, including the fifth annual INDYCAR Grand Prix and the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, are on sale now at IMS.com and the IMS Ticket Office.
"It's not May yet, but there's no better time than right now to make your plans for another great month of magic at IMS," IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. "Ticket renewals are up for the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, so there's more urgency than ever to get the best seats. Plus there are significant savings for fans who buy their tickets in advance."
The Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil always has been one of the best values in sports, and that will continue with a variety of discounts offered to fans who purchase tickets in advance.
Valuable Race Day offers available to fans for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on Sunday, May 28 include General Admission tickets for $35 and Reserved Seats in the North Vista starting at $50, a savings of $5 and $35, respectively. General Admission prices will raise to $40 when purchased at the gate on Race Day, and ticket prices in all other sections also will increase in 2018.
Other products also are on sale, including tickets for practice and qualifying days for the INDYCAR Grand Prix on Saturday, May 12 and the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, Indy 500 Snake Pit presented by Coors Light (age 18 and over), Miller Lite Carb Day, Firestone Legends Day, Bronze Badges, and parking and camping passes.
Kids 15 and under will continue to be admitted free to all 2018 racing events at IMS when accompanied by an adult General Admission ticket-holder.
Visit IMS.com or visit the IMS Ticket Office to buy tickets for the Month of May 2018. The IMS Ticket Office is located on the first floor of the IMS Administration Building at 4790 W. 16th St. in Indianapolis. It's open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday and also can be reached at 800-822-4639 or 317-492-6700.
Tickets for the 60th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, the Independence Day holiday weekend classic scheduled for Saturday, July 7 at Daytona International Speedway, are now on sale.
Race fans can experience the excitement of night racing at the “World Center of Racing” as the stars of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series battle underneath the lights in the 160-lap, 400-mile race.
Tickets for the Coke Zero 400 start at $60 and children 12 and under are $20 in reserved stadium seating. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com. Other ticket options for the Fourth of July weekend include:
- Hospitality and premium seat packages, including the Rolex 24 Lounge, DAYTONA 500 Club, Harley J’s, Trioval Club and UNOH Fanzone/Pre-race.
- The Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Friday, July 6. Tickets start at $40 and children 12 and under are $10 in reserved seating and free in general admission areas.
In addition to the action on the track, Daytona International Speedway will celebrate the Independence Day holiday weekend by recognizing Medal of Honor recipients and capping off the event with one of the largest fireworks shows in the Southeast.
Mahoning Valley Speedway will close out the 2017 season this coming Sunday, November 5 with a program of Enduros, Demos, Karts and Slingshots.
Scheduled for the 2:00 pm start will be a Big/Small/Jr. Enduro features. Additional feature events will be Champ Karts, All-Star Slingshots and Micro Stocks. A big Car and Small Car Demo Derby will take place in the infield.
If 20 or more cars are entered in each Demo Derby they will conduct heats with the payout being $800 to win, $400 for second and $200 for third. If there are features only with no heats run the winner’s share will be $600 with $300 and $150 respectively for second and third.
The cost to enter the Demo Derby is $25 per car which includes the driver. All Demo cars must have the fuel cell and battery mounted and secured behind the driver’s compartment and conform to proper safety regulations.
The Champ Kart race will pay $400 to win and be pro-rated from second spot back. Kart, Slingshot and Micro Stock entry fee is $25 plus $6 for transponder.
Pit gates will open at 11:30 am. Registration will be held from noon to 1:00. Cost to enter the pits is $20 per person. There will be a set of warm-ups for the Slingshots, Micro Stocks and Champ Karts. A driver meeting will take place at 1:30.
Admission to the grandstands, which opens at 1:00 pm, is $10 for adults. Kids 10 and under are free.
For additional information log onto www.mahoningvalley-speedway.com or on Facebook at Mahoning Valley Speedway. Mahoning Valley Speedway is located on PA route 443 just a few miles west of Lehighton.