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Iowa Speedway has a new Director of Media Relations. Rob Gray, a sports reporter at The Des Moines Register for 10 years, has joined the team to serve in that role, track officials announced Monday.

Gray’s duties will include, but not be limited to, writing articles for IowaSpeedway.com, coordinating the release of track-related information to accredited media outlets, and assisting members of all media before, during and after the four race weekends slated for 2011 at “America’s Place to Race.’”

“We’re extremely pleased that Rob will be joining us,” said Iowa Speedway President Jerry Jauron. “He worked hard covering us from the other side and I expect him to be a valuable addition to our industry-best team.”

Gray covered every race at Iowa Speedway for the Register

He also reported on various other sports, including high school and college football, basketball, wrestling, volleyball, baseball, soccer, track and field, tennis and swimming.

 

CREDIT: IOWA SPEEDWAY PR

As part of its ongoing effort to enhance fan communication and safety while providing timely information, Daytona International Speedway today announced the debut of its mobile website, www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com, this coming weekend at the 49th Rolex 24 At Daytona.  With the new mobile web site, fans can now access vital ticket and race weekend information directly from their smart phones.

In addition, speedway officials announced the return of the Fan Texting Service, allowing fans to communicate directly with officials on property to report a safety issue, ask a seating question or request general assistance.

“Our fans are becoming more technologically savvy and with the current capabilities available on today’s smart phones, it’s important for us to use this technology to deliver current event information and enhance our guests’ overall experience,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III.  “With the new mobile web site, fans can access important information before, during and after race weekends, including ticket information, gate policies, race day activities, latest news and much more.  Also, our Fan Texting Service adds another level of customer service to ensure all our guests have a safe, memorable and enjoyable experience at the ‘World Center of Racing.’”

The fan texting code will be highly visible via signage throughout the entire Daytona International Speedway property, including parking areas, merchandise and vendor midway areas, the infield, and grandstand seats.

Tickets for the 53rd annual Daytona 500 and Speedweeks 2011 events are available online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter (www.twitter.com/disupdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway).

 

CREDIT: Daytona International Speedway PR

As part of its ongoing effort to enhance fan communication and safety while providing timely information, Daytona International Speedway today announced the debut of its mobile website, www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com, this coming weekend at the 49th Rolex 24 At Daytona.  With the new mobile web site, fans can now access vital ticket and race weekend information directly from their smart phones.

In addition, speedway officials announced the return of the Fan Texting Service, allowing fans to communicate directly with officials on property to report a safety issue, ask a seating question or request general assistance.

“Our fans are becoming more technologically savvy and with the current capabilities available on today’s smart phones, it’s important for us to use this technology to deliver current event information and enhance our guests’ overall experience,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III.  “With the new mobile web site, fans can access important information before, during and after race weekends, including ticket information, gate policies, race day activities, latest news and much more.  Also, our Fan Texting Service adds another level of customer service to ensure all our guests have a safe, memorable and enjoyable experience at the ‘World Center of Racing.’”

The fan texting code will be highly visible via signage throughout the entire Daytona International Speedway property, including parking areas, merchandise and vendor midway areas, the infield, and grandstand seats.

Tickets for the 53rd annual Daytona 500 and Speedweeks 2011 events are available online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter (www.twitter.com/disupdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway).

 

CREDIT: Daytona International Speedway PR

NASCAR announced Wednesday that it has added a wild card element to setting the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field. While the 12-driver Chase field will remain intact, the final two spots will be determined by the number of wins during the first 26 races. That means that the "One Last Race to Make The Chase" on Saturday night, September 10 will be even more important than ever for drivers.

As the host of the final race before the Chase, Richmond International Raceway is likely to play an integral role in deciding the final two positions in the 2011 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

The top 10 in points following the "cutoff" race at Richmond International Raceway will continue to earn Chase berths. Different from years past, positions 11 and 12 will be "wild card" qualifiers and go to non-top-10-ranked drivers with the most wins, as long as they’re ranked in the top 20 in points.

This means that drivers will have more incentive to battle it out at America's Premier Short Track. A visit to Gatorade Victory Lane "under the lights" could mean a berth in the 2011 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

"The addition of the wild card element to the Chase will definitely add to the excitement of the September 10th ‘One Last Race to Make The Chase’ at Richmond International Raceway," said track president Doug Fritz. "The drama and anticipation will only increase. This will provide even more incentive for drivers to battle it out for the win, which will ultimately provide more exciting on-track action ‘under the lights.’"

Additional changes go into effect at the start of the season and will play a large role in the April 28-30 Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400 NASCAR Weekend at Richmond International Raceway. The new points system – which applies to all NASCAR national series – will award points in one-point increments. As an example, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, race winners will earn 43 points, plus three bonus points for the win. Winners also can earn an extra point for leading a lap and leading the most laps, bringing their total to a possible maximum of 48 points.

All other drivers in a finishing order will be separated by one-point increments. A second-place finisher will earn 42 points, a third-place driver 41 points, and so on. A last-place finisher – 43rd place – earns one point.

The qualifying order for both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series will be based on fastest practice times.  The slowest drivers will qualify first, with the fastest qualifying last.  Historically qualifying order has been based on a random draw.

“The changes in qualifying will be a great addition to our April 30th Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400 weekend, adding to the drama and excitement that fans have come to expect at Richmond International Raceway,” continued Fritz.  “Additionally, the new points system will make it easy to understand for both the casual and hardcore fans of NASCAR throughout the entire season.

I commend Brian France and Mike Helton for listening to the fans and making these changes based on what the fans have said they want to see.  This is just another way that NASCAR is showing the fans that their opinions matter.”

 

Continuing to make Kansas Speedway the best guest experience in motorsports, Kansas Speedway President Patrick Warren announced several enhancements to the fan experience at Kansas Speedway, including two projects that will total over $2 million.

Kansas Speedway is increasing the width of its seats throughout the grandstands, a project that is scheduled to be completed for the new June event weekend (June 4-5, 2011). The project will increase seat widths of both chair back and bleacher seating. Seats that are currently 18 inches will become 20 inches and seats that are 20 inches will increase to 22 inches, which will improve fan comfort during events. The previous grandstand seats, both aluminum and plastic, will be recycled.

In addition to widening seats in the grandstand, Kansas Speedway is also increasing the size of coolers fans can bring to the track. Starting with the June events, soft-sided coolers measuring 14”x14”x14” or 2,700 cubic inches will be permitted – which is six times bigger than in years past.  Coolers of this size typically have a removable plastic liner and are branded to hold 24 to 36 cans of carbonated beverages.  To ensure these items fit underneath grandstand seats and do not block walkways, coolers with telescoping handles and wheels will not be permitted. As part of its standard policy, hard-sided coolers will not be allowed into the grandstand area.

“We continue to listen to our fans about how to improve their experience at Kansas Speedway,” said Warren. “By adding a second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race to our 2011 schedule and the other changes we’ve made, this was the appropriate time to make these enhancements. Our improvements are designed to add a level of comfort to our guests for all of our events.”

Safety improvements allow enhanced convenience for fans while continuing to provide a secure environment.  To make it more convenient for fans to carry additional items such as cameras, radio scanners and souvenirs, fans can now utilize lightweight backpacks or daypacks similar to those used by school students.  Fan comfort and safety remains a top priority so all items carried into the speedway will be subject to a thorough and complete search by security personnel prior to entering the ticket gates.

Kansas Speedway is adding to its popular Blue Ox campground with an additional paved lot on the north side of Speedway property adjacent to State Blvd. The campground will add 185 camping spots to the facility.

When race fans arrive at Kansas Speedway in June, they will also notice the new Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway as the steel portion of the project is expected to be completed by the end of February. Overlooking Turn 2, the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway is slated to open in the first quarter of 2012.

 

CREDIT: Kansas Speedway PR

 


NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France today revealed changes to NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship “playoff” system—the winner of which will be crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway during Ford Championship Weekend for a 10th consecutive season this fall (Nov. 20).


The new points system will award 43 points to the race winner, with the points rewarded then decreasing in one-point increments to a single point for the last-place finisher. The race winner will also be awarded three bonus points for the victory, as well as another point for leading a lap during the race.

“Many of our most loyal fans don’t fully understand the points system we have used to date,” France said in making the announcement. “So, we are simplifying the points system to one that is much easier to understand. Conceptually, it is comparable to our previous system, but it is easier to follow....It's going to create even more excitement and drama [and] last year, we got the best racing we have seen all the way down to South Florida in the closest Championship ever.”

In years past, the first 26 events of NASCAR’s 36-race season determined the Top 12 points-scoring drivers for the 10-race Chase “playoff.” The new format will feature the Top 10 points-scoring drivers plus potentially two wild cards who don’t qualify in the Top 10 but score the highest number of victories.


“This makes the scoring system much easier to understand, and based on what I've heard from our fans over the last few days there is no question that this was the right move,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matthew Becherer. “There is so much drama that unfolds on the track each week, and I'm for anything that helps tell that story in a more effective way as we work toward the Sprint Cup Championship during Ford Championship Weekend in Miami. I am also thrilled for the fans with the addition of the two wild-card spots: It has always been about winning, but to now have two spots in the Chase be solely determined by wins just ratchets up that level of emotion.”

CREDIT: Homestead-Miami Speedway PR

With the announcement of changes to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points system, the summer race dates at Michigan International Speedway on June 19 and August 21 will offer more excitement for fans and become even more pivotal races on the 2011 Sprint Cup Series schedule. A two-time Sprint Cup Series race winner at MIS agrees …

“The points system will be easier for all to understand and therefore track their favorite driver and team. Mathematically it will still reward the winner and therefore a winning and deserving champion,” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman said. “The Michigan race in August is especially pivotal because you can mathematically eliminate yourself from the Chase or lock yourself in for that matter. That can't be done at Infineon or Darlington. There are just as many points to gain or lose, but you can change the outcome of the rest of your season in that one race.”

The announcement, which took place on Wednesday night at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., will make the points standings easier for fans to understand, while putting a greater emphasis on winning.

“I love the simplicity of the points for our fans and am very excited that NASCAR has emphasized leading and winning,” MIS President Roger Curtis said. “Our sport is about proving who is the best, not just over the course of the season, but each week on a variety of race tracks. These changes balance awarding consistent success over 10 months and great performances on a weekly basis.

“I am very happy with the addition of the wildcard drivers and that they did not add “knockout” rounds as had been rumored. The Chase is an exciting playoff for our sport as seen with this last year’s thrilling championship. Blaming a once-in-a-lifetime witnessing of Jimmie Johnson and his race team’s amazing success is not a reason to scrap the Chase or make kneejerk reactions. Yet, the changes announced by NASCAR are not subtle and put the focus on where is should be – racing and winning and earning your way into the playoffs and then racing win the Championship,” Curtis continued

The new points system – which applies to all NASCAR national series – will award points in one-point increments. As an example, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, race winners will earn 43 points, plus three bonus points for the win. Winners also can earn an extra point for leading a lap and leading the most laps, bringing their total to a possible maximum of 48 points.

All other drivers in a finishing order will be separated by one-point increments. A second-place finisher will earn 42 points, a third-place driver 41 points, and so on. A last-place finisher – 43rd place – earns one point. In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the last-place finisher receives eight points, to account for that series’ 36-driver race field.

While the 12-driver Chase field remains intact, the final two spots will be determined by the number of wins during the first 26 races. The top 10 in points following Race No. 26 – the “cutoff” race – continue to earn Chase berths.

Positions 11 and 12 are “wild card” qualifiers and will go to non-top-10-ranked drivers with the most wins, as long as they’re ranked in the top 20 in points. The top-10 Chase drivers will continue to be seeded based on wins during the first 26 races, with each win worth three bonus points. The wild card drivers will not receive bonus points for wins and will be seeded 11th and 12th, respectively. It’s a move aimed towards rewarding winning and consistency during the regular season.

The deadline to place a deposit is approaching on Jan. 31. The best, guaranteed lowest prices in 2011 go to customers who make a $30 goodwill deposit. New customers can log onto www.MISpeedway.com or call 800-354-1010 to leave a deposit. That deposit ensures race fans get the best pricing for 2011.

 

CREDIT: MIS PR

As part of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, NASCAR announced competition changes for the 2011 racing season.

Atlanta Motor Speedway president and general manager Ed Clark commented on the modifications outlined by series officials: “NASCAR is to be saluted for their off-season work on the significant program changes announced today. The new elements will keep the sport fresh and interesting for both long-time fans and new followers of the sport. The changes to NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying will bring a great amount of drama back to pole qualifying day. We will see new heroes emerge in the Nationwide Series as drivers now have to choose what series they want to run for a title in. And, with the point system changes, there will be a heightened level of competition in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. 2011 will be a very interesting season.”

Atlanta Motor Speedway will play host to all three of NASCAR’s top touring divisions on Labor Day weekend in 2011 with night racing under the lights:

Friday, Sept. 2nd: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Saturday, Sept. 3rd: NASCAR Nationwide Series

Sunday, Sept. 4th: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

 

CREDIT: AMS PR

Construction crews have nearly completed the first phase of work on thesite where the world's largest
high-definition video board will rise 110 feet above the track for its debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway's 2011 May race events.


Using heavy earth-moving equipment, crews from Granite Contracting,
of Concord, N.C., have removed 18,000 cubic yards of dirt and 3,000 cubic
yards of concrete behind the backstretch where the gigantic, nearly
16,000-square-foot screen will be located. The concrete bleachers that were
removed were part of the speedway's original construction in 1960.
The next phase of site work will include removing another 900 cubic
yards of dirt by drilling 12 holes, each 54 inches in diameter, more than 50
feet deep to bedrock level. Concrete piers will then be installed in the
holes to support the massive 500,000-pound steel frame that will hold the
165,000-pound video board. When completed, the total structure will weigh
332-and-a-half tons or 665,000 pounds.


Designed and created by Panasonic, the approximately 200-foot-wide
and 80-foot-tall screen will be centered along the backstretch between Turns
2 and 3, across from the start/finish line. Fans seated throughout the
frontstretch from Turn 4 to Turn 1 will have clear viewing angles of instant
replays, leaderboard updates and interactive entertainment displayed in 720P
high-definition visuals. The screen will be illuminated by more than nine
million LED lamps during each NASCAR race event at Charlotte Motor Speedway
this spring, including the May 21 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the May 29
Coca-Cola 600.


Frontstretch tickets with the best views of the new HD video board
and pit road start at just $49 for the May 21 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
Fans can also purchase two frontstretch tickets for just $99 to the May 29
Coca-Cola 600 by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or
online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.

 

CREDIT: CMS PR

Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber today announced 3 Amigos Tequila – the Official Tequila of PIR – as title sponsor for the upcoming NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at PIR on Feb. 24. The 3 Amigos Organic Blanco 100 will run at Phoenix International Raceway at 4:30 p.m. local time as the first race of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West season and will also open the 2011 NASCAR season for PIR.

“3 Amigos Tequila is a quality product that’s all about good times and fun – a perfect match to help us open the 2011 NASCAR season at PIR next month,” Sperber said. “The product’s local roots make our partnership even more exciting for race fans in the Valley of the Sun.”

Known as “Your Arizona Family Tequila,” 3 Amigos Tequila was founded by Arizona resident Santiago Gonzalez and his family in 2007. The product is made from agave grown at his family's farm in Mexico. The tequila is distilled and bottled in Mexico before being brought to the United States for distribution. The Paddington Corporation and Pelican Brands serve as the global brand manager for 3 Amigos Tequila.

“3 Amigos Tequila is an amazing, 100 percent agave, hand-crafted tequila that can go head-to-head with Patron and Don Julio and is uniquely priced to give amazing value to our consumers,” said J. Smoke Wallin, Chairman & CEO of Pelican Brands and Chairman of The Paddington Corporation. “We are very excited to launch the 2011 NASCAR season at Phoenix International Raceway with the 3 Amigos Organic Blanco 100 on Feb. 24.”

Tickets for the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500™ on Feb. 27 are available now and start at just $25. For Phoenix International Raceway tickets and information, call 866-408-RACE (7223) or visit
PhoenixRaceway.com. Let the GO begin.

 

CREDIT: PIR PR

The Champion’s Breakfast has always been one of the great traditions surrounding Daytona 500, NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race.

On the Monday morning, Feb. 21, race fans will once again have the opportunity to celebrate with the winning driver, team and crew chief from the 53rd annual Daytona 500 at the Champion’s Breakfast, which will be held in the velocitorium near the Daytona International Speedway ticket offices.

Available for $40, the Champion’s Breakfast car induction festivities include:

· Fan forum with the winning driver, owner and crew chief from the 53rd annual Daytona 500

· Breakfast

· Entertainment including watching the NASCAR Victory Lane show on SPEED, Minute to Spin It games and signed giveaway items.

· Souvenir gift

The first 100 Champion’s Breakfast tickets purchased will also include a free All-Access Track Tour ticket.

To purchase tickets for the Champion’s Breakfast or any of the Speedweeks 2011 events, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com

 

CREDIT: DIS PR