RACING

Actor Gerard Butler Named Grand Marshal For The 58th Annual DAYTONA 500

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Gerard Butler

Actor Gerard Butler, star of the high-octane action thriller London Has Fallen that opens in theaters nationwide March 4, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 58th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 21 at 1 p.m. at Daytona International Speedway (TV – FOX, FOX Deportes; Radio – MRN Radio, SiriusXM).

As Grand Marshal, Butler will deliver the most famous words in motorsports, “Drivers, start your engines.” Along with the command, Butler will take part in other pre-race ceremonies including riding in one of the Grand Marshal cars during the pace laps prior to the green flag of the 200-lap, 500-mile race and attend the drivers meeting.

“We’re honored to have Gerard Butler serve as Grand Marshal for the DAYTONA 500,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “Gerard is a talented actor and we look forward to hearing his starting command to kick off the first DAYTONA 500 held in the new motorsports stadium.”

In Gramercy Pictures’ London Has Fallen, the non-stop suspenseful sequel to “Olympus Has Fallen,” Butler returns as Secret Service agent Mike Banning, alongside Aaron Eckhart as U.S. President Benjamin Asher, Angela Bassett as Secret Service Director Lynne Jacobs, and Morgan Freeman as Allan Trumbull, now the Vice President.

For more information on London Has Fallen, visit www.LondonHasFallen.com or check out the movie through its social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, #LondonHasFallen, Instagram, and YouTube.

Butler has starred in such hit films as “Machine Gun Preacher” and “300.” He joins a long list of actors who have previously served as DAYTONA 500 Grand Marshals including Vince Vaughn, James Franco, Chris Evans, John Travolta, Ben Affleck, Nicolas Cage, and Matthew McConaughey.

Tickets for the 2016 DAYTONA 500 and Speedweeks can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP FREE.

Fans can also follow NASCAR on Twitter and stay up to speed on the latest news by using #DAYTONA500 and #SPEEDWEEKS. Stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. You can also stay updated on the latest information by downloading the new version of Daytona International Speedway’s mobile app

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Newly Elected Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. Named Honorary Starter for the 58th Annual DAYTONA 500

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Newly elected Baseball Hall of Fame centerfielder Ken Griffey Jr. will serve as Honorary Starter of the 58th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 21 at 1 p.m. at Daytona International Speedway (TV – FOX, FOX Deportes; Radio – MRN Radio, SiriusXM).

Griffey received a record-breaking 99.32 percent of the vote (437 of 440) by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. He played 22 seasons – 13 with the Seattle Mariners, nine with the Cincinnati Reds and less than one season with the Chicago White Sox. In his 22 seasons, Griffey was a 13-time All Star, 10-time Gold Glove winner and 1997 American League MVP; he is also ranked sixth on the career home run list (630).

“We’re honored to welcome baseball great Ken Griffey Jr. as the Honorary Starter for the DAYTONA 500,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “We’re looking forward to having such a legendary athlete wave the green flag on the first ‘Great American Race’ in the world’s first motorsports stadium.”

The 2016 Hall of Fame Weekend will be held July 22-25, with the annual Induction Ceremony scheduled to take place on Sunday, July 24. Griffey will be the first player to represent the Seattle Mariners organization in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Most recent DAYTONA 500 Honorary Starters include members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (Abby Wambach, Kelley O’Hara and Christie Rampone), NASCAR Hall of Famers Bobby Allison and Richard Petty and actor Gary Sinise.

Tickets for the 2016 DAYTONA 500 and 2016 Speedweeks At Daytona can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP FREE.

Fans can also watch live on FOX, follow NASCAR on Twitter and stay up to speed on the latest news by using #DAYTONA500 and #SPEEDWEEKS. Stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. You can also stay updated on the latest information by downloading the new version of Daytona International Speedway’s mobile app.

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Sprint, DIS and NASCAR Reward Sprint FANZONE Ticketholders With VIP Insider’s Pass

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Daytona 500

Fans attending the Sprint Unlimited and Lucas Oil 200 Driven By General Tire racing doubleheader on Feb. 13 at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) have the opportunity to win prizes and experiences courtesy of Sprint, DIS and NASCAR.

In an effort to provide fans with a world-class, behind-the-scenes experience, Sprint FANZONE ticketholders were randomly chosen to receive a VIP Insider’s Pass which allows them to tour the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage area for one hour. In total, there are three, one-hour sessions with 500 fans participating in each session prior to the Sprint Unlimited.

Fans will have more opportunities to win prizes and one-of-a-kind experiences throughout the week by registering for the DAYTONA Rewards program on the Speedway’s mobile app under “DAYTONA Rewards,” online (disrewards.com) or by visiting one of the six DAYTONA Rewards locations at the stadium. Some of the experiences available for the Sprint Unlimited include garage tours, VIP viewing of driver introductions, riding along with a driver during driver introductions, riding in the grand marshal car, access to Gatorade Victory Lane after the race or having their picture taken with the Sprint Unlimited champion in Gatorade Victory Lane.

Registered fans receive a unique QR code on their mobile device to interact with partner displays throughout the Speedway. Fans without smartphones can register and print their code in advance or, if registering on-site, will be provided a pre-printed code. Fans can scan their code to win prizes at the designated DAYTONA Rewards locations throughout Speedweeks.

The Sprint Unlimited is the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at the newly reimagined “World Center of Racing.” The race is split into two segments with a competition caution on Lap 25. On Friday, Feb. 12 on the Alert Today Florida Main Stage located in Sprint FANZONE, randomly selected longtime ticketholders were paired with each crew chief for a drawing to determine starting and pit road positions.

Of the 25 drivers eligible to compete in the 75-lap non-points race, eight are DAYTONA 500 champions, including defending champion Joey Logano. Drivers eligible include 2015 Sprint Cup Series pole winners, former Sprint Unlimited race winners, former DAYTONA 500 pole winners who competed full time in 2015 and the 16 drivers from the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup; the balance of the field will be based on 2015 championship driver points.

Tickets for the 58th annual DAYTONA 500 and all Speedweeks events are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP FREE or visiting www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter and stay up to speed on the latest news by using #DAYTONA500 and #SPEEDWEEKS. Stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. You can also stay updated on the latest information by downloading the new version of Daytona International Speedway’s mobile app.

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Speedweeks 2016 Underway

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Daytona 500

Stock cars have arrived for Speedweeks 2016 at Daytona International Speedway, with Thursday’s initial ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards practice session setting the table for Friday’s first appearance of the new season by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitors.

Thursday’s ARCA practice was for Saturday afternoon’s 53rd annual Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire. Chase Briscoe had the fastest lap in the two-hour session, 189.302 mph in the No. 77 Cunningham Motorsports Dodge. Qualifying for the Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire will be held Friday.

Also Friday, there will be two practices for Saturday night’s always-anticipated Sprint Unlimited, the annual 75-lap non-points event featuring 25 drivers, a group consisting of last season’s pole winners, former Sprint Unlimited champions and former DAYTONA 500 pole winners who competed full time in 2015. All 16 drivers from the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup are also eligible. Any remaining open positions are filled based on 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship driver points.

The various qualification criteria creates an elite field that will include reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kyle Busch, two-time DAYTONA 500 champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. and 2013 DAYTONA 500 pole winner Danica Patrick.

The non-points event will be divided into two segments with a competition caution at Lap 25 separating the segments. In a unique fan-friendly concept introduced last year, select fans are paired with Sprint Unlimited crew chiefs for a random draw to determine starting and pit road positions. The draw is set Friday at 3:30 p.m. in the Sprint FANZONE at DIS.

Tickets for all Speedweeks 2016 events – including the 58th annual DAYTONA 500 on Feb. 21, the season-opening race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP FREE.

Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube for the latest speedway news throughout the season.

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Roar Before The Rolex 24 Completes 3-Day Run

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The Roar Before the Rolex 24 test sessions wrapped up Sunday at Daytona International Speedway, with a total of 54 sports car teams having prepared for the Rolex 24 At Daytona set for Jan. 30-31.

When on-track action was complete, the test’s fastest lap on the 3.56-mile road course belonged to the No. 2 Prototype class entry of Tequila Patrón ESM, a Honda HPD Ligier JS P2. Driver Luis Felipe Derani posted a 1 minute, 39.249 seconds (129.130 mph) lap Sunday afternoon, in the last of seven sessions.

The weekend’s Rolex 24 preparation came with a spectacular backdrop – the nearly complete DAYTONA Rising renovation that has transformed the “World Center of Racing” into the world’s first true motorsports stadium. Teams were treated to a preview of what they – and race fans – will experience when they return for the season-opening race on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Impromptu reviews were over-the-top, starting with a competitor very familiar with the Speedway – five-time Rolex 24 At Daytona champion Scott Pruett, co-driver of the 5 Corvette DP Prototype of Action Express Racing.

“It’s fantastic,” Pruett said. “We saw a lot of it worked on last year – everything that was taking place, and [having] the anticipation of it getting done. At the Rolex 24 here in 2016, [they’re] getting everything prepared to be absolutely top-drawer. I can tell you for all the races we’ve been here and seeing all the work that’s been done continuously, it is a monumental task and I just applaud everybody at Daytona for getting it all done, having a vision to do it.

“You just don’t drive down a city street and all of a sudden see this massive racing facility. That is pretty spectacular and for all the people out there who don’t know much about Daytona or haven’t even thought about coming, it’s just truly magical being here. The energy … the excitement … everything that’s going to take place.”

Following are the top times posted during the Roar in the other three WeatherTech Championship classes – Prototype Challenge, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona.

· Prototype Challenge: 1:42.118/125.502 mph, Jack Hawksworth, No. 8 ORECA FLM09

· GT Le Mans: 1:45.088/121.955, Lucas Luhr, No. 100 BMW F13 M6

· GT Daytona: 1:47.852/118.830, Leh Keen, No. 22 Porsche GT3 R

Also practicing during the Roar weekend were teams entered in the season-opening race for the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, the BMW Performance 200 set for Jan. 29 at DIS. The weekend’s best laps in that production-based series belonged to the No. 33 CJ Wilson Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 in the Grand Sport Class (1:57.430); and the No. 56 Murillo Racing Porsche Cayman in the Street Tuner class (2:05.688).

Tickets for the 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP FREE.

Fans can follow sports car racing at www.imsa.com and go on Twitter (@IMSA). Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube for the latest news all season long. Fans can follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch redevelopment project at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.

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Roar Before The Rolex 24 Completes 3-Day Run

Comments (0) Racing

Daytona_International_Speedway_logo

The Roar Before the Rolex 24 test sessions wrapped up Sunday at Daytona International Speedway, with a total of 54 sports car teams having prepared for the Rolex 24 At Daytona set for Jan. 30-31.

When on-track action was complete, the test’s fastest lap on the 3.56-mile road course belonged to the No. 2 Prototype class entry of Tequila Patrón ESM, a Honda HPD Ligier JS P2. Driver Luis Felipe Derani posted a 1 minute, 39.249 seconds (129.130 mph) lap Sunday afternoon, in the last of seven sessions.

The weekend’s Rolex 24 preparation came with a spectacular backdrop – the nearly complete DAYTONA Rising renovation that has transformed the “World Center of Racing” into the world’s first true motorsports stadium. Teams were treated to a preview of what they – and race fans – will experience when they return for the season-opening race on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Impromptu reviews were over-the-top, starting with a competitor very familiar with the Speedway – five-time Rolex 24 At Daytona champion Scott Pruett, co-driver of the 5 Corvette DP Prototype of Action Express Racing.

“It’s fantastic,” Pruett said. “We saw a lot of it worked on last year – everything that was taking place, and [having] the anticipation of it getting done. At the Rolex 24 here in 2016, [they’re] getting everything prepared to be absolutely top-drawer. I can tell you for all the races we’ve been here and seeing all the work that’s been done continuously, it is a monumental task and I just applaud everybody at Daytona for getting it all done, having a vision to do it.

“You just don’t drive down a city street and all of a sudden see this massive racing facility. That is pretty spectacular and for all the people out there who don’t know much about Daytona or haven’t even thought about coming, it’s just truly magical being here. The energy … the excitement … everything that’s going to take place.”

Following are the top times posted during the Roar in the other three WeatherTech Championship classes – Prototype Challenge, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona.

· Prototype Challenge: 1:42.118/125.502 mph, Jack Hawksworth, No. 8 ORECA FLM09

· GT Le Mans: 1:45.088/121.955, Lucas Luhr, No. 100 BMW F13 M6

· GT Daytona: 1:47.852/118.830, Leh Keen, No. 22 Porsche GT3 R

Also practicing during the Roar weekend were teams entered in the season-opening race for the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, the BMW Performance 200 set for Jan. 29 at DIS. The weekend’s best laps in that production-based series belonged to the No. 33 CJ Wilson Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 in the Grand Sport Class (1:57.430); and the No. 56 Murillo Racing Porsche Cayman in the Street Tuner class (2:05.688).

Tickets for the 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP FREE.

Fans can follow sports car racing at www.imsa.com and go on Twitter (@IMSA). Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube for the latest news all season long. Fans can follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch redevelopment project at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.

Read more