Chip Wile

NASCAR announces details for Daytona road course races

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NASCAR revealed competition details Thursday for the Aug. 15-16 races on the Daytona International Speedway road course, including the addition of a second chicane, making it a 14-turn, 3.57-mile course.

Among the details announced were the Cup rules package and the length of the Cup, Xfinity and Truck Series races.

Cup teams will use the high downforce package with a 750 horsepower engine.

A chicane is being added to the exit of Turn 4 on the oval to help slow speeds before entering the infield portion of the course. There is already a chicane on the backstretch of the oval.

Race lengths

“NASCAR and its OEMs ran several simulations to determine the course layout and engine/aero package for the inaugural NASCAR race on the Daytona International Speedway road course,” said John Probst, NASCAR’s senior vice president of racing innovation, in a media release. “Due to the predicted high speeds and loads on the braking system, NASCAR will add a chicane off oval Turn 4 at Daytona and move to a high downforce 750 hp aero/engine package for the NASCAR Cup Series race on Aug. 16. We believe this will combine vehicle performance and safety to provide the best possible road course race for our fans.”

Track President Chip Wile said in a press release “The Turn 4 chicane gives the drivers a final shot to make a pass coming to the famed finish line. The fans in the venue are going to be in for a treat on the Daytona road course – just like the races on the old Daytona beach/road course that were put on by Bill France Sr. in the 1940s and ‘50s.”

In a Zoom press conference, Wile said the rumble strips used for the chicane are the same ones used for the Charlotte Roval. Wile also said temporary lights will be brought in for the infield in case the race has to be run into the night.

“You guys got to think three weeks ago we weren’t even running this race, so for NASCAR competition to figure out what we needed to do and give it to us to execute is pretty remarkable,” Wile said. “I think it will certainly keep the speeds down. There are a lot of folks that had a say in getting us to this place and I just applaud our competition department getting the right people in the room and making the decision quickly.”

Daytona road courseRoush Fenway Racing’s Ryan Newman, who once competed on the road course in an IROC race, shared his thoughts on the possibility of adding the chicane earlier this week.

“Controlling the speed is obviously very important no matter what racetrack we go to and as we get to this situation with different angles of impact and walls and things like that, that we’re not used to, I guess my personal opinion on safety is not necessarily the slower the better, but the slower the safer,” Newman said in a Zoom press conference. “That’s just something that definitely needs to be considered and obviously has been considered otherwise you wouldn’t be talking about it, but I feel like if you are gonna do this, you have to err towards the side of safety and that will be with lesser speeds and trying to calculate what risk is involved with, again, the angle of impacts that we could have to entertain.”

Here is what upcoming NASCAR Cup races fans can attend

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Wednesday saw NASCAR announce the remaining regular season schedule for all three national series, including six Cup Series races.

In total, 10 Cup points races and the All-Star Race remain in the regular season, beginning with Sunday’s race at Kentucky Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET on FS1).

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, not all tracks are allowing fans to attend.

Here are the fan policies for the remainder of the Cup Series regular season.

Kentucky Speedway (Sunday)

Fans will not be allowed to attend.

 

All-Star Race at Bristol Motor Speedway (July 15)

Up to 30,000 fans will be allowed to attend the race.

 

Texas Motor Speedway (July 19)

Fans making up to 50% of the track’s capacity will be allowed to attend and fans 10 years and older will be required to wear masks when not eating or drinking.

 

Kansas Speedway (July 23)

Fans will not be able to attend.

 

New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Aug. 2)

Roughly 19,000 fans will be able to attend.

 

Michigan International Speedway (Aug. 8-9)

Fans will not be able to attend.

 

Daytona International Speedway (Aug. 16 and Aug. 29)

A limited number of fans will be able to attend both races.

 

Dover International Speedway (Aug. 22 – 23)

Track announced on July 27 that state officials denied the track’s request to host a limited number of fans.

Texas, Daytona among tracks hosting high school graduation ceremonies

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The school lives of many American students were put on hold over the last two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic as learning went from the classroom to the living room.

On top of that, many senior classes had their graduating classes canceled or modified in creative ways. Among those are students who attend high schools near Texas Motor Speedway, Daytona International Speedway, Pocono Raceway and Phoenix Raceway.

The tracks have announced they will host graduation ceremonies for area high schools throughout this month and in June.

Texas Motor Speedway will host ceremonies for all school districts in Denton County: including Aubrey ISD; Argyle ISD; Denton ISD; Krum ISD; Lake Dallas ISD; Lewisville ISD; Little Elm ISD; Northwest ISD; Pilot Point ISD; Ponder ISD; Sanger ISD and Westlake Academy.

All graduates will accept their diploma in-person while wearing academic regalia in addition to masks. After walking across a staging area, they’ll receive their diplomas in Victory Lane. Families of graduates will socially distance as they watch from their cars in the infield. The ceremonies will be broadcast on the track’s “Big Hoss” video board on the backstretch as well as via live stream.

“A great deal of thanks and appreciation for this program must go to (Denton County) Judge Andy Eads and his staff for their significant efforts in making this idea come to fruition in what was really a very short amount of time,” Eddie Gossage, President and General Manager of Texas Motor Speedway, said in a press release. “A high school graduation ceremony is such an important achievement and lifelong memory for students as well as their families and friends. We are honored by the opportunity to support each and every Denton County high school graduate as best we can in these difficult times.”

TMS is no stranger to hosting high school graduations. Gossage has turned driver introduction ceremonies into make shift graduation ceremonies for NASCAR drivers, including Erik Jones and Cole Custer.

On May 31, Daytona will host graduation ceremonies for students of Flagler-Palm Coast and Matanzas High School in Flagler County, Florida.

While details on the logistics of the ceremony are still being discussed, graduates will walk across the stage of the Ocean Center to receive their diploma before getting in a car to ride across the historic track’s start-finish line.

Each ceremony will be simulcast via radio inside the facility and live-streamed on the FlaglerSchools.com website. Only one vehicle is permitted for each graduate and their family. Additionally, all in attendance must remain in their vehicles.

“The France family has been committed to supporting our local schools in any way they can,” Chip Wile, President of Daytona International Speedway, said in a press release. “We are unique in that we can comfortably accommodate these schools and provide an unforgettable experience for these graduates. We are honored to host these graduates and their families for this special occasion.”

Pocono will host North Pocono School District’s graduation ceremony on Friday, June 12.

Family and loved ones attending the event will watch from inside their personal vehicles on the racetrack. The ceremony will be broadcast via Pocono Raceway’s internal FM radio station and on the track’s double-sided video boards. As names will be read by Principal Ron Collins, graduates’ photos will be displayed on the video boards and students will be called to drive across the Pocono Raceway start/finish line. Graduating seniors and their loved ones will be encouraged to decorate their cars in celebration of all their high school accomplishments. Guests will be permitted to attend in their vehicles or to watch the streamed graduation live on North Pocono School District’s Facebook page.

Phoenix Raceway will host Buckeye Union High School District graduates May 16. More than 1,000 graduates, inside vehicles with family members, will take to the 1-mile oval. Led by Toyota Camry pace cars, graduates will hear their names aloud on the track’s public address system as they cross the start/finish line.

“During these unprecedented times with large gatherings such as traditional high school graduations in doubt, our facility has the unique ability to provide a fun twist while safely holding an event like this,” said Phoenix Raceway President Julie Giese. “I’m proud that we can utilize Phoenix Raceway to celebrate the accomplishments of the young men and women in our community and be part of such a memorable day.”

Reserved seating for Daytona 500 sold out

Daytona 500
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Daytona International Speedway has announced a sell out of reserved seating for Sunday’s Daytona 500 (2:30 p.m. ET on Fox).

This is the fifth straight year that reserved seating has sold out.

The track said in a press release that fans representing 48 different countries and every state in the U.S. will be attending the race.

“The Daytona 500 is one of the greatest events in sports and will unfold in front of a packed house,” track president Chip Wile said in a press release. “We have the most loyal and passionate fans in sports and we are forever grateful for their support. We look forward to another thrilling edition of ‘The Great American Race’ as we kick-off the NASCAR season.”

Premium hospitality, infield admissions and UNOH Fanzone/Pre-Race Access still remain for the 500 and are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Fans looking to purchase reserved seats are encouraged to visit SeatGeek.com.

 

President Trump to attend Sunday’s Daytona 500

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President Donald J. Trump will attend Sunday’s Daytona 500.

Daytona International Speedway president Chip Wile made the announcement Thursday morning. Trump and his wife are expected to fly into Daytona International Airport, which adjoins the Speedway, on Air Force One.

Wile issued this statement:

“The Daytona 500 is one of the greatest events in sports and the prestigious season-opening event to the NASCAR Cup Series. Daytona International Speedway has been privileged to have hosted several sitting Presidents of the United States over our history.

“We’re honored that the President of the United States has chosen to experience the pageantry and excitement of ‘The Great American Race’ by attending Sunday’s 62nd annual DAYTONA 500.”

Trump will become the second sitting U.S. President to attend the Daytona 500. President George W. Bush attended the 2004 running of the 500.

Then-Vice President George H.W. Bush attended the 1983 Daytona 500. Bush previously attended the 1978 Daytona 500 during his tenure as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Bush also attended the 1992 Pepsi 400 as President.

President Ronald Reagan also visited DIS for a race, but that was in the summer of 1984 for the Firecracker 400.

The U.S. Secret Service tweeted that there will be a 30-mile “no drone” zone established before, during and after the President’s visit.

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