DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Multi-platinum country artist Chris Lane performed for fans prior to the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at the Daytona International Speedway Saturday.
With the Coke Zero Sugar 400 being the season finale race, NASCAR Cup Series racers are battling for the final playoff berth. Drivers and fans alike were on edge, ready to give it their all. Lane gave his, performing his best hits and braving the heat as if it didn’t faze him or his band.
At one point in the concert, he brought an adorable young girl onstage to briefly join him in his performance. To also please his fans, he switched from his ball cap to the traditional cowboy hat, eventually tossing it into the audience for a lucky fan to catch.
Fans, wearing shirts with the names of their favorite racers, jumped, cheered, screamed and sang along with Lane as they await the intense competition to follow.
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | email@example.com
General Motors President Mark Reuss Named Grand Marshal of Rolex 24 At DAYTONA
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (FNN) – Source: IMSA // The 61-car field for the 61st running of the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA will come to life under the command of General Motors president Mark Reuss, as Daytona International Speedway today announced he has been named the Grand Marshal for Saturday’s endurance race. The field will take the green flag under the watchful eye of Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board for BMW Group, in the flag stand as the honorary starter, the track also announced.
Both dignitaries have spent their entire professional careers with their respective manufacturers. Reuss has served as president of General Motors since January 2019. A mechanical engineer, he began his career with GM as a student intern in 1983. Zipse was named Chairman of the Board for BMW in August 2019, and started his career at the automaker as a trainee in development, technical planning, and production in 1991.
“Being named the Grand Marshal of the Rolex 24 at Daytona is one of the true honors of my life and something I’ll never forget,” said Reuss. “This is one of the premier motorsports events in the world, at one of its most historic venues, and I couldn’t be happier about how far the series has come since the first Corvette-inspired DPI appeared with Jim France and set a new trajectory for the sport. I’m proud to be at Daytona this year with all of the fantastic drivers and great cars, including our own Cadillacs and Corvettes.”
General Motors’ teams in this year’s edition of the Rolex 24 include three Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-LMDh entries in Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) and the ever-popular No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R GT Daytona Pro (GTD Pro) entry. Cadillac Racing posted overall wins in the Rolex 24 in four consecutive years from 2017-2020, while Corvette Racing has posted four class wins in the Rolex 24 since 1999.
“It is an honor to welcome Mark as our Grand Marshal for the 61st running of the Rolex 24,” said Daytona International Speedway President Frank Kelleher. “General Motors has long had a strong partnership with Daytona International Speedway, alongside their success on the track here. This is a great opportunity to recognize their commitment to our facility and motorsport in general.”
A field of 61 will take the green flag waved by Zipse on Saturday to begin the twice-around-the-clock contest that is one for the IMSA record books as it marks the debut of the GTP class. And that’s only fitting at Zipse holds that honor, as BMW M’s history with Speedway began in 1975 with the brand’s very first IMSA start at the 24 Hours of Daytona.
Only one year later, BMW took its first overall victory at the endurance classic. Without a doubt, BMW’s motorsport success in IMSA competition over the past 48 years has been foundational to establishing the North American market as the largest in the world for BMW M vehicle sales.
“Daytona International Speedway and BMW have great historical ties in racing,” said Kelleher. “It’s only fitting that Oliver waves the green flag over the track where BMW first raced in the United States.”
Zipse’s BMW teams will also include a pair of entries in GTP with the BMW M Team RLL BMW M Hybrid V8 cars. Additionally, they will be competing in the largest class in the Rolex 24 – GT Daytona (GTD) – which has 24 cars entered for the season opener. Paul Miller Racing and two Turner Motorsports BMW M4 GT3 entries make up the BMW stable.
The 61st running of the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA begins at 1:40 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 28.
Fans are encouraged to reserve their place in history at the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA by logging onto daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. New in 2023, garage access will now be included for all 2-day infield and single-day customers, enhancing the experience for guests by providing close access to the incredible cars and teams. Kids 12 and under are admitted FREE to the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA.
Monster Jam World Finals® Returns to Orlando This Weekend, Celebrates Monster Jam’s 30th Anniversary
ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The prestigious Monster Jam World Finals® returns to Orlando May 21 and 22, 2022. This two-day championship is the biggest event of the season and showcases the best trucks and drivers in Racing, Freestyle, High Jump and Skills competitions. This year’s World Finals XXI celebrates Monster Jam’s 30th Anniversary and Grave Digger’s 40th Anniversary. It offers the largest Pit Party of the year, where fans can meet the drivers, see the trucks up close and enjoy many other family-friendly activities–all included in the ticket price. Fans can purchase tickets for both days through Ticketmaster.com.
Fans get to watch jaw-dropping stunts from the drivers’ 1,500 horsepower, 12-feet tall, 12,000-pound monster trucks, including 12-time world champion Tom Meents, driver of the Max-D truck. World record holder Bari Musawwir, driver of the Zombie truck, also returns to compete in the Skills Competition.
In just in 7.5 days, Camping World Stadium’s gridiron field transformed into the World Finals dirt track with 7,500 yards and 22.5 million pounds of dirt. This year’s track includes a first-ever figure-eight over-under track that allows trucks to simultaneously jump over each other while racing. Fans not only get to enjoy over-the-top stunts, and thrilling fireworks, but they’ll be the very ones choosing the winner.
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org
PHOTOS: Rookie Austin Cindric Gets First NASCAR Cup Series Victory in Thrilling DAYTONA 500
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Source: NASCAR // On the 85th birthday of his car owner, Roger Penske, 23-year-old NASCAR Cup Series rookie Austin Cindric beat Bubba Wallace to the finish line by .036 seconds in overtime to win Sunday’s 64th running of the DAYTONA 500.
In a thrilling run to the finish in NASCAR’s new Next Gen race car at Daytona International Speedway, Cindric held off Wallace and Chase Briscoe (.091 seconds behind) to notch his first Cup victory in his eighth start in the series.
Cindric, who was +2500 to win the DAYTONA 500 on Draftkings, got the win in chamber-of-commerce weather with a sold-out crowd jamming the grandstands.
“Oh, my God—do you know what makes this even better? A packed house,” Cindric exulted after climbing from his car. “A packed house at the DAYTONA 500. “Oh, my God, I’ve got so many people to thank. First and foremost, Roger Penske. Happy Birthday!
“Everyone has worked so hard on this Next Gen car and through the whole process. I am so excited. This makes up for losing a championship in the last race I was in (2021 Xfinity Series season finale at Phoenix Raceway).
“I’m surrounded by great people, that’s all there is to it. I know there’s going to be highs and lows, being a rookie. I’m just grateful for the opportunity and excited to climb the mountain ahead of us on the No. 2 team. We’re in the Playoffs—that’s one box checked. My gosh, what an awesome group of fans; what an awesome race car. I’m just really thankful.”
A three-car wreck in Turn 4 on Lap 195 of a scheduled 200 wiped out the No. 47 Chevrolet of Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who was leading for a restart on that same lap but was turned by a push from Brad Keselowski. The incident forced the race to overtime, requiring one extra lap for Cindric to claim victory.
An earlier six-car accident on Lap 190 had eliminated reigning series champion Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, Todd Gilliland, Erik Jones and Noah Gragson, who was making his first start in NASCAR’s top division.
Cindric was the leader when the race restarted on Lap 200, and at the end of a wild two-lap scramble—after blocking a strong run from Team Penske teammate Ryan Blaney—he arrived at the finish line roughly three feet ahead of Wallace, who was runner-up in the Great American Race for the second time.
“I thought our Toyota teammates did good work until they got picked off 1, 2, 3 throughout the race, so we just had to survive,” said Wallace, who finished .260 seconds behind race winner Austin Dillon in the 2018 Daytona 500.
“Great Speedweeks, though. We’ll come home second. I’m going to be pissed off about this one for a while. I was happy on the first second place we got a couple years ago. This one sucks when you’re that close, but all-in-all, happy for our team, happy for our partners, and on to California.”
Blaney came home fourth, followed by Aric Almirola, who will leave full-time racing at the end of the season. Kyle Busch, Michael McDowell, David Ragan, Keselowski and Chase Elliott completed the top 10.
Less than three laps from the end of the first stage, a push from Keselowski turned the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford of Harrison Burton sideways at the head of the outside lane. Burton’s Mustang nosed down the track into the No. 24 Chevrolet of William Byron, whose car slammed nose-first into the inside wall on the backstretch.
Kyle Busch spun sideways during the ensuing eight-car wreck. Denny Hamlin’s Toyota sustained terminal suspension damage, eliminating the field’s only multiple winner of the DAYTONA 500. The No. 1 Chevrolet of Ross Chastain was also knocked out of the race.
After the impact with Byron’s car and a jolt from the Toyota of Christopher Bell, Burton’s Ford turned upside down and landed on top of the Chevrolet of Alex Bowman, who had started the race on the outside of the front row. The impact righted Burton’s car, which a wrecker towed to the garage. Bowman lost four laps as his crew tried to return the No. 48 Camaro to raceable condition.
“I’m fine—I’ve hit a lot harder before, that’s for sure,” Burton said after a trip to the infield care center. “It’s just unfortunate. I hate it for the Wood Brothers group. They brought a really fast Ford Mustang down here and ended up on our lid, so that’s never good…
“I don’t know, I just got pushed and didn’t take it the right way—the car didn’t take it the right way or got pushed in the wrong spot. I’m not sure. I couldn’t really tell. I was looking out front to see what I had to do next to side draft the next guy that was on me, so just a bummer. I don’t really know what we could have done different, but we’ll move on and get better from it.”
From Hamlin’s standpoint, it was clear what happened.
“The 6 (Keselowski) was pushing the 21 (Burton) and you could see the 21 was kind of getting out of control there,” said Hamlin, who failed to finish a DAYTONA 500 for the first time in 17 starts and lost his chance for a fourth visit to Victory Lane. “So you know the mind-set was that you’ve got to back off, but I think the 6 was just insistent on pushing him at all costs and eventually turned the 21 around.
“Tough, you know, considering it was just for the stage. We were kind of boxed in there where I noticed that something was going to happen, but I was boxed in, I was behind a teammate (Kyle Busch), and I wanted to try to help. Again, just too aggressive pushing right there when they weren’t lined up and in control.”
Truex won the first stage under caution and then claimed victory in the second stage, which ran under green-flag conditions from the restart on Lap 72 to the conclusion on Lap 130. Truex came from third to first on the final lap to grab the stage win.
Keselowski, however, was first off pit road under caution for the stage break and led the field to green for a restart on Lap 138. Keselowski held the top spot until Tyler Reddick’s Chevrolet broke loose in Turn 4 on Lap 151 and started a wreck that damaged the contending cars of Truex, Joey Logano and Kurt Busch.
The 65th Annual DAYTONA 500 is scheduled for February 19, 2023 (subject to change). For more information on the 2023 Great American Race, visit www.DAYTONA500.com.
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