The Sprint Unlimited, Daytona 500 Qualifying Signal Opening
of 2013 Season
Speedweeks Features Racing Events For Competitors At
Fla. (Feb. 13, 2013) – A jam-packed Speedweeks featuring racing for everything
NASCAR kicks off the 2013 season this weekend at Daytona International
Ten days of
high-speed activity begin Friday with practice for Saturday night’s
Sprint Unlimited, a non-points race for 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Coors Light
Pole winners in which the new Gen-6 car will debut. All competition leads
up to the year’s signature event, the 55th Annual Daytona
500 at 1 p.m. ET Sunday, Feb. 24.
American Race,” won in 2012 for a second time by Matt Kenseth, will
be broadcast live by FOX with additional coverage by MRN Radio and SIRIUSXM
Speedweeks marks the first time competitors from every NASCAR division
– domestic and international – will have a place to race at the
World Center of Racing. The inaugural UNOH Battle at the Beach –
three races on a 0.4-mile oval for NASCAR’s grassroots and touring
drivers – joins the festivities in 2013.
Unlimited begins at 8:00 p.m. ET Saturday and will be broadcast live by
FOX. FOX also will cover Daytona 500 qualifying at 1 p.m. ET Sunday, during
which the Daytona 500’s front row starters will be determined. The
UNOH Battle at the Beach takes place Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 18-19, with
feature races beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET live on SPEED.
The Duel at
Daytona – twin 60-lap, 150-mile qualifying races to set the Daytona
500 starting grid – takes place Thursday, Feb. 21. (2 p.m. ET live,
SPEED). Championship points racing begins Friday, Feb. 22 with the NASCAR
Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250 (7:30 p.m. ET on
SPEED). The NASCAR Nationwide Series takes the spotlight Saturday, Feb. 23
in the DRIVE4COPD 300 (1:15 p.m. ET live, ESPN).
NASCAR Media Day officially opens Speedweeks as more than 50 drivers from
NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide, NASCAR Camping World Truck and other
series will lay out their 2013 plans for more than 300 print, broadcast and
Internet media members. This year’s event is being held at the
Daytona 500 Club in the speedway’s infield.
SIRIUS/XM NASCAR Radio and NASCAR.com will broadcast live throughout the
day. Thursday’s two sessions are 8 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
until 4 p.m. ET.
Debuts in Sprint Unlimited … This year’s traditional opening event is
more than just a preview of the Daytona 500. The Sprint Unlimited marks the
racing debut of the much-anticipated Gen-6 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car
– Chevrolet SS, Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry.
The renamed The
Sprint Unlimited returns to its original, 1979 concept – a non-points
race for drivers who won a Coors Light Pole last season along with previous
event winners who participated in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup race in
187.5-mile/75-lap race will be run in three segments. How those segments
break down will be determined by fans’ voting on three choices: 40
laps, 20 laps and 15 laps; 35 laps, 30 laps and 10 laps; and 30 laps, 25
laps and 20 laps. Balloting is open through 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday,
There are two
additional fan votes. The first vote continues through the drop of The
Sprint Unlimited’s green flag and determines whether a pit stop will
be required after the first segment and if so, whether teams will execute
two or four tire changes. Finally, fans have through the drop of the green
flag on the race’s second segment to vote on the number of cars to be
eliminated after the race’s second segment: zero, two, four or
A total of 19
drivers are entered in The Sprint Unlimited: Aric Almirola, Marcos Ambrose,
Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Jeff
Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt
Kenseth, Joey Logano, Mark Martin, Juan Pablo Montoya, Ken Schrader, Tony
Stewart and Martin Truex Jr.
positions will be determined by a vote of fans in attendance on race day.
They’ll have three choices: Number of career wins (most to least);
2012 final NASCAR Sprint Cup driver point standings and order in which
drivers won their first Coors Light Pole last season, beginning with last
year’s Daytona 500.
Kyle Busch is the
defending winner of the Sprint Unlimited. Other former winners in this
year’s field are Kurt Busch, Harvick, Earnhardt, Stewart, Hamlin,
Johnson, Martin, Gordon, Schrader, Elliott and Labonte.
Almirola is the
only driver making his Sprint Unlimited debut. He drives the Richard Petty
Motorsports Ford. Montoya already has one 2013 Speedweeks victory in last
month’s GRAND-AM Sports Car Series Rolex 24 at Daytona.
sets only Daytona 500 front row … Sunday’s Daytona 500 Coors Light Pole
qualifying is unique in that only the top two positions will be guaranteed.
Remaining qualifiers are seeded by qualifying speed into Thursday’s
Budweiser Duel, two 150-mile races from which the majority of the final
starting grid for the Daytona 500 is set.
qualifiers and the highest 15 finishers in each Duel – excluding the
front row from qualifying – will earn a spot in the Daytona 500. The
next four fastest Coors Light Pole qualifiers will make up positions 33-36.
Six provisional starting positions (37 through 42) will be awarded to the
highest eligible car owners in final 2012 standings not otherwise qualified
for the race. The 43rd position will be filled by the most
recent past champion participating in a 2012 event. Should no past champion
be eligible, the final position goes to the next highest owner in 2012
The most recent
Daytona 500 pole winner to win the race was Dale Jarrett in 2000, one of
two drivers (Bill Elliott is the other) to sweep The Sprint Unlimited, pole
and race in the same season.
At The Beach opens new Speedweeks chapter … In recent seasons,
Speedweeks went dark on the Monday and Tuesday following Coors Light Pole
qualifying. No longer.
Speedweeks’ welcomes the inaugural UNOH Battle at the Beach, staged
on a 0.4-mile oval fronting the track’s Superstretch grandstand. The
event’s three races offer competition opportunities for drivers from
all of NASCAR’s weekly and touring series.
60-mile race for NASCAR Whelen All-American drivers will be held at 7 p.m.
ET Monday following qualifying races. Two races of similar length for the
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tours and NASCAR K&N Pro Series begin at 7 p.m. ET
Tuesday with lineups also set via qualifying races. SPEED, MRN Radio and
SiriusXM Satellite Radio will broadcast all three feature events live with
supplemental coverage provided at www.nascarhometracks.com.
champions from the 2012 season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West
and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tours have earned locked-in spots in their
respective features. NASCAR Whelen All-American Series top 10 finishers in
the 2012 national standings also own guaranteed starting spots in the Late
Model race; and the champions of NASCAR’s three international series:
NASCAR Toyota, NASCAR Canadian Tire presented by Mobil 1 and Euro-Racecar
Series, have secured spots in whichever race they choose to
What: 35th Annual Sprint Unlimited
Where: Daytona International Speedway
Track Layout: 2.5-mile tri-oval
When: Saturday, Feb. 16
Time: 8:10 p.m. (ET)
TV: FOX, 8 p.m. (ET)
Radio: MRN; SIRIUS/XM NASCAR Radio, Channel 90
Distance: 75 laps/187.5 miles (run in three segments, lengths to be
determined by fan vote)
2012 Winner: Kyle Busch
Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning
body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States. NASCAR
consists of three national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR
Nationwide Series, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series), four regional
series, one local grassroots series, three international series and
GRAND-AM Road Racing and the American Le Mans Series, both known for
competition on road courses. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., with offices in
eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races
in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. The next NASCAR
Sprint Cup Series race will be The Sprint Unlimited at Daytona on Feb. 16
at 8 p.m. on FOX. For more information, visit www.nascar.com