On Sunday, Tony Stewart was involved in a crash during the Daytona 500 which denied him his first chance at winning the sport’s biggest race. He finished 41st and said afterward that he was “heartbroken and disappointed” in the outcome.
However, his misfortune in the race didn’t stop him from visiting fans at a local Daytona Beach hospital, who were injured during Saturday’s Nationwide Series race when a fiery crash on the last lap sent debris flying into the stands. He immediately expressed concern for the fans after the scary incident.
“We’ve always known since racing was started this was a dangerous sport, but we assume that risk, and it’s hard when the fans get caught up in it,” Stewart said in a subdued celebration that day. “So as much as we want to celebrate now and as much as this is a big deal to all of us, I’m more worried about the drivers (injured) and the fans in the stands right now, because I could see it all in the mirror, and it didn’t look good from where I was at, either.”
Stewart, who won Saturday’s race, spent more than two hours after the Daytona 500 visiting with six patients still hospitalized at Halifax Health. He interacted at length with five of them, according to a Stewart-Haas Racing spokesperson.
Each patient received an autographed hat from sponsor Bass Pro Shops in which Stewart personalized in their presence.
Stewart’s trip was not meant to be publicly known, but news of the occurrence quickly began to spread onto Twitter by Monday afternoon.
Stewart may have a reputation for being a controversial guy at times, but this story definitely shows his more compassionate side. It was a classy act indeed by the veteran driver.
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Three days, maybe a week. Three weeks ago, that’s how much time doctors gave Mitch Zannette to live.
Three days, maybe a week. What can you do in that time? How do you say goodbye to everyone and everything you’ve ever known? How do you close off a lifetime?
Three days, maybe a week. If you know what you want out of life, it’s enough time to write your own last chapter.
So last week, Mitch Zannette checked himself out of hospice and headed to Florida to see the Daytona 500. He made it to the track. Went to the beach. Met Miss Sprint Cup. Drank some beers. And on Thursday, three days before the race, he died in the infield at Daytona International Speedway. He was 50.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Part of the format for Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited race has been decided, with fans voting for a three-segment race that includes 30 laps, 25 laps and a final 20-lap shootout.
Sprint, which took over sponsorship of the preseason exhibition race, is asking fans to vote on four different elements of the race at Daytona International Speedway. Voting on the breakdown of the 75-lap race ended at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.
Fans were given three choices for the three segments. The winning choice received 55 percent of the vote. Most expected fans to vote for a final 10-lap segment, similar to the Sprint All-Star race, but that choice received only 22 percent of the vote.
“The 30-25-20-lap format the fans voted for will create three distinctly different segments that will keep fans enthralled throughout the race,” NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said. Fans also are being asked to vote on whether or not there will be a pit stop during the race, whether drivers will be eliminated after the second segment, and how many, and how the starting lineup will determined.
The starting lineup for the 19-driver race will be announced prior to the race, while the pit stop and eliminations will be announced during the race.
The race is set for 8 p.m. Saturday.
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Even at first glance, it’s obvious that changes to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying format will add two important aspects to the process — opportunity and suspense.
Nowhere will that be more in evidence than at Daytona International Speedway, where Cup teams will begin preparation for the Feb. 24 season-opening Daytona 500 this weekend.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains bullish on NASCAR.
Although the sport’s most popular driver still has inventory for sale on the No. 88 Chevrolet, Earnhardt believes “things are on the upswing.”
“We have a unique, limited amount of races to fill, and those packages aren’t the most exciting propositions for corporate America to come in and do an eight-race deal,” Earnhardt said Wednesday. “You have to find the right guy that’s interested in something that size and is willing to fit the price range you want as a team.
NASCAR drivers from many of the sport’s top teams will return to Charlotte Motor Speedway this week for a second round of NASCAR Gen-6 testing, and fans can watch all the action free of charge.
More than 30 cars are expected to take the track during the two-day test. Among the teams expected to participate are Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Penske Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and more.
Jeremy Mayfield continues to fight the battle with the courts in North Carolina on serving any “jail time” for the charges of stolen goods, and the illegal substance abuse charges. It has been over a year since the former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver was arrested.
Annual kickoff race gets new name thanks to new sponsor
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Sprint has partnered with Daytona International Speedway to sponsor The Sprint Unlimited At Daytona, the fan-favorite non-points event formerly known as the Daytona Shootout that traditionally kicks off the stock car portion of Budweiser Speedweeks 2013 and the NASCAR season.
Pastrana will drive the No. 60 car with former Carl Edwards crew chief Chad Norris guiding the program, the team announced Thursday. He will team with Trevor Bayne, who will also run the full Nationwide schedule for Roush.
here’s a saying in racing that it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.
But that doesn’t necessarily ring true for NASCAR’s preseason exhibition race at Daytona International Speedway.
NASCAR decided prior to the start of the 2012 season to go back to its traditional eligibility requirements for the Shootout — pole winners from the previous year and past Shootout winners.
Not since 2004, when 2003 champion Matt Kenseth did not win a pole, has the Shootout been run without the previous year’s Cup champion.
So who’s on the list of those eligible?
If Tony Stewart wants to run the Indianapolis 500 next season, Roger Penske will give him a car.
Penske twice Friday night offered Stewart the chance to enter next year’s race and insisted he’s serious about the opportunity.
“Where’s Stewart?” Penske asked during his speech accepting the Sprint Cup trophy during NASCAR’s season-ending awards ceremony. “How about doing the double at Indy this year? You available?”