'American Ninja Warrior' filming at Daytona International Speedway
NBC's wild and wildly popular obstacle course show "American Ninja Warrior" is coming to the biggest stage in NASCAR, Daytona International Speedway , to film as part of Season 9. Daytona is a true modern motorsports stadium and will now serve as a proving ground not only for race car drivers but also for athletes in city qualifying and city finals rounds for the show. Competitors who make it out of the finals course will move on to the national finals rounds in Las Vegas with a chance at a $1 million prize. "We're excited to serve as a host location for the filming of 'American Ninja Warrior' and add another new event to an already busy schedule," Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile said. "We're thrilled to welcome the competitors to the world's only motorsports stadium and provide an electric atmosphere as individuals attempt to navigate these challenging obstacles. To succeed, they are going to need strength, speed and perseverance, very similar to what we see on the high banks of the Speedway ." The TV tapings will begin each night at approximately 8:30 p.m. ET in between the Axalta and Chevrolet Injectors at the speedway . There will be two different sessions for each night of taping, both of which are available for guests to view. To sign up for free tickets to attend the event, visit http://on-camera-audiences.com/shows/American_Ninja_Warrior . The qualifying episode filmed at Daytona will air June 26, and the city finals will air Aug. 7. The only remaining question is whether "Stenja" will compete again. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who is a fan of the show along with girlfriend and fellow racer Danica Patrick, competed in 2016. MORE: @nascarcasm Q&A with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. -- aka "Stenja"
Daytona International Speedway's statement on Hurricane Matthew
" Daytona International Speedway experienced moderate damage from Hurricane Matthew with impacts to lights, speakers, signage, fences, gates, awnings and palm trees. Daytona International Speedway Ticket Office and Tours and the Richard Petty Driving Experience will be closed on Saturday and Sunday for facility cleanup. We will provide more updates through the weekend." "Pictures of a past weather event at Daytona International Speedway have been circulating on social media during the storm. Those pictures are from a weather event in 2009. There was no flood damage to the facility from Hurricane Matthew." "We are working with local, regional and state officials on recovery efforts following Hurricane Matthew. Daytona International Speedway is once again serving as a staging site for Florida Power & Light crews. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been impacted by this weather system."
Anheuser-Busch expands partnership with Daytona International Speedway
NEW YORK (November 19, 2015) -- Anheuser-Busch announced today a multi-year partnership renewal with Daytona International Speedway (DIS) that extends its status as the exclusive official beer sponsor of DIS and the DAYTONA 500. The partnership will also provide Anheuser-Busch with naming rights to four locations within the new motorsports stadium as part of the DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project, which is scheduled to open in January 2016. Two of the bar locations to be featured in the new "World Center of Racing" central "neighborhood" zone and spacious concourses, while the other two will be located in other parts of the stadium. All four locations will enable Anheuser-Busch to advertise multiple brands from its portfolio of beers including Busch, Budweiser, Bud Light and Stella Artois. Anheuser-Busch will also retain naming rights to the infield area -- the Budweiser Bistro. " Daytona International Speedway has been a tremendous partner for Anheuser-Busch ever since we first introduced the Busch Clash back in 1979, which was held each year at DIS the week prior to the DAYTONA 500," said Nick Kelly, director of experiential marketing, Anheuser-Busch. "We're looking forward to continuing this relationship that allows us to have a significant marketing presence at the track, and now we'll be able to deliver an elevated experience to our fans as a result of the DAYTONA Rising project." Anheuser-Busch's partnership with DIS continues a period of investment and rededication to the sport of racing. The Busch family of beers recently announced it is reigniting its storied past in NASCAR by sponsoring Kevin Harvick and the No. 4 team of Stewart-Haas Racing for select races during the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season beginning with the Sprint Unlimited at DIS on Feb. 13. In conjunction, Anheuser-Busch will employ a comprehensive marketing approach to celebrate Busch’s return to the sport of racing, including on-track, experiential, in-market and retail activations, as well as TV spots leading up to the DAYTONA 500. "We're thrilled to kick off the next chapter of our longstanding partnership with Anheuser-Busch," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "Our new motorsports stadium will provide enhanced opportunities to market their brands and connect with race fans." Anheuser-Busch shares a rich history with the sport of racing as well as DIS, dating back to the late 1970s. This represents the longest-standing partnership for DIS. For more information on Anheuser-Busch, visit www.anheuser-busch.com . To learn more about DIS, please visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com .
Daytona International Speedway lands new Founding Partner
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Daytona International Speedway formally welcomed Axalta Coating Systems as its fifth Founding Partner on Monday. The 150-year-old company will name the center injector of the newly remodeled speedway -- its 32,000 square feet of "branding and engagement opportunities" will occupy not only center "stage" for the facility, but also will be the largest available injector space. Sunoco, Toyota, Chevrolet, and Florida Hospital own the naming rights for the other four injectors. Axalta executives joined Speedway leaders such as ISC Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy and newly named Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile for the occasion on a bright, sunny Monday afternoon just outside the site of Axalta's new branding opportunity. "Axalta has been an incredible partner in our sport for many years," France Kennedy said, noting "their activation will enable us to further enhance the fan and spectator experience, which is the main focus of our new stadium." Wile -- in his first major press conference since being named president of NASCAR's most famous track -- said he fully expected the relationship with Axalta would help the track "be taken to the next level." Speaking to the excitement the brand brings and noting its longtime relationship with the sport -- including its former sponsorship of recently retired driver Jeff Gordon 's Chevrolet and currently with Dale Earnhardt Jr .'s -- Axalta Chairman and CEO Charlie Shaver called the DIS union "a huge milestone for us" and expected it to be a "a bit of a blank canvas to start the next 150 years" of the company. "We wanted a presence," Shaver said. "And the appeal for us is furthering a relationship and having that presence. We have the branding rights, but also a relationship." Shaver said he initially considered his company's branding opportunities at DIS more than a year ago as construction of the new facility was still in full swing. He said he even sat down with multi-time NASCAR champion owner, and longtime NASCAR participant Rick Hendrick to discuss ideas. "We talked about where the sport is and where it could be," Shaver said. He noted that the company is technology-based and it will feature a strong business-to-business relationship in using its new DIS platform. "During the year we'll bring groups of customers with us to the track," Shaver said, noting it has more than 120,000 company-based relationships and that most customers would "jump at the chance" to come to Daytona International Speedway . The relationship between Axalta and DIS gives the company not only naming rights for the center injector, but branding rights inside the new-look track and the central "neighborhood" area that overlooks the track's famous start/finish line.
Steve O'Donnell pleased with enhanced race format following Daytona weekend
RELATED: Results " Standings " Fast facts: Enhancements DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The early reviews from NASCAR's first race weekend with a stage-based format laden with performance incentives are in. For the sport's top competition official, those reviews were boffo. Steve O'Donnell -- NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer -- held an informal media scrum after Sunday's Daytona 500 , fielding questions about the race's three-stage process, the five-minute pit repair clock, and the multiple multi-car crashes that affected all three national-series events. "I'd say overall really pleased," O'Donnell said in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage at Daytona International Speedway . "Saw a lot of great, hard racing. Everybody knows that every driver wants to win the Daytona 500 . We saw drivers up on the wheel all day long, racing hard, and that's exactly what we expected from the format." O'Donnell said he was content with the frenzied competition that produced race winners in Kurt Busch for the Daytona 500 , Ryan Reed (XFINITY Series) and Kaz Grala (Camping World Truck Series) in the other national circuits. All three races were marked with attrition in several sizable accidents, but O'Donnell chalked that up to the high stakes of racing for victories at the historic 2.5-mile speedway . "I think people wanted to win," O'Donnell said. "People want to win at Daytona and we wanted drivers racing hard up front and racing hard for wins. So that's we expected. In terms of good, hard racing, I think that's what you saw all three days." O'Donnell noted that despite the wrecks that snared Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick among others, those two drivers had a semblance of consolation prizes with an accumulation of points by virtue of their stage victories. O'Donnell also pointed out that the five-minute time limit for repairs made on pit road worked as anticipated. He said he did not expect officials to expand the time span, noting that no teams had raised an issue with it over the course of the weekend. "I doubt it because this came from the teams," O'Donnell said, "and when we looked at what was the proper amount of time, their suggestion was five minutes because they thought their day was really done if they couldn't fix something within the five-minute clock. Obviously if a lot of folks come to us from a team standpoint and say we need more, but the whole point of that was to make sure the cars were safe and in race-able condition." O'Donnell also said he was content with the number of laps that were completed under caution between stages -- seven after Stage 1 and five after Stage 2 -- but said that the number would be a "work in progress" during the season.
Bruce: In the end, it was classic Daytona
RELATED: Full race results " Post- Daytona standings " Detailed breakdown DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- All the game planning, pit strategy and teamwork had been overhauled due to the implementation of stages, those in-race resets that reward points for drivers running in the top 10 after a predetermined number of laps. But when the final laps of the 59th annual running of the Daytona 500 began to play themselves out, such things no longer mattered. In the end, it was a freight train of sheet metal and horsepower churning and chugging toward the start/finish line, every team and every driver acting selfishly with only one thing in mind -- get to the line first. Kurt Busch did, and the 2004 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion exorcised the demons of past restrictor-plate shortcomings in winning his first Daytona 500 after finishing second here a heartbreaking three times. RELATED: Busch wins at Daytona " How close Busch had come in the past Sunny skies and warm temperatures had long given way to the cool of evening here at Daytona International Speedway when Busch whipped his No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford into the lead, shooting high and to the outside of Kyle Larson as a 10-car line snaked its way into Turn 1 for the final time around the legendary 2.5-mile track. With help from a fast-closing Ryan (where'd he come from?) Blaney, and with the fuel-starved Chevrolet of Larson falling back, Busch stayed in the throttle and drove his way into Daytona lore. It was the first full points race of the season, the first for series sponsor Monster Energy and it played out in front of grandstands filled to the brim. RELATED: Monster Energy revs up the fans at the track It was a classic Daytona 500 finish in what had been a different, bizarre-at-times race up to that point. It was different because the format called for it to be different. A change in approach and a change in strategy was required. It was obvious that teams had spent time trying to figure out how to make the best of points opportunities while not giving away a shot at the big prize. Many will go back to the drawing board after Sunday. RELATED: Fast facts on race enhancements " Harvick, Busch wins stages Why else would nearly everyone driving a Toyota drop off the track and hit pit road under green after less than 20 laps of the opening 60-lap stage? At that point, they'd have enough fuel to make it to the end of the stage, they had ready-made drafting partners and stage points would be there for the taking. Simple, right? Only it didn't work out that way. Rookie Daniel Suarez was too fast on pit road and his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth flat-spotted his tires trying to slow his car. Both had to return to pit road. The best laid plans, you know … It did pay dividends for JGR's Kyle Busch , who was indeed out front at the end of Stage 1 to collect 10 additional points. And it looked as if it might work again in the second stage, until a tire issue sent Busch spinning up and into the wall where he collected Kenseth as well as Dale Earnhardt Jr . RELATED: Dale Jr. in wreck with Kyle Busch " Two 'Big Ones' reshape race Ford teams appeared to have a similar strategy, albeit their pit cycle seemed to fall a bit later in each stage, and to be honest, when the caution flag began appearing every 10 laps or so, strategy went out the window. Suddenly it was a game of survival. Nearly a half-dozen former Daytona 500 winners loaded up and departed as just that -- former Daytona 500 winners. Some before the checkered, some incredibly made it to the end. Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson , Matt Kenseth , Denny Hamlin and Jamie McMurray saw their hopes at victory end or be severely curtailed due to their involvement in any one of the four multi-car accidents that gobbled up as few as five cars and as many as 17. Nearly the entire final 50 laps were run caution free, without delays to slow the action. Fuel concerns began to creep into the equation. Too late for some. The time for strategy had passed. From here up until the end, it was about racing. Flat-out, pure and simple. In the end it was exactly what everyone hoped for and most expected. It was bizarre at times, yes, but in the end, when it mattered most, it was a classic. It was the Daytona 500.
Gibson's patience pays off with first Daytona 500 win
BUY TICKETS: See the races in Atlanta DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Tony Gibson was still grinning, a little worse for wear and tear perhaps, but still grinning when he arrived inside the Bill France Room of the Ticket and Tours building here at Daytona International Speedway Monday morning. Make that early Monday morning. Tired? A good tired. A winning tired. A little more than 12 hours earlier, Gibson, 52, had helped guide his driver to victory in the Daytona 500, the season-opening event for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series . It's the race in NASCAR and nothing puts an exclamation point on a racing career like saying you've won the Daytona 500. Now Kurt Busch is finally a Daytona 500 champion. And Gibson, who has accomplished so much in NASCAR, is finally a Daytona 500 champion crew chief.
Rob Gronkowski brings the Monster Energy party to Daytona 500
RELATED: Read more Inside Groove " Celebrities at Daytona Things just have a way of being a whole lot bigger at the annual Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 -- the fun, the stakes, the wrecks and, now, the fans. Rob Gronkowski, the 6-foot-6, larger-than-life personality and Super Bowl-winning tight end for the New England Patriots, is out in full force at Daytona International Speedway and he's brought the party with him. "Just enjoying it, seeing everyone pre-game, tailgate, talking to everyone. Just having a blast so far," Gronkowski told media ahead of the "Great American Race." "It's my first Daytona 500 . Having a great experience and just having a blast," Gronkowski said. "I've never really gotten to tailgate, never got to run around, so it's cool to run around, meet people, enjoy the atmosphere and seeing how it really goes down outside the stadium when everybody is getting prepared for the big event." Gronkowski, a Monster Energy athlete, pulled double-duty as pace car driver and grand marshal at Chicagoland Speedway in 2015, and has taken to NASCAR and its "strong" drivers and "passionate" fans since. RELATED: Gronk spends family time, double-duty at Chicago "I've been to Chicagoland one or two years ago and I see the fans and I see how passionate they are about the racing," said Gronkowski. "It just puts a new level of respect to the game. To be out there for three or four hours, being able to race that long, (drivers have) got to have that mentality, that strong mentality in your mind to just keep on going, keep on driving and doing everything right, every single turn. "It's just critical, so you've got to give huge respect to the drivers on what they do and how focused they are throughout the three hours." With a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series shirt on his back and a Monster Energy drink in his hand, Gronkowski was asked which he was a bigger fan of -- the drink or the trademark Monster Energy girls. "I'm a fan of both (Monster Energy drink and Monster Energy girls)," he said. "I've got my own drink, too, I make the girls drink my own drink so I get the benefit of both." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Two 'Big Ones' in short span reshape Daytona 500
RELATED: Full results " Standings Contact from Trevor Bayne sent Jimmie Johnson 's No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet spinning on Lap 127 in Sunday's Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway . The 'Big One' also collected Danica Patrick , Clint Bowyer , Kevin Harvick , Joey Logano , Denny Hamlin , Kurt Busch , Joey Gase , Chris Buescher and Landon Cassill , among others. Johnson was running third when the wreck unfolded. He was ruled out of the race, along with Patrick, due to extensive damage that was not fixed in the five-minute window on pit road. The wreck involved 17 cars in total. Less than 15 laps later, a wiggle from Chase Elliott 's No. 24 Chevrolet caused a multi-car pile-up that involved Brad Keselowski , Jamie McMurray , Daniel Suarez , Ty Dillon and Ryan Newman , and brought out the eighth caution flag at Lap 141. All told, 11 cars were involved. Together, the two wrecks reshaped the running of the 59th annual Daytona 500. WATCH: Wreck collects Suarez, Keselowski, others "The Fords were really fast today," Patrick said. "We got organized and we were gone! It was the (most fun) 500 I've ever had. Well, probably not 500, more like 300 or 250. It is a real shame. I feel like we could have been a contender at the end, for sure we could have been an influencer." Austin Dillon and Kasey Kahne were running 1-2 as cleanup for the wrecks commenced, although Kurt Busch -- involved in the first of these wrecks -- rallied for victory. All told, 15 cars finished more than 10 laps back largely due to these incidents.
Despite Daytona wreck, Earnhardt grateful for safety features, support
RELATED: Ride along with Junior, others during wreck DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr . emerged from the Daytona International Speedway infield care center Sunday managing a slight smile and a heart full of gratitude despite being wrecked out of the season-opening Daytona 500. His car lasted until just after the midpoint of his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race since suffering concussion symptoms last summer. "I feel good," said Earnhardt, who hasn't raced since July of 2016 and ended up 37th on Sunday. "I don't have any symptoms for anything I' ve experienced in the past. It wasn't that hard of a hit, but still, that doesn't mean you can't get injured. "I've just got to thank NASCAR because we got with them in the offseason about some things to help myself inside my car and we changed some things in the interior that are going to help me going forward. I just appreciate all the effort NASCAR has put into safety."
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