NASCAR fans will get their first glimpse of the new sixth-generation NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars on the storied Daytona International Speedway for three days this week at Preseason Thunder, the unofficial on-track start of the 2013 NASCAR season.
This week’s sessions will be the only test for the new car at Daytona prior to Speedweeks, which begins with The Sprint Unlimited on Feb. 16 (SPEED, MRN Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio) and culminates with the 55th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 24 (FOX, MRN Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio).
“This test is an opportunity for the teams to prepare their cars for Speedweeks and the 55th running of the Daytona 500,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. “This is the teams’ test and provides an excellent lead in to the upcoming 2013 season. There has been a lot of work put into the development of the Gen-6 car by the manufacturers, teams and NASCAR. It will be exciting to see the new cars on the track for Daytona Preseason Thunder.”
After several tests for the new car, including one restrictor plate test at Talladega Superspeedway, the rules package has been set heading into Preseason Thunder.
The rules package for Daytona includes:
· Plate size 29/32″ (same plate size as 2012)
· Spoiler size 4″ high x 53″ wide
· Spoiler angle 70 degrees
· Front Grille size 1-3/4″ high x 23″ wide
· Radiator Relief valve 32 psi
In addition to the year’s first on-track testing, the track will also host Preseason Thunder Fan Fest on Thursday night, January 10.
Fan Fest will include autograph sessions, driver fan forums, show cars and displays, music and a photo opportunity with the 2013 Harley J. Earl Daytona 500 trophy.
Tickets for Daytona Preseason Thunder Fan Fest are $20 on Thursday and $10 for Friday and Saturday and are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com. Children 12 and under will receive free admission.
Among the drivers scheduled to appear on Thursday, Jan. 10 during the 5:30–7:30 p.m. session are Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Jamie McMurray, Tony Stewart, Martin Truex Jr., Jeff Burton, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kurt Busch and Mark Martin.
In the 7:30–9:30 p.m. session, 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski, 2012 Daytona 500 champion Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Danica Patrick, Aric Almirola, Carl Edwards, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Clint Bowyer, Marcos Ambrose, Joey Logano, David Ragan, David Gilliland, Paul Menard, Kyle Busch, Bobby Labonte, Austin Dillon, Trevor Bayne and Casey Mears are scheduled to appear.
Daytona International Speedway will also host special driver chat sessions on the speedway’s social media channels following the end of testing Thursday evening from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Fans can submit questions for Twitter chats by including #DaytonaTesting and the driver’s official Twitter handle. NASCAR’s official Twitter feed @NASCAR will also provide updates throughout the three-day session. Fans can also participate in live driver chats hosted on Facebook by visiting www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.
SPEED will broadcast live coverage of testing on all three days from 1-5 p.m. ET. Additionally, SPEEDTV.com will stream testing live from 9 a.m.-noon ET each day.