24 Hours of Daytona, NASCAR Style

In years past there used to be preseason thunder, NASCAR testing at Daytona International Speedway, to take the lid off of the off-season. This year that distinction is left to the 24 hours of Daytona, the ROLEX 24 at Daytona to be exact.

In years past there were many NASCAR stars entered in the race. This year from my tally only Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray and AJ Allmendinger are entered in the race.

The No. 02 Target/Ford EcoBoost Riley fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates will be piloted throughout the 24 hours by an all-star driving team of Scott Dixon Tony Kanaan, Kyle Larson, and Jamie McMurray.

Jamie McMurray drove the No. 01 Ford EcoBoost Riley fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates last year with Scott Pruett, Memo Rolas and Sage Karam but they blew an engine and failed to finish.

Kyle Larson drove the No. 02 last year with Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Marino Franchitti but they had problems and did not finish the race. In spite of that they did come in 43rd overall even though they had a great car. Such is the nature of this endurance race.

AJ Allmendinger will be a part of the No. 60 Ligier JS PS2 Honda HPD fielded by Michael Shank Racing w/ Curb/Agajanian team with fellow drivers John Pew, Oswaldo Negri Jr, and Matt McMurry .

Allmendinger and his team last year finished the race 47th. They finished the race but were not very fast throughout.

Both teams are driving what is called a Daytona Prototype cars, a very high tech race car specifically built for this style of racing.

The Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway is a very interesting race in that several different classes of race cars race at the same time. Imagine if NASCAR held a very long race in which there were Sprint Cup Cars, Xfinity Series Cars and Camping World Truck Series trucks on the track at the same time. It makes for some interesting racing watching those cars that are out classed get passed by those that obviously have a large advantage.

When you consider the strategy that can be played by those drivers who are not too tired by setting up passing those slower cars and the interest level gets raised a bar or two. Then those drivers who are not fresh try a similar move and disaster strikes. That in a small nut shell is what this 24 hour race is all about. I recommend watching as much as you can.

For a more enhanced entry list to the Rolex 24 at Daytona visit http://www.imsa.com/sites/default/files/races/entry_lists/2015%20TUDOR%20Championship%20ROLEX%20Pre-Event%20Entry%20List_v2.pdf?invalidate-cache=1405248398

If you cannot get to Daytona International Speedway it will be televised on a combination of the TV and the Internet. It will be broadcast on FOX Saturday January 24th 2015 from 2-4 PM ET then on Fox Sports 2 from 4-8 PM. It will move to Fox Sports 1 from 8-10 PM. At 10 PM the race moves to the internet streaming live at imsa.com until 7 AM Sunday. The race will finish on Fox Sports 1 from 7 AM until 2:30 PM ET. This race is a timed event so it will finish promptly prior to 2:30 regardless of the laps run plan accordingly to see the finish.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 293368 Chris Trotman/Getty Images

 

2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Schedule

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The 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has some changes over previous year. This year the Southern 500 moves back to its traditional date on Labor Day weekend at Darlington Raceway. The race at Atlanta moves back to March pushing the first Bristol race into April.  There is a new TV Contract with Fox and NBC sharing the season.

2015 NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES SCHEDULE
Date Site Network
2/14 Daytona International Speedway (Sprint Unlimited) FOX, MRN, SiriusXM
2/15 Daytona International Speedway (Daytona 500 Qualifying) FOX, MRN, SiriusXM
2/19 Daytona International Speedway (Duel) FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
2/22 Daytona 500 FOX, MRN, SiriusXM
3/1 Atlanta Motor Speedway FOX, PRN, SiriusXM
3/8 Las Vegas Motor Speedway FOX, PRN, SiriusXM
3/15 Phoenix International Raceway FOX, MRN, SiriusXM
3/22 Auto Club Speedway FOX, MRN, SiriusXM
3/29 Martinsville Speedway FOX, MRN, SiriusXM
4/11 Texas Motor Speedway FOX, PRN, SiriusXM
4/19 Bristol Motor Speedway FOX, PRN, SiriusXM
4/25 Richmond International Raceway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
5/3 Talladega Superspeedway FOX, MRN, SiriusXM
5/9 Kansas Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
5/16 Charlotte Motor Speedway (NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race) FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
5/24 Charlotte Motor Speedway FOX, PRN, SiriusXM
5/31 Dover International Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
6/7 Pocono Raceway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
6/14 Michigan International Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
6/28 Sonoma Raceway FOX Sports 1, PRN, SiriusXM
7/5 Daytona International Speedway NBC, MRN, SiriusXM
7/11 Kentucky Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM
7/19 New Hampshire Motor Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM
7/26 Indianapolis Motor Speedway NBCSN, IMS, SiriusXM
8/2 Pocono Raceway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
8/9 Watkins Glen International NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
8/16 Michigan International Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
8/22 Bristol Motor Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM
9/6 Darlington Raceway NBC, MRN, SiriusXM
9/12 Richmond International Raceway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
9/20 Chicagoland Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
9/27 New Hampshire Motor Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM
10/4 Dover International Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
10/10 Charlotte Motor Speedway NBC, PRN, SiriusXM
10/18 Kansas Speedway NBC, MRN, SiriusXM
10/25 Talladega Superspeedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
11/1 Martinsville Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
11/8 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, PRN, SiriusXM
11/15 Phoenix International Raceway NBC, MRN, SiriusXM
11/22 Homestead-Miami Speedway NBC, MRN, SiriusXM
SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

 

2015 NASCAR Xfinity Series Schedule

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The 2015 NASCAR Xfinity Series has some changes over previous year. The biggest change is that the title sponsorship is no longer Nationwide Insurance. The Series is now the Xfinity Series. Other than the title sponsor change there are no major changes to the schedule other than date changes due to the dates of major holidays.  There is a new TV Contract with Fox and NBC sharing the season.

2015 NASCAR XFINITY SERIES SCHEDULE
Date Site Network
2/21 Daytona International Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
2/28 Atlanta Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, PRN, SiriusXM
3/7 Las Vegas Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, PRN, SiriusXM
3/14 Phoenix International Raceway FOX, MRN, SiriusXM
3/21 Auto Club Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
4/10 Texas Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, PRN, SiriusXM
4/18 Bristol Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, PRN, SiriusXM
4/24 Richmond International Raceway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
5/2 Talladega Superspeedway FOX, MRN, SiriusXM
5/17 Iowa Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
5/23 Charlotte Motor Speedway FOX, PRN, SiriusXM
5/30 Dover International Speedway FOX, MRN, SiriusXM
6/13 Michigan International Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
6/20 Chicagoland Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
7/4 Daytona International Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
7/10 Kentucky Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM
7/18 New Hampshire Motor Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM
7/25 Indianapolis Motor Speedway NBC, IMS, SiriusXM
8/1 Iowa Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
8/8 Watkins Glen International NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
8/15 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
8/21 Bristol Motor Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM
8/29 Road America NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
9/5 Darlington Raceway NBC, MRN, SiriusXM
9/11 Richmond International Raceway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
9/19 Chicagoland Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
9/26 Kentucky Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM
10/3 Dover International Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
10/9 Charlotte Motor Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM
10/17 Kansas Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
11/7 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, PRN, SiriusXM
11/14 Phoenix International Raceway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
11/21 Homestead-Miami Speedway NBC, MRN, SiriusXM
SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

 

2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Schedule

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The 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to the dirt at Eldora Speedway this season. They also return to the road course at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. There are no major changes to the schedule other than date changes due to the dates of major holidays.  Fox Sports continues to the the home of the Camping World Truck Series.

2015 NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES SCHEDULE
Date Site Network
2/20 Daytona International Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
2/28 Atlanta Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
3/28 Martinsville Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
5/8 Kansas Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
5/15 Charlotte Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
5/29 Dover International Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
6/5 Texas Motor Superspeedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
6/13 Gateway Motorsports Park FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
6/19 Iowa Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
7/9 Kentucky Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
7/22 Eldora Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
8/1 Pocono Raceway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
8/15 Michigan International Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
8/19 Bristol Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
8/30 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
9/18 Chicagoland Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
9/26 New Hampshire Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
10/3 Las Vegas Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
10/24 Talladega Superspeedway FOX, MRN, SiriusXM
10/31 Martinsville Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
11/6 Texas Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
11/13 Phoenix International Raceway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
11/20 Homestead-Miami Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

 

Brian Vickers will Miss the Beginning of the Season, Who should be in?

It was announced by Michael Waltrip Racing that Brian Vickers had surgery to replace a patch in his heart and will miss the beginning of the 2015 NASCAR season. It is not known how many races or how deep into the season he will be out. It also has not been announced who will temporarily replace him.

It only makes sense that the boss, Michael Waltrip, drive the No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine in the Daytona 500 and race at Talladega but what about after that?  Why not take a very sad story and make it into a happy one? How about rotating some new talented drivers and stars of the Xfinity Series or Camping World Truck Series. This would help those drivers and the sport in general by providing some additional exposure.

The first race after Daytona is Atlanta Motor Speedway. The reigning Camping World Truck Series Champion, Matt Crafton would be a great addition to run with the Sprint Cup regulars at the fast, tire eating, 1.5 mile speedway.

The next three races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway and Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California would be a great place to show off Daniel Suarez, a young development driver for Joe Gibbs Racing who is driving his first full season in the Xfinity Series.

The short Paper Clip track, Martinsville Speedway shares the next weekend with the Truck Series. Erik Jones driving his first full season in the Truck Series would be a great story. He has three top ten finishes in three starts in the Xfinity Series but more impressive he has four wins in 22 starts in the Truck Series. It would be great to see what he could do with those Cup guys.

That takes the team deep into the Sprint Cup Season. Other drivers to consider if Brian Vickers misses more races would be Jeb Burton who currently doesn’t have a full time ride. If he misses races into June then John Hunter Nemechek, winner of the recently run Snowball Derby, can run after his 18th birthday.

We can’t wait to have Brian Vickers back. No one wants to see a drive have to miss out racing due to injury or health issues but it would be great to see it as an opportunity to showcase up and coming talent and veterans of the other Series.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 302427 Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images

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