For Hometown News
DAYTONA BEACH -- Sprint will replace Budweiser as the sponsor of the Daytona Shootout, the first stock car race of Speed Weeks.
The Sprint Unlimited at Daytona will be under the lights on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Daytona International Speedway, which will be aired at 8 p.m. on FOX.
The race marks the first time the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race cars will compete on-track in an event. Dubbed "Gen 6," the new-look, sixth generation cars highlight greater brand identity for the manufacturers and are expected to heighten the rivalries among drivers and manufacturers.
Preseason Thunder Fan Fest is underway at the Speedway and continues through Saturday, Jan. 12, with the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the track for three days of testing in advance of the 55th annual Daytona 500. Preseason Thunder includes autograph sessions, driver fan forums, show cars and displays, music and a photo opportunity with the 2013 Harley J. Earl Daytona 500 trophy.
Just concluded at the track was the Roar before the 24, three days of testing by the stock cars that will compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
More than 100 cars from Grand-Am's Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge teams turned test laps on the 3.56-mile road course preparing for the 51st anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona on Jan. 26-27 and the Grand-Am 200 on Friday, Jan. 25.
The fastest lap of the entire test in the Rolex Sports Car Series was turned by Michael Valiante in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley on Sunday, Jan. 6. Valiante, who will share the driving duties with Chris Cumming, Gustavo Yacaman and Jorge Goncalvez, posted a speed of 125.576 mph.
In the GT class, fastest overall was Patrick Long, who turned a lap of 118.045 mph in the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche on Saturday, Jan. 5. In the newly formed GX class, Shane Lewis in the No. 16 Napleton Racing Porsche Cayman was fastest with a lap of 110.324 mph, also on Saturday, Jan. 5.