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.
The race will once again be held under the lights on Saturday night, Feb. 16 (FOX 8 p.m. ET) but will feature several new elements that will make this event even more of a fan favorite. Fans in attendance will be eligible to receive special upgraded race experiences from Sprint, including roles as Grand Marshal, Honorary Starter, and trophy presenter. Fans can also help deliver the trophy to Gatorade Victory Lane or participate in driver introductions during pre-race ceremonies.
Sprint Cup Series kick-off
New innovations for 2013
“Sprint is entering its 10th season
as title sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series,” said Steve Gaffney,
vice president of marketing for Sprint. “From the outset, we promised
unprecedented access for race fans, and each year we challenge ourselves
to honor that commitment in innovative ways. Thanks to the strength of
our partnership with NASCAR and Daytona International Speedway, we have
designed The Sprint Unlimited so that fans play a major role in all
aspects of the event. It is the ideal way to start this milestone
season, and we look forward to sharing all of the details later this
In addition to the new fan elements, The Sprint Unlimited 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.
“Now more than ever, through our growing partnership with Sprint, The Sprint Unlimited will be the fans’ race,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. “Sprint has been a great partner with Daytona and NASCAR, and they continue to raise the bar by engaging race fans in new and innovative ways. We look forward to hearing about additional unique elements for this race in the coming weeks.
“We are also excited for the debut of the new Sprint Cup Series car, which we believe will provide thrilling on-track action and make The Sprint Unlimited an unforgettable launch to the 2013 season.”
As announced earlier in the year, the format for selecting the field of drivers in the invitation-only event will return to its roots for 2013. The eligible field of drivers will consist of pole winners from the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and past winners of The Sprint Unlimited who have attempted to qualify for at least one race during the 2012 season.
Tickets for The Sprint Unlimited start at $39 and are available for purchase at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Children 12 and under are free in general admission grandstands and the Sprint FANZONE.
Fans can follow Miss Sprint Cup (@MissSprintCup) and NASCAR (@NASCAR) on Twitter and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtags #SprintUnlimited, #NASCAR, #DAYTONA500 and #NASCARBattle.
In addition, fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest for all the latest news all season long.
The field for The Sprint Unlimited is currently at 22 drivers and features a who’s who of NASCAR stars.
2012 Pole Winners:
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Martin Truex Jr.
Juan Pablo Montoya
Past champions of The Sprint Unlimited: