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Welcome to Daytona International Speedway’s Media Center! February 7, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2009 Season, Trackside.
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American NASCAR drive Richard Petty meeting Ge...
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I wanted to let you know all that is going on here at Daytona and send you a few thoughts.

Around the Garage:
First: I heard wind that NASCAR might be looking at the restart lines at the race tracks and the pushing of the limit of picking up speed in the “vicinity” of the line by drivers abusing the system. It seems that the competitors have pushed that rule to the point that they may be abusing it. That is why you may have been seeing cars behind the restart line starting to “go go go” when the flag is not out yet and that some of the restart messes you have witnessed may actually not be the guy holding speed on the restart who gets the blame – but the guys behind him who are jumping the gun and abusing the restart line rule. Look for some thoughts on this to be reviewed. What do you think?

48 team replaces tire specialist at 11th hour:
Hearing that the 48 tire specialist Sean Kerlin was replaced the day before the team left for Daytona on Wednesday evening. Sean did driver comfort for Jimmie Johnson and was the teams tire specialist….He was replaced by LIsa Smokestead who is doing tires for the 48 team here at Daytona. She has been the data base manager and has been the tire specialist for the test teams of the 88 and 48 and I am hearing she is a temporary replacement.

Budweiser Shootout Pick Party:
Yep I was standing out in the cold at the Speed Stage as well as inside the media/VIP tent at the Budweiser Pick Party. Drivers huddled inside the tent prior to heading up to the Speed stage “Bar” set up. I got a kick out of AJ Allmendinger wearing his new “AJ” gear cap. Did you see his cap on the TV broadcast? It was a good one. It’s available on line. David Reutemann was teasing him in the tent before the pick party that he wanted one —and AJ said he’d make sure to get it. So if you see Rutemann wearing and AJ cap don’t be surprised. Most of the drivers huddled in the tent talked about being ready to get out on the race track….finally.

Viewers watching the Bud pick party were studying #20 crew chief Greg Zipadelli’s interaction with his young driver Joey Logano. I got this email:

CBL do you get a sense that Zippy and Joey (Logano) are getting along ok because last night on the (Bud Pick )show where they picked their starting position they barely spoke to each other. I didn’t know if it was just Zipp was annoyed he had to be there because his driver is under 21 or there are “issues”

No- there are not issues. I spoke with Zippy before he went out on stage in the TV area and he simply had a terrible cold and was feeling awful. He was sick…and didn’t feel well. If he was quiet that was the simple explanation. The two are doing fine.

THE KING – & NASCAR’s Top 35 System:
Richard Petty Motorsports unveiled today a paint scheme with historical significance at Daytona International Speedway. (The newly-formed Richard Petty Motorsports’ No. 44 Valvoline Dodge Charger, driven by AJ Allmendinger during Daytona Speedweeks, will feature a tribute to winning history with a replica paint scheme of the Valvoline Dodge that Kyle Petty drove to an ARCA victory for Petty Enterprises at Daytona 30 years ago.)

Question to The King – What is Kyle Petty doing these days?
Kyle Petty taped his show for Speed, as his father, Richard Petty, was in the garage unveiling the paint scheme of the No. 44 car (to be driven by AJ Allmendinger) that has been made to resemble Kyle Petty’s ARCA car that he drove to a win in his Daytona debut in 1979. Question to the King…what is kyle up to these days?

“Last time I seen him he was doing television. I don’t know, ” Petty answered. “In fact I have not seen him for a pretty good while. Cause we’ve been busy. I was in Connecticut yesterday talking to the Stanley people. So you are out there doing all that stuff. Then he’s out there doing a bunch of stuff. He’s been doing a bunch of stuff for the camp. Then he come to Florida to do a Red Cross deal this past weekend sometime and then he was at the 24 hour run for four or five days, I don’t know,” Petty said.

We have racing on the track. I have missed talking cars on the track with you. Cannot wait! The race season has actually started. Here is my weekend Sirius Schedule:

Friday, February 6th –
Dialed In with Claire B Lang
7-10 p.m. EST

Saturday, February 7th-
Dialed In with Claire B Lang
2:00 -4:15 p.m. EST
I anchor Bud Shootout Pre Race Show 4:15 p.m. EST leading into Budweiser Shootout

Sunday, February 8th –
Following qualifying until 8:00 p.m. EST

Looking forward to covering the 2009 race season and for you all and taking you live to races coast to coast.

Thanks for being such a big part of it! I appreciate your emails and live on the air discussions and your opinions and race rants.

Claire B

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Jan 16th – FANFEST Daytona January 16, 2009

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season.
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Looking across the Daytona International Speedway
Image via Wikipedia

LIVE from Daytona Blog
Friday, January 16th, 2009

Welcome to Daytona!

After waaaay too much time away from the track during the off season – it’s time to go racin’ boys! (Girls too!) I officially declare today, January 16th 2009 the official start of blogging on this site from the race tracks and the start of an inside look at the 2009 season.

I’m here at Daytona International Speedway covering Fan Fest and as I set up here in the media center I can hear the cars on the race track (ok – it’s the Richard Petty Driving Experience) and I can hear the thumping of music from the Fan Fest stage located right outside the door. I’ve always noticed that Daytona International Speedway plays the best music over the sound system – and each year when I arrive at Daytona to start the season -I wonder who put the music mix together up in master control.

Tonight (Friday, Jan 16th) 7-10 and tomorrow (Saturday, Jan 17th) 12-3 p.m. I will be broadcasting LIVE on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio from the media center here at Daytona.
Here is a tentative list of drivers that I will have on live and what time to expect them:

LIVE on “Dialed In” SIRIUS NASCAR Radio – Friday, Jan 16th
7:00 -10:00 p.m. EST – Channel 128

7:05 EST John Wes Townley

7:15 EST Reed Sorenson*

7:50 EST Jeff Burton*

8:00 EST Martin Truex, Jr.*

8:35 EST Greg Biffle*

8:50 EST Mike Skinner*

9:00 EST Ryan Newman*

9:35 EST Casey Mears*
LIVE on “Dialed In” – SIRIUS NASCAR Radio -Saturday, January 17th
12:00-3:00 EST Channel 128

12:15 EST David Ragan*

12:30 EST Jimmie Johnson*
1:00 EST Rick Crawford*

1:15 EST Paul Menard*

1:30 EST Jeff Gordon*

2:20 EST Alex Garcia

2:40 EST Denny Hamlin*

I’ve gotten a number of emails on the new rules regarding the Budweiser Shootout. The in box is going crazy on both sides of the issue.

Fans who follow a driver that is in the Shootout now because of a new wild card wrinkle are naturally thrilled.

Other fans are not happy: Here’s one on the “don’t mess with it” side:

Hi Claire B.

They turned the Bud shoot out into a joke….They’re just making it up as they go…I won’t even watch…what a farce how we just go ahead and let the rest of the field in….They screwed it up when they changed the format in the first place…Now they’re just making it worse…


Remember this is a non-points special race – like the All Star race. LMS event folks make format and rule changes to that race each year on a whim….is this any different? We know that getting the stars of the show into the Budweiser Shootout is good for ticket sales. What’s wrong with changing the format – as promoters have been known to do when the race is a special event? Just asking the question. Email me at insidercbl@aol.com.

The newly announced Budweiser Shootout rules below:
NASCAR announced today a revision to the 2009 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona format that provides each manufacturer with a ‘wild card’ entry, increasing the size of the field from 24 to 28 cars, highlighting the manufacturers’ involvement in NASCAR, and featuring more drivers for fans to support.

The 31st annual season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway will be held on Saturday night, Feb. 7. As was announced last August, the lineup will consist of the top six teams from each manufacturer, based on the final 2008 car owner points. Eligibility is based on owners competing in this event with the same manufacturer as 2008.

The new wrinkle calls for each manufacturer to be able to enter a seventh car, or “wild card” entry, based on the following criteria:
• Any owner outside of the top six in year end 2008 owners’ points whose driver is a past NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion that attempted to qualify for all of the 2008 events (only one position will be filled per manufacturer and will be based on the most recent past champion per manufacturer).
• If an owner/manufacturer does not have a past champion driver, the next highest eligible owner outside the top six in year end 2008 owners’ points from each manufacturer will be eligible to compete in the event.

As of today, cars eligible to compete in the 2009 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona would be as follows (using 2008 car numbers):
Budweiser Shootout
70* 10** 22** 38**
* past champion (Tony Stewart)
** based on seventh highest finishing position in 2008 owners’ points

Ok so what do you think? Email me if you can – I want to hear your comments!

Stay tuned to this blog for inside stories and updates on my travels and the show. I’ll be starting to blog more regularly and stay in touch this way with you.

I cannot tell you how great it feels to be back at a race track.
By the way, don’t we all feel great about the miracle on the Hudson! Incredibly positive stuff to watch.

Hope 2009 is starting great for you. Stay tuned.

Cheers and many blessings this New Year!
Claire B Lang

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