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Black Friday Dawns Brightly For Race Fans

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, November 25 2011

Spotters have spotted fan-friendly deals on Black Friday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Christa L Thomas)

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer

It’s Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when normally rational Americans whip out their credit cards and spend like a drunken sailor. Or, maybe the rush to the nearest mall has more to do with escaping assorted family members who conveniently have confused your home with Extended Stay America.

Anyone for reheated giblets and what’s-this-here-sauce?

Me neither, not after dining on a gourmet Marie Callender Turkey Day meal prepared in the microwave for $2.58. Now, that’s a bargain!

In addition to the usual list of retail outlets vying for the consumer dollar, the managements of any number of racetracks nationwide are offering deals today through Cyber Monday, Nov. 28.

Daytona International Speedway has announced these holiday ticket packages:

– An infield/grandstand ticket with garage access for the 50th anniversary edition of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29, a savings of 35 percent.

– Infield/grandstand ticket for the Budweiser Shootout/Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 18, with admission to the Pre-Race Party that includes an appearance by 2007 Daytona 500 champion Kevin Harvick and Hooters wings and beverages, a savings of 29 percent.

– General admission grandstand ticket for the Gatorade Duel At Daytona qualifying races on Thursday,

The new Corvette Daytona Prototype was unveiled Tuesday. It will compete in 2012.

Feb. 23, and a Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race pass, a savings of 24 percent.

– General admission grandstand ticket for the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, Feb. 24, and a Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race pass, a savings of 24 percent.

Additionally, on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday fans will receive free shipping (a savings of $14) for all tickets purchased (phone orders only). To take advantage of these ticket specials, call 1-800-PITSHOP between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST) or visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/deals.

Also, children 12-and-under will be admitted free in the Sprint FANZONE during Speedweeks 2012 and free in the general admission areas during the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Budweiser Shootout, Gatorade Duel At Daytona, NextEra Energy Resources 250 and Daytona 300. New for the 2012 Daytona 500 is special youth pricing. Children 12-and-under will receive 50 percent off all Superstretch grandstand seats for the Daytona 500 with the purchase of an adult ticket while supplies last.

In addition, DIS has launched an expanded hotel promotion to help lower costs for fans planning to attend Speedweeks and NASCAR’s 2012 Daytona 500, with special rates available through Feb. 22, 2012.

From now through Dec. 31, fans are eligible to save at least 20 percent off the standard rate for hotels located in the Daytona Beach region and surrounding areas. From Jan. 1, 2012 through Feb. 22, 2012, fans can save at least 10 percent off standard room rates.

At least 20 hotels are participating in the program so far, and more can be added. The hotels are all located within 35 miles of the Speedway in Daytona Beach, western Volusia County, Seminole and Flagler counties. Fans can visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/hotels to find a list of participating hotels along with contact information for reservations.

This offer is being made possible through a partnership among Daytona International Speedway and the Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Seminole Convention and Visitors Bureau, the West Volusia Tourism Bureau and the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce.

Hotels interested in participating in this program can contact the Speedway for more information.

Additionally, The Roar Before the Rolex 24 – the critical three-day test session prior to the historic 50th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, is scheduled for Jan. 6-8. Sports cars from the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge will test the “World Center of Racing’s” 3.56-mile road-course to prepare for their respective season-openers. In addition to the testing sessions, open garage access as well as fan forums, pit stop demonstrations and tech talks will be available.

Charlotte Motor Speedway will play host to fans on Black Friday during the traditional track drive

Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Erik J. Perel)

and 19th annual Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out, scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (EST).

Fans will have an opportunity to drive their personal vehicles on the 1.5-mile superspeedway during the event. Shoppers who spend at least $50 on merchandise or race tickets, or donate $25 to Speedway Children’s Charities, will be allowed to drive their personal vehicle for three laps around the track.

Fans of Tony Stewart, the newly crowned 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, will have a chance to win prizes. In honor of his third Cup championship, the first 14 fans wearing Stewart gear to sign up in the ticket office on Black Friday will get to climb the track’s catch fence and grab the checkered flag to claim a prize _ including vouchers for 2012 race tickets, pit passes or Stewart merchandise.

In addition, a full line of NASCAR memorabilia and apparel will be available at drastically reduced prices, with many items selling for only $1 and hats and shirts starting at just $3. More than 15 NASCAR souvenir rigs are expected to be present with driver merchandise from Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Danica Patrick and more.

CMS’ ticket office, located on the second floor of Smith Tower, will be open throughout the day. Shoppers who spend $99 or more on race tickets will receive a free $25 gift card good for 2012 race tickets, camping spots or pit passes. Tickets for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race start at $39 while tickets for the Coca-Cola 600 start at $49.

For more information contact the Charlotte Motor Speedway gift shop at (704)-455-3202 or visit online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is offering a holiday package of season tickets for all three

Super Weekend tickets are on sale now. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Harold Hinson)

motorsports events in 2012 at the “Racing Capital of the World,” with savings of $120 and free parking included for fans who buy early on Black Friday.

Fans who purchase two season tickets for a total of $140 also will receive one free parking pass to each event if they purchase between 6 a.m. to noon (EST) on Black Friday at www.imstix.com or at the IMS Ticket Office. Season tickets provide general admission for the 2012 Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 27; the Crown Royal Presents The “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard weekend from July 26-29 and the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, Aug. 17-19.

The inaugural 2012 “Super Weekend” in July will feature track activity beginning on Thursday, July 26, with NASCAR Nationwide Series practice before the track is converted to the IMS infield road-course that evening to accommodate the GRAND-AM Road Racing event on Friday, July 27. The GRAND-AM race day will include nearly 12-hours of on-track activity culminating in an historic, first-time sports-car endurance race on the 16-turn IMS road-course.

Saturday, July 28, will feature Nationwide and Sprint Cup series practice and qualifying, followed by a late-afternoon start of the inaugural Nationwide race at IMS.

If purchased separately, two general admission tickets and parking for all three events would total $260.

Holiday deals will continue at www.imstix.com after noon Friday, with fans saving more the earlier they purchase tickets.

– Individual season tickets are available for $70 through 5 p.m. Cyber Monday. Free parking is not included.

– Individual season tickets are available for $75 from Tuesday, Nov. 29, through Saturday, Dec. 31.

– The season pass will cost $85 beginning Jan. 1, a $15 value over race day pricing.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866)-221-8775 for more information.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.imstix.com, calling the IMS ticket office at (317)-492-6700 or (800)-822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or visiting the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street. Regular ticket office and phone hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST) Monday-Friday.

Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., is waiving fees on tickets for NASCAR or INDYCAR races purchased between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Management also is offering these holiday packages:

– The Holiday NASCAR Hot Lap Pack ($74) features one lower reserved grandstand seat (Rows 1-14) to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 on Sunday, March 25, 2012 and one Richard Petty Driving Experience Ride-Along in a two-seat NASCAR race car driven by a professional instructor for a three-lap qualifying run.

– The INDYCAR Holiday Offer ($55) includes one general admission ticket to the IZOD IndyCar Series race on Saturday, Sept. 15; one weekend Pit/Paddock Pass and one scanner rental. Both Holiday Ticket Packages expire Dec. 30, 2011.

Individual ticket prices range from $30 to $105 for the NASCAR weekend and $30 to $60 for the IZOD IndyCar Series weekend.

For more information or to purchase the best seats available visit the Auto Club Speedway Ticket Office, 9300 Cherry Avenue, in Fontana; call (800)-944-RACE (7223) or log on to www.autoclubspeedway.com.

Talladega Superspeedway’s Black Friday deal features two OV Hill North Tower tickets for the 2012 Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and a four-lap ride with the Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure. If purchased individually the items would total $445. However, with Black Friday savings the package is available for only $299, a 30 per cent savings.

The Cyber Monday deal consists of a Gadsden Grandstand ticket for the Aaron’s 499 and a Talladega Superspeedway tee-shirt for $49. The ticket alone is valued at $50. The Aaron’s Dream Weekend is scheduled from May 4-6, 2012.

To take advantage of these ticket specials, call 1-877-Go2-DEGA or visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com/deals.

Kentucky Speedway customers who purchase or renew season tickets for the track’s five-event NASCAR 2012 season on or before Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012 automatically will be entered to receive one of 250 invitations for two to an exclusive “Tireside Chat” with NASCAR legend Richard Petty at Belterra Casino Resort & Spa in Vevay, Ind., in early February. Complete rules are available at http://www.kentuckyspeedway.com.

Season tickets for the 107,000-capacity facility’s 13th season start at $179 and include an opportunity to purchase as many as 12 additional tickets to the June 30 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 before they go on sale to the general public.

Season tickets and season campsites can be purchased by logging on to http://www.kentuckyspeedway.com/tickets; calling (859)-578-2300 or visiting the speedway corporate offices at 1 Speedway Drive, Sparta, Ky., 41086 off Interstate 71 Exit 57 and State Highway 35 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST).

The Sprint Cup Quaker State 400 on Sunday, May 1, headlines a season-opening weekend that also includes the Friday, June 29, Nationwide Series Feed The Children 300 and Thursday, June 28, Camping World Truck Series UNOH 225. Another 225 miles of Camping Truck Series action returns Friday, Sept. 21, to open a weekend that also features a 300-mile Nationwide Series battle on Saturday, Sept. 22.

Darlington Raceway has tickets on sale for the famed Southern 500, as the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup series return to South Carolina on Mother’s Day weekend, May 11-12, 2012. Fans will notice several enhancements when ordering tickets to the track “Too Tough to Tame”:

– Special youth pricing, featuring half-price reserved seats at each event for fans 17-and-under. All general admission seating at the Nationwide Series Darlington 200 will be free for that age group.

– An expanded Family Section of alcohol and tobacco-free seating in all grandstands at the facility.

– A military discount, with service personnel paying half-price for grandstand seating at all events. Military members taking advantage of the half-price seating offer for the Southern 500 also will receive a special camouflage Darlington Raceway tee-shirt for race day.

Tickets for events at Darlington can be purchased by calling the Darlington Raceway ticket office at (866)-459-RACE or online at http://www.darlingtonraceway.com/tickets/.

Michigan International Speedway will unveil its APEX deluxe trackside campground of 20 spaces in 2012, giving camping guests a unique view of the racetrack from the apex of Turn 3. Racing in the ARCA and NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup series is booked for June 15-17, 2012. NASCAR’s Camping World Truck and Cup series will compete on the 2-mile oval Aug. 17-19.

Each trackside campsite is 20-x 55-feet wide and features water and electric hookups, a picnic table and grill – as well as a concierge service.

APEX replaces five silver grandstands recently torn down. Admission to APEX will be $1,600 per site, plus $250 per person for the weekend, up to 10 people per site. Each guest will receive a scanner rental and weekend pit access. Two people per site also will receive NASCAR garage passes for the weekend.

Fans interested in camping in APEX should call MIS ticket agent Ian Kirkpatrick at (517)-592-1285 for details. Sites will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis to renewal guests and then to deposit guests. APEX will open on Thursday of race week, and remain open until the Monday after the race.

Renewals for 2012 also are underway, and new guests can place a $10 refundable deposit to take advantage of the best pricing for 2012 by calling (800)-354-1010.

Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., is offering tickets for the 52nd annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Super Start Batteries, season-opening event of the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

The event is scheduled for Feb. 9-12, 2012. To purchase general admission, reserved seat or Top Eliminator Club tickets, visit www.NHRATIX.com or call the NHRA Ticket Sales Center at (800)-884-NHRA. Tickets for children 12-and-under are free with any paid adult ticket.

– John Sturbin can be reached at jsturbin@racintoday.com

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, November 25 2011
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