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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Nearly 11 months ago, NASCAR and Daytona International Speedway announced the concept of a unique short-track event to take place Feb. 18-19 during the 2013 Speedweeks. With the kickoff just over five weeks away, the anticipation and excitement around the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach continues to rise.
Friday, NASCAR released the entry blanks to the competitors that outlined the complete details, from the final event schedule to the complete race format for the special non-points events.
“Our team has devoted a great deal of time generating feedback from not only drivers and owners, but fans and media as well, to work to create a truly special event that will serve as the crown jewel of the short-track calendar,” said Brad Moran, NASCAR touring series director. “The end result is a format and rules package designed to showcase the best talent throughout NASCAR’s regional and touring series.
“The benefit of this being a completely new and unique event is we were able to take a fresh look at everything and really create something special and exciting.”
The UNOH Battle At The Beach will take place on a .4-mile oval located on the Superstretch at Daytona International Speedway. The two-day event will begin Feb. 18, the day after pole qualifying for the 55th running of the Daytona 500 and setting the stage for the “World Center of Racing” to host the entire spectrum of NASCAR racing during Speedweeks.
Highlights of the UNOH Battle At The Beach include:
• Three 150-lap features: the Late Model division of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tours and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series.
• The final race for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series will be Monday night, while the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tours and NASCAR K&N Pro Series will be Tuesday night. Both nights of racing will air live on SPEED.
• The event is designed to highlight the star power throughout the NASCAR touring & regional series and is limited to non-national series competitors.
• The qualifying concept is simple: Race your way into the field. Translation: 2012 race winners and series champions received protected spots in the main events of their respective tour races. The remaining spots of each of the 34-car fields will be decided through heat races, and a last-chance race if necessary.
• Top-10 finishers in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I national standings earn starting spots in the Late Model race.
• Heat races will be seeded by fastest lap speeds in each of the final practices. Locked-in drivers must still compete in the heat races to determine where they’ll start in the features.
• There will be two heat races apiece for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tours. The winners of each of the heat races will make up the front row, with a coin flip to determine which row will start on the inside and which will start on the outside.
• The Late Model division will have four heat races, followed by a special draw to determine starting positions one through four for the heat-race winners.
• The three international series champions – D.J. Kennington of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1, Jorge Goeters of Mexico’s NASCAR Toyota Series, and Spain’s Ander Vilarino of Euro Racecar Series, NASCAR touring series, received locked-in spots to whichever one of the three races they elect to enter.
The Late Model rules were announced in October and are based on both sections – Late Model Stock Car Division and Mid-West/West Coast Late Model Division – as outlined in the 2013 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Rule Book.
During 2012 Champions Week in Charlotte for the NASCAR regional and touring series, Daytona President Joie Chitwood unveiled the special event trophies. In a tribute to Daytona’s racing heritage, the trophies are designed to reflect those previously presented to race winners during the days of racing on the beach.
Entry blanks for NASCAR-licensed competitors are being mailed to competitors and are available through the NASCAR's membership website; non-licensed competitors are asked to contact Sharon Grzanich (firstname.lastname@example.org or 386-310-6324).
Fans can follow NASCAR regional and touring series (@NASCARHomeTrack) and Daytona International Speedway (@DISUpdates) on Twitter and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtag #NASCARBattle.
Tickets for the UNOH Battle At The Beach, along with all other Budweiser Speedweeks 2013 events, can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.