For Hometown News
DAYTONA BEACH - The stock car racing action gets started for 2013 on Thursday, Jan. 10 with Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway.
The stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will take to the 2.5-mile tri-oval at DIS for three days of testing through Saturday, Jan. 12, in advance of the 55th Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24.
The test sessions mark the first time the new 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars, which highlight greater brand identity for the manufacturers, will turn laps at DIS. Dubbed "G6," the new-look sixth generation cars will conduct test sessions between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day, weather permitting. Each session includes a lunch break from noon until 1 p.m.
The Preseason Thunder Fan Fest will be Thursday night and includes autograph sessions, driver fan forums, show cars and displays, music and a photo opportunity with the 2013 Harley J. Earl Daytona 500 trophy.
Tickets for Daytona Preseason Thunder Fan Fest are $20 on Thursday and $10 for Friday and Saturday and are available by calling (800) 748-7467 or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com. Children 12 and under get in free.
Preseason Thunder ticket holders receive free tent camping inside Turns 3 and 4 for all three days of testing and fans can also watch each day's testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands.
Advanced reservations are available for the autograph sessions by calling (800) 748-7467 or at the DIS website. Among the autograph wristbands available in advance include 2012 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers, Danica Patrick and past Daytona 500 champions. Additional driver autograph sessions will be on both days with wristbands available the day of the event.
Among the drivers scheduled to appear on Thursday, Jan. 10, during the 5:30-7:30 p.m. session are Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Jamie McMurray, Tony Stewart, Martin Truex Jr., Jeff Burton, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kurt Busch and Mark Martin.
In the 7:30-9:30 p.m. session, among the drivers appearing include 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski, 2012 Daytona 500 champion Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Danica Patrick, Aric Almirola, Carl Edwards, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Clint Bowyer, Marcos Ambrose, Joey Logano, David Ragan, David Gilliland, Paul Menard, Kyle Busch, Bobby Labonte and Casey Mears.
The Roar Before The Rolex 24, the tune-up session for the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge teams in advance of the 51st anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, is scheduled for Jan. 4-6. Ticketholders for the 2013 Rolex 24 At Daytona will be admitted free for testing.