11/13/12 09:15AM Family Activities, Media Day, NASCAR, Pace Car Rides

Mostly Fun And Games: Activities Open Ford Championship Weekend Media Day

Pace Car Rides With NASCAR Drivers, Go-Kart Racing, Long Drive Competition On Tap

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 12, 2012) – Last we checked, Tiger Woods doesn’t squeeze in a round of mini-golf with PGA Tour media members right before the fourth round of The Masters.

Nor does Derek Jeter co-captain a quick media-only Whiffle Ball home run derby before Game 7 of the American League Championship Series.

So for NASCAR Nationwide Series championship contender Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to partake in media pace car rides two days before he fires his engines on the most important day of the season is pretty much unheard of in the sports landscape.

And that’s just one of the many activities scheduled for the day-long NASCAR Ford Championship Weekend Media Day at Homestead-Miami Speedway this Thursday, Nov. 15.

Check out the menu that will provide an entertaining lead-in for the main event: The annual Championship Contenders Press Conference featuring drivers still eligible to win the championship in all three NASCAR national series…

9 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Three fun-filled events are scheduled before the afternoon’s heavy lifting begins.

Pace car rides: The aforementioned pace car rides will be driven by defending NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Stenhouse and fellow Ford driver David Ragan. Ragan, a big-stage driver following his Daytona International Speedway victory last season, joined Front Row Motorsports for the 2012 season.

Golf Driving Contest: Everyone knows 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and ESPN analyst Dale Jarrett was a fast driver. But on Thursday, he’ll prove that he’s also a long driver. Media members are invited to tee-it-up with the champ in a long-drive contest that will have competitors take swings on the apron of Turn 2, and launch golf balls as far as their talent allows down the Homestead-Miami backstretch.

Jarrett, who turned down a college golf scholarship offer to pursue his racing career, was known as the best golfer among NASCAR drivers during his racing days. He has played on some of the world’s most famous courses, including Augusta National and St. Andrews, and hosts a PGA Champion’s Tour event in his hometown of Hickory, N.C.

“I’ve played a lot of golf over the years but I don’t think I’ve ever hit golf balls on the backstretch at a racetrack,” Jarrett said. “It should be fun to see what NASCAR has in store for us.”

Media Go-Kart Competition: Add a fourth race to the action-packed Homestead weekend, and knowing the NASCAR media corps, this one could get heated. Sparks will fly – and so could helmets – during the media go-kart competition, where members of the NASCAR press will again try to be first – this time to the finish line.

11 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.

Halfway, next time by. Media Day is “official,” as we’ll break for lunch in the Homestead infield media center café.

Noon – 1 p.m.

The “Championship Contenders Press Conference,” featuring all drivers still in title contention in NASCAR’s three national series, will take place in the Homestead media center’s second floor deadline room.

Those scheduled to participate are…

- Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

- Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Elliott Sadler and Austin Dillon for the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

- James Buescher, Timothy Peters and Ty Dillon for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Rusty Wallace, 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee and 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, will tag-team hosting duties with veteran FOX and SPEED reporter Krista Voda.

SPEED and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will broadcast the formal press conference, with live streaming on NASCAR.COM.

1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Alongside the new 2013 Ford Fusion, breakout interview stations will be set up in the drivers meeting room on the first floor of the Homestead media center for more intimate and in-depth driver interviews.

Be sure to tune into each of the NASCAR national series championship finales this weekend:

- NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 on Friday at 8 p.m. ET on SPEED, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio;

- NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio;

- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Media outlet I.D. required. Sign-in at registration table adjacent to speedway media center in infield.

RSVPs are not required, but they are appreciated – especially for the special media activities. RSVP to either Herb Branham (hbranham@nasar.com) or Jennie Long (jklong@nascar.com) of NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications.


Media should enter Gate 4 via 336th Street; follow the signs to enter track through the Turn 1 tunnel and into the infield. Media parking will be along “Main Street” in the infield, short walk to media center.

There will be shuttle service running from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from an area adjacent to the media center and Main Street to the Credential/Registration building for those media members who would like to pick up their weekend credentials on Thursday.