Pit Road Access, Red Carpet & Driver Intros Also Part of Pit Pass Upgrade for Fans
2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Champion and former Talladega Superspeedway winner Kevin Harvick, along with Trevor Bayne and Regan Smith will join the lineup of NASCAR drivers scheduled to take part in the Pre-Race Fan Question & Answer Session on the Start/Finish Line at NASCAR’s Most Competitive track prior to the start of the GEICO 500 on Sunday, May 1.
The trio will join three-time Talladega winner Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman as part of the festivities. Race fans will get to ask the drivers questions in advance of one of the most anticipated races of the season, in which the winner of the GEICO 500 is all but guaranteed a spot in the season-ending Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Fans that purchase Talladega’s Pit Pass Upgrade can have access to this special session, which is tentatively scheduled from 8:40-9:45 AM (CDT). Not only can fans get an up-close look at some of NASCAR’s finest with the Pit Pass Upgrade, but they can also take in all the exciting activities at the pre-race stage, including Driver Introductions for the GEICO 500.
Harvick’s victory at Talladega came in the 2010 GEICO 500 when he passed Jamie McMurray coming through the tri-oval on the final lap, winning by inches (.011 second). The driver of the No. 4 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing has six top-five finishes at the 2.66-mile venue, including three runner-up results. He also claimed the pole position for the 2005 GEICO 500.
Bayne, pilot of the No. 6 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing, has 10 career Talladega starts, with a best result of eighth in the 2012 GEICO 500. The 2011 Daytona 500 winner, who ran as high as third in last year’s GEICO 500, is looking to give Roush Fenway Racing it’s fifth victory at Talladega Superspeedway.
Smith is driving the No. 7 Chevrolet for Tommy Baldwin Racing this season after competing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series the last three years - in which he claimed the 2013 Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway. His best finish in a NSCS event at TSS is fifth in October of 2012.
Keselowski is no stranger to success at the famed 2.66 mile tri-oval. He stunned the racing world by winning his first career NSCS race at Talladega in 2009, driving for an independent team owned by James Finch. He added victories at TSS in 2012 and 2014 in the No. 2 Ford for Team Penske. The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion ranks only behind GEICO 500 defending champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. in finishing average among active drivers (minimum 10 races) at the biggest and baddest track in NASCAR. In 14 starts, he has three triumphs, five top-five and eight top-ten finishes.
Newman, driver of the No. 31 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing (12 victories at TSS), has five top-five results at the 2.66-mile mammoth Alabama venue with a third-place effort as his best (2009). The 2008 Daytona 500 champion, who finished runner-up in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in 2014, has an impressive 11 top-ten finishes at Talladega. Over the past three races at TSS, no driver has scored more points than Newman with finishes of fifth, seventh and 12th.
In addition to the Driver Q&A, pre-race festivities at the Driver Introduction stage will include introductions of the starting line-up for the GEICO 500, special guests and VIPs, as well as the Honorary Starter and Grand Marshal of the GEICO 500. The Pit Pass Upgrade is $75, but also includes more opportunities for up-close access on race day.
The Pit Pass Upgrade also allows fans to enjoy a crew member’s perspective on race morning with the ability to stroll down pit road where the cars will be placed and have the opportunity to see the crews set up each pit stall. It also allows access to the Red Carpet Entry into the Drivers Meeting. Drivers, crew chiefs, team owners, celebrities and NASCAR officials will walk the red carpet to the meeting where race procedures and protocol will be explained.
The Pit Pass Upgrade will be in effect on Sunday, May 1, from 8:00 a.m. until the conclusion of Driver Introductions. For more ticket upgrade information, call 1-877-Go2-DEGA or visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com. Additional ticket upgrades are offered by Talladega Superspeedway including The Sunday VIP Experience with Glenn Jarrett, the Unrestricted VIP Package, Pre-Race Pit Passes, Premium Box Seating and much more. Click the ticket section and go to “Upgrades.”
Fans in the grandstands/towers will experience Talladega’s roomy and comfortable 21- and 22-inch wide chair back seats. The five large Sprint Vision HD video boards, two that are 40-feet x 80-feet, will be back and placed along the frontstretch to provide unbelievable views of action on the track from every seat in the house. The video boards are an initiative that will be implemented at all ISC tracks in the future.
The anticipated weekend kicks off on Friday, April 29, with practice sessions for the Sparks Energy 300 for the NASCAR XFINITY Series and GEICO 500, as well as practice, qualifying and the drop of the green flag for the General Tire 200 ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards at 5 p.m. CDT. Saturday’s schedule includes qualifying for the GEICO 500 as well as time trials and the start of the Sparks Energy 300 at 2 p.m. CDT. Later that evening, Big & Rich featuring Cowboy Troy, will headline the traditional Infield Concert. Admission is free with a GEICO 500 ticket. The GEICO 500 race Sunday is set for a 12:00 p.m. (CDT) start.
*Driver availability for the TSS Fan Pre-Race Question & Answer session is subject to change and without notice. Neither NASCAR nor any of its affiliates are responsible for this event*