FYI WIRZ: NASCAR Offseason Is for Fans, Not for Teams

Dwight DrumCorrespondent IIIJanuary 11, 2011

Cars prepare to roar at the Daytona 500
Cars prepare to roar at the Daytona 500

When NASCAR fans are winterized without races during the dormant weeks between mid-November and mid-February, NASCAR teams are thrashing to get the best cars ready for the long 2011 season. Okay, team members and shop technicians do get Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks to share with family and friends, but the cold days of the year are hot production moments. Time wasted here would doom a dedicated team hoping to fill the summer months with wins and top finishes.

Already the Goodyear tire test on the new Daytona track has that company preparing the best tire for the new surface.  Some NASCAR drivers got a taste of the new smooth track and more will know it soon during testing from Jan. 20 to Jan.23. 

Fans can enjoy Preseason Thunder Fan Fest in the Daytona International Speedway infield, the Fan Zone, for the first two days of testing.  Autograph sessions and question and answer appearances by NASCAR drivers are popular and inexpensive at $20 or free for Daytona 500 ticketholders.

NASCAR teams will be testing at other shorter warm weather tracks, but the phenomenon known as Speedweeks is on the horizon.

If you are a race fan and live in Florida or plan to be a Florida tourist in the next six weeks, check out the Daytona race schedule that features Grand-Am sports cars, Daytona Prototypes, ARCA stock cars and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series.  These weeks are filled with concerts and interactive displays too numerous to list.       

Courtesy of Daytona International Speedway:

GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Challenge 200
January 28, 2011

The GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Challenge 200 is a prelude to the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the season-opening event to the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.

Rolex 24 At Daytona
January 29-30, 2011

The Rolex 24 At Daytona features the stars of racing in Daytona Prototypes and GT-class cars in the ultimate test of driver and machine.

Budweiser Shootout
February 12, 2011

The Budweiser Shootout, the climax to a racing doubleheader, is a no-holds barred All-Star race with the top NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars.

Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200
February 12, 2011

The future stars of racing battle for 80 laps, 200 miles in the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200, the season-opening event for the ARCA Racing Series.

Daytona 500 Qualifying
February 13, 2011

The prestigious front row for the 53rd annual Daytona 500 will be at stake.

Gatorade Duel
February 17, 2011

Gatorade Duel At Daytona features two 150-mile qualifying races that determine the starting lineup for the Daytona 500.

NextEra Energy Resources 250
February 18, 2011

The tough trucks from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will tackle Daytona International Speedway in a 100-lap, 250-mile battle that is famous for its wild and unpredictable three-wide racing.

February 19, 2011

The rising stars of the NASCAR Nationwide Series face off against the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in a 120-lap, 300-mile event.

February 20, 2011

Forty-three of the best stock car drivers in the world compete in “The Great American Race,” NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious event.           

For more information contact: www.daytonainternationalspeedway

FYI WIRZ is the swift presentation of pertinent motorsports topics by Dwight Drum @ 

Six major NASCAR tracks are within a day's drive of Tampa. Great destinations justify journeys. 

Here the NASCAR venue is considered local if tracks are within a 10-hour drive from Tampa: Daytona International Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Talladega Superspeedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Photo credit: Dwight Drum @