For 2014, Preseason Thunder will be expanded to include all three of NASCAR’s national series — Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck. The event, scheduled for Jan. 9-14 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, is a preseason, fan-friendly test session to prepare for the season openers for all three series at the track.
Sprint Cup Series cars will kick off testing on Jan. 9 and 10, while Nationwide Series teams are scheduled to test Jan. 11 and 12. The Camping World Truck Series will conclude testing on Jan. 13 and 14. Each day, teams will be provided with two opportunities to hit the track, weather permitting, with sessions scheduled each day from 9 a.m. to noon ET and 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. ET.
“Preseason Thunder at Daytona offers teams an opportunity to prepare for one of the most important race weekends of the season,” NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said. “Races at Daytona International Speedway are unique to NASCAR competition, and Preseason Thunder will not only give all three of our national series an opportunity to test, but will allow us to settle upon a rules package that will benefit our teams and provide the best on-track action for our fans.”
In addition, there will be Preseason Thunder fan fest activities for the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series. Sprint Cup-related activities will be Jan. 9 and Nationwide activities will be Jan. 11. Those activities include autograph sessions and question-and-answer sessions with drivers, among other things.
The full, specific schedule has not yet been finalized. Tickets for fan activities related to Preseason Thunder will go on sale Nov. 18 by phone at 1-800-PITSHOP. Fans will not need tickets to watch the track test sessions. Test sessions are free and open to the general public.
“We’re looking forward to hosting all three of NASCAR’s national touring series for Preseason Thunder,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “Having the Nationwide and Camping World Truck series teams join the stars of the Sprint Cup Series in testing the high banks will ignite plenty of excitement for the start of the new NASCAR season.”
The first points-paying race of the 2014 Sprint Cup Series season — the Daytona 500 — is scheduled for Feb. 23. The Nationwide Series will race for the first time in 2014 on Feb. 22, with the Truck Series making its season debut on Feb. 21.