SBD/January 21, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Fans Will Be Able To Determine Format Of Opening Race Of Sprint Cup Season

Sprint today announced it will allow fans to determine the format of the first race of the Sprint Cup Series season, the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona. By voting at or on NASCAR mobile apps, fans can choose the number of laps from three options (40/20/15 or 35/30/10 or 30/25/20); they can dictate the type of pit stop (no pit stop or 2 tires or 4 tires); they can determine the number of cars eliminated after the second segment (no elimination or 2 cars or 4 cars or 6 cars); and they can pick which one of three fire suit designs Miss Sprint Cup wears. Fans can vote as often as they want. The announcement opened the annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway. The idea was to give fans “Unlimited” options for how the race would run to highlight Sprint’s “Unlimited” plan, said Sprint Dir of Sports Marketing Tim Considine. He added, “To us, it’s ‘What do you like? What don’t you like?’ We wanted to get that chatter started and bring some energy to the event and to the start of the season.” Considine said that being able to offer fans those choices and allowing them to determine the format of the opening, non-points race of the season was a major reason the telecom company signed a six-figure deal to replace Budweiser as the title sponsor of the opening race at Daytona, which formerly was called the Shootout. The race will be broadcast Feb. 16 on Fox. The format will be identified by vote by Feb. 13, but voters can cast votes for the number of pit stops and the number of cars eliminated up until the moment the green flag drops. Considine said, “It's fair to say this will be the storyline Fox takes to the airwaves on Feb. 16.” He said that the network has even talked about creating a “campaign central” concept where fan votes are tracked and analyzed during the pre-race broadcast.
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