Tuesday is Daytona 500 Media Day at Daytona International Speedway, with drivers spending the day meeting the press from television, radio and print. Here are five surprises from the start of the day.
SPEAK YOUR LANGUAGE — Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet said he’s not a member of the NASCAR Driver’s Council, and he’s OK with that. "I’m not really a people person," said Newman, a graduate of the Purdue University engineering program.
"I like using my education to help people but it’s really hard to get them to understand because they kind of become biased that I do have an education," said Newman. "Sometimes with other drivers, it seems to be a language barrier or perspective."
SHOW ME THE MONEY — Under the new NASCAR Charter system, the sanctioning body will no longer disclose race purses or money paid out to teams. But you better believe the drivers are paying attention to their deals and the early returns are positive.
"Every driver has a concern if you’re paid based on the purse, right? That’s how most contracts were structured is that you get a salary and you get paid based on the purse; and so, that structuring changed, right?" said Jamie McMurray. "It’s all for the better but everyone’s contracts has to be re-looked-at and re-worked. From what I know, from talking to the drivers and our team and listening to what other teams are saying, like all the owners are really fair in making that right, it just takes a different contract than what we had."
PATCHED UP — Joey Logano said he and Matt Kenseth have ironed out their differences after each wrecked the other late last year during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
"Well, we didn’t throw any punches," Logano said Tuesday morning at Daytona. "No, we are fine. I would say we are at a neutral spot. To be honest with you, what we talked about at Homestead last year I felt like I got everything off my chest and hopefully he did. I don’t know if he did or not but I feel like I have a clear conscious and I am moving forward."
Kenseth will speak in the afternoon.
LEARNING THE ROPES — Chris Buescher is one of the top NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookies in a deep field, but he admitted he feels like a rookie on social media, too.
"I am a little behind on social media. I need to catch up," Buescher said. "I am on Twitter and Facebook and barely Instagram and that is it. I am not going any farther. I tried Snap Chat for a little while but it just wasn’t for me. There are a lot of other ones out there that keep popping up but I am done. I’ve got my three platforms and I will stick to that."
SOLD OUT — OK, this isn’t much of a surprise, but it is good news. Daytona International Speedway officials said reserved stadium tickets for Sunday’s 58th Daytona 500 (1 p.m. ET, FOX) are sold out. Premium hospitality, infield admissions and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.