Daytona Media Day
February 15, 2013
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Thursday's highlights from Daytona media day at Daytona International Speedway:

And away we go!

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- It's media day at Daytona, a whirlwind eight hours where all the drivers run through a gantlet of reporters and broadcasters, and who knows what we will hear.

The gang will be posting live blog entries throughout the day on what the drivers have to say, along with Twitter and Facebook photos we take of the proceedings.

It's your best way to keep up with all the activities to kick off the 2013 season. Ed Hinton will have an overview column this afternoon on all the day's interesting topics.

Oh, and by the way, Happy Valentine's Day.

-- Terry Blount


Great media day - thanks @nascar and @nascar_nns. Here's the pic of my 1st car I promised to show...

— Nelson Piquet Jr. (@NelsonPiquet) February 14, 2013


A very busy #Daytona Media Day. And pretty soon the #NASCAR drivers will be back to battling for this...

— NASCAR on ESPN (@NASCARESPN) February 14, 2013


Stewart was asked what happens if DP and Ricky have an on-track run in. "So. I had a run in with Kenseth, but I'm not dating him.''

— Terry Blount (@TerryBlountESPN) February 14, 2013


And in non-related #DanRicky news, @kaseykahne must have taken the $20 Rick Hendrick offered to finish his haircut.#daytona #nascar

— David Newton(@DNewtonespn) February 14, 2013


Hair today ...

Kasey Kahne didn't take the $20 team owner Rick Hendrick offered last month to get the rest of his haircut.

But Kahne did get it cut.

The high fade style that drew so many jokes during the media tour has been replaced by a simple tight cut. Kahne said he wasn't guilted or joked into doing it.

-- David Newton


Will be quite powerful to see this out on track RT @terryblountespn Michael Waltrip with the Newtown car:

— NASCAR on ESPN (@NASCARESPN) February 14, 2013


Sorry, gals

In case you missed it during the offseason, 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne is off the market.

And, no, he's not dating a driver.

Bayne is engaged to high school sweetheart Ashton Clapp. The two plan to get married in June sometime between the Dover and Iowa Nationwide Series races.

-- David Newton


Thank u sweetheart! Happy valentines day!"@ashtonshelby_: Happy valentines day to my handsome fiancé and love of my life, @tbayne21! d=—=‹"

— Trevor Bayne (@Tbayne21) February 14, 2013


How do the Cup drivers -- NASCAR's new power couple included -- plan to spend Valentine's Day? #Daytona @lhoppes

— Joe Breeze (@JoeBreezeESPN) February 14, 2013


Junior not worried

Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains confident that Hendrick Motorsports will find additional sponsorship needed for the No. 88 Chevy this season.

"We're talking to a lot of people and have a lot of things in the works," Earnhardt said. "But you have to find the right partner. We're looking for a partner for the long term. You don't just take the first guy that comes along.

"We also have a [financial] number we have to reach to fund the car. We can't sell out other sponsors short."

The National Guard is on the car for most of the season, but Earnhardt's car doesn't have primary sponsorship for 13 of the 36 races.

-- Terry Blount


Clint Bowyer was doing his media deal when it was announced Earnhardt Jr. was ready to talk: "Oh, there goes my interview. See ya guys."

— Terry Blount (@TerryBlountESPN) February 14, 2013


Welcome, Kurt

Paul Menard is glad to see Kurt Busch as part of the Richard Childress Racing group this season; Busch is the driver for Furniture Row Racing, which acts as a satellite operation of RCR.

"Kurt is a race-winning champion," Menard said. "Even though his team is out in Colorado, it's almost like a fourth car [for RCR]. We share a lot of information.

"Kurt is in our weekly meetings and our race-weekend meetings also. He's a highly driven, motivated guy, not afraid to speak his mind, either, which is a good thing."

Does Busch fit in with the three RCR drivers?

"Yeah, we all get along great," Menard said. "All four of us get along. We all have pretty different personalities, but we have a good working relationship and feed off each other."

-- Terry Blount

Four-Time's take on Danicky

Jeff Gordon had an interesting answer when asked if he thought Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. would race differently against each other.

"I've raced my wife [Ingrid] on a [go-kart] track and I can tell you I raced her differently," Gordon said, chuckling.

Did he let her win?

"Oh no," he said. "I scared her a little and bumped her a few times. She's very competitive."

Gordon, 41, also was asked, probably for the 1,000th time, how much longer he will race.

"I know I don't have 10 more years left," Gordon said. "But I definitely think I have a few more good years left. Winning the final race of the season last year was big for us. I know we can get it done and win another championship."

-- Terry Blount


It's a photo shoot start to #NASCAR Media Day for @kaseykahne.

— Hendrick Motorsports (@TeamHendrick) February 14, 2013


Gordon dances again

Jeff Gordon isn't afraid to make fun of himself.

Let's hope not. Have you seen this "Harlem Shake" video on the Funny or Die website?

It's Gordon and his Hendrick Motorsports crew having a little fun on Wednesday. It took only two takes.

"It probably was the best time I had in my race shop," Gordon said. "Luckily, it was quick and didn't take them away from their jobs. It turned out pretty good."

Jeff, did you really look at your dancing?

"OK, I'm a little embarrassed about my dancing," Gordon said. "It was still worth it."

-- Lynn Hoppes

Ricky wannabe

The Performance Racing Network spent much of the morning asking drivers who they would be if they could trade places for a day.

A couple said President Obama. One said NASCAR president Mike Helton so he could address everyone who has wrecked him.

Then there was Kyle Larson, the reigning K&N Pro East Series champion who will attempt to run a full Nationwide Series schedule for Turner Scott Motorsports.

"Right now, Ricky Stenhouse,'' Larson told the radio...
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