NASCAR short-trackers set to return to Daytona in February

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After a successful debut last season, multiple NASCAR minor leagues will once again race at Daytona International Speedway in February of 2014.

The UNOH “Battle at the Beach” is set for Feb. 18, 2014 and will see the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (pictured), as well as the NASCAR Whelen Modified and Southern Modified Tours, compete on a 4/10-mile oval on Daytona’s backstretch.

The K&N East race will count toward its championship as its second event of 2014, while both Modified divisions will come together for a non-points event; each will run for 150 laps.

“Fans around the world look forward to Speedweeks to kick off the NASCAR season, and we are proud to be able to present a week of short-track action leading up to the 56th running of the Daytona 500,” NASCAR vice president of touring and weekly series George Silbermann said in a statement.

“The anticipation for last year’s first UNOH Battle at the Beach was surpassed only by the number of people talking about the electrifying finishes.”

Indeed, last year’s short-track gathering at the “World Center of Speed” was a memorable one as all three events were decided by last-lap contact.

Kyle Larson, now preparing for his inaugural Sprint Cup season with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, had multiple run-ins with C.E. Falk III in the final stages of the Whelen All-American Series race before pushing him aside on the final corner to take the win.

In the Whelen Modified race, former Sprint Cup driver Steve Park spun out Mike Stefanik in Turn 2 on the last lap and went on to the checkered flag – leaving an angry Stefanik to declare the contact “bull—-” afterwards on national television.

Then in the K&N Series race, Cameron Hayley and Gray Goulding knocked fenders together coming to the finish before Hayley won out by a narrow margin.

Takuma Sato’s likeness revealed on Borg-Warner Trophy (PHOTOS)

Photos; Walt Kuhn
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INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.

Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.

It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.

Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)