Texas Motor Speedway news 2007-0-16

* Annual TMS Media Day Traditionally Held In January Will Move To March Slot * Jason Wise Joins TMS Media Relations Staff FORT WORTH, Texas (Jan. 16, 2007) -- The annual Texas Motor Speedway Media Day will shift from its traditional January...

* Annual TMS Media Day Traditionally Held In January Will Move To March Slot

* Jason Wise Joins TMS Media Relations Staff

FORT WORTH, Texas (Jan. 16, 2007) -- The annual Texas Motor Speedway Media Day will shift from its traditional January date to a March slot beginning this year.

The Media Day tentatively is set for the week of March 5 in the Grand Ballroom of The Speedway Club at Texas Motor Speedway, and will once again feature stars from both NASCAR and the Indy Racing League Indy Car Series.

The decision to move the event to March was based off several potential benefits that could be provided by the later date. The Media Day date will revolve around the week leading into the annual NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, making the visit more accommodating for the NASCAR drivers headed out West.

It also places Media Day five weeks out from the Samsung 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup/Busch Series week set for April 12-15, making the guests more relevant and newsworthy for the visiting media. The IndyCar Series guests also will benefit as their media awareness will be heightened due to the fact that the IRL's season opener is three weeks later.

With the TMS Media Day being closer to the Samsung 500 weekend, it also can serve as a platform for any major announcements surrounding the upcoming race.

"With January becoming more and more difficult to secure drivers between testing for both NASCAR and the IRL, the Charlotte media tour, NASCAR Media Day and the Rolex 24, the shift to March should help us continue to secure some of the sport's top drivers as well as make it more convenient for them," TMS Director of Media Relations Mike Zizzo said. "We also think the new timeframe -- five weeks before our NASCAR event -- will enhance the newsworthiness of Media Day for our visiting media outlets. We also will continue to identify potential media opportunities in January and February to offset the move and create news at the outset of the year."

Additional information regarding Media Day will be announced in the coming weeks.



Jason Wise, named the 2004 Public Relations Representative of the Year by NASCAR PR, will join the Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations department as the manager of media relations beginning Monday.

"Jason's background, experience and contacts within the NASCAR community and media are valuable assets to our media relations team," Texas Motor Speedway Director of Media Relations Mike Zizzo said. "We look forward to him coming on board and making a smooth and successful transition to the speedway aspect of the sport."

Wise has spent the past year working in sponsor relations within the sport, but also brings five years of experience in media relations with NASCAR drivers and teams. He arrives from GMR Marketing, where he was an account manager for the past year and worked with clients such as Microsoft, Proctor & Gamble, Bank of America, Best Buy and AAA. He also served previously with IMG Consulting as a consultant on the Coca-Cola account for its NASCAR program.

On the driver and media relations side, Wise worked his way through the NASCAR Busch Series to the NEXTEL Cup Series and, ultimately, in a business capacity for one of Cup's emerging drivers, Jamie McMurray.

He began in 2001 handling public relations for Williams TravelCenters Racing, which sponsored the Busch car for McMurray with Brewco Motorsports. After two seasons with the Busch team, Wise joined the Cup organization of Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates in late 2002 and handled the media relations for McMurray with the team. While at Ganassi, he was recognized in 2004 by NASCAR PR as the Public Relations Representative of the Year.

In January of 2005, he left Ganassi but remained with McMurray and became the vice president of business operations for Jamie McMurray Enterprises, Inc. He spent a year in that position before moving on to IMG Consulting and GMR Marketing.

Wise joins the TMS Media Relations staff consisting of Zizzo and Manager of Broadcast Media Relations Dawn Gardin.



Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage on 1973 Cup champion and NASCAR racing analyst Benny Parsons, who died Tuesday from cancer at the age of 65: "Benny was a great broadcaster, but may have been an even better racer. I remember the ticket to the first Cup race I ever went to featured Benny's photograph as the defending champion. It was an honor to get to know him well through the years. The last time we visited, we had a warm conversation because we thought he had beaten cancer. Sadly, though, that wasn't the case. He was one of the great ambassadors of the sport."



Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage had the rare opportunity to take some runs in a bobsled recently in Lake Placid, N.Y. Gossage was in Lake Placid from Jan. 4-7 for the Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge and made five runs in the two-man bobsled, including runs with the host, former NASCAR driver Dick Trickle and current Cup driver Boris Said.

"Running a bobsled at Lake Placid was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever enjoyed," Gossage said. "I'm from Texas and we don't see many bobsleds around here. The speed and the g-forces were stunning, but just being at Lake Placid to see what Geoff has done to make the U.S. bobsled team competitive on the world scene stirred your sense of patriotism. Many of the applications from NASCAR apply to bobsledding, and Geoff is to be commended for leading the U.S. back to the top."

While watching the 1992 Winter Olympics, Bodine learned that the U.S. was woefully behind other nations in bobsled competition due to dated technology found in their sleds. He got together with the U.S. Bobsled Association and designed the Bo-Dyn sled, using much of the technology he had learned in NASCAR racing. Today, the U.S. is able to compete in world competition and has begun to medal again in the Olympics.

In the Challenge competition, Said was on the winning team for the second consecutive year. Other drivers who competed included Todd Bodine, Randy LaJoie, Brendan Gaughan, Stanton Barrett, Kevin Lepage and NHRA Top Fuel racers J.R. Todd (2006 NHRA Rookie-of-the-Year) and Morgan Lucas.

-credit: texasmotorspeedway.com

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About this article
Series Automotive , NASCAR
Drivers Dick Trickle , Todd Bodine , Kevin Lepage , Jamie McMurray , Brendan Gaughan , Stanton Barrett , Benny Parsons , Chip Ganassi , Morgan Lucas , J.R. Todd , Felix Sabates
Teams Williams