Pepsi purse to reach $1.5M

Richest Pepsi 400 Ever Set For Saturday, July 6, at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 18) -- Competitors in the 38th Pepsi 400, July 6 at 11 a.m. at Daytona International Speedway, will be racing for nearly $1.5 million in posted awards in...

Richest Pepsi 400 Ever Set For Saturday, July 6, at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 18) -- Competitors in the 38th Pepsi 400, July 6 at 11 a.m. at Daytona International Speedway, will be racing for nearly $1.5 million in posted awards in the traditional "Mid-Summer Classic" in NASCAR's Winston Cup Series. The Pepsi 400 carries record total posted awards of $1,480,169 for the mid-season 15th event in the 31-race NASCAR Winston Cup Series. In addition, there are two bonus programs that could bump that figure up a significant amount. The NASCAR Winston Cup Series Leader Bonus, which is available to the winner of every Series event if he is also the point leader following the race, could be at $130,000 for the Pepsi 400 if it is not claimed at Michigan International Speedway in the race immediately prior to Daytona. If it is the bonus would be $10,000 at Daytona. It is intriguing that the top two drivers in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings may be defending Pepsi 400 champion Jeff Gordon and two-time Pepsi 400 winner and Daytona career victories leader Dale Earnhardt. Earnhardt was the point leader when he won the 1993 Pepsi 400. The other major bonus program available will be the Unocal 76 Challenge, which is available to the winner of the Busch Pole Award for each NASCAR Winston Cup Series race if he is also able to win the event. That bonus could be at $15,200 for the Pepsi 400. Cale Yarborough was the last driver to win the Pepsi 400 from the pole, in 1981. If the Unocal Challenge is claimed at Michigan the bonus would be $7,600 at Daytona. Practice for the Pepsi 400 opens July 4 with Busch Pole Award Qualifying to set positions 1-25 at 2:30 p.m. Additional practice will be held July 5 with Busch Beer Second-Round Qualifying to set positions 26-38 and up to five provisional starters at 1 p.m. Advance reserved seats for the Pepsi 400 are available ranging from $35-$70. For information and seat selection call the Daytona International Speedway Ticket Office at (904) 253-RACE (7223).

DAYTONA USA Grand Opening Gala Live on ESPN2 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The black tie event celebrating the opening of DAYTONA USA, "The Ultimate Motorsports Attraction," will be shown live on cable network ESPN2 July 4 from 7:30-8:30 p.m. An unprecedented number of television and radio broadcasts will emanate from Daytona during the week of the 38th Pepsi 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series stock car race at Daytona International Speedway and DAYTONA USA's grand opening. DAYTONA USA, the 50,000-square-foot motorsports-themed family attraction located outside Daytona International Speedway, opens to the public at 8 a.m. July 5. More than six hours of live event coverage at the "World Center of Racing" will be offered during the week, including the following: ** Busch Pole Award Qualifying for the Pepsi 400, which will set the top 25 positions, will be live on MRN Radio beginning at 2 p.m. July 4. Busch Pole Updates will be aired periodically on MRN affiliate stations beginning at 2:50 p.m. ** Busch Pole Qualifying will be telecast live on ESPN2 from 2:30-4 p.m. It will be replayed from 8:30-10 p.m. July 4 and from 8:30-10 a.m. July 6. ** DAYTONA USA's Grand Opening Gala July 4 on ESPN2 from 7:30-8:30 p.m. ** The "Mid-Summer Classic" Pepsi 400 will be broadcast live on MRN Radio's more than 450 nationwide affiliates July 6 at 10:45 a.m. ** The Pepsi 400 will be telecast live on ESPN July 6 at 11 a.m. The scheduled three-hour telecast will be preceded by a live, half-hour edition of NASCAR Today from 10:30-11 a.m. on ESPN2. The Grand Opening Gala of DAYTONA USA, which will feature live cut-ins of driver's arrivals on RPM 2Night on ESPN2 from 7- 7:30 p.m., will be replayed on ESPN2 from 3:30-4:30 a.m. on July 5 and from 7:30-8:30 a.m. on July 6. The Pepsi 400 is scheduled to be replayed three times. Edited versions of the race will be shown from 3:30-5:30 a.m. July 8 and from 1-3 p.m. July 9, both on ESPN. The full event will be replayed from 7:30-10:30 p.m. July 9 on ESPN2. In addition to event coverage, the following special shows are scheduled: ** "NASCAR Live" with Eli Gold on MRN Radio, July 2, 7-8 p.m. MRN's weekly one-hour call-in motorsports show broadcast on more than 300 nationwide affiliates will be held at the studio inside the Speedway, with special guests participating. ** "Special Edition NASCAR Live" with Eli Gold on MRN Radio, July 4, 7-8 p.m. This show will be broadcast from the "Founders' Gallery" of DAYTONA USA at the Grand Opening Gala for The Ultimate Motorsports Attraction. Guests will include many of the top NASCAR Winston Cup drivers and personalities. ** "This Week in NASCAR" with Allen Bestwick on Prime Network, July 4, 9-10 p.m. The weekly show will be telecast from the "Velocitorium" of DAYTONA USA. ** "Race Talk Special Edition" with Eli Gold on The Nashville Network (TNN), July 5, 8-9 p.m. Gold's guest for the telecast from DAYTONA USA's Velocitorium will be seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt. ** "Race Talk" with Eli Gold on TNN, July 6, 6-7 p.m. This weekly show, featuring guests Bill France, president of NASCAR and Gary Nelson, NASCAR Winston Cup Series director, will be taped in the Velocitorium July 5 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. In addition, a number of local network affiliates will do live telecasts and cut-ins from DAYTONA USA and the Speedway throughout the week and nationally-syndicated radio shows are also scheduled in Daytona. Advance reserved tickets for the Pepsi 400 are available from $35-70. Tower seats are still available. For information and seat selection call 904-253-RACE (7223). For information on DAYTONA USA call 904-947-6800.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Cale Yarborough