Auto Racing

Lenny Kravitz to play Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show

Rock superstar Lenny Kravitz has performed at venues all over the globe but on Feb. 26 he’ll stand before more that 100,000 when he plays a pre-race concert before the Daytona 500.

Kravitz, a four-time Grammy Award winner, will perform the Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show, the pre-race extravaganza — shown by FOX — leading up to the start of “The Great American Race” at Daytona International Speedway.

“Lenny Kravitz is an iconic performer and multi-talented musician – he will deliver a rousing performance prior to the start of the 54th Daytona 500,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “Race fans will experience a first-class, heart-pounding pre-race show that will serve as the perfect prelude to what will be an historic and thrilling afternoon of NASCAR racing on the high banks of Daytona.”

He has sold more than 35 million albums and is the only musician in history to win the Grammy for best male vocals in rock music four times consecutively.

The world-renown musician will perform three songs prior to the start of the 54th annual Daytona 500 – the season-opening event in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Kravitz’s ninth album, Black and White America, was released in 2011 and features a mixture of funk and hard rock hits like “Stand,” “Rock Star City Life” and his new single “Push.”

After a European tour, Kravitz recently kicked off his first American outing in five years in January. The 20-city tour will wrap up in Miami on Feb. 25.

Kravitz joins a long list of stars names that have performed in the Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show that includes Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Bon Jovi, Kelly Clarkson, Mariah Carey and Brad Paisley.

Joey Logano road-races way to Infineon pole

Youngster Joey Logano surprised the field by winning the pole Friday for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Infineon Raceway.

The Joe Gibbs Racing youngster negotiated all the road courses turns like a veteran road-racer to earn the front spot for the series first road-course race of the season.

“I was surprised it was as fast as it was. I felt like the car had a lot more grip in it, and I felt like we fixed the car, but personally I felt like I screwed up about three times in one lap. I didn’t feel too good about myself after it and I thought I screwed that one up. It was good, car was fast,” Logano said.

“We’ll work on our stuff in race trim a little bit more tomorrow and see if we can get our Home Depot car fast. This is place is so — you can have a fast race car here and it doesn’t mean a whole bunch here. Obviously your strategy is going to be a big deal and I think the real big deal is staying out of trouble, which is where I need to work on the most than anywhere else.”

Logano turned a lap of 93.256 mph for his second pole as 12 drivers went out after him but failed to knock him off the top spot.

Jamie McMurray qualified second with a speed of 93.223 mph and starting in third will be fellow Chevrolet driver Paul Menard (93.176 mph).

“I was happy with the way that we unloaded today. We’ve really had a tough season; especially after all the success that we had last year,” McMurray said. “So, it was nice to come here and unload and have a really good car. The hardest part about Sonoma is not getting collected in someone else’s issue.

Road-course specialists but Cup regulars Marcos Ambrose and Juan Montoya surprisingly qualified eighth and 17th respectively.

Denny Hamlin, coming off a win at Michigan, qualified fourth and was followed by Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, A.J. Allmendinger and Ambrose.

“That was good. We were struggling in practice a little bit but we got a gain there so I feel better about it. We are going to get a good race car out of it we just have to keep working away,” Ambrose said. “This new tire they brought here has thrown us for a loop a little bit. We just aren’t quite prepared for it. We will get it right by Sunday.”

Road-racing specialist Tony Ave, subbing for Travis Kvapil in the No. 38 Ford, failed to make the 43-car field.

Takuma Sato first Japanese driver on IndyCar pole at Iowa

Takuma Sato earned his first IZOD IndyCar Series pole and become the first Japanese pole sitter in the IZOD IndyCar Series Friday at Iowa Speedway.

Sato turned a two-lap average of 180.375 mph at the .875-mile oval.aid.

“I want to say a big thank you to the whole team, the fans, the sponsors and everyone who has supported me. It is a fantastic achievement. I knew we were going to be competitive because of last year and this morning I was truly comfortable in the car,” Sato said.

“I could feel where we needed to be with the setup for qualifying. Working so closely today with the three KVRT – Lotus drivers, working so closely with my engineers, we had a great answer. The mechanics also did a great job preparing the car. I am very pleased with today’s result.”

Wheeling the No. 7 car for Andretti Autosport, Danica Patrick averaged 180.210 mph and will start next to the KV Racing Technology-Lotus driver.

Tony Kanaan (179.833) and rookie JR Hildebrand (179.569) will share Row 2.

“Not a bad run for the GEICO – KV Racing Technology – Lotus guys. This track is always a challenge and to qualify near the front is a big advantage,” Kanaan said.

“You know, you always hate to see your number fall from the pole position during qualifications, but if it has to happen the only way it is acceptable is for a teammate’s number to be sitting on top of yours. I am proud for Takuma and for the KVRT – Lotus organization as a whole.”

Points leaders Will Power (179.474) and Dario Franchitti (179.474) will share Row 3 at the start of the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer.

Despite winning the pole, Sato was involved in a two-car accident late in the final practice session with Alex Tagliani.

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