VanDam, McMurray team up at Daytona

Defending Bassmaster Classic champion Kevin VanDam will serve as "Honorary Race Official" and ride in a grand marshal car prior to NASCAR's Coke Zero 400 green flag at Daytona International Speedway July 3.

In addition, VanDam will team with 2010 Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray in a special "Reels and Wheels" Coke Zero 400 ticket package that includes race tickets, Sprint FANZONE/Pre-race Pit Pass and a Fishing 101 Fan Forum in which VanDam and McMurray will demonstrate techniques and share fishing tips.

Both champions, sponsored by Bass Pro Shops, won their coveted titles within a week last February.

"It's not very often that fans get the opportunity to interact with both the Daytona 500 champion and the winner of the Bassmaster Classic at the same time," said Robin Braig, president of Daytona International Speedway. "Race fans are going to have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain some incredible insight, on fishing and racing, from two of the best in their respective sports while enjoying the thrill of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing under the lights."

In addition to being introduced at the drivers' meeting and participating in pre-race instructions, VanDam and McMurray will fish Daytona's Lake Lloyd and race go-karts between turns three and four during a June 22 media event at the legendary track.

"I had the opportunity to spend a couple of days with KVD at a Bass Pro Shops commercial shoot in North Carolina, and he is truly a great guy," said McMurray. "I'm really looking forward to spending some more time with KVD, especially at Daytona, a place that means so much to me. The fans that purchase this package will not be disappointed. KVD is truly the best, and we'll certainly have a lot of fun!"

The race will be the last on the current asphalt at Daytona. The entire 2 1/2 miles will be repaved following the Coke Zero 400 for only the second time in its storied history.

McMurray will try to become only the fifth driver to sweep both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at Daytona in the same season.

VanDam is an avid NASCAR fan, having attended several races the past few years. In August, he will participate in a charity fishing event with drivers and pit crews prior to the Michigan International Carfax 400.

"I love the competition and hanging out with the NASCAR drivers," said VanDam, who also reigns as the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year. "I'm looking forward to sharing a boat with Jamie and testing my driving skills on the track. More importantly, it's a great honor to represent our sport at a NASCAR race on the prestigious Daytona track."

The "Reels and Wheels" ticket package starts at $110. For details, go to www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.