Daytona 500 champ Jimmie Johnson to make pit stop at Florida Capitol in Tallahassee

NASCAR star's visit boost to massive Daytona International Speedway project

 

Jimmie Johnson takes checkered flag in 2013 Daytona 500 / Headline SurferJimmy Johnson celebrates in Victory Circle in 2013 Daytona 500 / Headline SurferHeadline Surfer videos produced by Multimedia Editor Serafina Frederick / Jimmy Johnson takes the checkered flag to win the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. He's the face of NASCAR that Gov. Rick Scott and Florida lawmakers will see Tuesday at the Statehouse. The video at left shows the raw speed of the Sprint Cup cars during the early going of the Daytona 500. The second video highlights the proposed $250 million modernization of Daytona International Speedway. 

DAYTONA BEACH -- It was Danica Patrick who won the pole for the Daytona 500, but is was Jimmie Johnson who took the checkered flag and now he's making a pit stop Tuesday morning in Tallahassee to be honored by Florida lawmakers.

And what better timing while a bill to provide tax incentives for a private $250 million modernization of Daytona International Speedway continues its own track through the Florida house and senate chambers, though none of the speedway officials were making the connection when announcing his appearance.

The two-time Daytona 500 winner will receive a proclamation from the Florida House of Representatives, meet with Gov. Rick Scott and with members of the Florida Senate, at the Capitol, 400 S. Monroe St, and he's scheduled to do all this in 30 minutes -- between 11:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.

There will be plenty of mugging it up by Florida legislators and the racing star before the flashing cameras of the press.

Johnson's visit comes on the heels of a twin bills proposed earlier this Spring by State Rep. David Santiago, R-Deltona, and State Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, for $2 million a year less in sales taxes annually for 30 years to International Speedway Corp. after it invests $250 million in a massive modernization and expansion of Daytona International Speedway facilities.

Johnson's visit comes on the heels of a twin bills proposed earlier this Spring by State Rep. David Santiago, R-Deltona, and State Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, for $2 million a year less in sales taxes annually for 30 years to International Speedway Corp. after it invests $250 million in a massive modernization and expansion of Daytona International Speedway facilities.

The project was initially unveiled before 300 members of the media on the eve of the Daytona 500 in February.

Locals like 2012 Volusia County Republican Executive Committee Chair Jason Davis testified before a senate committee earlier this month in support of the speedway legislation. Davis also is the chief political blogger for Headline Surfer.

A whole host of Volusia County officials, from former Daytona Beach Mayor Glenn Ritchey to Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce Chairman Phil Maroney and Volusia County Chair Jason Davis are optimistic the lawmakers will make the speedway project a reality this year.

"It's likely the most important expenditure in the history of this county," said Ritchey, a well-respected Republican, who opted to seek re-election as mayor in November in favor of retiring from elective office and focusing on his Jon Hall automotive dealerships. "I'll do whatever I can to support it. It's really important for economic development."

"It's likely the most important expenditure in the history of this county," said Ritchey, a well-respected Republican, who opted to seek re-election as mayor and focus on his Jon Hall automotive dealerships. "I'll do whatever I can to support it. It's really important for economic development."

Maroney said the speedway has demonstrated its economic muscle for "more than half a century half a century and needs to be re-tooled to remain strong not only for Volusia County, but for Central Florida and the state as a whole.

County Chair Davis was even more succinct about Daytona Beach International Speedway's track record as a constant leaders in the public and private sectors have been able to count on to keep the local economy in gear.

"We have two sure-fire things," said the Republican Davis, elected in November for the county's top elected non-partisan post. "Let's put it this way: We have the beach and we have the speedway."

"We have two sure-fire things," said the Republican Davis, elected in November for the county's top elected non-partisan post. "Let's put it this way: We have the beach and we have the speedway."

Previous Related Coverage:

Stan Escudero / Headline SurferWhat's good for Daytona International Speedway is good for Volusia County
Hukill Senate bill for Daytona International Speedway step closer to reality
 
Florida State Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port OrangeHukill Senate bill for Daytona International Speedway step closer to reality
Posted Tue, 2013-04-09 13:16
 
Internet newspaper Publisher Henry Frederick with State Rep. David Santiago / Headline SurferSUNDAY CONVERSATION: GOP State Rep. David Santiago optimistic on tax incentive bill for Daytona International Speedway
Posted Mon, 2013-03-11 00:57
 
Former Daytona Mayor and Jon Hall Automotive owner Glenn Ritchey / Headline SurferBreaking News: Massive expansion and modernization of Daytona International Speedway proposed
Posted Fri, 2013-02-22 17:39
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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.