CHARLOTTE NC - JANUARY 24: Tony Stewart driver of the #14 Office Depot Chevrolet speaks to the media during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway held at Stewart-Haas Racing on January 24 2011 in Concord North Carolina. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Stewart-Haas, Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing to open Day 1 of Media Tour.
NASCAR's annual preseason media tour kicks off today in Concord, N.C., the start of a four-day marathon of interviews, press releases and sponsor announcements.
Roughly 230 reporters from around the world are credentialed for the tour, which is hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway's staff.
The packed schedule includes some 22 announcements – though not all are NASCAR-related – and typically goes from early morning to late at night every day.
Sometimes, the media will hop on buses to visit race shops; mostly, though, the teams will come to the small convention center where the tour is being hosted and present their cases for why the 2012 season will be a good one.
Aside from the "We're so excited for this season" that reporters hear at every stop, there is occasionally some news. Some of the storylines to look for this year:
• NASCAR has a Thursday announcement in which little-to-nothing is expected to change for the 2012 season. Previously, this is where Chase, points system or rules changes are announced. But there's been hardly any talk about any potential adjustments to the Sprint Cup Series this year. Will anything change?
• Ford will reveal its 2013 Sprint Cup Series car on Tuesday. This is huge, because the Cup cars will have their own brand identity (like in the Nationwide Series) beginning in 2013, and Ford will be the first manufacturer to reveal its model.
• Tony Stewart's team is the first scheduled press conference. Does he consider himself a favorite to repeat?
• How does Dale Earnhardt Jr. feel about his chances of winning a race this season? Will Kasey Kahne get off to a fast start at Hendrick Motorsports?
• Can Carl Edwards avoid the second-place jinx and win his first Cup title in 2012?
We'll constantly be updating this StoryStream as often as possible, so bookmark this page and keep checking back for more throughout the week.