Daytona 500 2012 Winner To Take Part In National Media Tour

Assuming the Daytona 500 takes place today – and that might be a big assumption, considering the iffy weather forecast for NASCAR's biggest race – whoever wins the event will spend the next four days traveling the country on a national media tour.

After the Daytona 500 winner goes to Victory Lane and does dozens of media interviews tonight, he (or she) can either celebrate all night or opt for a few hours of sleep.

On Monday, the champion will join fans and media for a breakfast, where the winning car will be inducted into the building formerly known as the Daytona 500 Experience (it's now just part of the track tour).

As soon as the ceremony ends, the Daytona winner will fly to Connecticut to spend the day making various stops around ESPN's Bristol studios. Expect to see the champ on SportsCenter, chatting on, being interviewed on ESPN Radio and doing a variety of other shows.

When the ESPN duties are over, the 500 winner will then fly to Chicago, check into a hotel and get a few more hours of sleep.

On Tuesday morning, NASCAR will bring its winner to a Chicago Bulls shootaround. Whoever wins the race will be shooting hoops with Scottie Pippen and also take part in a fan event somewhere in the city.

Then it's off to Dallas, where the Daytona winner will get another taste of basketball. The driver will attend the Dallas Mavericks' game against the New Jersey Nets and be honored during the first quarter. He or she will also visit the locker room and meet players prior to the game.

The winner won't have much time to watch the game itself, though; by halftime, the NASCAR plane will be in the air and headed to Los Angeles.

That brings us to Wednesday. After sleeping in a little bit, the Daytona champ will spend the day visiting various shows around Hollywood (Trevor Bayne went on Ellen last year, for example) and attend a fan event at the famous Pink's hot dog stand (11 a.m. Pacific time, for those interested).

After the L.A. visit wraps up, it's back on the plane and off to San Francisco.

On Thursday morning, when the rest of the Sprint Cup Series drivers will be flying to Phoenix after a few restful days at home, the 500 winner will have another long day in store.

In San Francisco, the driver will participate in a fan event at Ghiradelli Square and design his or her own ice cream sundae. They'll also hop on a trolley and take a scenic tour to various San Francisco sites like Fisherman's Wharf – stopping for photo ops all along the way.

Then it's off to Phoenix – next weekend's race is there, after all – where the winner will attend a charity function at the Biltmore hotel that evening.

The kicker to all this is that by the time the Daytona 500 winner is done with a week of media obligations, it'll be just hours before they're back in a race car at Phoenix.

It's a brutal schedule. Surely, though, it's all worth it if it means becoming a Daytona 500 champion.

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