While the radar gun in Taichung, Taiwan was measuring fastballs in the Chinese Taipei-Australia game, the first contest of the tournament, the World Baseball Classic was getting off to an even faster start on the other side of the world. In Phoenix, Ariz., on Friday night, the car sponsored by World Baseball Classic Inc. won the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series race. Driven by Abraham Calderon, the "05" car, which featured World Baseball Classic branding along with Calderon's race suit and pit signage, took the checkered flag at Phoenix International Raceway, winning the first ever NASCAR Mexico Series race held outside of Mexico.
World Baseball Classic Inc. sponsored the car to mark the beginning of World Baseball Classic training camps and exhibition games in Phoenix this week.
World Baseball Classic is on-site for all three days of NASCAR racing this weekend, with a promotional display space on the midway. Fans are able to purchase World Baseball Classic tickets and enter to win prizes. World Baseball Classic media partner KHOT-FM in Phoenix is running an exclusive on-air promotion to win a meet and greet with the car driver and World Baseball Classic goods.
In addition to the car, Team Mexico pitcher and member of the 2012 World Champion San Francisco Giants Sergio Romo served as the grand marshal and helped start the race. Arizona Diamondbacks legend Luis Gonzalez also attended the event and participated in race activities.
The 2013 World Baseball Classic, which is the third edition of the tournament, is the premier international baseball tournament featuring the world's best players representing their countries and territories. Thirty-nine games will be played in seven venues in four nations and territories from March 2 through March 19, 2013. Team Japan is the two-time defending champion of the World Baseball Classic, having won in 2006 and 2009.
Chase Field and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Arizona will host games in Pool D, featuring Canada, Italy, Mexico and the United States from Thursday, March 7th - Sunday, March 10th. Salt River Fields will host the opening game on March 7th at 1:00 p.m. between Mexico and Italy. Team USA, managed by Joe Torre, will debut on the night of Friday, March 8th vs. Team Mexico at 7:00 p.m. at Chase Field in Phoenix.
Tickets are available for games in Phoenix, as well as other tournament venues, online at www.worldbaseballclassic.com. Fans are also able to purchase tickets at the Chase Field Box Office Monday through Friday 9am-5pm and Saturday 9am-1pm (local time) and via phone at 602-514-8400.
MLB Network and ESPN Deportes will be the exclusive English and Spanish-language broadcasters in the United States and 33 international broadcasters will televise games in 12 languages in more than 200 countries and territories. The World Baseball Classic, which is officially sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), will for the first time in 2013 be recognized as the official national team World Championship, with the winner being crowned the 2013 World Baseball Classic Champion and the IBAF World Champion.