Texas race times pushed back two hours: Texas Motor Speedway received approval from NASCAR to move the start times of its two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races for the upcoming season to be consistent with the Western Region start times. The Samsung Mobile 500 on April 18 and the Lone Star 500 on Nov. 7 will now have 2:00 pm Central Time starts, moving both races ahead two hours from their originally announced 12 noon CT times. The move was a result of Texas Motor Speedway petitioning NASCAR on behalf of its fans requesting a later start time as well as potential logistical issues posed by the earlier start. “On behalf of our fans, we greatly appreciate NASCAR, along with television broadcast partners FOX (Samsung Mobile 500) and ESPN (Lone Star 500), hearing their collective voice and making the time changes to better suit their wishes and needs,” Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. “NASCAR has made it clear that they are going to a ‘back to basics’ approach, and accommodating their promoters on behalf of their fans as well as avoid some potential logistical issues defines that new approach.”
The time change for both races will complement NASCAR’s move to uniform start times for all its races this season. NASCAR is just shifting Texas Motor Speedway from an “Eastern/Central Region” designation to a “Western Region” one, where it joins Infineon Raceway (California), Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Nevada), Auto Club Speedway (California) and Phoenix International Raceway (Arizona) for standardized 3:00pm/et (2:00pm/ct) starts. The remaining Sprint Cup races in the “Eastern/Central Region” (with the exception of night races) will begin at 1:00pm/et (12Noon/ct). Tickets for the Samsung Mobile 500 and Lone Star 500 race weekends are available by calling (817) 215-8500 or visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com.(TMS)(2-4-2010)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Events Moving To Earlier, Uniform Start Times For 2010 Season:
NASCAR and its television broadcast partners today announced earlier, uniform start times for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 2010.
NASCAR worked closely with FOX, Turner, ESPN/ABC and the tracks on this project for the fans. The race start times for NASCAR Sprint Cup races in 2010 in the Eastern and Central regions of the country will begin at 1:00pm/et, West Coast events will begin at 3:00pm/et, and night races will begin at 7:30pm/et. (The one exception is NASCAR’s longest night race, the Coca-Cola 600, which will have the same 5:45pm/et start time.) Following the invocation and national anthem, the green flag will drop at approximately 15-20 minutes past the hour after each listed race start time.
“NASCAR fans have been asking for earlier and more consistent start times, and we are making this change for our fans, beginning with the Daytona 500 next February," said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “We are revisiting our sport’s tradition of earlier green flags, and the added consistency will make it easier for fans to know exactly when the races are being televised. Additionally, the new start times will help track operators get fans in and out of the track earlier in the evening. Many fans heading home from the race earlier will be able to eliminate the costs of an extra travel day.”
A total of 28 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in 2010 will be held at an earlier time compared to 2009, with 20 races moved to 1 p.m. ET, including the Daytona 500. Moving up the start of “The Great American Race” two-and-a-half hours will produce the earliest start time for the Daytona 500 since 2003, when the race was also scheduled for 1:00pm/et. Five races move earlier to a 3:00pm/et start and three races start earlier at 7:30pm/et.
In making the decision for earlier, more uniform start times, NASCAR consulted its Fan Council, comprised of 12,000 avid fans who serve as a sounding board on important topics. Half of NASCAR avid fans said they are often unclear about what time NASCAR races actually start. When given the chance to choose a start time, more than two-thirds of avid NASCAR fans preferred early Sunday afternoon.
“It’s become clear to us that traditional, early Sunday afternoon, start times are favored by NASCAR fans who both attend races and watch on television,” said FOX Sports Chairman David Hill. “NASCAR, perhaps more than any other sport, belongs to the generations of fans who have passed on their passion, father to son, mother to daughter, so whatever we can do to make them feel better connected to the sport they love should be done.”
“Many fans have been interested in standard start times for NASCAR’s television partners. In the long term, we believe this change will make the viewing experience better for everyone,” said David Levy, president of Turner Broadcasting's distribution, sales and sports. “NASCAR races continue to deliver solid, consistent ratings for TNT. When you combine TV ratings with the number of people who visit NASCAR.COM, the sport clearly remains very healthy and popular.”
"We enthusiastically support consistent start times and are happy to have worked with NASCAR on this move," said John Skipper, ESPN's executive vice president, content. "We are thrilled about our position with NASCAR and bullish about the long-term prospects."
“An earlier starting time for the Daytona 500 is great news for our race fans,” Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig said. “In recent years, race fans made their desire very clear for an earlier starting time. With the help of our partners in the sport at NASCAR and FOX Sports, we’re proud to deliver an earlier starting time for the 2010 Daytona 500.”
“This is a very positive move for our fans,” said Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager for New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “For example, it allows us another hour of daylight to run our races and to get traffic out before nightfall. Based on the letters I receive from fans, I know they will appreciate NASCAR making this change. For years, the NFL has been very successful with its standardized start times of 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. You never have to guess when their games start on Sunday. I think that same template will help our sport as well.”
"We believe this will be well-received by NASCAR fans who attend races in Dover, especially those traveling long distances," said Denis McGlynn, president and CEO of Dover Motorsports, Inc. "A large percentage of our fans come from the Northeast, and some drive great distances to get here. Consistent, earlier start times is great news for both fans headed to the track and those watching at home.”
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races will be seen on either FOX, TNT, ESPN or ABC. The 2010 television schedule for points races is below.
2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule With Start Times (All Times Eastern)
Date, Day, RaceSite, Network Start Time Feb 14 Sun. Daytona 500, FOX 1:00 PM
Feb 21 Sun. Auto Club Speedway, FOX 3:00 PM
Feb 28 Sun. Las Vegas Motor Speedway, FOX 3:00 PM
Mar 7 Sun. Atlanta Motor Speedway, FOX 1:00 PM
Mar 21 Sun. Bristol Motor Speedway, FOX 1:00 PM
Mar 28 Sun. Martinsville Speedway, FOX 1:00 PM
Apr 10 Sat. Phoenix International Raceway, FOX 7:30 PM
Apr 18 Sun. Texas Motor Speedway, FOX 1:00 PM
Apr 25 Sun. Talladega Superspeedway, FOX 1:00 PM
May 1 Sat. Richmond International Raceway, FOX 7:30 PM
May 8 Sat. Darlington Raceway, FOX 7:30 PM
May 16 Sun. Dover International Speedway, FOX 1:00 PM
May 30 Sun. Lowe's Motor Speedway, FOX 5:45 PM
Jun 6 Sun. Pocono Raceway, TNT 1:00 PM
Jun 13 Sun. Michigan International Speedway, TNT 1:00 PM
Jun 20 Sun. Infineon Raceway, TNT 3:00 PM
Jun 27 Sun. New Hampshire Motor Speedway, TNT 1:00 PM
Jul 3 Sat. Daytona International Speedway, TNT 7:30 PM
Jul 10 Sat. Chicagoland Speedway, TNT 7:30 PM
Jul 25 Sun. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, ESPN 1:00 PM
Aug 1 Sun. Pocono Raceway, ESPN 1:00 PM
Aug 8 Sun. Watkins Glen International, ESPN 1:00 PM
Aug 15 Sun. Michigan International Speedway, ESPN 1:00 PM
Aug 21 Sat. Bristol Motor Speedway, ESPN 7:30 PM
Sep 5 Sun. Atlanta Motor Speedway, ESPN 7:30 PM
Sep 11 Sat. Richmond International Raceway, ABC 7:30 PM
Sep 19 Sun. New Hampshire Motor Speedway, ABC 1:00 PM
Sep 26 Sun. Dover International Speedway, ABC 1:00 PM
Oct 3 Sun. Kansas Speedway, ABC 1:00 PM
Oct 10 Sun. Auto Club Speedway, ABC 3:00 PM
Oct 16 Sat. Lowe's Motor Speedway, ABC 7:30 PM
Oct 24 Sun. Martinsville Speedway, ABC 1:00 PM
Oct 31 Sun. Talladega Superspeedway, ABC 1:00 PM
Nov 7 Sun. Texas Motor Speedway, ABC 1:00 PM
Nov 14 Sun. Phoenix International Raceway, ABC 3:00 PM
Nov 21 Sun. Homestead-Miami Speedway, ABC 1:00 PM
Latest on standard times for races: Word is that NASCAR is eyeing two future schedule changes which would affect television viewers and would affect viewers in the grandstands. Grant Lynch, chairman of Talladega Superspeedway and International Speedway Corporation’s vice president of strategic operations, has heard about both and talked about both on Saturday. The first is standardization of the starting times of Sprint Cup races. “From what we’ve been hearing from fans, that move would be real positive,” Lynch said. Currently starting times vary. This year, there have been 16 races starting at 2:00pm, five at 3:25-3:30pm, six from 7:20-7:30pm, two at 8:00pm, as well as other races starting at 1:00pm, 1:30pm, 4:30pm, 5:00pm, 5:45pm, 6:00pm and 8:30pm. The standardized starting time being talked about most for Sunday races is 1 p.m. Eastern.
Also getting attention are reports that NASCAR may try to insert more two-day shows onto the schedule [like was used at Atlanta in Sept]. That is, cut out action on the tracks on Fridays and have the Cup cars qualify on Saturday and race on Sunday.(Racin' Today)(10-4-2009)
2010 Sprint Cup Schedule Announced: NASCAR announced today the 2010 schedules for its three national series, which will open their seasons at Daytona International Speedway on the weekend of Feb. 12-14, and conclude at Homestead-Miami Speedway on the weekend of Nov. 19-21. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will again have a 36-race schedule starting with the Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, plus two “non-point” events – the Feb. 6 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona and the May 22 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Other key dates for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series include:
June 27 and Sept. 19 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the respective openers in the “Race to the Chase” and the “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup”; the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway; the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 25; and the annual “Chase cut-off race” at Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 11.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series will again race 35 times, while the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will again have 25 events, including one of the most intriguing additions to the schedule in the series’ 15-year history: a new event at Pocono Raceway’s 2.5-mile triangle-shaped track on July 31, as a companion to one of the two traditional NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekends there. The Pocono truck race will be the only new event on any of the three series’ schedules. It replaces the truck series’ previous February event at Auto Club Speedway.(NASCAR) for more see my 2010 Sprint Cup Schedule page/chart, 2010 Nationawide Series Schedule and 2010 Camping World Truck Series Schedule.(9-15-2009)
Atlanta announces 2010 race dates:Atlanta Motor Speedway officials are looking forward to 2010. The 1.54-mile quad-oval will once again host two NASCAR race weekends, March 5-7 and Sept. 3-5, 2010. The spring race weekend will again feature NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, and will kick off with one of the fastest nights in NASCAR, Georgia Power Qualifying Night. The Labor Day weekend will showcase night racing in the south, with both the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series taking to the track under the lights. “We’ve wanted to have a night race here for almost as long as the fans, and we’re grateful for the response to this weekend’s event,” AMS President and General Manager Ed Clark said. “We’ve continued to add ticket sellers and expand our ticket office hours, and still we aren’t fully meeting the demand. We apologize to fans who experienced challenges in purchasing tickets, and we will alleviate these issues before the March 7 Kobalt Tools 500.”(AMS)(9-7-2009)
Dover announces 2010 race dates: Historically, Dover International Speedway’s spring race dates depend on where the Memorial Day holiday falls [since 1987, from 1974 thru 1986 May 14-21 range was the date of the 1st race]. Through the years it’s varied between late-May or early June, and because Memorial Day comes late in 2010, Dover International Speedway’s spring race weekend has been moved to May 14-16, 2010, three weeks earlier than this year’s dates to accommodate a busy spring NASCAR schedule. Tickets for the May 14-16, 2010 tripleheader weekend featuring the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series go on sale to the public on Monday, Oct. 12, 2009. Fans that have already renewed their seats and have questions or concerns about the date change are encouraged to call the Dover ticket office at 800-441-RACE for more information. “Dover is traditionally the first stop for NASCAR in the Northeast and it will continue to be that way in 2010,” said Denis McGlynn, president and CEO of Dover Motorsports, Inc. “With Memorial Day falling on May 31 next year, June becomes very crowded and we felt it was better to make this one-time move and preserve our position as the first race in the Northeast. Our dates will return to the slot after Memorial Day in 2011.” Dover’s fall “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup” race weekend remains unchanged and is scheduled for Sept. 24-26, 2010. Tickets for the Sept. 24-26, 2010 races will go on sale on Monday, Dec. 14, 2009. Great seats remain for this year’s fall race at the Monster Mile coming Sept. 25-27. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 800-441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com.(Dover Speedway)(9-1-2009)
Las Vegas sets 2010 Cup date, tix for sale: The annual NASCAR Weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will be a February affair in 2010. LVMS officials announced Friday that next year’s event will take place Feb. 26-28. It marks the first year the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event will be run in February. “In reality, it’s on the same weekend as the 2009 event, it’s just a quirk in the calendar that has the event being held in February,” said LVMS president Chris Powell. “We have been blessed with great weather on this weekend the past few years, and we look forward to having another great weekend with a packed house in 2010.” Tickets, which start as low as $49, are on sale now. Race fans can purchase tickets by calling 1-800-644-4444, logging on to www.lvms.com or in person at the LVMS ticket services office. LVMS has reduced the price of all Weekend Package and single-day tickets from 2009 pricing. Neon Garage passes also have been reduced from 2009. The speedway has introduced a special Family Four Pack which starts at $199. Lucky 7 Preferred Parking and Driver Introduction passes also are available. Times for all events will be announced at a later date.(LVMS)(8-31-2009)
Daytona 500 Qualifying moved to Saturday: Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger, which secures the prestigious front row for the 52nd annual Daytona 500, will be part of a tripleheader day of racing on Saturday, Feb. 6, joining the 32nd annual Budweiser Shootout and Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 during Speedweeks 2010. Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger, which is traditionally scheduled on the Sunday prior to the Daytona 500, will kick off activities on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 1:05 p.m. on FOX, followed by the season-opening Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 for the ARCA Series at 4:30 p.m. on SPEED, and the Budweiser Shootout at 8:10 p.m. on FOX.(Daytona PR)(8-28-2009)
Texas and Phoenix swap Spring race dates:Texas Motor Speedway will have a slight shift in its 2010 NASCAR schedule as the Samsung 500 race week will be run April 15-18, moving the Sprint Cup Series race from the seventh to the eighth event of the season as a result of a date swap with Phoenix International Raceway.TMS officials agreed to the move to accommodate NASCAR and network television partner, FOX, because the Samsung 500 on its traditional April date would have been pitted directly against the final round of the The Masters on television. Phoenix transitions into that slot without a conflict since it will play host to a Saturday evening race.(Texas Motor Speedway PR)(8-27-2009)
Kentucky not on 2010 schedule: The 2010 Sprint Cup Series schedule has not been officially released, but Speedway Motorsports Incorporated boss Bruton Smith knew the chances of getting the newly acquired Kentucky speedway a date next season were slim and none. Speaking Tuesday at the Zmax Dragway, where it was announced the state of the art drag strip would be getting a second NHRA race weekend in 2010, Smith said a Kentucky date next year was now out of the question because the former owner won't drop a lawsuit they brought against NASCAR and a court ruling will come too late. Smith said, "I think it's a dead issue. The lawsuit did not get resolved at the appellate division and we ran out of time. NASCAR now has the schedule, and if it happened tomorrow I don't see NASCAR changing the schedule to accommodate Kentucky." How disappointed is Smith? "I'd say I expected it, but, yes disappointed because it's a great speedway…it's a beautiful speedway and we're anxious to get it on." Smith assured Kentucky Speedway will be a part of the Sprint Cup schedule in the future. "Absolutely, yes, absolutely we'll be there in 2011."(PRN's Garage Pass)(8-26-2009)
2010 Schedule? close to the same? UPDATE: The 2010 schedule situation appears to be pretty much status quo with Dover's Sprint Cup date shifting back to mid-May [May 16th], more a result on the way next year's calendar falls with Easter [April 4th] and Memorial Day [May 31st]. There won't be any big changes on the Nationwide and Truck Series slates with Milwaukee's future still very much up in the air. The trucks will return to Darlington in the Spring and there's a report Pocono will also be added to its schedule.(RacingOne), have a very rough 2010 Schedule posted, see my 2010 Sprint Cup Series Schedule page. Very little has been announced by any race tracks for 2010 yet.(8-11-2009)
UPDATE - Kentucky to get Cup race in 2011?: Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman Bruton Smith was hoping to get Kentucky on the schedule, likely taking a date away from Atlanta, but the former owners of the speedway refuse to drop their lawsuit against NASCAR. Until that happens, NASCAR won't consider Kentucky for a date. But otherwise, expect next year's schedule will be like this year's schedule -- except for two exceptions. If you were paying attention to Sunday's press conference in which Michigan International Speedway officials announced a reduction in ticket prices, you may have noticed a change in date for the track's first 2010 race. The date was June 13, a week earlier than normal. And there's another shift: The Dover race will move from the weekend after Memorial Day weekend to early May. These changes come because there is an extra weekend in between the Mother's Day race date at Darlington and the Memorial Day race at Lowe's Motor Speedway, and one less weekend between then and the Fourth of July weekend. (ESPN Insider)(8-22-2009)
2010 Schedule? close to the same? The 2010 schedule situation appears to be pretty much status quo with Dover's Sprint Cup date shifting back to mid-May [May 16th], more a result on the way next year's calendar falls with Easter [April 4th] and Memorial Day [May 31st]. There won't be any big changes on the Nationwide and Truck Series slates with Milwaukee's future still very much up in the air. The trucks will return to Darlington in the Spring and there's a report Pocono will also be added to its schedule.(RacingOne), have a very rough 2010 Schedule posted, see my 2010 Sprint Cup Series Schedule page. Very little has been announced by any race tracks for 2010 yet.(8-11-2009)