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Key Sprint Cup Races On The Move In 2015

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, August 22 2014

The Southern 500 will be returning to what many think is its rightful place on the schedule. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Alan Marler)

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Bristol Motor Speedway’s spring races have been moved next year to April 18-19, hopefully, signaling an end to the snow and extremely cold weather that has plagued the track’s March date, it was announced Friday.

That, however, won’t be the only change on the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule. Two others are expected when NASCAR announces the 2015 schedules for its top three series Tuesday on the television shows “Race Hub” on Fox Sports 1 and “NASCAR America” on NBC Sports.

A source close to the situation said the Southern 500 would return to Labor Day weekend, a date it held for more than half a century, and Atlanta would move to March, a place on the schedule the first Atlanta race held when the track conducted two events annually.

With the Darlington event’s return to Labor Day weekend, the sport’s races that comprise its Triple Crown are once again in their original alignment. The Triple Crown races are the Daytona 500, Coca-Cola 600 and Southern 500.

Speedway Motorsports Inc. Chairman Bruton Smith and BMS General Manager Jerry Caldwell said the fans had repeatedly asked that the Bristol date be moved to a “more traditional spring date” due to the inclement weather that has plagued the track in March. Smith said the March date meant fans who live in the northern states were having to winterize their motor coaches twice. Once when the winter began and then again after attending the March Bristol race.

“We heard all of those complaints,” Smith said. “It will help our fans tremendously. It’s definitely warmer in Atlanta (in March than Bristol).”

Overall, Smith said the racing business was a “little bit better.”

“Wednesday night (for the truck race), we were up 31 percent,” Smith said.

Smith said the All-Star race would remain at Charlotte Motor Speedway and he wouldn’t be willing to change the event’s date. He also said he felt the Sprint Cup season finale should return to Atlanta where it was held for more than a decade.

– Deb Williams can be reached at dwilliams@racintoday.com

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, August 22 2014
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