NASCAR Pulls Wraps Off Of 2015 Schedule
By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
There were no bombshells when NASCAR unveiled its 2015 schedule on Tuesday – much to the dismay of those who wanted a road race in the Chase –but there was a cherry bomb or two.
On the move again, is the Cup date at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Moved to Labor Day Weekend a couple years back in hopes of increasing interest in an event which at one time closed out the season, Atlanta in 2015 will host its race on March 1 where it will be the second race of the year.
Moving into the Labor Day Weekend slot is the second Darlington Raceway event. It was on that date that Southern 500 become one of Cup’s crown jewel events, but falling attendance forced a move. This year, the Darlington Race, with Southern 500 name long dropped, was held in April.
As announced earlier, Bristol Motor Speedway’s spring race weekend will move later into the season beginning next year. For the past nine seasons, Bristol’s spring date has been run in March amid varied weather conditions.
Among minor moves are:
– The July race at Daytona will be run on Sunday night instead of Saturday night on Fourth of July Weekend.
– The Kansas Chase race will move two weeks deeper into the schedule and be run on Oct. 18. “Being a part of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is exciting for our fans and with this new date,” Kansas president Pat Warren said, “we’ll still be a part of the Contender round with the remaining championship drivers trying to win the Hollywood Casino 400 to ensure that they move on to the next round.”
– Kentucky Speedway moves from late June to July 11. That bumps New Hampshire Motor Speedway one week later and eliminates the traditional July off-weekend.
– There will be three off weekends. They fall on April 5, June 21 and Aug. 30, which is two weeks before the Chase starts at Chicagoland Speedway.
– Texas Motor Speedway’s spring race returns to Saturday night after being scheduled for a Sunday this season. The move to Sunday was forced by the NCAA basketball tournament being held in the area this season.
– NASCAR will borrow from the NHRA early in the season when it adopts a Western Swing; only NASCAR is calling it the West Coast Swing. Las Vegas occupies its traditional third spot on the schedule and starts the three-race West Coast Swing that sees NASCAR’s premier series travel from Las Vegas to Phoenix and then to Fontana, California, on successive weeks.
Here’s the full Sprint Cup Series schedule for 2015:
Feb. 14 / Daytona International Speedway (Sprint Unlimited exhibition race)
Feb. 22 / Daytona International Speedway (Daytona 500)
March 1 / Atlanta Motor Speedway
March 8 / Phoenix International Raceway
March 15 / Las Vegas Motor Speedway
March 22 / Auto Club Speedway
March 29 / Martinsville Speedway
April 5 / OFF WEEK
April 11 / Texas Motor Speedway
April 19 / Bristol Motor Speedway
April 25 / Richmond International Raceway
May 3 / Talladega Superspeedway
May 9 / Kansas Speedway
May 16 / Charlotte Motor Speedway (All-Star Race)
May 24 / Charlotte Motor Speedway (Coca-Cola 600)
May 31 / Dover International Speedway
June 7 / Pocono Raceway
June 14 / Michigan International Speedway
June 21 / OFF
June 28 / Sonoma Raceway
July 5 / Daytona International Speedway
July 11 / Kentucky Speedway
July 19 / New Hampshire Motor Speedway
July 26 / Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Aug. 2 / Pocono Raceway
Aug. 9 / Watkins Glen International
Aug. 16 / Michigan International Raceway
Aug. 22 / Bristol Motor Speedway
Aug. 30 / OFF
Sept. 6 / Darlington Raceway
Sept. 12 / Richmond International Raceway
Sept. 20 / Chicagoland Speedway
Sept. 27 / New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Oct. 4 / Dover International Speedway
Oct. 10 / Charlotte Motor Speedway
Oct. 18 / Kansas Speedway
Oct. 25 / Talladega Superspeedway
Nov. 1 / Martinsville Speedway
Nov. 8 / Texas Motor Speedway
Nov. 15 / Phoenix International Raceway
Nov. 22 / Homestead-Miami SpeedwayNo Comment