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Talladega-Kansas Swap Highlights 2017 Schedule

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Thursday, May 5 2016
The pressure on teams and drivers in the Talladega fall race will ease a bit next year. (File photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

The pressure on teams and drivers in the Talladega fall race will ease a bit next year. (File photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
RacinToday.com

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – NASCAR announced its 2017 schedules on Thursday and one particular feature of the Sprint Cup schedule will likely be greeted with joy by competitors but with dismay be fans.

Next year, the fall race at Talladega Superspeedway will swap dates with the race at Kansas Color nascar logoSpeedway. The effect of the swap will take Talladega out of its position as a second-round elimination race in the cut-down format of the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship playoffs that was implemented a year ago.

Though a number of teams and drivers have complained about the unpredictability of racing at the 2.66-mile, restrictor-plate track at a key moment in the Chase, NASCAR senior vice president for racing operations Jim Cassidy said Thursday that the reason for the change was not a result of competitor dissatisfaction.

Cassidy said the reason for the change was, simply, the popularity of Talladega.

“The way we looked at it was we’ve got an incredible racing product at Talladega and in order to maximize the schedule, we know that Talladega, no matter where we place it in the Chase is going to provide a very high level of racing action,” Cassidy said. “It just really stands on its own. So, we saw
an opportunity to make a switch and then to put Kansas in the cutoff spot and we’re excited about that.”

Excited because, Cassidy said during a meeting with the press at Kansas Speedway – site of this weekend’s Cup race – NASCAR is interested in having racing featuring the new low-downforce package at a more important juncture of the Chase.

So, next year, the Talladega race will be held on Oct. 15 and the Kansas race on Oct. 22.

A couple of other minor changes will be made for 2017. These include:

– Moving the Texas Spring race from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon. The move, Cassidy said, was to make the TMS event more family friendly.

– Moving the Dover spring race to June 4, a week after the Coca Cola 600 in Charlotte.

– Moving the Michigan summer back to its traditional mid-August date.

Cassidy was asked about the possibility of inserting a road course race into the Chase in the future. The answer, as it has been in the past, was; perhaps.

“I wouldn’t rule anything out down the road,” he said.

Asked if sensed a desire among fans and/or competitors to add a road race to the Chase, Cassidy said, “There’s a fair amount of talk about it, mostly around times we’re racing at road courses. There is no question that road racing provides a different experience for the fans and one that is arguably some of our most compelling racing out there today.”

Traditionally, schedules for the coming year have been announced in late summer. The release of the schedules for the Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck series was made in May this year for a number of reasons.

“There is no shortage of advantages” for early release, Cassidy said.

The following is the 2017 Sprint Cup schedule:

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

2/18 Daytona International Speedway (Unlimited)
2/19 Daytona International Speedway (Daytona 500 Qualifying)
2/23 Daytona International Speedway (Duel)
2/26 Daytona 500
3/5 Atlanta Motor Speedway
3/12 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
3/19 Phoenix International Raceway
3/26 Auto Club Speedway
4/2 Martinsville Speedway
4/9 Texas Motor Speedway
4/23 Bristol Motor Speedway
4/30 Richmond International Raceway
5/7 Talladega Superspeedway
5/13 Kansas Speedway
5/20 Charlotte Motor Speedway (NASCAR All-Star Race)
5/28 Charlotte Motor Speedway
6/4 Dover International Speedway
6/11 Pocono Raceway
6/18 Michigan International Speedway
6/25 Sonoma Raceway
7/1 Daytona International Speedway
7/8 Kentucky Speedway
7/16 New Hampshire Motor Speedway
7/23 Indianapolis Motor Speedway
7/30 Pocono Raceway
8/6 Watkins Glen International
8/13 Michigan International Speedway
8/19 Bristol Motor Speedway
9/3 Darlington Raceway
9/9 Richmond International Raceway
9/17 Chicagoland Speedway
9/24 New Hampshire Motor Speedway
10/1 Dover International Speedway
10/7 Charlotte Motor Speedway
10/15 Talladega Superspeedway
10/22 Kansas Speedway
10/29 Martinsville Speedway
11/5 Texas Motor Speedway
11/12 Phoenix International Raceway
11/19 Homestead-Miami Speedway

NASCAR XFINITY Series

2/25 Daytona International Speedway
3/4 Atlanta Motor Speedway
3/11 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
3/18 Phoenix International Raceway
3/25 Auto Club Speedway
4/8 Texas Motor Speedway
4/22 Bristol Motor Speedway
4/29 Richmond International Raceway
5/6 Talladega Superspeedway
5/27 Charlotte Motor Speedway
6/3 Dover International Speedway
6/10 Pocono Raceway
6/17 Michigan International Speedway
6/24 Iowa Speedway
6/30 Daytona International Speedway
7/7 Kentucky Speedway
7/15 New Hampshire Motor Speedway
7/22 Indianapolis Motor Speedway
7/29 Iowa Speedway
8/5 Watkins Glen International
8/12 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
8/18 Bristol Motor Speedway
8/26 Road America
9/2 Darlington Raceway
9/8 Richmond International Raceway
9/16 Chicagoland Speedway
9/23 Kentucky Speedway
9/30 Dover International Speedway
10/6 Charlotte Motor Speedway
10/21 Kansas Speedway
11/4 Texas Motor Speedway
11/11 Phoenix International Raceway
11/18 Homestead-Miami Speedway

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

2/24 Daytona International Speedway
3/4 Atlanta Motor Speedway
4/1 Martinsville Speedway
5/12 Kansas Speedway
5/19 Charlotte Motor Speedway
6/2 Dover International Speedway
6/9 Texas Motor Speedway
6/17 Gateway Motorsports Park
6/23 Iowa Speedway
7/6 Kentucky Speedway
7/19 Eldora Speedway
7/29 Pocono Raceway
8/12 Michigan International Speedway
8/16 Bristol Motor Speedway
8/27 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
9/15 Chicagoland Speedway
9/23 New Hampshire Motor Speedway
9/30 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
10/14 Talladega Superspeedway
10/28 Martinsville Speedway
11/3 Texas Motor Speedway
11/10 Phoenix International Raceway
11/17 Homestead-Miami Speedway

 

 

 

 

 

 

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Thursday, May 5 2016
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