Thursday, September 27, 2007

NASCAR 2008 Sprint Cup Series schedule

Sprint Cup ........... I really don't like that name. At All.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The 2008 Sprint Cup Series schedule was announced Wednesday, a 36-race slate that kicks off with the 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 17 at Daytona International Speedway. The 2008 season also marks NASCAR's 60th year as stock-car racing's longest operating sanctioning body.

Following the "Great American Race" the series travels to Southern California, then to the bright lights of Las Vegas before returning to the Southeast for races at Atlanta and Bristol. The first scheduled off date for the series will be in March during the Easter holiday.

Following the race in Martinsville, the series makes another swing to the Southwest, racing at Texas and Phoenix in early April. The second scheduled off weekend occurs in mid-April.

The series then picks back up with races at Talladega, Richmond and Darlington prior to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

"By running five consecutive points events before the first scheduled break in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the 2008 schedule is designed to be even more fan-friendly," said NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France.

Another adjustment to the 2008 schedule is that the Chicago race will be run Saturday night.

"Night racing provides an additional element of intrigue and excitement," France said. "Running under the lights at Chicagoland on a Saturday night will be even more exciting for the fans in the stands as well as those watching from home."

Other key dates:

• The 30th annual Budweiser Shootout at Daytona will be held on Feb. 9.

• On Sunday, July 27, the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard will be held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

• On the evening of Saturday, Sept. 6, Richmond International Raceway will be the last opportunity for drivers to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

• The week after Richmond, on Sunday, Sept. 14, New Hampshire again will have the kickoff event in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, which covers the season's last 10 races and determines the series champion.

• On Sunday, Nov. 16, Homestead-Miami Speedway will again host the season finale, where the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will be crowned.

CLICK HERE to view the schedule

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