NASCAR on Wednesday announced the 2012 schedule for the Sprint Cup Series, with a lineup featuring a number of adjustments from the 2011 edition.
"We believe the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule will once again provide fans with what they've come to expect every season -- the world's most exciting and competitive form of motorsports," NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France said.. "Next year's schedule has a few adjustments that we think will be good for the fans and good for the overall flow of the season. One thing will remain constant, however, and that's the intense competition we see week in and week out from our drivers and race teams."
One of those adjustments takes place during NASCAR's playoffs -- the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup -- and could affect the strategy during the championship run. Talladega Superspeedway's Chase event moves up two weeks to Oct. 7, becoming the fourth race in the Chase. Often labeled as the wild-card track in the Chase, Talladega's grueling test is now staged during the first half of the Chase.
Talladega swaps its Chase date with Kansas Speedway (Oct. 21) to accommodate Kansas' repave, scheduled for after the track's spring event. As such, Kansas' spring date has also been moved. Kansas now will be the eighth race of the season on April 22. Talladega's spring event moves to May 6, and Dover International Speedway's spring event returns to its traditional spot on June 3.
As previously announced, the season-opening Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway will start one week later with the running of the preseason "non-points" Shootout at Daytona on Feb. 18. The 54th annual Daytona 500 will run on Feb. 26.
The race dates for Phoenix International Raceway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway have likewise been moved a week later, to March 4 and March 11, respectively.
Two other featured adjustments to the 2012 schedule:
Texas Motor Speedway's spring date will be moved to April 14, to accommodate the traditional open week for the Easter holiday.
Daytona's summer event and Kentucky Speedway's race will swap weekends in 2012, as the July 4th holiday falls mid-week next year. Kentucky's race will be June 30; Daytona will run on July 7.
As in past years, FOX will broadcast the first 13 races of next year's schedule. TNT will follow, broadcasting the next six. ESPN/ABC will broadcast the final 17 events. Race start times will be announced at a later date.
NASCAR will also release the 2012 schedules for the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series at a later date.
|2/18||Daytona International Speedway (Shootout)||FOX|
|2/19||Daytona International Speedway (Daytona 500 Qualifying)||FOX|
|2/23||Daytona International Speedway (Duel)||SPEED|
|3/4||Phoenix International Raceway||FOX|
|3/11||Las Vegas Motor Speedway||FOX|
|3/18||Bristol Motor Speedway||FOX|
|3/25||Auto Club Speedway||FOX|
|4/14||Texas Motor Speedway||FOX|
|4/28||Richmond International Raceway||FOX|
|5/19||NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (Charlotte Motor Speedway)||SPEED|
|5/27||Charlotte Motor Speedway||FOX|
|6/3||Dover International Speedway||FOX|
|6/17||Michigan International Speedway||TNT|
|7/7||Daytona International Speedway||TNT|
|7/15||New Hampshire Motor Speedway||TNT|
|7/29||Indianapolis Motor Speedway||ESPN|
|8/12||Watkins Glen International||ESPN|
|8/19||Michigan International Speedway||ESPN|
|8/25||Bristol Motor Speedway||ABC|
|9/2||Atlanta Motor Speedway||ESPN|
|9/8||Richmond International Raceway||ABC|
|9/23||New Hampshire Motor Speedway||ESPN|
|9/30||Dover International Speedway||ESPN|
|10/13||Charlotte Motor Speedway||ABC|
|11/4||Texas Motor Speedway||ESPN|
|11/11||Phoenix International Raceway||ESPN|