NASCAR released their long awaited schedules for 2011 Wednesday.
It was somewhat anticlimactic given the fact that most of the tracks that were affected have already made announcements. Nonetheless the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule does look different than in years past.
“The adjustments and realignment of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule will make for an exciting race season next year,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “The revised schedule provides better situated dates for the tracks, a more challenging lineup for the drivers and ultimately more intrigue for the fans.”
Here are the highlights for 2011:
The second race of the season will be held at Phoenix International Raceway on Feb. 27, a week after the season-opening Daytona 500. PIR replaces Auto Club Speedway in Week 2. Texas Motor Speedway fills in the vacated Phoenix spot on Saturday, April 9 for what will the seasons and the tracks, first night race.
Auto Club Speedway will now run its lone race date on March 27.
The 36-race schedule will feature two realigned events. A second Kansas Speedway date follows the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and will be held on Sunday, June 5. And for the first time in a decade the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series realigns to a new track with a race at Kentucky Speedway. The Kentucky race will be held under the lights on Saturday, July 9.
The 2011 “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup”, the season’s last 10 races will begin at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 18. Chicagoland’s previous race date was in early July, a slot that went to the realigned event at Kentucky. New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which previously had the first Chase date, will now have the second, on Sept. 25.
Also released Wednesday were the 2011 schedule for the NASCAR Nationwide Series, which will have a second race at Iowa and Chicagoland speedways, and the 2011 schedule for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, which will see nine races moved to different dates on the calendar.
All three series will end their seasons at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Nov. 18-20.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series will consist of 34 races, all featuring the new car that is being run a total of four times this season.
Iowa Speedway, which joined the schedule in 2009, receives a second date in 2011. The series will visit the Newton, Iowa, facility for the first time on Sunday, May 22 and return on Saturday, Aug. 6.
A new date has been added at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, June 4. The series returns on Saturday, Sept. 17 as part of a NASCAR national series tripleheader featuring the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Sunday, Sept. 18 and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Friday, Sept. 16.
The race at the Road America road course in Wisconsin returns in 2011 on Saturday, June 25, the weekend before the Friday, July 1 race at Daytona International Speedway.
A previous stand-alone event at Kentucky Speedway now will be part of the inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup/NASCAR Nationwide Series weekend on Friday, July 8.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series will be paired with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on three weekends, at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday, April 23 and Saturday, July 23 and at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis on Saturday, July 30.
The 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will consist of 25 races, one of which will be announced at a future date.
Phoenix International Raceway, which traditionally hosted the penultimate race in November, will host the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Friday, Feb. 25.
Darlington Raceway, which returned to the schedule in 2010 after an absence of six years, moves from August to Saturday, March 12.
Michigan International Speedway’s truck race, previously held in June, will accompany its late-summer NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, Aug. 20.
Two additional date shifts in the fall have stand-alone events at Kentucky Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway, moving a month later on the schedule. The series races at Kentucky on Saturday, Oct. 1 followed by Las Vegas on Saturday, Oct. 15.
2011 NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES SCHEDULE
Feb. 12 Daytona International Speedway (Budweiser Shootout At Daytona *)
Feb. 13 Daytona 500 Qualifying
Feb. 20 Daytona International Speedway
Feb. 27 Phoenix International Raceway
March 6 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
March 20 Bristol Motor Speedway
March 27 Auto Club Speedway
April 3 Martinsville Speedway
April 9 Texas Motor Speedway
April 17 Talladega Superspeedway
April 30 Richmond International Raceway
May 7 Darlington Raceway
May 15 Dover International Speedway
May 21 Charlotte Motor Speedway (NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race *)
May 29 Charlotte Motor Speedway
June 5 Kansas Speedway
June 12 Pocono Raceway
June 19 Michigan International Speedway
June 26 Infineon Raceway
July 2 Daytona International Speedway
July 9 Kentucky Speedway
July 17 New Hampshire Motor Speedway
July 31 Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Aug. 7 Pocono Raceway
Aug. 14 Watkins Glen International
Aug. 21 Michigan International Speedway
Aug. 27 Bristol Motor Speedway
Sept. 4 Atlanta Motor Speedway
Sept. 10 Richmond International Raceway
Sept. 18 Chicagoland Speedway
Sept. 25 New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Oct. 2 Dover International Speedway
Oct. 9 Kansas Speedway
Oct. 15 Charlotte Motor Speedway
Oct. 23 Talladega Superspeedway
Oct. 30 Martinsville Speedway
Nov. 6 Texas Motor Speedway
Nov. 13 Phoenix International Raceway
Nov. 20 Homestead-Miami Speedway
* – Denotes non-point event.
2011 NASCAR NATIOWIDE SERIES SCHEDULE
Feb. 19 Daytona International Speedway
Feb. 26 Phoenix International Raceway
March 5 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
March 19 Bristol Motor Speedway
March 26 Auto Club Speedway
April 8 Texas Motor Speedway
April 16 Talladega Superspeedway
April 23 Nashville Superspeedway
April 29 Richmond International Raceway
May 6 Darlington Raceway
May 14 Dover International Speedway
May 22 Iowa Speedway
May 28 Charlotte Motor Speedway
June 4 Chicagoland Speedway
June 18 Michigan International Speedway
June 25 Road America
July 1 Daytona International Speedway
July 8 Kentucky Speedway
July 16 New Hampshire Motor Speedway
July 23 Nashville Superspeedway
July 30 O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis
Aug. 6 Iowa Speedway
Aug. 13 Watkins Glen International
Aug. 20 Circuit Gilles Villeneuve Montreal
Aug. 26 Bristol Motor Speedway
Sept. 3 Atlanta Motor Speedway
Sept. 9 Richmond International Raceway
Sept. 17 Chicagoland Speedway
Oct. 1 Dover International Speedway
Oct. 8 Kansas Speedway
Oct. 14 Charlotte Motor Speedway
Nov. 5 Texas Motor Speedway
Nov. 12 Phoenix International Raceway
Nov. 19 Homestead-Miami Speedway
2011 NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES SCHEDULE
Feb. 18 Daytona International Speedway
Feb. 25 Phoenix International Raceway
March 12 Darlington Raceway
April 2 Martinsville Speedway
April 22 Nashville Superspeedway
May 13 Dover International Speedway
May 20 Charlotte Motor Speedway
June 4 Kansas Speedway
June 10 Texas Motor Speedway
July 16 Iowa Speedway
July 22 Nashville Superspeedway
July 29 O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis
Aug. 6 Pocono Raceway
Aug. 20 Michigan International Speedway
Aug. 24 Bristol Motor Speedway
Sept. 2 Atlanta Motor Speedway
Sept. 16 Chicagoland Speedway
Sept. 24 New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Oct. 1 Kentucky Speedway
Oct. 15 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Oct. 22 Talladega Superspeedway
Oct. 29 Martinsville Speedway
Nov. 4 Texas Motor Speedway
Nov. 18 Homestead-Miami Speedway
Note: one additional date to be added