Track Blog

Earlier, Consistent Start Times A Huge Boost For Fans

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tired of wondering what time the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race starts each week? Well, that wait is now over. 

NASCAR has announced consistent and earlier starting times for all of next season's races. With the exception of the Coca-Cola 600, all races will start at either 1 p.m., 3 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. That means that the Kobalt Tools 500 on March 7, 2010 will start at 1 p.m. with the Labor Day weekend Cup race starting at 7:30 p.m.

The invocation will be at the scheduled start time for each race with the green flag dropping approximately 15-to-20 minutes later. For example, the green flag for a 1 p.m. start time would drop at 1:20 p.m.

This is a huge boost for many of you fans of NASCAR. I still remember back when I first became a race fan and would want to hurry up and get home from church just in time to see the race start. You knew, back then, what time the race was each week for the most part. Knowing when the race starts will greatly simplify the racing, making it easier for fans to keep up with the races each week. 

"It's become clear to us that traditional, early Sunday afternoon, start times are favored by NASCAR fans who both attend races and watch on television," said FOX Sports Chairman David Hill. "NASCAR, perhaps more than any other sport, belongs to the generations of fans who have passed on their passion, father to son, mother to daughter, so whatever we can do to make them feel better connected to the sport they love should be done."    

A big tip of the hat has to go to other track owners, NASCAR and the TV networks for working this deal out and making racing better for the fans, which is what we always strive to do here at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

"NASCAR fans have been asking for earlier and more consistent start times, and we are making this change for our fans, beginning with the Daytona 500 next February," said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. "We are revisiting our sport's tradition of earlier green flags, and the added consistency will make it easier for fans to know exactly when the races are being televised. Additionally, the new start times will help track operators get fans in and out of the track earlier in the evening. Many fans heading home from the race earlier will be able to eliminate the costs of an extra travel day."

Here's the race start time schedule for all of next year's Sprint Cup Series races:

Date    Day   RaceSite                                   Network  Start Time
Feb 14  Sun.  Daytona 500                                 FOX  1:00 PM
Feb 21  Sun.  Auto Club Speedway                     FOX  3:00 PM
Feb 28  Sun.  Las Vegas Motor Speedway          FOX  3:00 PM
Mar 7    Sun.  Atlanta Motor Speedway                FOX  1:00 PM
Mar 21  Sun.  Bristol Motor Speedway                 FOX  1:00 PM
Mar 28  Sun.  Martinsville Speedway                    FOX  1:00 PM
Apr 10   Sat.  Phoenix International Raceway        FOX  7:30 PM
Apr 18   Sun. Texas Motor Speedway                   FOX  1:00 PM
Apr 25   Sun. Talladega Superspeedway               FOX  1:00 PM
May 1    Sat. Richmond International Raceway      FOX  7:30 PM
May 8    Sat. Darlington Raceway                        FOX  7:30 PM
May 16  Sun. Dover International Speedway          FOX  1:00 PM
May 30  Sun. Lowe's Motor Speedway                 FOX  5:45 PM
Jun 6     Sun. Pocono Raceway                           TNT  1:00 PM
Jun 13   Sun. Michigan International Speedway     TNT  1:00 PM
Jun 20   Sun. Infineon Raceway                            TNT  3:00 PM
Jun 27   Sun. New Hampshire Motor Speedway     TNT  1:00 PM
Jul 3      Sat.  Daytona International Speedway      TNT  7:30 PM
Jul 10    Sat.  Chicagoland Speedway                   TNT  7:30 PM
Jul 25    Sun. Indianapolis Motor Speedway           ESPN  1:00 PM
Aug 1    Sun. Pocono Raceway                            ESPN  1:00 PM
Aug 8    Sun. Watkins Glen International               ESPN  1:00 PM
Aug 15  Sun. Michigan International Speedway      ESPN  1:00 PM
Aug 21  Sat.  Bristol Motor Speedway                   ESPN  7:30 PM
Sep 5    Sun. Atlanta Motor Speedway                  ESPN  7:30 PM
Sep 11  Sat.  Richmond International Raceway       ABC  7:30 PM
Sep 19  Sun. New Hampshire Motor Speedway       ABC  1:00 PM
Sep 26  Sun. Dover International Speedway            ABC  1:00 PM
Oct 3    Sun. Kansas Speedway                           ABC  1:00 PM
Oct 10  Sun. Auto Club Speedway                        ABC  3:00 PM
Oct 16  Sat.  Lowe's Motor Speedway                   ABC  7:30 PM
Oct 24  Sun. Martinsville Speedway                      ABC  1:00 PM
Oct 31  Sun. Talladega Superspeedway                ABC  1:00 PM
Nov 7    Sun. Texas Motor Speedway                    ABC  1:00 PM
Nov 14  Sun. Phoenix International Raceway          ABC  3:00 PM
Nov 21  Sun. Homestead-Miami Speedway              ABC  1:00 PM    

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