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