A New Idea For The Sprint Cup Schedule

With the new chase format, the new qualifying format, and the new rules, about the only thing left to overhaul is the schedule. With the new television package coming in 2015, what better time than to give the Sprint Cup schedule a long over do revamp. Now I know, its not feasible to completely throw away the old schedule and start from scratch. Sponsorship deals are in place for years, some tracks have traditional dates, and some places are limited by weather at certain times of the year. But there is definitely room for improvement. With all that in mind, here is my version of what the 2015 schedule should look like.

(For simplicity sake, these dates are based on the 2014 calendar year)

2-15 Daytona-Sprint Unlimited

2-23 Daytona

3-2 Phoenix

3-9 Las Vegas “CR Track”

3-16 Bristol

3-23 Martinsville

3-30 Auto Club

4-6 Texas

4-12 Darlington (Saturday Night)

4-20 Easter Off Weekend

4-26 Iowa (Saturday Night)

5-4 Talladega

5-10 Kansas

5-16 Sprint Showdown(Charlotte) Fri Night

5-17 Sprint All-Star Race(Charlotte) Sat Night

5-25 Charlotte

6-1 Pocono

6-8 Michigan

6-15 Dover

6-22 Sonoma “CR Track”

6-29 Off Weekend

7-3 Daytona Road Course(Thurs Afternoon/Night)

7-5 Daytona (Sat Night)

7-12 Kansas(Sat Night)

7-27 New Hampshire

8-3 Watkins Glen

8-10 Michigan 

8-16 Indy (Sat Night)

8-23 Richmond Double Header (2 Races)

8-31 Atlanta (Sun Night)

9-6 Texas (Sat Night) “CR Track”

CHASE

9-14 Chicago 

9-21 Bristol

9-28 New Hampshire

10-5 Kansas (Road Course)

10-11 Charlotte (Sat Night)

10-19 Dover

10-26 Talladega “CR Track”

11-2 Phoenix “CR Track”

11-9 Martinsville

11-16 “Chase Roulette Track”

“Chase Roulette”

The final race of the season will be a rotating track. Six race tracks will be named official Chase Roulette Tracks. Each February at Daytona, the previous years NASCAR Champion will spin a wheel to determine which track will host the final race the following year. For instance, this year, 2014, Jimmy Johnson would determine who would host the 2015 season finale. Giving sponsors, tracks, motels, and fans plenty of time to adjust. If Homestead is not chosen, it will replace the winning tracks date. This will be completely random and each track will be in the drawing each year. Tracks aren’t guaranteed the final race once every six years, they might get two or three in a row, they might not ever get one. It all depends on the luck of the draw.

Here are the six Chase Roulette Tracks

1. Talladega

2. Texas

3. Sonoma

4. Las Vegas

5. Phoenix

6. Homestead

Now, lets take a look at it again, with some explanations behind my thinking.

2-15 Daytona-Sprint Unlimited

2-23 Daytona

3-2 Phoenix

3-9 Las Vegas “CR Track”

Our first Chase Roulette Track. If Las Vegas is selected as the season finale, this race will be at Homestead.

3-16 Bristol

3-23 Martinsville

This is the first major move of the season. Martinsville swaps positions with Auto Club, building a little early season drama with back to back short track races.

3-30 Auto Club

4-6 Texas

4-12 Darlington (Saturday Night)

4-20 Easter Off Weekend

4-26 Iowa (Saturday Night)

You know its only a matter of time before Iowa makes its way to the schedule. It’s proven time and time again the track puts on a good show and can sell tickets. This race replaces the spring Richmond race.

5-4 Talladega

5-10 Kansas

5-16 Sprint Showdown(Charlotte) Fri Night

5-17 Sprint All-Star Race(Charlotte) Sat Night

5-25 Charlotte

6-1 Pocono

Pocono moves up a weekend in the schedule. Pocono also looses a race to make way for Iowa, so this will be its only appearance on the Sprint Cup Schedule.

6-8 Michigan

Michigan also moves up a weekend simply to give more space between the two race at the track.

6-15 Dover

A new date for Dover, two weeks later into the summer.

6-22 Sonoma “CR Track”

2nd Chase Roulette Race. This race could be at Homestead.

6-29 Off Weekend

7-3 Daytona Road Course(Thurs Afternoon/Night)

A new thing in two ways. Number one, its one of two new road course races on the schedule, number two its a Thursday Night race. Well, afternoon actually. It’s a great time to experiment with a mid-week race because a lot of times it will fall on the 4th which should have most people off work, or in this years case, the 3rd, but most people won’t have to work the next day.  There will also be an added incentive to run and win both races, more on that in a minute.

7-5 Daytona (Sat Night)

The second of two Daytona races in three days. There will be a one million dollar bonus paid if someone can win both races.

7-12 Kentucky(Sat Night)

This race is a week after Daytona, instead of a week before.

7-20 OFF Weekend

7-27 New Hampshire

This  is  the old Indy date, and a few weeks later for New Hampshire.

8-3 Watkins Glen

The old Pocono date, and a week earlier for Watkins Glen.

8-10 Michigan 

A week earlier than normal.

The Final Five Before The Chase

Other than Atlanta, nothing is traditional about this point in the schedule. Indy has been moved to a later date to increase its “importance” in the Chase scenario’s. It has also been moved to Saturday night and under the lights as has been rumored for a few years now.  Richmond moves into the old Bristol date and is actually two races in one(more on that later).  Atlanta holds its now traditional Labor Day Weekend Sunday night date.  Texas has a new second date with a twist. At first glance, Texas is loosing its Chase date, but Texas is one of the six Chase Roulette Tracks. Meaning that at any given time this date could be a Saturday night race at Homestead, giving Texas the final chase race. When this date is in play for Texas, it will be the last chance to get into the Chase. It should provide some high speed fireworks and I’m sure the folks at Texas will do a great job building up the hype for this regular season finale.

8-16 Indy (Sat Night)

8-23 Richmond Double Header (2 Races)

Another new concept, the Richmond double.  This will be two, 200 lap races. The first will be held at 1pm on Saturday, the second at 8pm.  The Denny Hamlin short track race will be held in between.  Qualifying for the second race will be set by the finishing order of the first race. However teams will be allowed to change engine, cars, etc if they wish.  This will be treated as two separate race, two separate payouts, points days, wins, etc.

8-31 Atlanta (Sun Night)

9-6 Texas (Sat Night) “CR Track”

CHASE

9-14 Chicago 

9-21 Bristol

The first new track in The Chase, Bristol makes its long awaited debut in the playoff’s.

9-28 New Hampshire

10-5 Kansas (Road Course)

The 4th road course race of the year. Kansas will keep its second date, but it will use the infield road course and finally bring a road course to The Chase.

10-11 Charlotte (Sat Night)

10-19 Dover

10-26 Talladega “CR Track”

A Chase Roulette Track, this could possible be swapped with Homestead.

11-2 Phoenix “CR Track”

A Chase Roulette Track, this could possible be swapped with Homestead.  Phoenix also moves back a week in The Chase and takes the old Texas date.

11-9 Martinsville

Martinsville goes from an early mulligan race to a must win for someone looking for that final spot into the final four. It should make for some hectic final laps at the 1/2 mile paper clip!

11-16 “Chase Roulette Track”

So that’s it, the new and improved Sprint Cup Schedule, what do you think? Feel free to leave comments good and bad below!

 

2 thoughts on “A New Idea For The Sprint Cup Schedule

  1. Almost perfect idea! Iowa and Road America (instead of the Kansas road course) should be “must haves” on the schedule. The Richmond Double Headers are a great idea, too! Perhaps NASCAR should race – analogous to the Indy Cars – on Saturday evening and Sunday evening (races at Richmond under the lights are spectacular). Also a “long weekend” in Daytona in the summer with each a race on the road course (on thursday evening/night) and the superspeedway (on saturday night) would be perfect. Bristol in the Chase … definitely!!! But don’t cancel their night race! And don’t remove Kentucky. They deserve it! Cut the off weekend between Sonoma and Daytona instead. There are enough “offs” between mid-november and Superbowl sunday in february 🙂

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