2011 Sprint Cup Schedule may look quite different

The 2011 36 race NASCAR Sprint Cup series schedule may look quite different from the 2010 version. The two biggest track operating companies Speedway Motor Sports and International Speedway Corporation have both petitioned the governing body for changes to the schedule. Using NASCAR rules the companies are allowed to move race dates to the other tracks they own. That likely means that the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana California will lose one of its two dates, the New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway are likely to lose one of their two race dates, and finally there might be a Sprint Cup series race at the Kentucky Motor Speedway.

So on the SMI side of things, they seem very willing to move a date from New Hampshire and give it to their Las Vegas track. That probably means the 10 race chase for the cup (NASCAR’s playoff system) will get started in Sin City. One of the Atlanta dates will likely be moved to Kentucky Motor Speedway. I would suspect that Atlanta will lose its September race, since its March date would leave Kentucky with a questionable weather weekend.

As for ISC, it seems pretty clear that the Auto Club Speedway cannot support two race dates, and that it is an unfair burden to the race teams to make a West Coast trip on the second race of the year. I think that date will be moved to the track in Phoenix, AZ. and that the first Phoenix date in early April will be moved as the second date for the Kansas Speedway.

NASCAR is also toying with the idea of rotating dates within the 10 race chase to different race tracks. I actually like that idea, and think 3-4 chase races should rotate between all the tracks on the cup schedule, and that a road course should be one of the ten races that determines the Sprint Cup Champion.

Related Links:

The Business of NASCAR
•NASCAR Complete
•MTR Auto Racing.com