The much-anticipated announcement on the 2015 NASCAR schedules came Tuesday afternoon on a special edition of Race Hub on Fox Sports 1. As expected, there were several dates moved around on the Sprint Cup schedule.
One of the biggest highlights is that Darlington Raceway’s Southern 500 moves back to its traditional Labor Day weekend date. Darlington has been on the schedule since 1950, and had hosted a race every Labor Day weekend through 20o3.
“This is a true example of Darlington Raceway, ISC and NASCAR all working together to give fans what they have wanted for many years – the tradition of stock car racing on Labor Day weekend at the Lady in Black,” said track President Chip Wile in a track release. “We can’t thank our leaders at ISC and NASCAR enough for working with us to bring back such a historic date on the 2015 NASCAR calendar.
“We raced the Bojangles’ Southern 500 on Labor Day weekend for 53 years. Returning to a date in 2015 that is filled with so much tradition and history is a historic moment for our fans and local community.”
Atlanta Motor Speedway moves to the second race of the season, right after the Daytona 500. Additionally the Camping World Truck Series returns to the mile-and-a-half track after a two-year hiatus as a part of a double-header with the Nationwide Series on Saturday. Several have expressed concern about the weather that first week of March in the Atlanta area, but AMS president Ed Clark wasn’t concerned, stating, “The average temperature for March 1 is 62 degrees. It might be a little brisk in the morning, but it warms up.”
Following the Atlanta date, NASCAR will have a true west coast swing, hitting Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway and Auto Club Speedway in California before heading off to Martinsville on March 29.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) August 26, 2014
Last Friday, Bristol Motor Speedway announced their move to mid-April, a move made to alleviate weather concerns at a track that’s been plagued by cold weather, rain and even snow in the past.
“This is a great day in the history of Bristol Motor Speedway thanks to our passionate fans,” Jerry Caldwell, BMS general manager and executive vice president said of the change. “Bruton and Marcus Smith and NASCAR heard the relentless plea for a true spring race date. The fans can look forward to a 2015 landmark celebration April 17-19 in Thunder Valley.”
Another substantial change is the move of the July Daytona race from Saturday to Sunday night in primetime. The move is for one year only, as a track release stated the 2016 date would move back to Saturday night.
“Next year’s Coke Zero 400 Weekend will be one of the most unique event experiences ever staged here,” Daytona president Joie Chitwood said. “We are as committed as always to providing our fans with a first-class Speedway experience, so we’re excited that we’ll be able to give a sneak preview of what our DAYTONA Rising project will deliver to fans once it is completed.
“The Coke Zero 400 will also launch us into the homestretch for construction, as we put the finishing touches for January 2016, when we will officially christen a new era for this Great American icon.”
The majority of the Sprint Cup races will air on FOX and NBCSN, however six points paying events will be shown on Fox Sports 1 and seven will air on NBC, including the final three to crown the champion. All but one of the Camping World Truck Series races will return to Fox Sports 1 next season, while Nationwide will move between Fox Sports 1, NBCSN, FOX and NBC.