THE PERFECT SPRINT CUP SCHEDULE

NASCAR recently announced its 2010 Sprint Cup schedule, which happens to look a lot like the 2009 schedule, which many people were not happy with. In wake of the announcement, my editor asked me to compose my dream Sprint Cup schedule. So I did. Before we get to it, you should know where I am coming from regarding my decisions.

I believe the Sprint Cup Series is overexposed. The NFL is the sports juggernaut in this country. The end of every NFL season leaves football fans wanting more. You can’t say the same for the Sprint Cup, where competitors and fans feel burned out by season’s end. That is why I propose one race per track except Daytona. It gets two because it is Daytona. This also allows for more tracks to be included. Furthermore, since I can, I am eliminating the Chase. The title should be decided week to week. Hey, it’s my schedule.

My lean, mean 29-race schedule is below.

2010 Sprint Cup (Dream) Schedule

Feb. 6
Current: Daytona International Speedway (Budweiser Shootout at Daytona)
New schedule: Eliminated

Feb. 14
Current: Daytona International Speedway
New: Daytona International Speedway

Feb. 21
Current: Auto Club Speedway
New: Auto Club Speedway

Feb. 28
Current: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
New: OFF

March 7
Current: Atlanta Motor Speedway
New: Homestead-Miami Speedway
Why: Much nicer weather than Atlanta, which I have given a fall date

March 14
Current: OFF
New: Texas Motor Speedway
Why: The next three weeks are chosen for climate and convenience. This cuts down on travel, and the weather is warmer than Bristol and Martinsville, which both get later dates.

March 21
Current: Bristol Motor Speedway
New: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

March 28
Current: Martinsville Speedway
New: Phoenix International Raceway

April 4 – Easter
Current: OFF
New: OFF

April 10
Current: Phoenix International Raceway
New: Infineon Raceway
Why: Phoenix now goes earlier and the weather in Sonoma is comfortable

April 18
Current: Texas Motor Speedway
New: Rockingham Speedway
Why: I would love to see Cup racing return here at a decent date

April 25
Current: Talladega Superspeedway
New: Nashville Superspeedway
Why: NASCAR’s top series in Nashville is a natural fit

May 1
Current: Richmond International Raceway
New: OFF

May 8
Current: Darlington Raceway
New: Gateway International Raceway
Why: A good market (St. Louis) to be in and Darlington is back on Labor Day

May 16
Current: Dover International Speedway
New: Talladega Superspeedway
Why: Dover moved back one week

May 22
Current: Lowe’s Motor Speedway (All-Star race)
New: Dover International Speedway
Why: The All-Star race will be rotated between host tracks on 4th of July weekend

May 30
Current: Lowe’s Motor Speedway
New: Lowe’s Motor Speedway

June 6
Current: Pocono Raceway
New: Pike’s Peak International Raceway
Why: A closed track in another untapped market and Pocono comes later in the summer

June 13
Current: Michigan International Speedway
New: Kentucky Speedway
Why: Totally capable of staging a Cup weekend

June 20

Current: Infineon Raceway
New: Michigan International Speedway

June 27
Current: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
New: New Hampshire Motor Speedway

July 3
Current: Daytona International Speedway
New: All-star race at rotating speedway

July 10
Current: Chicagoland Speedway
New: Chicagoland Speedway

July 17
Current: OFF
New: OFF

July 25
Current: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
New: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Aug. 1
Current: Pocono Raceway
New: Watkins Glen International
Why: Moved up a week to make room for new fall races

Aug. 8
Current: Watkins Glen International
New: Richmond International Raceway
Why: Moved up a month to make room for Iowa race

Aug. 15
Current: Michigan International Speedway
New: Kansas Speedway
Why: Warmer weather in August compared to October

Aug. 21
Current: Bristol Motor Speedway
New: Pocono Raceway
Why: Pushed a little later in the autumn shuffle

Aug. 29
Current: OFF
New: Bristol Motor Speedway
Why: Traditional spot weekend before Labor Day

Sept. 5
Current: Atlanta Motor Speedway
New: Darlington Raceway
Why: Where the Southern 500 belongs

Sept. 11
Current: Richmond International Raceway
New: Iowa Speedway
Why: Good facility and Richmond is now in August

Sept. 19
Current: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
New: Martinsville Speedway
Why: New Hampshire’s one date is in June

Sept. 26
Current: Dover International Speedway
New: Atlanta Motor Speedway
Why: Nice climate and near championship

Oct. 3
Current: Kansas Speedway
New: Daytona International Speedway
Why: The championship should be decided where the season starts – also, the July race is just too hot

Oct. 10 Auto Club Speedway
Oct. 16 Lowe’s Motor Speedway
Oct. 24 Martinsville Speedway
Oct. 31 Talladega Superspeedway
Nov. 7 Texas Motor Speedway
Nov. 14 Phoenix International Raceway
Nov. 21 Homestead-Miami Speedway

Thoughts?

(Patrick Reynolds is a professional racing mechanic who has worked for several NASCAR teams.)

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