As Silly Season picks up with drivers figuring out what their ride in 2011 will be, NASCAR begins to let the 2011 schedule take shape. Various tracks have been coming out so far announcing an addition of a race, a change in placement of a race or a loss of a race. As more tracks begin to release details, the schedule seems to look to be set more in stone.
The announcements so far look as follows:
Speedway Motorsports Inc. Chairman and CEO Bruton Smith announced Kentucky Speedway will host its inaugural 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race on Saturday July 9, 2011.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway President Chris Powell announced that Las Vegas will return to its traditional date of the first weekend in March for 2011. Powell went on to say that its in the same slot as it was last year with it’s February yet, yet their “race fans have been used to coming here on the first weekend in March, so it’s good to be back on those dates.” The date officially, if you’re marketing it on your calendar, is March 6.
Kansas Speedway and International Speedway Corporation announced that Kansas will host two Sprint Cup races in 2011, instead of one as they’ve done since entering the schedule in 2001. The first race will be held on June 5, while the second race will be the fourth race of the Chase on October 9.
Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced that the track will host two NASCAR Sprint Cup dates for the seventh year in a row. The first race will be held on February 27, one week after the Daytona 500, instead of in April as it was last year. The second date will be the same as past years on November 13, the semi-final race in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Auto Club Speedway President Gillian Zucker announced that Auto Club Speedway will host one race next year, instead of two as they’ve done lately. The race will held at the end of March (March 27) which gets back to their traditional spot that they’ve held in year’s past. Zucker comments that the weather is better so it should make for a good weekend.
Atlanta Motor Speedway announced that they will no longer host two races as of next year. They’ll drop their March date and keep their September 4th date for the Chase.
Chicagoland Speedway announced that in celebration of their tenth year on the schedule, they will host the first Chase race on September 18th. The date that they’ve held has been in July, though this moves them to replace New Hampshire’s slot on the schedule.
Martinsville Speedway has confirmed one of it’s date for the 2011 schedule, March 27th, though has yet to confirm their fall-date if it still stands.
Dover International Speedway has also confirmed one of it’s date for the 2011 schedule, May 15, though like Martinsville, has yet to confirm the other if it remains.
Other tracks that have confirmed their dates include Daytona International Speedway (2/15, 7/2), Homestead-Miami Speedway (11/20), and Darlington Raceway (5/8), with an off-weekend planned at Easter.
As according to SpeedTV.com, the schedule should be finalized by August 18th, but until then it’s all speculation until all the announcements are made.