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NASCAR returns to tradition in 2015

Darlington Raceway's NASCAR Sprint Cup date returns to Labor Dway weekend in 2015.
Darlington Raceway's NASCAR Sprint Cup date returns to Labor Dway weekend in 2015.
Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

NASCAR released its 2015 schedule of races for all three of its national series on Tuesday and what’s old is new again as the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway will be back to its traditional spot on Labor Day weekend. Darlington’s Labor Day weekend served as a foundation of NASCAR from 1950-2003. NASCAR moved the date away in 2004 angering many longtime NASCAR fans. The track was awarded one single race , that being on Mother’s Day weekend, traditionally a bad date for NASCAR. Many did not expect the track to survive. The track installed lights and completed much-needed upgrades and the race has sold out four years in a row. Now in 2015, the track known as the Lady In Black will race once again on Labor Day weekend.

“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. “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,” he added. “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.”

Other changes for 2015 36-race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule involve Atlanta Motor Speedway, and Bristol Motor Speedway. Atlanta’s race will move from the Labor Day weekend to the second race of the season n March 1. Bristol’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series spring date moves deeper into the calendar from mid-March to April 19. Dates for the spring races at Phoenix and Texas Motor Speedway (April 11) step back one week from their 2014 schedule slots.

There will be a big “west-coast swing” during the season’s early stages. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series run on three consecutive weekends, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7-8, Phoenix International Raceway on March 14-15 and Auto Club Speedway on March 21-22.

“I’ve been pushing for a ‘West Coast swing’ for a long time.,” three time NASCAR champion turned Fox sport analyst Darrell Waltrip said. “I just wish that instead of leaving California and going to Martinsville and then back to Texas, we’d go from California and stop in Texas along the return home. If they’d put Texas between California and Martinsville, we could have had three short tracks in a row, which could provide some interesting continuity and synergy, as well as the opportunity to carry over feuds and retaliations from one track to the next. But overall, I love the changes.”

Other noteworthy changes are the move of the July race at Daytona from its traditional Saturday night slot to Sunday night. Kentucky moves from late June to July 11. This creates an off week on June 21, a month earlier than in past years. Another off week will soon follow between the Night Race at Bristol and the Labor Day weekend race at Darlington. This off weeks should give teams on the cusp on NASCAR’s Chase of the Sprint Cup time to prepare for the final two races of the Sprint Cup regular season. Richmond on Sept. 12 will remain the race where the Chase filed is set. The ten races inside the Chase remain the same with only Charlotte and Kansas trading places.

The 2015 NASCAR national series schedules promise to provide our fans with the compelling competition and storylines they so richly deserve,” said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “These enhancements to our race dates, particularly in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will be of benefit to our fans and other stakeholders in our industry.”

2015 NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES SCHEDULE
Date Site Network

2/14 Daytona International Speedway (Sprint Unlimited) FOX, MRN, SiriusXM

2/15 Daytona International Speedway (Daytona 500 Qualifying) FOX, MRN, SiriusXM

2/19 Daytona International Speedway (Duel) FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

2/22 Daytona 500 FOX, MRN, SiriusXM

3/1 Atlanta Motor Speedway FOX, PRN, SiriusXM

3/8 Las Vegas Motor Speedway FOX, PRN, SiriusXM

3/15 Phoenix International Raceway FOX, MRN, SiriusXM

3/22 Auto Club Speedway FOX, MRN, SiriusXM

3/29 Martinsville Speedway FOX, MRN, SiriusXM

4/11 Texas Motor Speedway FOX, PRN, SiriusXM

4/19 Bristol Motor Speedway FOX, PRN, SiriusXM

4/25 Richmond International Raceway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

5/3 Talladega Superspeedway FOX, MRN, SiriusXM

5/9 Kansas Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

5/16 Charlotte Motor Speedway (NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race) FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

5/24 Charlotte Motor Speedway FOX, PRN, SiriusXM

5/31 Dover International Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

6/7 Pocono Raceway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

6/14 Michigan International Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

6/28 Sonoma Raceway FOX Sports 1, PRN, SiriusXM

7/5 Daytona International Speedway NBC, MRN, SiriusXM

7/11 Kentucky Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM

7/19 New Hampshire Motor Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM

7/26 Indianapolis Motor Speedway NBCSN, IMS, SiriusXM

8/2 Pocono Raceway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM

8/9 Watkins Glen International NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM

8/16 Michigan International Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM

8/22 Bristol Motor Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM

9/6 Darlington Raceway NBC, MRN, SiriusXM

9/12 Richmond International Raceway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM

9/20 Chicagoland Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM

9/27 New Hampshire Motor Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM

10/4 Dover International Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM

10/10 Charlotte Motor Speedway NBC, PRN, SiriusXM

10/18 Kansas Speedway NBC, MRN, SiriusXM

10/25 Talladega Superspeedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM

11/1 Martinsville Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM

11/8 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, PRN, SiriusXM

11/15 Phoenix International Raceway NBC, MRN, SiriusXM

11/22 Homestead-Miami Speedway NBC, MRN, SiriusXM

SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

2015 NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES SCHEDULE

Date Site Network

2/21 Daytona International Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

2/28 Atlanta Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, PRN, SiriusXM

3/7 Las Vegas Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, PRN, SiriusXM

3/14 Phoenix International Raceway FOX, MRN, SiriusXM

3/21 Auto Club Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

4/10 Texas Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, PRN, SiriusXM

4/18 Bristol Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, PRN, SiriusXM

4/24 Richmond International Raceway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

5/2 Talladega Superspeedway FOX, MRN, SiriusXM

5/17 Iowa Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

5/23 Charlotte Motor Speedway FOX, PRN, SiriusXM

5/30 Dover International Speedway FOX, MRN, SiriusXM

6/13 Michigan International Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

6/20 Chicagoland Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

7/4 Daytona International Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM

7/10 Kentucky Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM

7/18 New Hampshire Motor Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM

7/25 Indianapolis Motor Speedway NBC, IMS, SiriusXM

8/1 Iowa Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM

8/8 Watkins Glen International NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM

8/15 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM

8/21 Bristol Motor Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM

8/29 Road America NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM

9/5 Darlington Raceway NBC, MRN, SiriusXM

9/11 Richmond International Raceway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM

9/19 Chicagoland Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM

9/26 Kentucky Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM

10/3 Dover International Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM

10/9 Charlotte Motor Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM

10/17 Kansas Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM

11/7 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, PRN, SiriusXM

11/14 Phoenix International Raceway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM

11/21 Homestead-Miami Speedway NBC, MRN, SiriusXM

SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

2015 NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES SCHEDULE
Date Site Network

2/20 Daytona International Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

2/28 Atlanta Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

3/28 Martinsville Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

5/8 Kansas Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

5/15 Charlotte Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

5/29 Dover International Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

6/5 Texas Motor Superspeedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

6/13 Gateway Motorsports Park FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

6/19 Iowa Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

7/9 Kentucky Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

7/22 Eldora Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

8/1 Pocono Raceway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

8/15 Michigan International Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

8/19 Bristol Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

8/30 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

9/18 Chicagoland Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

9/26 New Hampshire Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

10/3 Las Vegas Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

10/24 Talladega Superspeedway FOX, MRN, SiriusXM

10/31 Martinsville Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

11/6 Texas Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

11/13 Phoenix International Raceway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

11/20 Homestead-Miami Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM

SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE