Nascar Unveils 2008 Sprint Cup Series Schedule

NASCAR unveiled its 2008 Sprint Cup Series schedule on Wednesday.

Sprint is replacing Nextel as title sponsor of NASCAR's premier racing series next season which will also marks NASCAR's 60th year as stock car racing's longest operating sanctioning body.

The 36-race slate, which will run the Car of Tomorrow exclusively, kicks off with the 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 17 at Daytona International Speedway.

Following the "Great American Race" the series travels to Southern California, then to the bright lights of Las Vegas before returning to the Southeast for races at Atlanta and Bristol, Tennessee.

The first scheduled off date for the series will be in March during the Easter holiday.

"By running five consecutive points events before the first scheduled break in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the 2008 schedule is designed to be even more fan friendly," said NASCAR Chairman Brian France.

Following the race in Martinsville, the series makes another swing to the Southwest, racing at Texas and Phoenix in early April. The second scheduled off weekend occurs in mid-April.

The series then picks back up with races at Talladega, Richmond and Darlington prior to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Another adjustment to the 2008 schedule is that the Chicago race will be run Saturday night.

"Night racing provides an additional element of intrigue and excitement," France said. "Running under the lights at Chicagoland on a Saturday night will be even more exciting for the fans in the stands as well as those watching from home."

On the evening of Saturday, September 6, Richmond International Raceway will be the last opportunity for drivers to qualify for the "Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup."

The week after Richmond, on Sunday, September 14, New Hampshire International Speedway again will host the kick-off event in the Chase, which covers the season's last 10 races and determines the series champion.

The season finale is on Sunday, November 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway where the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will be crowned.

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