Start times for 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races

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After revealing its 2015 national series schedules last summer, NASCAR has today released the start times for all 36 Sprint Cup points races plus Daytona 500 preliminaries such as the Sprint Unlimited, ‘500’ qualifying, and the Budweiser Duel; the Sprint All-Star Race; and the All-Star Race’s own preliminary event, the Sprint Showdown.

NBC-TV and NBCSN will broadcast the second half of the Cup schedule starting with the Coke Zero 400 on July 5 at Daytona International Speedway. 13 races will be shown on NBCSN, with seven on NBC-TV – including the aforementioned Coke Zero 400 and the final three races of the season at Texas, Phoenix, and Homestead-Miami.

Fox Sports and Fox Sports 1 will carry the first half of the Cup schedule.

Without further ado, here are your start times for the 2015 season. Plan accordingly.

2015 NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES SCHEDULE

Saturday, Feb. 14 – Sprint Unlimited at Daytona, 8 p.m. ET (FOX)
Sunday, Feb. 15 – Daytona 500 Qualifying, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
Thursday, Feb. 19 – Budweiser Duel at Daytona, 7 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1)
Sunday, Feb. 22 – 2015 Daytona 500, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
Sunday, Mar. 1 – QuikTrip Folds of Honor 500, Atlanta Motor Speedway, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
Sunday, Mar. 8 – Kobalt 400, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 3:30 p.m. ET (FOX)
Sunday, Mar. 15 – CampingWorld.com 500, Phoenix International Raceway, 3:30 p.m. ET (FOX)
Sunday, Mar. 22 – Auto Club 400, Auto Club Speedway, 3:30 p.m. ET (FOX)
Sunday, Mar. 29 – STP 500, Martinsville Speedway, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
OFF WEEKEND, APR. 4-5
Saturday, Apr. 11 – Duck Commander 500, Texas Motor Speedway, 7:30 p.m. ET (FOX)
Sunday, Apr. 19 – Food City 500, Bristol Motor Speedway, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
Saturday, Apr. 25 – Toyota Owners 400, Richmond International Raceway, 7 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1)
Sunday, May 3 – Talladega 500, Talladega Superspeedway, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
Saturday, May 9 – Kansas Speedway, 7:30 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1)
Friday, May 15 – Sprint Showdown, Charlotte Motor Speedway, 7 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1)
Saturday, May 16 – Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte, 7 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1)
Sunday, May 24 – Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte Motor Speedway, 6 p.m. ET (FOX)
Sunday, May 31 – Dover International Speedway, 1 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1)
Sunday, June 7 – Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400, Pocono Raceway, 1 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1)
Sunday, June 14 – Quicken Loans 400, Michigan International Speedway, 1 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1)
OFF WEEKEND, JUNE 20-21
Sunday, June 28 – Toyota/SaveMart 350, Sonoma Raceway, 3 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1)
Sunday, July 5 – Coke Zero 400, Daytona International Speedway, 7:45 p.m. ET (NBC)
Saturday, July 11 – Quaker State 400, Kentucky Speedway, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Sunday, July 19 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway, 1:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Sunday, July 26 – Brickyard 400, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 3:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Sunday, Aug. 2 – Pennsylvania 400, Pocono Raceway, 1:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Sunday, Aug. 9 – Cheez-It 355 at the Glen, Watkins Glen International, 2 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Sunday, Aug. 16 – Pure Michigan 400, Michigan International Speedway, 2:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Saturday, Aug. 22 – Irwin Tools Night Race, Bristol Motor Speedway, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
OFF WEEKEND, AUG. 29-30
Sunday, Sept. 6 – Bojangles’ Southern 500, Darlington Raceway, 7 p.m. ET (NBC)
Saturday, Sept. 12 – Federated Auto Parts 400, Richmond International Raceway, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Sunday, Sept. 20 – MyAFIBStory.com 400, Chicagoland Speedway, 3 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Sunday, Sept. 27 – Sylvania 300, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, 2 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Sunday, Oct. 4 – AAA 400, Dover International Speedway, 2:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Saturday, Oct. 10 – Bank of America 500, Charlotte Motor Speedway, 7 p.m. ET (NBC)
Sunday, Oct. 18 – Hollywood Casino 400, Kansas Speedway, 2:15 p.m. ET (NBC)
Sunday, Oct. 25 – GEICO 500, Talladega Superspeedway, 2:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Sunday, Nov. 1 – Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500, Martinsville Speedway, 1:15 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Sunday, Nov. 8 – AAA Texas 500, Texas Motor Speedway, 2 p.m. ET (NBC)
Sunday, Nov. 15 – Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500, Phoenix International Raceway, 2:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
Sunday, Nov. 22 – Ford Ecoboost 400, Homestead-Miami Speedway, 3 p.m. ET (NBC)

New schedule has Josef Newgarden seeing double (points) again in 2020

Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
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Two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden of Team Penske believes the latest revised schedule for 2020 will change his approach to the season.

The new schedule has the defending IndyCar champion looking at ways to double the possibilities for a second consecutive championship.

“When I look at the whole schedule they released now, I look at it as double-points as a whole in all of them,” Newgarden told NBCSports.com Monday. “Iowa is double points on a short oval. There are double points at the Indy GP because there are two races and a road course. Then double points at Laguna, which is a different road course than IMS. And there is double points in the Indianapolis 500.”

IndyCar announced to team owners two weeks ago that the season finale (once scheduled for Laguna Seca and now at St. Petersburg) will no longer be a double-points event. But Monday’s schedule revision essentially adds three double points-style races to the Indy 500’s double-points format, Newgarden said.

“Those are four events where you have to be quite strong,” Newgarden said. “They are all very different from each other. Each one is critical to get right. Iowa has a chance to be the most difficult. From a physical standpoint, it’s already a physical track for one race. To double it up on one weekend will be quite the toll for the drivers.

“It will be a very big test physically to see who will get that weekend right. You can bag a lot of points because of it.”

Just 12 days after the first schedule revision, IndyCar officials announced another revised schedule Monday because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The new schedule features doubleheader weekends at Iowa Speedway in July and Laguna Seca in September. There is an additional race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course Oct. 3.

That race will be known as the IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix. It will be the second time in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history that an IndyCar race is held in the fall. The only other time was the Harvest Auto Racing Classic, a series of three races won by Johnny Aitken on Sept. 9, 1916.

The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix scheduled for May 30-31 will be dropped from the 2020 schedule. Michigan has a “Stay at Home” order that won’t be lifted in time to start construction of the Belle Isle street course.

Penske Entertainment CEO Mark Miles said the Detroit event will return in 2021.

The IMS road course essentially will have a doubleheader spaced out by nearly three months. The first race will be the GMR IndyCar Grand Prix on July 4, and the second will be Oct. 3 in the Harvest Grand Prix.

The extra doubleheaders combined with the loss of Detroit gives IndyCar a 15-race schedule for 2020. It started out as a 17-race campaign, but April’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, the Acura Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the AutoNation IndyCar Classic at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) have been canceled. The season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is being revived as the season finale on a TBA weekend in October.

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Newgarden also is excited about the chance to run at Indianapolis for three major races in one season. Of course, that all depends on how soon IndyCar can return to action because of the global pandemic.

“I’m continually excited about the thought of getting back to the race track,” Newgarden said. “We would love to be there now, but we can’t. With the current situation, everyone is trying to do the best they can to pitch in and do their part so we can get back to the track as quickly as possible.

“I’m excited to get back to racing at some point in the future. To see that is planned to start at Texas is still great. IndyCar has done a great job staying active and fluid with the ever-changing dynamics and current situation.

“We have three opportunities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. There are a lot of chances to get it right at the Mecca of our sport.

“I have a lot of trust and faith in IndyCar and Roger, and they are doing their best to stay on top of the situation.”

The one downer to the revised schedule is the loss of the Detroit doubleheader, a very important weekend to Team Penske because Roger Penske also owns the Detroit race. It’s a chance to showcase the series in front of as “Motor City” crowd, which is also the home to the Penske Corp.

“It’s a shame that we miss any event this year,” Newgarden said. “As a racer, you look forward to each one of them. If any of them drop off, it’s a tough pill. Detroit is more so because it is such an important race for us at Team Penske. It’s in our backyard for Penske Corp. Also, our relationship with Chevrolet, how much they put I that event and try to get it right for everybody involved. It’s tough to not have a go at that this year.

“I think of the volunteers. The Detroit weekend is so well run and executed with such a positive momentum behind it for the last eight years that I’ve gone there. I’ve always enjoyed that weekend off the back of the Indy 500.

“It’s a shame we will miss that this year, but I look forward to getting back there in 2021 and getting it started again.”

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500