NASCAR schedule 2013 Sprint Cup Series races on FOX, TNT, ESPN, ABC and SPEED.
When the green flag drops on the 2013 Daytona 500 (FOX, Feb. 24), NASCAR fans hope to see more than long rain delays and exploding jet dryers. The bizarre occurrences at last year’s Daytona 500 made for good headlines (and YouTube videos), but didn’t make for good racing. Fortunately, the 2012 Sprint Cup season ended better than it started, with Brad Keselowski winning the championship and emerging as a new star. Here are some big things to watch for as NASCAR takes the turn into 2013:
Generation 6 NASCAR will race redesigned Chevrolet SS, Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry cars this season, with “Gen 6” cars looking more like the ones you can buy at your local dealerships. Graphics changes on cars include drivers’ last names on the windshield and a sponsor logo on the roof.
Running in the Red Defecting sponsors, empty seats at tracks and flat TV ratings for the Chase playoffs pose big challenges for NASCAR in a tough economy. Office Depot dropped its primary sponsorship of Tony Stewart’s No. 14 and other sponsors have scaled back. With Penske Racing switching to Ford this season, there was little room for Dodge in NASCAR, and the manufacturer won’t race in 2013. But there is hope for a turnaround, with NASCAR banking on new stars like Keselowski and aggressive social-media engagement efforts to make the sport more attractive to sponsors and younger fans.
Kenseth Joins JGR After 13 years with Roush Fenway Racing, Matt Kenseth joins Joe Gibbs Racing, driving the No. 20 Toyota previously driven by Joey Logano. Logano joins Keselowski at Penske, racing the No. 22 Ford.
Schedule Tweaks The 2012 schedule was adjusted for Kansas Speedway’s repaving project, which is now complete. Talladega’s fall race returns to its traditional spot in 2013 (Chase race No. 6), with Kansas hosting Chase race No. 4.
Competition Changes Qualifying speed plays a bigger role in setting fields for Sprint Cup races, with 36 cars gaining entry on speed, six cars entering through owners points and the final spot going to the most recent eligible past race champion, if there is one.
NASCAR On TV FOX will be the TV home of the Daytona 500 through at least 2022 after signing a new multimedia contract with NASCAR that takes effect in 2015. The remaining broadcast deals will be finalized this summer. For 2013, FOX again carries the early part of the Sprint Cup season, TNT airs six summer races, and ESPN and ABC combine for the rest of the season and the Chase playoffs. SPEED again carries the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
NASCAR SCHEDULE 2013 SPRINT CUP SERIES
All times Eastern. Schedule subject to change.
Date/Race/Track/TV Network/Race Start Time
Feb. 16 The Sprint Unlimited/Daytona International Speedway FOX 8:10pm
Feb. 17 Daytona 500 Qualifying/Daytona International Speedway FOX 1:05pm
Feb. 21 Budweiser Duels at Daytona/Daytona International Speedway SPEED 2pm
Feb. 24 Daytona 500/Daytona International Speedway FOX 1pm
March 3 Subway Fresh Fit 500/Phoenix International Raceway FOX 3pm
March 10 Kobalt Tools 400 /Las Vegas Motor Speedway FOX 3pm
March 17 Food City 500 /Bristol Motor Speedway FOX 1pm
March 24 Auto Club 400 /Auto Club Speedway FOX 3pm
April 7 Virginia 500/Martinsville Speedway FOX 1pm
April 13 Texas 500/Texas Motor Speedway FOX 7:30pm
April 21 STP 400/Kansas Speedway FOX 1pm
April 27 Toyota Owners 400/Richmond International Raceway FOX 7:30pm
May 5 Aaron’s 499/Talladega Superspeedway FOX 1pm
May 11 Bojangles’ Southern 500/Darlington Raceway FOX 6:45pm
May 18 Sprint Showdown All-Star Race/Charlotte Motor Speedway SPEED 7:30pm
May 26 Coca-Cola 600/Charlotte Motor Speedway FOX 6pm
June 2 Dover 400/Dover International Speedway FOX 1pm
June 9 Pocono 400/Pocono Raceway TNT 1pm
June 16 Quicken Loans 400/Michigan International Speedway TNT 1pm
June 23 Toyota/Save Mart 350/Sonoma Raceway TNT 3pm
June 29 Quaker State 400/Kentucky Speedway TNT 7:30pm
July 6 Coke Zero 400/Daytona International Speedway TNT 7:30pm
July 14 New Hampshire 300/New Hampshire Motor Speedway TNT 1pm
July 28 Brickyard 400/Indianapolis Motor Speedway ESPN 1pm
Aug. 4 Pennsylvania 400/Pocono Raceway ESPN 1pm
Aug. 11 Cheez-It 355 at The Glen/Watkins Glen International ESPN 1pm
Aug. 18 Pure Michigan 400/Michigan International Speedway ESPN 1pm
Aug. 24 IRWIN Tools Night Race/Bristol Motor Speedway ABC 7:30pm
Sept. 1 AdvoCare 500/Atlanta Motor Speedway ESPN 7:30pm
Sept. 7 Federated Auto Parts/Richmond International Raceway ABC 7:30pm
Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup
Sept. 15 GEICO 400/Chicagoland Speedway ESPN 2pm
Sept. 22 SYLVANIA 300/New Hampshire Motor Speedway ESPN 2pm
Sept. 29 AAA 400/Dover International Speedway ESPN 2pm
Oct. 6 Hollywood Casino 400/Kansas Speedway ESPN 2pm
Oct. 12 Bank of America 500/Charlotte Motor Speedway ABC 7:30pm
Oct. 20 Camping World RV Sales 500/Talladega Superspeedway ESPN 2pm
Oct. 27 Goody’s Fast Relief 500/Martinsville Speedway ESPN 1:30pm
Nov. 3 AAA Texas 500/Texas Motor Speedway ESPN 3pm
Nov. 10 AdvoCare 500/Phoenix International Raceway ESPN 3pm
Nov. 17 Ford EcoBoost 400/Homestead-Miami Speedway ESPN 3pm
Photo: Credit: Jared C. Tilton/2012 Getty Images for NASCAR