With Daytona starting the season off, NASCAR Sprint Cup teams raced six straight weekends to begin 2012. All NASCAR teams received a spring break of sorts with no events for the Easter weekend. Now the Sprint Cup schedule continues in earnest.
Over the next 14 weekends, crews, drivers and their cars will not get any breaks for three straight months. They will grind through most of the regular season running at a small three-quarter mile track like Richmond to the giant superspeedway of Talladega. They will travel to places like the California coast, to the beaches of Florida and finally to New England before they get a race weekend off.
This big stretch of the season will start off fast with the Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night (April 14). They will stay in the Plains the following week heading north to Kansas for another one-and-a-half mile track. The teams will then swing east, traveling to Richmond, Virginia.
The teams will go from a short track at Richmond to the Heart of Dixie and Talladega, Alabama, the biggest tri-oval in the United States at two-and-two-thirds mile. The band of racers and teams will stay in the South, traveling east to gritty Darlington, South Carolina's mile-and-a-third 'Lady in Black'. This will then offer the teams a break of sorts as they stay in the Carolinas where almost everyone is based. NASCAR has the All-Star weekend at the mile-and-a-half Charlotte Motor Speedway and the following week their longest race of the season - the Coca-Cola 600.
After a nice stay in North Carolina, it's up to the Mid-Atlantic seaboard and the 'Monster Mile' in Delaware, which starts the second half of these 14 races. A short drive north to eastern Pennsylvania begins the second half of the regular season (not including the 10 race Chase) as teams head to their mid-June race on the big two-and-a-half miler at Pocono. From there, Cup makes their annual pilgrimage to the Detroit area and Michigan's two-mile track. Then teams have to trek out west all the way to wine country and Sonoma's road track.
Teams then turn around and head all the way back east to the mile-and-a-half Kentucky Speedway. Next, they travel south to Florida and the infamous two-and-a-half miles of Daytona International Speedway - this event ends as the halfway mark of the 36 race season. And lastly to finish this 14 race stretch, teams will head all the way up the east coast to New Hampshire's one-miler.
It makes you tired just thinking about it, so you can only imagine what the teams will feel like at the end of this 14 event marathon. After this elongated period, they get a weekend off before restarting in Indianapolis on July 29. This will begin the home stretch and an even bigger 17-race run to the end of the season. When you combine the 14 and 17 races - this comes to 31 contests in 32 weeks.
That will be purely exhausting.
Source - NASCAR
Daryle has been involved in motorsports most of his life and has three decades of experience inside racemarketing, plus blogged about every type of racing for several years.
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