Tag Archives: Sprint Cup Series

NASCAR Wants a Level Playing Field

If you know me or know my writing I am about as independent a writer as they come. I don’t have an agenda. What pains me is that in social media on many occasions people talk about NASCAR being fixed.  I can tell you from experience that is not true.

This past week Denny Hamlin won. He burned the tires down; wrecking his car big time. NASCAR is, understandably so, thinking that he did it to hide something. He may be, he may not be, but that is what NASCAR is all about. They want, above all else the playing field to be even.

In my independent status NASCAR or the Tracks have given me access to the inspection process. I can tell you never, and most people say never say never, but I can tell you never has anyone kept me from watching and asking questions during that process.

Photo By Brian Berg Jr.
Photo By Brian Berg Jr.

I can tell you first hand that every car no matter a Champion, future Champion or also ran; they all go through the same process. There are no favorites. Each and every one is judged the same. NASCAR has been all about making the players play by the rules.

Photo By Brian Berg Jr.
Photo By Brian Berg Jr.

That doesn’t mean that the players (NASCAR Teams) will find ways to bend or extend the rules but I can guarantee that NASCAR will fix that if they find it.

Feature Photo Credit: 320826 by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

 Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Schedule

The 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is upon us. The 2015 season was full of drama and excitement with Kyle Busch overcoming everything to be the Champion. We don’t know if 2016 will have the same level of drama and excitement but we do know that it will be the last season for the Sprint Cup Series. There will be a new title sponsor for 2017.

This past year we were treated at every track with tributes to Jeff Gordon in his last season of racing. In 2016 expect three time Champion Tony Stewart to receive similar recognition.

Check out the schedule and make your travel plans to attend a race or two. Don’t forget to check out to see if there is a companion event for the XFINITY or Camping World Truck Series. Hope to see you there.

2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Schedule
Saturday, Feb. 13 Sprint Unlimited Daytona International Speedway FOX
Thursday, Feb. 18 Can-Am Duel At Daytona 1 Daytona International Speedway FS1
Thursday, Feb. 18 Can-Am Duel At Daytona 2 Daytona International Speedway FS1
Sunday, Feb. 21 Daytona 500 Daytona International Speedway FOX
Sunday, Feb. 28 Folds Of Honor Quiktrip 500 Atlanta Motor Speedway FOX
Sunday, Mar. 06 Kobalt 400 Las Vegas Motor Speedway FOX
Sunday, Mar. 13 Good Sam 500 Phoenix International Raceway FOX
Sunday, Mar. 20 Auto Club 400 Auto Club Speedway FOX
Sunday, Apr. 03 STP 500 Martinsville Speedway FS1
Saturday, Apr. 09 Duck Commander 500 Texas Motor Speedway FOX
Sunday, Apr. 17 Food City 500 Bristol Motor Speedway FOX
Sunday, Apr. 24 Toyota Owners 400 Richmond International Raceway FOX
Sunday, May 01 Geico 500 Talladega Superspeedway FOX
Saturday, May 07 Kansas 400 Kansas Speedway FS1
Sunday, May 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup May Dover Race Dover International Speedway FS1
Saturday, May 21 NASCAR  Sprint All-Star Race Charlotte Motor Speedway FS1
Sunday, May 29 Coca-Cola 600 Charlotte Motor Speedway FOX
Sunday, Jun. 05 Axalta ‘We Paint Winners’ 400 Pocono Raceway FS1
Sunday, Jun. 12 Firekeepers Casino 400 Michigan International Speedway FS1
Sunday, Jun. 26 Toyota Savemart 350 Sonoma Raceway FS1
Saturday, Jul. 02 Coke Zero 400 Daytona International Speedway NBC
Saturday, Jul. 09 Quaker State 400 Presented By Advance Auto Parts Kentucky Speedway NBCSN
Sunday, Jul. 17 New Hampshire 301 New Hampshire Motor Speedway NBCSN
Sunday, Jul. 24 Crown Royal Presents The ‘Your Hero’s Name Here’ 400 At The Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway NBCSN
Sunday, Jul. 31 Pennsylvania 400 Pocono Raceway NBCSN
Sunday, Aug. 07 Cheez-It 355 At The Glen Watkins Glen International USA
Saturday, Aug. 20 Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race Bristol Motor Speedway NBCSN
Sunday, Aug. 28 Pure Michigan 400 Michigan International Speedway NBCSN
Sunday, Sep. 04 Bojangles’ Southern 500 Darlington Raceway NBC
Saturday, Sep. 10 Federated Auto Parts 400 Richmond International Raceway NBCSN
Round of 16
Sunday, Sep. 18 September Chicagoland Race Chicagoland Speedway NBCSN
Sunday, Sep. 25 New England 300 New Hampshire Motor Speedway NBCSN
Sunday, Oct. 02 AAA 400 Dover International Speedway NBCSN
Round of 12
Saturday, Oct. 08 October Charlotte Race Charlotte Motor Speedway NBC
Sunday, Oct. 16 Hollywood Casino 400 Kansas Speedway NBC
Sunday, Oct. 23 Alabama 500 Talladega Superspeedway NBCSN
Round of 8
Sunday, Oct. 30 Goody’s Fast Relief 500 Martinsville Speedway NBCSN
Sunday, Nov. 06 AAA Texas 500 Texas Motor Speedway NBC
Sunday, Nov. 13 Can-Am 500 Phoenix International Raceway NBC
Championship Round
Sunday, Nov. 20 Ford Ecoboost 400 Homestead-Miami Speedway NBC
SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

Feature Photo Credit: 314444 Chris Trotman/Getty Images

The New NASCAR TV Contract is a Step Backwards

In 2001 NASCAR started the season with a historic TV contract. Fox and NBC Sports were going to televise just about all of the Sprint Cup Series (Winston Cup Series as it was then) races on national TV. Set up your TV, adjust your rabbit ears and boom high energy NASCAR racing.

What followed was an unprecedented expansion of NASCAR fans watching the sport. Seats at the tracks were hard to come by as were campsites and motel rooms. Ticket prices for the same rising. Then something happened starting around 2007. Fan numbers visiting the tracks started dropping. Much has said that it was due to fuel prices and the economy in general but was it?

The 2001 through 2006 seasons saw most of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series broadcast on either Fox or NBC which most everyone could receive for free without paying for cable or satellite service. In 2006 NBC indicated they would not seek renewal of their contract for the last half of the season. In 2006, the last year of the contract, 26 of 36 races, 15 on Fox and nine on NBC, were on free TV.

ESPN and TNT picked up NBC’s part and most of those races then moved to cable or satellite TV. Suddenly those new fans that did not have access to cable or satellite TV were cut off from regular viewing of NASCAR in the last half of the season. At least ESPN is a widely held channel in the pay TV area, available in most motels, bars and other places with cable or satellite TV.

Through the years there has been much discussion about how to keep NASCAR fans engaged in the sport and bring in new ones. Well first and foremost if a fan gets drawn in during the Fox part of the season via a Jet Dryer explosion or some other drama, only to be cut off in early June when the series moves to cable; that is a problem.

Sure people get busy doing other things during the summer months and viewership does decline naturally but moving to cable is a self fulfilling prophecy.

In 2015, Fox and NBC have the contract back, as in the movie “Back to the Future”. This is a great opportunity for getting back to past success for both networks. Unfortunately that opportunity is being used to sell their other Sports channels; Fox Sports 1 and NBC Sports Net.

During the Fox half of the season most of the races starting with the last race in April will be moving to Fox Sports 1 a cable channel. This is not only the races that used to be broadcast on TNT but also ones that were previously broadcast on Fox; a step back. Only 10 races will be on Fox in 2015 in lieu of 13 in 2014.

During the NBC half of the season 13 of their 20 races will be broadcast on their cable channel NBC Sports Net. This includes most of the summer races. This is the bright spot in the new contract as there will be seven races on NBC in 2015 compared to only three on ABC in 2014.

Don’t get me wrong, it is great that NASCAR is even on TV, but it just seems that a great product is being wasted by putting it on cable TV. If you’re a NASCAR fan in the Midwest or West that doesn’t have cable TV or satellite, the only way you will be able to stay engaged after May, is an AP piece in the paper on Monday morning.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

Feature Photo Credit: 303102 Patrick Smith/Getty Images

 

2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Schedule

NASCARSCLogo

The 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has some changes over previous year. This year the Southern 500 moves back to its traditional date on Labor Day weekend at Darlington Raceway. The race at Atlanta moves back to March pushing the first Bristol race into April.  There is a new TV Contract with Fox and NBC sharing the season.

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

 

Kevin Harvick Hosts Military Troops at Outback for Folds of Honor

NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Kevin Harvick took a break before the start of the Elimination Round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup to host local Greensboro, NC military troops at the Outback Steakhouse. They were celebrating Outback’s partnership with the Folds of Honor.

Photo Credit: Jim Bounds/AP Images for Outback Steakhouse
Photo Credit: Jim Bounds/AP Images for Outback Steakhouse

The Folds of Honor provides annual educational scholarships to the military families of those who have been killed or disabled while in active duty. Folds of Honor scholarship recipient, Keisha Johnston, a senior at the University of North Carolina was also on-site to take part in the celebration.

Photo Credit: Jim Bounds/AP Images for Outback Steakhouse
Photo Credit: Jim Bounds/AP Images for Outback Steakhouse

Budweiser, the sponsor of the No. 4 Stewart Haas Chevrolet has been supporting the Folds of Honor since 2010. Kevin Harvick has been racing Folds of Honor themed cars since 2011. Harvick drove a Budweiser/Folds of Honor car this year in May at Charlotte, June at Sonoma and July at Daytona. He finished second, 20th and 39th.

Founded in 2007 by Maj. Dan Rooney, Folds of Honor gives back to spouses and children of soldiers fallen or disabled in service to our country. Folds of Honor’s mission is to provide scholarships and assistance to families left behind in the fight to preserve American freedom.

For more information visit Folds of Honor.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 299264 Jerry Markland/Getty Images