NASCAR announces big changes to 2020 Cup Series schedule

NASCAR announces big changes to 2020 Cup Series schedule

NASCAR announces big changes to 2020 Cup Series schedule

Beginning in 2020, the NASCAR season will not end in South Florida, breaking a run of almost two decades hosting Championship Weekend.

The 2020 schedule was released Tuesday at ISM Raceway outside Phoenix, which got the season finale following a $175 million renovation to ISM Raceway. NASCAR was handcuffed by five-year sanction agreements with its existing track partners and won't have the flexibility to add new venues to the schedule until the contracts expire in time for the 2021 schedule. "Miami has historically hosted many popular events during March, including the Miami Open, the Florida Derby, Ultra and the Calle Ocho Music Festival, among others, and this move will integrate us into this impressive mix".

NASCAR is moving a lot of things around in 2020, most significantly, where the championship race will be held. Clay Campbell, president of Martinsville Speedway, said in a statement: "This is a very exciting day for Martinsville Speedway". Daytona gave up its traditional but often rain-wrecked July 4th weekend for the final race of the regular season, when the playoff field will be completed. "It's a question we've gotten from fans literally every day since we installed the lights, and we are now able to say, 'May 9, 2020.' So, this is a very exciting day for everyone involved". Las Vegas also follows the February 16 Daytona 500 as the first race of NASCAR's annual trip west.

During the summer, Pocono Raceway will have just one weekend but will still hold two Cup Series races.

Daytona track President Chip Wile said the August race now created a chance at a "potential walk-off home run moment for a driver to solidify a playoff berth".

The final Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Independence Day holiday weekend is scheduled for Saturday, July 6, 2019, along with the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 on Friday, July 5.

# Bristol's August dates moves to September 19 (a Saturday) and will be in the playoffs.

# Atlanta Motor Speedway moves off its February date as the second race of the season to March 15 and will be the fifth race of the year.

Bristol and Richmond short tracks both joined the playoffs, as did Darlington Raceway.

Here's a look at how drivers, media members and fans reacted to the changes to the 2020 Cup Series schedule.

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