From Daytona to the finish line

February 03, 2010

Breaking down the 2010 Sprint Cup schedule

RACEWHEREWHENTIME, TV2009 WINNER(S)THE BUZZBudweiser ShootoutDaytonaSaturday8 p.m., FoxKevin HarvickFor "Happy," it all went downhill from here last year.Gatorade DuelDaytona Feb. 112 p.m., SpeedJeff Gordon, Kyle BuschRaces set the field for the Daytona 500, but Top 35 rule zaps some of the excitement.Daytona 500DaytonaFeb. 141 p.m., FoxMatt KensethThis is truly the Great American Race if it doesn't rain; just Week 1 if it does.Auto Club 500FontanaFeb. 213 p.m., Fox Matt KensethKenseth entered NASCAR's equivalent to witness protection after last year's triumph.Shelby AmericanLas VegasFeb. 283 p.m., FoxKyle BuschThis is the home track of NASCAR's two most despised drivers (Kyle and Kurt Busch).Kobalt Tools 500AtlantaMarch 71 p.m., FoxKurt BuschIf Kurt Busch wins again, will he repeat his victory lap in reverse? Hmm …Food City 500BristolMarch 211 p.m., FoxKyle BuschTrack changes have zapped much of the bump-and-grind from this concrete bullring.Goody's 500MartinsvilleMarch 281 p.m., FoxJimmie JohnsonJohnson has won 5 of the last 7 races on NASCAR's shortest track.Subway Fresh Fit 600PhoenixApril 107:30 p.m., FoxMark MartinFans of the metric system will be happy to see this race was lengthed to 600 kilometers.Samsung Mobile 500TexasApril 181 p.m., FoxJeff GordonSome of the best racing happens here. As Jeff Gordon would say, "It's awesome!"Aaron's 499TalladegaApril 251 p.m., FoxBrad KeselowskiCarl Edwards hopes he doesn't have another fence-smashing crash.Crown Royal 400RichmondMay 17:30 p.m., FoxKyle BuschSaturday night showcase drops green flag on a tremendous month of racing.Southern 500DarlingtonMay 87:30 p.m., FoxMark MartinOne day NASCAR will come to its senses and move this race back to Labor Day weekend.Autism Speaks 400DoverMay 161 p.m., FoxJimmie JohnsonRacing at the Monster Mile has been pretty tame in recent years. Will that change in 2010?Sprint All-Star RaceCharlotteMay 22TBA, SpeedTony StewartWinner-takes-all purse and unique format make this a must-watch event every year.Coca-Cola 600CharlotteMay 305:45 p.m., FoxDavid ReutimannNASCAR's longest race has a reputation of crowning first-time Sprint Cup winners.Pocono 500PoconoJune 61 p.m., TNTTony StewartTrack can be either a triangle of terror or fuel-mileage racing at its … umm … "finest."Heluva Good! 400MichiganJune 131 p.m., TNTMark MartinDale Earnhardt Jr. won his last Sprint Cup race here (but that was in 2008).Toyota/Save Mart 350SonomaJune 203 p.m., TNTKasey KahneTrek to California's wine country produces first road-course race of the year.Lenox Tools 301New HampshireJune 271 p.m., TNTJoey LoganoJoe Gibbs' highly touted rookie won this Daytona tuneup in 2009.Coke Zero 400DaytonaJuly 37:30 p.m. TNTTony StewartFantastic finishes have become the norm here. Just ask "Smoke" and Kyle Busch.Lifelock.com 400ChicagoJuly 107:30 p.m., TNTMark MartinTrack position becomes vital part of pit strategy at this cookie-cutter venue.Brickyard 400IndianapolisJuly 251 p.m., ESPNJimmie JohnsonWinner here always kisses the famed strip of bricks at the start/finish line.Pennsylvania 500PoconoAug. 11 p.m., ESPNDenny HamlinSome think two NASCAR trips to Pocono each year is excessive.Heluva Good! at GlenWatkins GlenAug. 81 p.m., ESPNTony StewartHistoric track always serves as final road-course stop of the Cup.Carfax 400MichiganAug. 151 p.m., ESPNBrian VickersThose on the Chase for the Sprint Cup bubble can't afford to slip up here.Irwin Tools 500BristolAug. 217:30 p.m., ABCKyle BuschNight racing at Bristol is always worth watching as sparks fly, tempers flare.Atlanta 500AtlantaSept. 57:30 p.m., ESPNKasey KahneSecond straight year that NASCAR visits Atlanta for Labor Day Weekend.Richmond 400RichmondSept. 117:30 p.m., ABCDenny HamlinThis "regular-season" finale under the lights sets the Chase lineup.Sylvania 300New HampshireSept. 191 p.m., ESPNMark MartinNothing says Week 1 of the "playoffs" like a race in New Hampshire. OK, maybe not.AAA 400Dover Sept. 261 p.m., ESPNJimmie JohnsonSecond stop at the Monster Mile helps separate contenders from pretenders.Price Chopper 400KansasOct. 31 p.m., ESPNTony StewartThis Midwest cookie cutter has provided some thrilling finishes.Pepsi Max 400FontanaOct. 103 p.m., ESPNJimmie JohnsonRace shortened by 100 miles. Will it improve the racing at this track? Probably not.NASCAR Banking 500CharlotteOct. 167:30 p.m., ABCJimmie JohnsonJohnson still is sponsored by Lowe's, but this track isn't anymore. Tums Fast Relief 500MartinsvilleOct. 241 p.m., ESPNDenny HamlinPerhaps no race on the Sprint Cup circuit has a more appropriate sponsor.Amp Energy 500TalladegaOct. 311 p.m., ESPNJamie McMurrayChances of winning better if you are not in the Sprint Cup Chase. Ask McMurray.Lone Star 500TexasNov. 71 p.m., ESPNKurt BuschJimmie Johnson crashed early here last year, but it only prolonged the inevitable.

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