NASCAR rolled out its 2015 schedule Tuesday with a number of significant changes, including moving the summer race at Daytona from Saturday to Sunday night.
Other key date changes will feature a stop at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the second race of the season on March 1, and Darlington Raceway returning to its traditional Labor Day weekend date (Sept. 6).
Daytona, primed for a significant upgrades as part of its “Daytona Rising” project, will run the Coke Zero 400 on Sunday, July 5, with new broadcast partner NBC.
Approximately 50,000 new front-stretch seats will be available for the summer race on Independence Day weekend, with 40,000 seats located on the west side of the structure, from Turn 1 toward the center of the track, while 10,000 seats will be located in Turn 4.
“The Coke Zero 400 will also launch us into the homestretch for construction as we put on the finishing touches for January 2016 when we will officially christen a new era for this Great American icon,” said Daytona Speedway President Joie Chitwood.
Additionally, NASCAR moved Bristol’s spring date deeper into the calendar from mid-March to April 19.
“The 2015 NASCAR national series schedules promise to provide our fans with the compelling competition and storylines they so richly deserve,” Brian France, NASCAR chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
“These enhancements to our race dates, particularly in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will be of benefit to our fans and other stakeholders in our industry. From the start of the season at Speedweeks at Daytona culminated by our championship finales at Homestead-Miami, we’re looking forward to the great racing that will be delivered through our outstanding television network broadcast partners FOX, FOX Sports 1, NBC and NBCSN.”
As always, the season will kick off at Daytona with the Sprint Unlimited (a non-points race) on Feb. 14. The Daytona 500 is set for Feb. 22.
The season will conclude at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the weekend of Nov. 20-22.