In the Pits- KSR
NASCAR to celebrate 60th anniversary in 2008
As NASCAR prepares to celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2008, fans better start getting used to new names for not just one but two of their favorite racing series.
First, NASCAR announced that its premier series, the NASCAR Nextel Cup, will be called the Sprint Cup in 2008, reflecting a change in title sponsor. More recently, NASCAR announced that the 2008 season will bring a new name—the NASCAR Nationwide Series—to the nation’s second-most popular series as well. Currently known as the NASCAR Busch Series but in its final year of sponsorship from Anheuser-Busch, the series will start its 2008 season under new title sponsorship at Daytona International Speedway Feb. 16.
The newly renamed NASCAR Nationwide Series will feature two international events. The series will return to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve road course in Montreal on Aug. 2, and for a fourth consecutive year, the schedule includes a race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road course in Mexico City. However, for the first time in the brief history of the event, it will move from its previous date on the first Sunday in March to April 20.
Key changes to the 2008 NASCAR Nation-wide Series schedule include:
• An historic doubleheader at California Speedway with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series on Feb. 23. The Mexico City race trades slots with the weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s race falls a week earlier on March 1 and starts a domino effect where three other races precede their dates by one week from last season—Atlanta Motor Speedway (March 8), Bristol Motor Speedway (March 15) and Nashville Superspeedway (March 22).
• The order of the two races following the first open week of the season (March 29) also moves up one week. The spring race at Texas Motor Speedway will be April 5 with the Phoenix event on April 11.
• Also, the addition of lights at Chicagoland Speedway will facilitate an inaugural Friday night show for the series there on July 11.
There will be nine “stand-alone” events: Nashville (March 22 and June 7), Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez (April 20), Kentucky Speedway (June 14), the Milwaukee Mile (June 21), Gateway International Raceway (July 19), O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis (July 26), Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (August 2) and Memphis Motorsports Park (Oct. 25).
The NASCAR Nationwide Series is scheduled for 35 races in 2008—26 combination events with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and three in conjunction with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. There are 26 racetracks on the schedule divided among 20 states, Canada and Mexico.
The 2008 season will mark the 60th anniversary of NASCAR, which was incorporated on Feb. 21, 1948.