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The NASCAR 2010 tour schedules are out!

  For Kyle Busch, after missing this season's championship playoff cut Saturday night in Richmond, the new 2010 calendars give him time to prepare a new game plan with owner Joe Gibbs (R) (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern

   NASCAR's new Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Truck tour schedules for 2010 have been released, and the question now may be which events will Danica Patrick consider running.
   And there are a few changes.
   Among the highlights:
    -- The Cup tour will be basically the same as 2009; the Nationwide tour will return to Montreal in late August; and the Truck tour will drop California and add Pocono.
    --  Daytona pole runs will be Saturday Feb. 6, the same day as the Shootout.
    --  Dover's spring race will move to May 16, rather than after the Charlotte 600.
    -- Phoenix and Texas will swap spring dates, moving the Texas race from the first weekend in April to later in the month.  
    -- The Cup tour will have four off weeks, including Easter April 4.

The 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup tour

Feb. 6        Daytona (Bud Shootout/Pole)
Feb. 14       Daytona 500
Feb. 21       California/Auto Club Speedway
Feb. 28       Las Vegas
March 7      Atlanta
March 21    Bristol
March 28    Martinsville
April 10       Phoenix
April 18       Texas
April 25      Talladega
May 1         Richmond
May 8         Darlington
May 16       Dover
May 22       Charlotte/Lowe's All-Star
May 30       Charlotte/Lowe's
June 6        Pocono
June 13      Michigan
June 20      Infineon/Sonoma
June 27      New Hampshire
July 3         Daytona
July 10       Chicagoland
July 25       Indianapolis
Aug. 1        Pocono
Aug. 8        Watkins Glen
Aug. 15      Michigan
Aug. 21      Bristol
Sept. 5       Atlanta
Sept. 11     Richmond
Sept. 19     New Hampshire
Sept. 26     Dover
Oct. 3        Kansas
Oct. 10      California/Auto Club Speedway
Oct. 16      Charlotte/Lowe's
Oct. 24      Martinsville
Oct. 31      Talladega
Nov. 7        Texas
Nov. 14      Phoenix
Nov. 21      Homestead-Miami


The 2010 NASCAR Nationwide tour

Feb. 13        Daytona
Feb. 20        California/Auto Club Speedway
Feb. 27        Las Vegas
March 20      Bristol
April 3          Nashville
April 9          Phoenix
April 17       Texas
April 24       Talladega
April 30       Richmond
May 7          Darlington
May 15        Dover
May 29        Charlotte/Lowe's
June 5         Nashville
June 12        Kentucky
June 19        Milwaukee
June 26        New Hampshire
July 2           Daytona
July 9           Chicagoland
July 17         Gateway (St. Louis)
July 24         O’Reilly Raceway Park
July 31         Iowa
Aug. 7         Watkins Glen
Aug. 14        Michigan
Aug. 20        Bristol
Aug. 29        Montreal Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
Sept. 4         Atlanta
Sept. 10      Richmond
Sept. 25      Dover
Oct. 2          Kansas
Oct. 9          California/Auto Club Speedway
Oct. 15        Charlotte/Lowe's
Oct. 23        Memphis
Nov. 6         Texas
Nov. 13        Phoenix
Nov. 20        Homestead-Miami


The 2010 NASCAR Truck tour         

Feb. 12        Daytona
March 6        Atlanta
March 27      Martinsville
May 2           Kansas
May 14        Dover
May 21        Charlotte/Lowe's
June 4        Texas
June 12       Michigan
June 18       Milwaukee
June 26       Memphis
July 11        Iowa
July 16        Gateway
July 23        O’Reilly Raceway Park
July 31        Pocono
Aug. 7         Nashville
Aug. 18       Bristol
Aug. 27       Chicagoland
Sept. 3        Kentucky
Sept. 18     New Hampshire
Sept. 25     Las Vegas
Oct. 23        Martinsville
Oct. 30        Talladega
Nov. 5         Texas
Nov. 12       Phoenix
Nov. 19       Homestead-Miami

Note: All dates subject to change.

Wait a minute! I thought the

Wait a minute! I thought the Truck Series was going to be cut dramatically, or eliminated! What happened to the "multiple inside sources" that tipped you off to the demise of the series? And better yet, where's the "mea culpa" apology for putting so many people in distress with your erroneous reporting?

C'mon Mike, man up!

Ah, the Truck series, the

Ah, the Truck series, the best racing in NASCAR…and some of the best guys in the sport.
So NASCAR and promoter Bruton Smith, who has some key venues for the tour, and some of the most exciting events, deserve credit for keeping things going.
Alas, NASCAR's Truck tour, like the Indy Racing League, appears to be on life support.
And the best thing to happen to the Truck series could be Danica Patrick…if she does decide to show up in NASCAR, as appears likely. Let's put her up against Mike Skinner and Ron Hornaday and Johnny Benson and see just what she's got.
However, a few points:
– The Truck series has gotten too far away from its roots. When Bill France Jr. first organized the tour, it was to be a low-cost, easy-entry point for promising new drivers and new team owners, and a training ground for crewmen. Then NASCAR and its promoters – and some of its teams -- got greedy and scheduled the tour into larger, high-buck arenas, with expensive hotel rooms and transportation and all. And instead of quickie one-day in-and-out shows, Trucks teams have too frequently been saddled with expensive race weekends.
– When it lost Sears' Craftsman title backing, the Truck tour lost a critical promotion/marketing angle, image and national continuity.
– Most Truck teams have long been under-sponsored, for the expenses necessary to run a full schedule. Detroit car makers have carried much of the freight (and they complained privately about that for years); now Detroit has cut its backing, and that has hurt some of the top Truck teams. In 2010 it appears there will be no significant Detroit sponsorship of the Truck tour, an ominous situation. When Chevrolet joined the other car makers in abruptly pulling support for the Truck tour this summer, things looked pretty dismal.
– Plus the new mood in the country toward 'green' vehicles, and pushed by President Obama (who effectively owns majority interest in General Motors now), would seem to run counter to the general truck image of macho horsepower and damned the MPG, full speed ahead.
– NASCAR itself appears to have too many national touring series now, perhaps diluting things. The future would seem to lie in part with the Grand-Am series (which I think might work well in some type of 'merger' with the Nationwide series, thinking creatively, particularly since the Nationwide tour has just about as many Detroit sponsorship holes and general economic problems as the Trucks).
– Foremost, though, the Truck series, for all its enthusiastic action and colorful characters simply hasn't caught on with the American public, even now nearly 15 years on. Why, is worthy of study: I would suggest a more standard starting time, to boost the TV audience. Sometimes Truck promoters have been their own worst enemy – starting a race at 5:30 p.m. or so on a Friday afternoon in Los Angeles? More creative promoting perhaps might help; different venues; better marketing. And consider the markets. And the size of teams.
The cost of running any major race team is outrageous. Trucks too. When Kyle Busch, a big Truck series winner, considered starting a Truck team of his own this season, after sizing up the investment stake it would take -- $8 million or something he said – he quickly gave that up.
That's too bad, because NASCAR racing was built on owner-drivers, and NASCAR executives should do their best to support owner-drivers…while at times it appears otherwise.
So who's watching the show? The typical Truck event this year is averaging about 665,000 television households, up slightly from last year, and the kickoff Friday night Daytona Truck event hit 1.4 million households.
But still not enough to create much sponsor support.
And the Truck tour hit a very low point in June, at Texas ironically, which is one of the tour's best venues. Expenses held the 'real' field down, and there were nearly a dozen start-and-parkers. Danica was at the same place the same weekend, and she probably wasn't impressed with that.
That came after tire issues at Dover. And then came the embarrassing financial problems surrounding the Milwaukee weekend. Then defending series champion Johnny Benson abruptly lost his ride (and that after his 2008 championship car owner had to bail out of the sport at the end of last season).
After all that, 2010 can only be up for the Truck teams and drivers. We hope.
Because, as one top engineer noted it's one thing to schedule a race, another thing to have a good field and exciting action: "If they give a party, and no one shows up, is it still a party?" as he put it.
Let's hope for the best.

Danifraud can't even draft

Danifraud can't even draft anyone on IRL's open throttle superspeedways - what makes anyone think she can do anything against Skinner and Hornaday?

BTW, whatever happened to Jack Sprague?

On your Truck points -

1 - You're half-right; the Trucks were supposed to be a good training ground, but the series was also intended to be a stand-alone series that, it was hoped, would grow enough that tracks like Rockingham and the short tracks could replace Winston Cup weekends with Truck races and thus free up dates for Winston Cup to go to bigger markets. It wasn't greed by promoters and some teams that got the series saddled as a stand-alone series as the fact the Trucks simply weren't going anywhere as such - I attended the stand-alone races at then-NHIS and the attendance never exceeded 25,000, and I never heard of a stand-alone Truck race that sold out a major speedway.

2 - I agree about the loss of Sears backing.

3 - That there is basically no factory backing for the series remains a danger sign for it.

4 - I don't quite agree that NASCAR has too many touring series - I go to Modified races at Stafford and of course NHMS and even in bad times that series puts on good racing and maintains a pretty solid fanbase; given the collapse of the IRL I wouldn't mind NASCAR or somebody reviving the old Speedway Division for retro-tech Indycars - basically IRL as it's supposed to be - but I do believe Grand-Am makes no sense for NASCAR.

5 - I see no real mood toward "green" vehicles in the country. That is something the MSM keeps pushing yet it doesn't show up in any serious market for "green" vehicles, and the shakiness of the science cited in their favor is catching on to more people. And I see no serious national trust of government ownership of GM.

I hope for the best in all of NASCAR's touring classes.

Hi, Mike. You can edit this

Hi, Mike.
You can edit this post as you see fit before posting it, or you could choose not to post it at all. I assume that goes for all the other posts too, since it's your site. :)
I'm glad to see The Milwaukee Mile still has it's dates. (We lost our IRL date, but this is a NASCAR-focused site, so I won't go into that.) It's not quite over yet, but we're still on the schedule. Whew!
Some of the background can be found at the links below. It's a big mess. JSOnLine's Dave Kallmann has been on top of this. I'm sure he can fill you in.

P.S. I haven't had any trouble with the CAPTCHAs in a long time. I assume you did something to fix that. Thank you.

I read Dave's stuff....he's

I read Dave's stuff....he's on top of it. Curious how NASCAR isn't saying much about its behind-the-scenes dealing with the Milwaukee track...after it made such a stink of the deal back in June. Guess NASCAR figures the Milwaukee market is pretty important after all....perhaps as 'partner' with the NASCAR-ISC-owned Michigan track, where selling tickets has been an issue. Thanks for the links. And, gosh, someone saying 'thank you,' that's music to my ears. Thank you!

I find it funny that you

I find it funny that you reported couple months ago that the truck series was in serious doubt. I still see a 25-race schedule....


And I've not been the only

And I've not been the only one worried about the Truck tour:
Here are two other stories I've written, with Ron Hornaday and Rick Crawford, at the start of the season....



and you might check out the comments too; the people commenting here have been quite astute during mikemulhern.net's first eight months on the air....hey, have you really read all 707 stories we've filed on mikemulhern.net this season?

OBTW, to put it all into perspective, reread this



Looking at the 2010 schedule,

Looking at the 2010 schedule, I've got Danica running 13 Nationwide/Truck races.

As for her "game plan" of not running Nascar races during the IRL season, I think that could very well be a Michael Andretti demand more than anything to protect his investment.

From 'my people' Danica has

From 'my people' Danica has written a clause into her proposed new IRL contract that lets her drive other stuff too. I'm hoping that means she can run something this fall, at least after the October IRL finale...hey, think she could do the commute between Homestead-IRL and Rockingham-ARCA and get in some hot laps at the Rock? I'd drive over for that.

I miss Bill Davis.

I miss Bill Davis.

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