NASCAR announces new start times

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 3:25 PM ET

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- NASCAR released on Monday its start times for the 2011 season, with the times changed for the Chase for the championship in the Sprint Cup Series.

Six of the first seven Chase races will begin at 2 p.m. ET, and the last three events -- Texas, Phoenix and Homestead -- will start at 3 p.m. ET. The only Saturday night race in the Chase -- the Oct. 15 race at Charlotte -- is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.

Regular season point races for this season will remain the same times as last year. Races in the Eastern and Central portion of the country are slated for 1 p.m. ET start, while West Coast events are scheduled for 3 p.m. ET.

All start times for night races in Sprint Cup are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. However, the May 29 Charlotte 600-mile race, which is the longest event of the season, is set to begin at 6 p.m. ET.

The 2011 spring race at Texas, scheduled for Apr. 9, runs at night for the first time.

This Saturday's preseason, non-points race at Daytona, the Budweiser Shootout, will begin at 8:10 p.m. ET.

FOX, TNT, ESPN or ABC will televise the Sprint Cup point races this year.

FOX will have the first 13 events, beginning with the Feb. 20 Daytona 500.

TNT's six-race schedule in the summer begins at Pocono on June 12 and concludes at New Hampshire on July 17.

ESPN and ABC will air the final 17 events. ABC's coverage includes only the night races at Bristol (Aug. 27), Richmond (Sept. 10) and Charlotte.

SPEED will air the other two non-points races of the season -- The Gatorade Duel at Daytona and the NASCAR Sprint All-Star event. The start time for the Daytona 500 qualifying races is scheduled for Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. ET, and the all-star event is slated for May 21 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Television times for the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series races once again vary this year. However, NASCAR has yet to schedule a time for the Oct. 15 truck race at Las Vegas. The Las Vegas event has normally run at night, but would overlap with the Charlotte Sprint Cup race.


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