NASCAR Sprint-Cup Series
CUP: Auto Club Loses Chase Date
Auto Club Speedway will not have a Chase race next season....
Tom Jensen  |  Posted August 07, 2010   Charlotte, NC
Auto Club Speedway will not host a NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase Series event in 2011. (Photo: LAT Photographic)
Auto Club Speedway will lose its slot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup next season, sources have confirmed to SPEED.com.

As first reported here Thursday, the 2011 Chase will open at Chicagoland Speedway, with New Hampshire Motor Speedway moving from the opening Chase slot its held since 2004 to the second race of NASCAR’s 10-race playoff.

This year, ACS is race No. 4 in the Chase as well as host of the second race of NASCAR’s regular season in February. But next year, the track will have only one race, with Phoenix International Raceway taking the week following the Daytona 500 and ACS moving sometime later in the season, possibly in March or April.

The news is good for fans of Dover International Speedway, which was rumored to be losing a Chase date. Instead, Dover will keep two races, including a Chase event next season.

NASCAR will release the full 2011 Sprint Cup schedule Aug. 18.

Kyle Busch said Friday that he’s interested to see the full schedule for next season.

“We’ll just have to see how the schedule lays out,” Busch said at Watkins Glen International. “You gotta build yourself for the final 10 races. If Chicago’s in there and Kansas is in there, there’s two race tracks right there that I seem to struggle at so I got a lot of work to do in order to get better at those places. Chicago, I won with in 2008, but the rest of my races there have been horrible. We’ll have to look at turning that around. There’s some other race tracks that are in the Chase and like I said, it depends on what the schedule changes are, where the rest of the rest of the races lie, but hopefully that doesn’t mean they fill it up with mile-and-a-half tracks. That wouldn’t be any fun for everybody watching.”

NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader Kevin Harvick, a native of Bakersfield, Calif., not far from Auto Club Speedway, said he wasn’t surprised that the track is losing a date.

“I think one of the problems is people don’t want to sit in 110 degree weather and watch a race,” said Harvick. “That is the first problem, probably with the second date. I don’t necessarily know all the answers or have all the answers or know all the problems, but I think you probably could make a list of things that could be changed to make it better.”

Harvick said he didn’t think adding a second race at California in 2004 turned out to be a good idea. “Sometimes, more is not better for some venues,” he said.

And some of the blame has to fall with track management, according to the driver.

“When you talk about race tracks being held accountable, sometimes the people running them have to be held accountable as well,” he said.

Tom Jensen is the Editor in Chief of SPEED.com, Senior NASCAR Editor at RACER and a contributing Editor for TruckSeries.com. You can follow him online at twitter.com/tomjensen100 and e-mail him at Jensen is the author of Cheating: The Bad Things Good NASCAR Nextel Cup Racers Do In Pursuit of Speed,” and has appeared on numerous television and radio shows. Jensen is the past President of the National Motorsports Press Association and an NMPA Writer of the Year.

Play! SPEED Fantasy Racing and Super 7 Sweep

tom_jensen's avatar

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Jensen

MORE BY THIS AUTHOR