NASCAR & Auto Racing

Cup schedule doesn't include Kentucky

Any remaining flicker of hope that NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series would stop in the commonwealth in 2010 was extinguished Tuesday when next year's schedule was announced with no date for Kentucky Speedway.

When Bruton Smith's Speedway Motorsports Inc. bought the track in Sparta in May 2008, SMI's founder and chairman all but promised NASCAR's major leagues would be coming to Kentucky — in 2009.

More than two years later, dates were announced Tuesday for Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series races in Sparta in 2010, but no new sites joined the Sprint Cup schedule.

Smith said in August that he still plans to bring Sprint Cup racing to Kentucky Speedway.

The holdup, Smith said, is an ongoing antitrust lawsuit filed by the former owners of Kentucky Speedway against NASCAR, for which no quick resolution is in sight.

NASCAR's Nationwide Series will return to Kentucky Speedway for the 10th straight year on Saturday, June 12, 2010.

The truck series comes back to Kentucky for the 11th consecutive year on Friday, Sept. 3.

The Labor Day weekend race is part of a doubleheader that includes the track's annual IndyCar race on Saturday, Sept. 4.

Ticket information and times for the Kentucky Speedway races will be announced later.

Cup changes minimal

The 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule has only three minor changes that involve race dates at Phoenix, Texas and Dover, Del.

Phoenix and Texas have swapped their April race dates. The change means NASCAR will be off April 11 and avoid going head-to-head with the final round of the Masters golf tournament.

The Phoenix event will be Saturday, April 10. Texas goes a week later on Sunday, April 18.

Dover, meanwhile, jumps up three weeks in the schedule to May 16 because there are five weekends that month. Without a race moving up, the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, N.C., would not have fallen on its traditional Memorial Day weekend slot.