DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 21, 2010) – Securing a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup means doing the math: 10 tracks plus 10 weeks equals intense competition.
The “Race to the Chase” – the 10-week stretch that begins Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and ends Saturday, Sept. 11 at Richmond International Raceway – determines the lineup for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
After race No. 26 at Richmond, the top 12 drivers in the standings compete for the NASCAR Sprint Cup title during the final 10 events.
They lock down those spots during the Race to the Chase, a summer gauntlet that includes many highlights, notably the traditional Fourth of July weekend race at Daytona International Speedway and the Brickyard 400 at historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The demands begin immediately. Sunday’s LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at 1.058-mile New Hampshire takes place on a flat track distinguished by its deceptively difficult turns and tight radiuses.
The July 3 event at Daytona features 2.5-miles of high-banked, high-speed action – with all the accompanying holiday fireworks.
The July 11 event at Chicagoland Speedway, a 1.5-mile tri-oval, is a growing tradition – Saturday-night action for a third consecutive year.
Following an off week, the Race to the Chase resumes July 26 at Indianapolis and its flat, 2.5-mile rectangle. The Aug. 2 event also takes place on a 2.5-mile surface, but Pocono Raceway’s triangle is very different with its three distinct turns and long straightaways.
NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers hit the road on Aug. 9 for the 2.45-mile road course at Watkins Glen International. They follow on Aug. 16 at Michigan International Speedway, a flat, wide 2-mile track that accommodates numerous strategies.
The Race to the Chase ends with three Saturday-night showdowns – the Aug. 21 race at .533-mile Bristol Motor Speedway, the Labor Day weekend event on Sept. 5 at 1.5-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway and race No. 26 – the cutoff event – at .75-mile Richmond, another short-track staple.
Bonus points become paramount during the Race to the Chase. Chase-eligible drivers are seeded by their win totals through the first 26 races (10 points per win). The driver with the most wins earns the top seed.
What: The 10 races prior to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
June 27 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway
July 3 – Daytona International Speedway
July 10 – Chicagoland Speedway
July 25 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Aug. 1 – Pocono Raceway
Aug. 8 – Watkins Glen International
Aug. 15 – Michigan International Speedway
Aug. 21 – Bristol Motor Speedway
Sept. 5 – Atlanta Motor Speedway
Sept. 11 – Richmond International Raceway
After Richmond: The top 12 drivers in the series standings will qualify for the 2010 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.