|Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Photo by Rebecca Kivak)|
NASCAR returns home to the heart of the sport, the area of Charlotte, N.C., for its second stop of the season at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The week has been busy with activities like the NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees announcement, which honors those who have left their mark on the sport, as well as the annual Jail & Bail and autograph sessions at the race shops that allow fans to get up close and personal with their favorite drivers.
It's been a whirlwind of a week, and it'll only get better as we head toward the green flag. The Bank of America 500 is the fifth race of the Chase and the only Saturday night race in the playoffs. Kurt Busch will try to accomplish a first in the history of the sport: sweeping the All-Star Race, Coca-Cola 600 and the fall race at Charlotte all in one season. Can he prevail under the lights and boost his championship hopes? Jimmie Johnson, who leads all active drivers with six wins at the 1.5-mile track, is defending fall race winner.
In the Nationwide Series, Friday's Dollar General 300 marks the fourth and last race this year with the new Nationwide car. The car will become the standard model in 2011, and this weekend will be the first time the car races on a 1.5-mile intermediate track. Last week Kyle Busch won his 12th race of the season at Auto Club Speedway. The reigning series champion will try to sweep at Charlotte and extend his single-season record. Busch is also the defending fall race winner. If Charlotte is Johnson's house in Cup, has the track become Busch's house in Nationwide? Tune in Friday night.
Missing the Camping World Truck Series? So am I, but the wait won't be much longer. One week left until the series gets back on track at Martinsville.
The following is a schedule of track events and TV coverage at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend (all times in Eastern Standard Time. Events without a channel listed will not be televised):
Thursday, Oct. 14:
3:30 p.m. NSCS Practice, ESPN2
5 p.m. NASCAR Now, ESPN2
6:15 p.m. NNS Practice
7 p.m. NSCS Qualifying, ESPN2
Friday, Oct. 15:
3 p.m. NNS Qualifying, ESPN2
5 p.m. NSCS Practice, ESPN2
6 p.m. NASCAR Now, ESPN2 (reruns at 1 a.m.)
6:30 p.m. NSCS Final Practice, ESPN2
7:30 p.m. NNS Countdown, ESPN2
8 p.m. NNS: Dollar General 300, ESPN2. Green flag: 8:16 p.m. (reruns at 1:30 a.m.)
11 p.m. Trackside at Charlotte, SPEED
Saturday, Oct. 16:
9 a.m. NASCAR Now, ESPN2
1:30 p.m. The Racing Chef, SPEED
2:30 p.m. NASCAR Whelen Modified Series, SPEED
3:30 p.m. NASCAR Performance, SPEED
4 p.m. NASCAR Smarts, SPEED
4:30 p.m. NASCAR in A Hurry, SPEED
5 p.m. NASCAR RaceDay, SPEED
7 p.m. NSCS Countdown, ABC
7:30 p.m. NSCS: Bank of America 500, ABC. Green flag: 7:46 p.m. (reruns at 3 a.m. on ESPN2)
12:15 a.m. NASCAR Now, ESPN2
Sunday, Oct. 17:
8 p.m. NASCAR Victory Lane, SPEED (reruns at 2 a.m. and 9 a.m. Monday)