NASCAR reveals 2003 schedule

NASCAR officially released the 2003 Winston Cup racing calendar Monday with only a few minor changes noted. The schedule again will comprise 36 championship events and the customary two exhibition events, for a total of 38 weekends

NASCAR reveals 2003 schedule

The year begins with the Budweiser Shootout exhibition at Daytona January 9, with the official season beginning with the Daytona 500 Jan. 16. The season ends November 16 at Homestead, as it will this year for the first time.

The changes are as follows: The spring Talladega race will precede the spring Martinsville race, instead of vice versa; the autumn Talladega race will precede the race at Kansas City, instead of vice versa; the autumn race at Charlotte will be moved from Sunday afternoon to Saturday night; and the race at Phoenix will precede the autumn race at Rockingham, instead of vice versa.

The calendar begins with a streak of 10 weekends in a row (including the Shootout) before the Easter off weekend (April 20). The Mothers Day free weekend is May 11. The only other break is the weekend between Sears Point and Daytona (June 29).

The date for The Winston will be announced this week by R.J. Reynolds. The calendar leaves open the usual date for the event, the week before the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte in May.

From Daytona to the finish is the usual stretch of 20 race weekends in a row.

The 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup schedule:

Feb. 9 - Budweiser Shootout, Daytona
Feb. 16 - Daytona 500
Feb. 23 - Rockingham, N.C.
March 2 - Las Vegas
March 9 - Atlanta
March 16 - Darlington, S.C.
March 23 - Bristol, Tenn.
March 30 - Fort Worth, Texas
April 6 - Talladega, Ala.
April 13 - Martinsville, Va.
April 27 - Fontana, Calif.
May 3 - Richmond, Va.
May 17 - The Winston, Charlotte (to be announced)
May 25 - Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte
June 1 - Dover, Del.
June 8 - Pocono
June 15 - Michigan
June 22 - Sonoma, Calif.
July 5 - Daytona Beach, Fla.
July 13 - Joliet, Ill.
July 20 - Loudon, N.H.
July 27 - Pocono
Aug. 3 - Brickyard 400, Indianapolis
Aug. 10 - Watkins Glen, N.Y.
Aug. 17 - Michigan
Aug. 23 - Bristol, Tenn.
Aug. 31 - Darlington, S.C.
Sept. 6 - Richmond, Va.
Sept. 14 - Loudon, N.H.
Sept. 21 - Dover, Del.
Sept. 28 - Talladega, Ala.
Oct. 5 - Kansas City, Kan.
Oct. 11 - Charlotte
Oct. 19 - Martinsville, Va.
Oct. 26 - Atlanta
Nov. 2 - Phoenix
Nov. 9 - Rockingham, N.C.
Nov. 16 - Homestead, Fla.

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