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2004 Nextel Cup schedule released

Posted Tuesday, September 9, 2003

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Daytona Beach, Fla. -- The 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, consisting of 36 championship points races, will kick off NASCAR's 56th season on Sunday, Feb. 15 with the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR officials announced Tuesday.

There are no new venues for the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season, but there are some noteworthy modifications in the scheduling. The most significant change involves California Speedway, which will host a second date. California Speedway will run its traditional spring event on May 2. The track will run its second event on Sept. 5 during Labor Day weekend. Darlington Raceway, which traditionally held the Labor Day date for the second of its two race weekends, will have that race date shifted to Nov. 14 and become the penultimate race in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series title chase.

The other change involves the order of the spring races at Talladega Superspeedway and Martinsville Speedway. The two will switch their order from the previous year's schedule, with Martinsville being run April 18 and Talladega on April 25. The NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, which visits 23 tracks in 19 states, will conclude Nov. 21 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The two all-star events will remain in their traditional slots. The Budweiser Shootout kicks off Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway -- and NASCAR's season overall -- on the evening of Saturday, Feb. 7. Speedweeks continues with Bud Pole Qualifying on Sunday, Feb. 8; the Gatorade Twin 125s on Thursday, Feb. 12; and concludes with the 46th running of the Daytona 500.

The NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge, formerly known as The Winston, will be held Saturday, May 22 at Lowe's Motor Speedway as a prelude to the following week's Coca-Cola 600.

The initial 2004 on-track preview of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series teams and drivers will begin with NASCAR Preseason Thunder, scheduled for Jan. 6-9 and 13-16 at Daytona International Speedway.

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2004 Nextel Cup schedule released

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