Few changes on 2014 Cup schedule

NASCAR has at long last released its 2014 Sprint Cup schedule, and as expected, it looks an awful lot like the 2013 schedule.

The only change involves a flip-flop of dates between Darlington Raceway and Kansas Speedway. Kansas will host its first Sprint Cup Series Saturday night race on Mother’s Day weekend instead of mid-April, which is when the Darlington race will be run.

Beyond that, the schedule remains basically identical, with none of the 10 races in the Chase for the Sprint Cup changed. Once again, there will be just two off-weekends: one after Darlington in the spring; the other after New Hampshire in July.

As has been the case since 2002, the NASCAR Sprint Cup season will begin and end in Florida, kicking off at Daytona International Speedway with the Sprint Unlimited non-points race on Feb. 15 and culminating with the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 16. The Chase schedule will have the same 10 tracks it has had since 2011.

In addition to the schedule unveiling, NASCAR announced that its new-for-2013 Air Titan track drying system will be available at every Sprint Cup Series race weekend throughout the 2014 season.

“This season has delivered plenty of drama and excitement, and we’re anticipating even more for our fans in 2014 now that the Gen-6 car has competed at every track,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “Having the Air Titan at each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend allows us to meet a very important goal set by our Chairman and CEO, Brian France: to drastically decrease track-drying time to the best of our ability and ensure our fans in the stands and those watching on TV get to see each race on its scheduled day.”

The full 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule:

2/15/2014 — Daytona International Speedway – Sprint Unlimited

2/20/2014 — Daytona International Speedway – Budweiser Duels

2/23/2014 — Daytona International Speedway – Daytona 500

3/2/2014 — Phoenix International Raceway

3/9/2014 — Las Vegas Motor Speedway

3/16/2014 — Bristol Motor Speedway

3/23/2014 — Auto Club Speedway

3/30/2014 — Martinsville Speedway

4/6/2014 — Texas Motor Speedway

4/12/2014 — Darlington Raceway

4/26/2014 — Richmond International Raceway

5/4/2014 — Talladega Superspeedway

5/10/2014 — Kansas Speedway

5/17/2014 — Charlotte Motor Speedway: All-Star

5/25/2014 — Charlotte Motor Speedway

6/1/2014 — Dover International Speedway

6/8/2014 — Pocono Raceway

6/15/2014 — Michigan International Speedway

6/22/2014 — Sonoma Raceway

6/28/2014 — Kentucky Speedway

7/5/2014 — Daytona International Speedway

7/13/2014 — New Hampshire Motor Speedway

7/27/2014 — Indianapolis Motor Speedway

8/3/2014 — Pocono Raceway

8/10/2014 — Watkins Glen International

8/17/2014 — Michigan International Speedway

8/23/2014 — Bristol Motor Speedway

8/31/2014 — Atlanta Motor Speedway

9/6/2014 — Richmond International Raceway

9/14/2014 — Chicagoland Speedway

9/21/2014 — New Hampshire Motor Speedway

9/28/2014 — Dover International Speedway

10/5/2014 — Kansas Speedway

10/11/2014 — Charlotte Motor Speedway

10/19/2014 — Talladega Superspeedway

10/26/2014 — Martinsville Speedway

11/2/2014 — Texas Motor Speedway

11/9/2014 — Phoenix International Raceway

11/16/2014 — Homestead-Miami Speedway