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Homestead-Miami remains NASCAR finale in 2015

South Florida will remain the final stop on the road to the championship in NASCAR in 2015 as Homestead-Miami Speedway will host the finales of the circuit’s three premier series for the 14th consecutive year.

The schedule, announced Tuesday, has Ford Championship Weekend set for Nov. 20-22, 2015, the first time it will fall immediately prior to Thanksgiving since 2012. Four drivers will vie for this year’s Sprint Cup title in the culmination of the new elimination format at Homestead-Miami on Nov. 16.

Fox will air the first 16 races and NBC the final 20 under the new 10-year, $8.2 billion television deal.

There had been speculation that with the new Chase format creating a championship-deciding final race that the event might be moved around like the Super Bowl.

But NASCAR CEO Brian France said recently that finale will stay at Homestead for at least the next five years. The weather in November as well as the quality of the track makes it the preferred venue. In addition, Ford’s sponsorship, which was due to expire at the end of this season, was recently extended through 2019.

In his annual midseason address last month at Daytona, France said, “Historically we’ve liked the fact that to do it in South Florida, the weather is great that time of year obviously, it’s a good market for us, and the track, and this is an important thing, is by any definition, the best mile-and-a-half track that the drivers believe that they have — that they can really race hard and compete hard, and that matters, too, right.  It’s a very important thing,” but added, “There’s nothing to preclude a directional change down the road.”

The 2015 season begins, as usual, with the Daytona 500 on Feb. 22. However, the summer race at Daytona International Speedway will move to Sunday night (July 5) instead of Saturday night as in recent years.

Another notable change has Darlington Raceway returning to the Labor Day Weekend slot after an 11-year absence.

There is also a new early season three-week Western swing through Las Vegas, Phoenix and Fontana, Calif.

2015 Sprint Cup Series schedule with TV:

 Feb. 14: Daytona International Speedway (Sprint Unlimited exhibition race) (FOX)

 Feb 15: Daytona International Speedway (Daytona 500 qualifying) (FOX)

 Feb. 19: Daytona International Speedway (Duels) (FOX Sports 1)

 Feb. 22: Daytona International Speedway (Daytona 500) (FOX)

 March 1: Atlanta Motor Speedway (FOX)

 March 8: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (FOX)

 March 15: Phoenix International Raceway (FOX)

 March 22: Auto Club Speedway (FOX)

 March 29: Martinsville Speedway (FOX)

 April 5: OFF

 April 11: Texas Motor Speedway (FOX)

 April 19: Bristol Motor Speedway (FOX)

 April 25: Richmond International Raceway (FOX Sports 1)

 May 3: Talladega Superspeedway (FOX)

 May 9: Kansas Speedway (FOX Sports 1)

 May 16: Charlotte Motor Speedway (All-Star Race) (FOX Sports 1)

 May 24: Charlotte Motor Speedway (Coca-Cola 600) (FOX)

 May 31: Dover International Speedway (FOX Sports 1)

 June 7: Pocono Raceway (FOX Sports 1)

 June 14: Michigan International Speedway (FOX Sports 1)

 June 21: OFF

 June 28: Sonoma Raceway (FOX Sports 1)

 July 5: Daytona International Speedway (NBC)

 July 11: Kentucky Speedway (NBC Sports Network)

 July 19: New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NBC Sports Network)

 July 26: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (NBC Sports Network)

 Aug. 2: Pocono Raceway (NBC Sports Network)

 Aug. 9: Watkins Glen International (NBC Sports Network)

 Aug. 16: Michigan International Raceway (NBC Sports Network)

 Aug. 22: Bristol Motor Speedway (NBC Sports Network)

 Aug. 30: OFF

 Sept. 6: Darlington Raceway (NBC)

 Sept. 12: Richmond International Raceway (NBC Sports Network)

 Chase races

 Sept. 20: Chicagoland Speedway (NBC Sports Network)

 Sept. 27: New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NBC Sports Network)

 Oct. 4: Dover International Speedway (NBC Sports Network)

 Oct. 10: Charlotte Motor Speedway (NBC)

 Oct. 18: Kansas Speedway (NBC)

 Oct. 25: Talladega Superspeedway (NBC Sports Network)

 Nov. 1: Martinsville Speedway (NBC Sports Network)

 Nov. 8: Texas Motor Speedway (NBC)

 Nov. 15: Phoenix International Raceway (NBC)

 Nov. 22: Homestead-Miami Speedway (NBC)

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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