Now, it begins. Daytona is silent, and the ten-month marathon fight to the Sprint Cup title truly begins this Sunday at the Phoenix International Raceway.
The Subway Fresh Fit 500 serves as the first true test of the drivers and teams for the 2011 season. Just as the Avondale, Arizona race track is clear across the country from Daytona International Speedway, the type of racing seen at the one-mile oval is worlds apart from the high-speed multi-car packs that drafted their way around the World Center of Racing over the last nine days and more standard for what we will see the rest of this season.
Instead of trying to get every ounce of raw speed out of the engine and using such tricks as clear coating the car upwards of seven times to create the slickest, most aerodynamic body possible, teams will be working feverishly on the chassis to make their cars handle around the flat, D-shaped track.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Weekend TV Schedule (all-times Eastern):
Friday, February 25th:
2:30 p.m. - First Practice (SPEED)
6 p.m. - Final Practice (SPEED)
Saturday, February 26th:
3:30 p.m. - Qualifying (SPEED)
Sunday, February 27th:
3 p.m. - Subway Fresh Fit 500 (SPEED)