Major Changes in Speedweeks Schedule

Speedweeks schedule undergoes major changes By Dave Rodman DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 20, 2000) The day-to-day event schedule that has been released for Speedweeks 2000 at Daytona International Speedway has the most sweeping set of changes in...

Speedweeks schedule undergoes major changes By Dave Rodman

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 20, 2000) The day-to-day event schedule that has been released for Speedweeks 2000 at Daytona International Speedway has the most sweeping set of changes in more than 15 years.

The "typical" regimen of practice and qualifying for the many events held during Speedweeks were primarily caused by the addition of a the opening round of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, which will be held on Friday, Feb. 18.

The initial obvious change was moving the Florida 200 event for the Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring to earlier in Speedweeks to accommodate the inaugural NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 250. Now NASCAR Winston Cup Series cars will have only two rounds of qualifying and Bud Second-Round Qualifying for the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division will be held on the same day as the Gatorade 125-Mile Qualifying Races for the Daytona 500, Feb. 17.

Following the annual Speedweeks kickoff event, the Grand American Road Racing Association Rolex 24 At Daytona on Feb. 5-6, stock car Speedweeks begins in earnest on Tuesday, Feb. 8 when the cars of the Goody's Dash Series, ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series and True Value International Race of Champions (IROC) series enter the facility.

Practice for the three divisions runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Feb. 9.

On Thursday at 6 a.m., NASCAR Winston Cup Series haulers enter the "World Center of Racing" to begin preparation for the NASCAR 2000 season opener. In addition to practice and qualifying for the ARCA and IROC cars, a single Bud Pole Qualifying session will set the field for the Goody's Dash Series opener. Unlike in previous years, the full field for the Daytona ARCA 200 will be set Thursday.

On Friday, Feb. 11 IROC practice kicks off the day at 9 a.m. before the NASCAR Winston Cup Series takes over the 2.5-mile high-banked oval. NASCAR Winston Cup Series practices are scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon and from 12:30-2:50 p.m. In addition, a one-hour practice for the cars competing in the Bud Shootout is set from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

On Saturday morning, NASCAR Winston Cup Series practice includes a 70-minute session for all cars from 8:30-9:40. Bud Shootout practice is from 9:45-10:30 a.m. Another schedule change moves Bud Pole Qualifying for the Daytona 500 up two hours, to noon ET. Drivers will make two laps to "lock in" the front row for the "Great American Race" and also begin to set the starting field for the Gatorade 125-Mile Qualifying Races for the Daytona 500. The Florida 200, an 80-lap, 200-mile race, is set following Bud Pole Qualifying, followed by a final Bud Shootout practice.

On Sunday the 25-lap Bud Shootout Qualifying Race is the first racing event for NASCAR Winston Cup Series cars during Speedweeks. The winner of the 25-lap race among the fastest Bud Second-Round qualifiers from the 1999 season earns a starting position in the Bud Shootout of 2000, which features the Bud Pole winners from 1999 and starts at noon.

On Monday, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and NASCAR Busch Series teams enter their respective garage areas but the abbreviated day of practice is dominated by NASCAR Winston Cup Series and IROC practice along with Bud Second-Round Qualifying for the Daytona 500. The traditional third round of qualifying, which had seen fewer and fewer cars competing in recent years, was eliminated this year.

Tuesday, which formerly was Bud Pole Day for NASCAR Busch Series and Goody's Dash Series cars, is reserved for practice for NASCAR's three top divisions, beginning with NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series practice at 8 a.m.

Wednesday morning features NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and NASCAR Busch Series practices beginning at 8 a.m. before the final NASCAR Winston Cup Series practice prior to Thursday Gatorade 125's is held from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Beginning at 12:30 p.m., two-lap Bud Pole Qualifying for the top-25 positions in the NAPA Auto Parts 300 for the NASCAR Busch Series will be held. Following that session is the single Bud Pole session to set the starting field for Friday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 250.

Thursday has been heralded as one of the most exciting days in the season and the addition of second-round qualifying for the NAPA 300 and "Happy Hour" practice for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 250 only add to the attraction. A short NASCAR Busch Series practice is scheduled from 9-10:20 a.m. before the first Gatorade 125-Mile Qualifying Race goes green at 12:30. Following the second race, which sets the 43-car starting field for the Daytona 500, second-round qualifying to fill the 43-car NAPA 300 field will be held followed by the final NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series practice.

Short practices for the NASCAR Busch Series (8-8:45) and NASCAR Winston Cup Series (9:10-10:15) precede Friday morning's inaugural NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 250, set for an 11 a.m. start. The opener for the True Value IROC XXIV is stacked with NASCAR drivers, including defending champion Dale Earnhardt, and it goes green at 2 p.m. That 100-miler is followed by the Happy Hour practice for the NASCAR Busch Series cars.

On Saturday, the NAPA Auto Parts 300 takes the green flag at noon ET, followed by Happy Hour practice for the Daytona 500.

On Sunday, Feb.20 the 42nd annual Daytona 500 will kick off the NASCAR 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season at 12:15 p.m. ET.

For ticket information for Speedweeks 2000 events, call (904) 253-7223.

-nascar.com-

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt