NASCAR releases 2005 schedule

May 14, 2004 at 8:59 PM
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., May 14 (UPI) -- NASCAR released a tentative schedule for the 2005 season on Friday, announcing that there no longer will be racing at North Carolina Speedway.

Darlington was also stripped of an event.

Both the Phoenix International Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway were awarded a second race for 2005 as the stock car circuit tries to expand its fan base.

"The 2005 schedule marks an important milestone in NASCAR's realignment efforts because it provides opportunities for more fans to experience first-hand NASCAR Nextel Cup events near their hometowns," NASCAR chairman Brian France said.

While the realignment may be good for business, it hits home with NASCAR enthusiasts.

North Carolina has lost its two Nextel Cup races -- both to California Speedway -- in the span of a year. Darlington -- the original NASCAR speedway in South Carolina -- is left with just one event for the first time since 1960.

"From a driver's standpoint, I'm really going to miss Rockingham and that second date at Darlington," veteran driver Ricky Craven said. "That's from a driver's standpoint. But from a business standpoint, it makes perfect sense."

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