Start times for NASCAR races announced

Jeff Birchfield • Dec 11, 2018 at 9:01 PM

NASCAR announced the start times for its 2019 Monster Energy Cup Series races on Tuesday, and those at Bristol Motor Speedway remained unchanged.

The Food City 500 at BMS is slated for Sunday, April 7 at 2 p.m. The race will be televised on FS1 with a radio broadcast on the Performance Racing Network. Kyle Busch won last year's Food City 500 on a late-race bump-and-run move to beat Kyle Larson.

The Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race, which was recently voted as the best NASCAR Cup Series event of 2018, is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start on Saturday, Aug. 17. It will again be broadcast on the NBCSN (NBC Sports Network).

The green flag drops on the 2019 season at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 10 with the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway following qualifying for the 61st annual Daytona 500. Daytona Speedweeks concludes with the 500, the "Great American Race" that takes place one week later on Sunday, Feb. 17 with a 2:30 p.m. start time.

Some of the changes for next season include the opener of the 10-race playoff in Las Vegas in September going to a 7 p.m. start time instead of a 3 p.m. start. The March 31 race at Texas Motor Speedway and the July 22 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway move to 3 p.m. starts.

Martinsville's race in the playoffs on Oct. 27 moves a half-hour later to a 3 p.m. start. The only official start time announced for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is the season opener at Daytona on Saturday, Feb. 16. That race is set for 2:30 p.m.


Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be up front to start the 61st annual Daytona 500.

The two-time Daytona 500 winner will drive a 2019 Chevrolet Silverado pace truck to lead the field to the green flag.

Earnhardt won the Daytona 500 in 2004 and 2014, and he also was a two-time winner of the July race at Daytona. Overall, Earnhardt posted four wins, 13 top-five and 19 top-10 finishes in 36 starts at the 2.5-mile oval track. Earnhardt also captured six victories in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Daytona, second only to his father, who was a seven-time Xfinity winner at the Florida track.

It is the 13th time a Chevrolet has been chosen as the pace car, seven previous times with the Camaro model and five times with Corvette.

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