Every one of the 36 points races on the Sprint Cup schedule are worth the same number of points. However not all races are truly equal in the minds of the drivers, fans and media. Here are the biggest races on the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule.
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It has been called "The Great American Race" and "The Super Bowl of NASCAR." No matter what you call it there is no doubt that the Daytona 500 is the biggest, most-prestigous event on the NASCAR Sprint Cup calendar.
The Allstate 400 at The Brickyard is one of NASCAR's premier events. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is legendary. The raw size of the facility, the huge number of people all in one place, and the glorious history of the track are each truly awe inspiring. Add to that the mystique of Indianapolis Motor Speedway's storied past and the huge purse that goes to the winner and you have a marquee event on the Sprint Cup schedule.
The Coca-Cola 600 is not only the longest but also one of the most important races on the Sprint Cup schedule. Located near Charlotte, NC in the heart of NASCAR country everyone wants to win at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
There is also no escaping the fact that for millions of Americans the Memorial Day holiday was meant for auto racing. The Indy 500 runs in the afternoon and the Coca-Cola 600 the same night. It's a great day for motorsports.
No matter the reason, the Coca-Cola 600 is one of the events on the calendar that no race fan should miss.
The Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway is the final race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Since NASCAR introduced The Chase For the Sprint Cup format the Ford 400 is guaranteed to provide a thrilling Championship battle. For the drivers involved the whole season comes down to this one critical race.
Homestead was reconfigured in 2003 with progressive banking. Since then the racing has been exceptional and worthy of hosting the critical final race of The Chase.
The second Richmond race in September is the final race before The Chase for The Cup begins. This race shifts the focus from the battle to win the race and moves it to the battle to make The Chase.
The pressure is on as there are usually three or four drivers battling for that final Chase spot. Drivers that make it suddenly have a shot at the Championship while the drivers that just miss can only start working on next year.
Every year NASCAR brings out its stars under the stars at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. It's a dash for cash running in prime time on a Saturday night. This is where NASCAR started. It's a Saturday night shootout where there is no tomorrow to worry about because there are no points on the line. With a million dollar payday on the line for the winner this made-for-TV event is always a big night in NASCAR.
The Sharpie 500 is the night race at Bristol Motor Speedway. This is the toughest ticket to get in all of NASCAR and there is good reason. The fast half-mile short track forces drivers to bump and grind as 43 cars in that small space means that the leaders spend all night in traffic looking for a way past.
The traditional halfway point of the NASCAR season is marked by the Sprint Cup drivers' return to Daytona International Speedway to race under the lights on Saturday night. This is the only restrictor plate race under the lights and it is truly a special event.
The UAW-Ford 400 at Talladega Superspeedway is the final restrictor plate race of the year and the only plate race in The Chase. It is a white-knuckle ride that many race fans love.
The Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway is the first race of The Chase. This race sets the stage for the Championship as a bad finish here is very difficult to overcome. The first 26 races are all leading up to this moment as The Chase For the Sprint Cup finally begins.