In a nutshell, per a request from track officials, Texas Motor Speedway is being shifted from an East/Central region track (1 p.m. ET start times) to a West Region track (3 p.m. ET start times)
Press release follows:
Texas Motor Speedway received approval from NASCAR today to move the start times of its two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races for the upcoming season to be consistent with the Western Region start times.
The Samsung Mobile 500 on April 18 and the Lone Star 500 on Nov. 7 will now have 2 p.m. Central Time starts, moving both races ahead two hours from their originally announced Noon CT times.
The move was a result of Texas Motor Speedway petitioning NASCAR on behalf of its fans requesting a later start time as well as potential logistical issues posed by the earlier start.
“On behalf of our fans, we greatly appreciate NASCAR, along with television broadcast partners FOX (Samsung Mobile 500) and ESPN (Lone Star 500), hearing their collective voice and making the time changes to better suit their wishes and needs,” Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. “NASCAR has made it clear that they are going to a ‘back to basics’ approach, and accommodating their promoters on behalf of their fans as well as avoid some potential logistical issues defines that new approach.”
The time change for both races will complement NASCAR’s move to uniform start times for all its races this season. NASCAR is just shifting Texas Motor Speedway from an “Eastern/Central Region” designation to a “Western Region” one, where it joins Infineon Raceway (California), Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Nevada), Auto Club Speedway (California) and Phoenix International Raceway (Arizona) for standardized 3 p.m. ET (2 p.m. CT) starts. The remaining Sprint Cup races in the “Eastern/Central Region” (with the exception of night races) will begin at 1 p.m. ET (Noon CT).