ATLANTA Saturday night's Charter 250 at the Gateway International Raceway is unique for the NASCAR Busch Series because practice, qualifying and the race all happen on the same day.
While it makes for a long day the race starts at 7:30 p.m. (FX) it reduces the time teams are on the road, which reduces costs.
Before NASCAR moved to its modern era in 1972, it was common for the entire race program to be conducted in a single day. That allowed the sport to travel from town-to-town on the weekends.
Several years ago what's now the Nextel Cup Series qualified on Thursday, practiced on Friday and Saturday, and raced on Sunday. In a cost-cutting move, NASCAR pushed qualifying back to Friday to reduce the amount of time on the road by one day.
Could it be cut back again?
"I think it's very possible to have a one-day race schedule, but I wouldn't want to do it just to allow more races in the week," said Jeff Green, a driver on the Nextel Cup Series. "That's too much. But to run a one-day show at some of the tracks close to everyone's home and team's home in North Carolina or Virginia, that's a great idea. Let's just not sacrifice our teams for another race."
As NASCAR tries to find room in its schedule for additional venues, some wonder if the sport is ready for a couple mid-week races -- a lot like Monday Night Football.
Ken Schrader said he'd like to see the track schedule shortened to a day-and-a-half.
DOING DOUBLE DUTY: There were 14 Nextel Cup Series drivers in last week's Busch Series race at the California Speedway. Now that the Nextel Cup Series is off this week for Mother's Day, most of them are skipping the chance to moonlight on the junior circuit.
Only six Nextel Cup drivers are scheduled to race in this Saturday night's Busch Series race at Madison, Ill.
NASCAR RULES: Three crew chiefs were fined for violations at the Talladega Superspeedway two weeks ago.
Ted Brown, crew chief for Morgan Shepherd, was fined $2,000 after a member of the crew, Scott Cianci, entered pit road during a pit stop without a helmet. Under NASCAR rules, the crew chief assumes responsibility of the car and his crew.
Mike Ford, who works on Dale Jarrett's car, and Terry Wooten, who is part of Kenny Wallace's team, were fined $1,000 each for an unapproved underpan.
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