Before the season began, NASCAR senior vice president Steve O'Donnell told a small group of reporters the sanctioning body was looking at ways to make weekends more cost-effective for its race teams.
To accomplish that goal, NASCAR targeted several events in the first half of this year to try and tinker with a more effective schedule.
This weekend at Texas Motor Speedway is a start. Though the event is technically a Thursday-Friday-Saturday show, the Sprint Cup Series garage didn't even open until 11:30 a.m. local time today, which allowed crew members to fly in from North Carolina this morning and save teams an extra night of hotel stays.
The first practice of the day isn't even until 4:30 p.m. here, and so there was no reason for drivers to arrive Wednesday, either.
Here's a look at the somewhat-funky schedule for NASCAR's weekend at Texas Motor Speedway (all times EASTERN; track is on Central time):
5:30 p.m. – Sprint Cup Series practice (two hours)
7:40 p.m. – Nationwide Series practice (one hour, 40 minutes)
11 a.m. – Nationwide Series final practice (one hour)
3 p.m. – Sprint Cup Series final practice (one hour, 30 minutes)
5:05 p.m. – Nationwide Series qualifying
6:40 p.m. – Sprint Cup Series qualifying
8:30 p.m. – Nationwide Series race (200 laps, 300 miles)
7:30 p.m. – Sprint Cup Series race (334 laps, 501 miles)