NASCAR At Darlington Raceway: 2012 Weekend Schedule

As you probably know, most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series night races begin at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time.

That's part of NASCAR's initiative to standardize start times – 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – so fans are more familiar with when to tune in and watch.

But Darlington is different. The Southern 500 will begin shortly after 7 p.m. this year, in part because it allows fans who drove several hours to get back home sooner.

Darlington has more of a local crowd than many other tracks, so the extra 30 minutes might be the difference between getting home at 12:30 a.m. or 1 a.m.

That might not seem like much, but when fans are driving late at night after a long day, it can add up.

Here's a look at the complete NASCAR schedule for the next two days at Darlington Raceway (Note: All times are EASTERN):

FRIDAY

8:30 a.m. – Nationwide Series final practice (two hours)

11:30 a.m – Sprint Cup Series practice (two hours)

2:15 p.m. – Sprint Cup Series final practice (45 minutes)

3:35 p.m. – Nationwide Series qualifying

5:10 p.m. – Sprint Cup Series qualifying

7:15 p.m. – Nationwide Series race (147 laps, 200.8 miles)

SATURDAY

7 p.m. – Sprint Cup Series race (367 laps, 500 miles)

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