Fox Sports has rolled out the details of its 15-event coverage this season, and there are a few surprises within. Fox will handle the first 13 Sprint Cup races plus the preseason Budweiser Shootout and Daytona qualifying.
There are some shifts in the announcing booth; Michael Waltrip will join his brother Darrell and Chris Myers for the prerace events. Once again, DW, Mike Joy and Larry McReynolds will handle in-race coverage. On pit road, you'll have Jeff Hammond, Dick Berggren, Steve Byrnes, Matt Yocum and Krista Voda.
Fox enjoyed a 9-percent bump in 2011 over its first 13 races. The average of 8.6 million viewers was the highest in three years. And last year's Daytona 500 had over 30 million viewers, making it the most-watched race since 2008. This year, with a new champion and new faces in the field (we don't need to draw you a neon-green picture, do we?), it's likely Fox will exceed that figure handily.
Here is the coverage start times, followed by the actual race start times (all times Eastern, all subject to change):
Sat. Feb. 18: Daytona Int'l Speedway (Budweiser Shootout), 8:00 PM; 8:29 PM
Sun. Feb. 19: Daytona Int'l Speedway (Daytona 500 Qualifying), 1:00 PM
Sun. Feb. 26: Daytona Int'l Speedway (Daytona 500), 12:00 PM; 1:30 PM
Sun. March 4: Phoenix Int'l Speedway, 2:30 PM; 3:14 PM
Sun. March 11: Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 2:30 PM; 3:16 PM
Sun. March 18: Bristol Motor Speedway, 12:30 PM; 1:13 PM
Sun. March 25: Auto Club Speedway, 2:30 PM; 3:16 PM
Sun. April 1: Martinsville Speedway, 12:30 PM; 1:13 PM
Sat. April 14: Texas Motor Speedway, 7:00 PM; 7:46 PM
Sun. April 22: Kansas Speedway, 12:30 PM; 1:16 PM
Sat. April 28: Richmond Int'l Raceway, 7:00 PM; 7:44 PM
Sun. May 6: Talladega Superspeedway, 12:00 PM; 1:19 PM
Sat. May 12: Darlington Raceway, 6:30 PM; 7:15 PM
Sun. May 27: Charlotte Motor Speedway, 5:30 PM; 6:16 PM
Sun. June 3: Dover Int'l Speedway, 12:30 PM; 1:15 PM