Kansas Speedway to stay in the Chase

Kansas Speedway will maintain the early October date for its 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend and continue as the third race in the Chase to the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

NASCAR offically announced its 2010 schedule, and Kansas Speedway will celebrate its 10th season by hosting the Nationwide Series on Saturday Oct. 2 and the Sprint Cup Series Sunday Oct. 3.

Kansas Speedway already had announced it will stage the NASCAR Camping World Series race on Sunday, May 2, a week later than the past few years. The trucks series race will be NASCAR's only event that day because the Cup series will run the night before at Richmond.

In other tweaks to the 2010 NASCAR schedule announced today:

• Qualifying for the 2010 Daytona 500 will be held on Saturday, Feb. 6, the same day as the Budweiser Shootout. Previously, qualifying was held the day after the shootout.

• The season's first Dover International Speedway race will be on May 16, before the all-star race and the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Dover traditionally has followed that consecutive two-week stop in Charlotte.

• Phoenix International Raceway's first race will be April 10, with Texas Motor Speedway's first event April 18. Previously, Texas went first in April.

• The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will have four "off" weeks including the traditional Easter holiday on April 4.

• Both the Camping World Series and Nationwide Series will run on the same weekend — July 16 and July 17 — at Gateway International Speedway, a weekend the Sprint Cup series is idle.