NASCAR

Daytona, Darlington night races highlight '04 truck schedule

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.

The 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule, which opens with the series¿ first night race at Daytona International Speedway, will consist of 25 events and includes new races at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Mansfield (Ohio) Motorsports Speedway, NASCAR officials announced today.

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series¿ 10th season will kick off Friday night, Feb. 13 at Daytona International Speedway as part of a national series tripleheader that also will include the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and the NASCAR Busch Series. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck season will end Friday, Nov. 19, at Homestead-Miami Speedway as part of another tripleheader weekend.

In next year¿s schedule, the series will partner with the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup for 12 race weekends. The series will visit Atlanta Motor Speedway for the first time on Saturday, March 13. Darlington Raceway¿s event moves from March to Friday, Nov. 12 and will be the first event run under the lights at the legendary "Track Too Tough To Tame."

The schedule again will feature two weekend events partnered with the NASCAR Busch Series, at The Milwaukee Mile on Saturday, June 26 and Indianapolis Raceway Park on Friday, Aug. 6.

Eleven stand-alone events, including seven on short tracks (tracks less than a mile in length), complete the schedule. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will visit the State of Ohio for the first time on Sunday, May 16 for a 250-lap event at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway, a half-mile track.

Two tracks, Martinsville Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway, will host two races in 2004. The schedule lists 23 different tracks in 19 states.

The initial 2004 on-track preview of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams and drivers will begin with NASCAR Preseason Thunder, scheduled for Jan. 10-12 at Daytona International Speedway.

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