NASCAR Schedule 2013: Mapping out This Year's Chase for Sprint Cup

Mike Hoag@MikeHoagJrCorrespondent IIFebruary 5, 2013

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JANUARY 11:  Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Ford, and Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Ford, lead the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway on January 11, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

NASCAR’s Daytona 500 will kick things off to begin the 2013 season schedule on Feb. 24. It’s been a couple of months since Brad Keselowski’s dramatic run to a Sprint Cup Championship left us all waiting for the races to kick off again.

Unlike the long downtime of the NFL, NBA and MLB, NASCAR has just a three-month break and then is roaring and ready to go for another season full of excitement and drama.

Who is the favorite to win this year’s chase? When and where can you watch each and every 2013 race? We’ll break it all down for you as well as highlight some of the biggest drivers to watch this season.


Sprint Cup Favorite

Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports (17-4 odds via Bovada)

Johnson, five-time points winner, came up just short of capturing his sixth title last season. Technical issues curtailed him in the final two races and Keselowski left him in his dust.

But Johnson will be back with a vengeance this year as he continues to chase Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt’s joint record of seven titles.


Others to Watch

Brad Keselowski, Penske Racing (15-2 odds via Bovada)

Young gun Brad Keselowski cruised his way to a Sprint Cup championship last season, winning the first of its kind for Penske Racing. He did it in impressive fashion, too, not finishing lower than 15th place once during the Chase.

Jeff Gordon, who holds the record for fewest starts prior to winning a title (93), won the final race in which Keselowski hoisted the Cup. Ironically, the 28-year-old became the quickest (125 starts) to a championship since Gordon.


Denny Hamlin/Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing (17-2 odds via Bovada)

Joe Gibbs racing is stacked with promising talent heading into the 2013 season. Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch are the cream of the crop when it comes to the company.

Last season Busch finished in 13th place in the Sprint Cup standings while Hamlin was closer to the lead, finishing in sixth place, just 71 points behind Keselowski.


Kasey Kahne, Hendrick Motorsports (9-1 odds via Bovada)

Kasey Kahne was neck and neck with Johnson and Keselowski all the way until the final checkered flag in 2012. Ultimately he fell short, finishing in fourth place in the standings behind the winner, Clint Bowyer and Johnson.

Last season was Kahne’s first year at Hendrick Motorsports and he didn’t disappoint his new team with his performance.  He won two races, had 12 top-five results and 19 top-ten finishes.


Full Official 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Broadcast Schedule:

Feb. 24 Daytona FOX 1 p.m.
March 3 Phoenix FOX 3 p.m.
March 10 Las Vegas FOX 3 p.m.
March 17 Bristol FOX 1 p.m.
March 24 Auto Club FOX 3 p.m.
April 7 Martinsville FOX 1 p.m.
April 13 Texas FOX 7:30 p.m.
April 21 Kansas FOX 1 p.m.
April 27 Richmond FOX 7:30 p.m.
May 5 Talladega FOX 1 p.m.
May 11 Darlington FOX 6:45 p.m.
May 18 Charlotte: All Star SPEED 7:30 p.m.
May 26 Charlotte FOX 6 p.m.
June 2 Dover FOX 1 p.m.
June 9 Pocono TNT 1 p.m.
June 16 Michigan TNT 1 p.m.
June 23 Sonoma TNT 3 p.m. 
June 29 Kentucky TNT 7:30 p.m. 
July 6 Daytona TNT 7:30 p.m.
July 14 New Hamsphire TNT 1 p.m.
July 28 Indianapolis ESPN 1 p.m.
Aug. 4 Pocono ESPN 1 p.m.
Aug. 11 Watkins Glen ESPN 1 p.m.
Aug. 18 Michigan ESPN 1 p.m.
Aug. 24 Bristol ABC 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 1 Atlanta ESPN 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 7 Richmond ABC 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 15 Chicagoland ESPN 2 p.m.
Sept. 22 New Hamsphire ESPN 2 p.m .
Sept. 29 Dover ESPN 2 p.m.
Oct. 6 Kansas ESPN 2 p.m.
Oct. 12 Charlotte ABC 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 20 Talladega ESPN 2 p.m.
Oct. 27 Martinsville ESPN 1:30 p.m.
Nov. 3 Texas ESPN 3 p.m.
Nov. 10 Phoenix ESPN 3 p.m.
Nov. 17 Homestead ESPN 3 p.m.