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Shuffle in Sprint Cup schedule involves 3 tracks

Three NASCAR tracks will swap dates on the 2009 Sprint Cup schedule released Tuesday.

Atlanta Motor Speedway will move its fall race from October to Labor Day weekend, with Auto Club Speedway in Fontana giving up that date to move into the Chase for the championship and Talladega Superspeedway moving its second race nearer the end of the season.

Atlanta, which will run a Cup race at night for the first time, will run on Sept. 6. The second race at Auto Club Speedway will be run October 11, in Talladega's former slot, while the California track will hold its second race of the season Nov. 1, on the date formerly held by Atlanta.

There also will be an additional off-week for the Cup teams prior to the Labor Day weekend event, giving teams a break before a 12-week stretch that will end the season. The 2008 schedule ends with 16 consecutive weeks of racing.

Otherwise, the 36-race Cup schedule for next year will remain the same as this season.

"The 2009 schedule reflects realigned dates that are good opportunities for everyone involved in our sport — fans, sponsors, tracks and teams," said NASCAR president Mike Helton.

Schedules for the Nationwide Series and the truck series, which is still awaiting a new series sponsors to replace Craftsman, were also released Tuesday.

A new event at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 1 will replace Mexico City on the 35-race Nationwide schedule, while the Atlanta event will switch from March to September, moving the race in Montreal to Sunday, Aug. 30.

In trucks, the 25-race 2009 schedule will replace the late-season event at Atlanta with a night race at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday, Aug. 28.

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