The 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season will get underway at Daytona on the 14th February.

However, even before the green flag drops for the 500 fans would have noticed the first changes to the calendar.

The traditional curtain raiser for the Sprint Cup season, the exhibition Budwieser Shootout race, appears to longer be the first on track action of the year, with qualifying for the main race on the same. Presuming the Shootout maintains its night race slot (start times are yet to be released) it will no longer open the season, in what you could consider a kick in the teeth for sponsors Budwieser.

Elsewhere, major changes are very few. The changes to the main 36-race Cup schedule only stretch to a handful of events swapping dates, for example the April 10th and 18th races at Phoenix and Texas respectively exchanging places while the summer race at Dover will move to before the two week stop at Charlotte for the All-Star and 600 mile race.

Multi-motorsport fans will also notice a possible conflict with next year's Indycar Series calendar with the April 25th Talladega race coming only a fortnight after the inaugural Indycar race at nearby Barber Motorsports Park (although this is more of a worry for Indycar than NASCAR).

The changes to the 35-weekend Nationwide year are even smaller, with the only changes in dates related to the championship accompanying the Cup Series at the Phoenix, Texas and Dover weekend mentioned above.

Instead, the biggest change to the calendar can be found in the Camping World Truck Series. While, again, the number of races remains the same at 25, the Truck teams have a first ever visit to Pocono Raceway on the cards as they join the Cup teams at the track on the weekend of July 31st and August 1st. This Pocono race will replace a race at Fontana's Auto Club Speedway.