2012 TMS sked: Twin Indy races, two Cup races

The IndyCar Series twin race format will return to Texas Motor Speedway in 2012, and the track's two NASCAR stops will be highlighted by a Saturday night spring race and the eighth Chase race, it was announced Tuesday night.

The TMS schedule starts with the Samsung Mobile 500 on Sat., April 14, and will be the first Saturday night race of the Sprint Cup season. NASCAR returns to Texas on Nov. 4, for a Sunday afternoon race -- the eighth stop in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, NASCAR's playoff format.

Situated between those two Cup weekends is the Firestone Twin 275s, the twin races in the IndyCar Series that debuted last year at TMS. Those two races will be Sat., June 9, and will follow the Indianapolis 500 -- the series takes a week off after the Indy 500 before coming to Texas.

NASCAR Sprint Cup champions Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch joined TMS president Eddie Gossage for the announcement at The Palladium Ballroom at Gilley's Dallas on Tuesday night. Kyle Petty, a former Cup driver and current TV analyst, served as the emcee.

"We revamped the majority of our schedule in 2011 in an effort to give our fans some variety and uniqueness to our season, and they wanted very much of the same for 2012," Gossage said in a release. He's in the final stages of the completion of the 2012 race sanction agreements with NASCAR and IndyCar. "The first-ever Saturday night Cup race was a big success, the IndyCar twins format added a unique twist and the day-to-night appeal of the AAA Texas 500 for the Chase remains a fan favorite in the fall. The Texas Motor Speedway season has a little of everything for our fans."

The Nationwide Series will race during both weekends and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will race on Friday, June 8, prior to the dual races in the IndyCar Series on Sat., June 9. They'll return to TMS in November for that NASCAR weekend.