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2022 NASCAR Cup Series Schedule Release and Breakdown

This week, NASCAR released the full Cup Series schedule for the 2022 season. While this season’s playoffs are currently in full swing, the NASCAR schedule release has officially set off a wave of excitement and anticipation for next year. A few new tracks will host the top stock car series next year while several other venues have seen their race dates shuffled around.

The following offers a thorough breakdown of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series schedule, from the Daytona 500 all the way to the championship race.

NASCAR schedule release Cup Series 2022
Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

2022 NASCAR Cup Series Schedule Reveal

Exhibition Race in the City of Angels Kicks Off Season

The drivers start the season with a long haul to Los Angeles for a relocated edition of The Clash. This exhibition race is moving from its previous location at Daytona International Speedway to Los Angeles Memorial Collesium. A temporary track will be laid down inside the famous football stadium. The track will be just 0.25 miles long, making it the shortest circuit that the NASCAR Cup Series will race on next season. The Clash will be held the week before the Super Bowl as NASCAR hopes to capitalize on the NFL crowd in the L.A. market while setting the stage for the official start of the season.

The biggest race of the year, the Daytona 500, is two weeks after The Clash on Sunday, February 20. Then the final race at the current layout of California’s Autoclub Speedway will take place the following week to round out the February portion of the schedule. Autoclub regains its spot in the season schedule after losing its race to the Daytona International Speedway Road Course in 2021.

NASCAR Schedule Moves Bristol Dirt Race to Easter

March has the continuation of the annual spring west coast swing with Las Vegas and Phoenix following Autoclub. Atlanta Motor Speedway debuts its new asphalt on March 20. Then Circuit of the Americas moves up two months to be added to the month of March.

April provides fans with plenty of beating and banging during the short track swing. Richmond Raceway kicks it off on April 3. Martinsville will host the first night race of the year on April 9. Bristol Motor Speedway will bring back the dirt racing spectacle again next year. The event gets even more historic given that it will be the first NASCAR Cup Series race held on Easter Sunday in the 21st century. The month of April ends with the longest oval track, Talladega Superspeedway.

May has Dover, Darlington, and Kansas before the NASCAR All-Star Race and festivities. Note that the All-Star break returns to its regular spot on the calendar after being held later this season. Memorial Day Weekend will feature the longest race of the year, the Coca-Cola 600, as it always has. The Crown Jewel race sends the NASCAR Cup Series season into the summer months with a bang.

World Wide Technology Raceway NASCAR Cup Series 2022 schedule release
Credit: World Wide Technology Raceway

St. Louis Lands a NASCAR Cup Series Race

On June 5, we will see World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway host its first NASCAR Cup Series race. The St. Louis-area track has hosted the lower-level NASCAR national series, as well as the NTT IndyCar Series, in recent years. Sonoma Raceway will end the FOX broadcast portion of the schedule the following week. Another change next year is that the Cup Series only has one true bye week (not counting All-Star Weekend). That open date comes on the weekend of June 19th, prior to NBC taking over the broadcast coverage for the remainder of the season.

Nashville Superspeedway rounds out the month of June. Road America returns to be the Independence Day Weekend race for a second straight year. Atlanta and New Hampshire also come back for races in the middle of July. Pocono is once again on the NASCAR schedule in July, but they lose one of their two NASCAR Cup Series races. It will no longer be a doubleheader weekend at the “Tricky Triangle” next year. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course is also back at the end of July.

The final month of the NASCAR Cup Series regular-season includes races at Michigan, Richmond and Watkins Glen International. Those all lead up to the regular-season finale and final chance for drivers to earn their way into the NASCAR Playoffs. For the third straight year, this race will be held at Daytona International Speedway.

Homestead Rejoins a Shuffled Playoff Schedule

The ten-race NASCAR Playoffs schedule will once again begin at Darlington on Labor Day Weekend with the Southern 500. Kansas moves up from the Round of 8 to be the second race in the playoffs. The end of the Round of 16 will once again be at Bristol Motor Speedway. Texas also moves up from the Round of 8 and will be the first race in the Round of 12 next year. Talladega Superspeedway and the Charlotte ROVAL remain in the same spots to finish off the Round of 12.

Las Vegas will open the Round of 8 next season. It will be followed by Homestead-Miami, which makes its return to the playoff schedule. The penultimate race will be held at Martinsville once again to whittle the field down to four championship contenders. Then, for the third straight season, Phoenix Raceway will host the Championship 4 and crown all three national series champions as the final track on the 2022 NASCAR schedule.

Next-Gen Cars also on Tap in 2022

With the NASCAR schedule being released, fans are already looking forward to next season’s races. With the Next-Gen Car also set to debut at the NASCAR Cup Series level next year, there is plenty of excitement and intrigue for the 2022 season.

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