By Jerry Bonkowski
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 15, 2021) – NASCAR today announced the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series schedule, a slate that spans 39 total events. The 2022 schedule builds on the steps taken in 2021 by adding more new and dynamic venues which will host NASCAR’s premier series for the first time.
Yesterday NASCAR announced that the Clash – NASCAR’s prelude event to the DAYTONA 500 since 1979 – will take place somewhere other than Daytona International Speedway when NASCAR visits the iconic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Feb. 6, 2022.
The NASCAR Cup Series will visit another track for the first time when the green flag flies at World Wide Technology Raceway just outside St. Louis, Mo. on June 5.
The 1.25-mile asymmetrical oval has hosted 21 Camping World Truck Series races since 1998 and was also a part of the NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule from 1997 – 2010. Numerous NASCAR legends and champions have visited Victory Lane over the years. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1998, 1999), Kevin Harvick (2000, 2001, 2010), Kyle Busch (2009) and Brad Keselowski (2010) earned wins at World Wide Technology Raceway early in their careers.
“As we demonstrated last year, we are committed to creating the most dynamic schedule for our fans, long term,” said Ben Kennedy, NASCAR senior vice president of strategy and innovation. “With the addition of new and unique venues like the Coliseum and World Wide Technology Raceway, each in markets with passionate NASCAR fans, we’re continuing to build on bold changes to deliver the best racing in the world.
“This latest iteration of the schedule should lend itself to another season filled with drama and great racing on the track, starting with the DAYTONA 500 and culminating with NASCAR Championship Weekend at Phoenix Raceway.”
In another move – and a nod to recent history – Homestead-Miami Speedway will return to the Playoff mix. The popular 1.5-mile destination track will be a key venue when it hosts the second of three Round of 8 races on Oct. 23. In addition, Texas (Sept. 25) and Las Vegas (Oct. 16) will swap dates and lead off the Round of 12 and Round of 8, respectively.
In addition, Kansas will move up in the Playoffs schedule, becoming the second race in the Round of 16 (Sept. 11).
The 2022 season will officially kick off with the running of The Great American Race – the DAYTONA 500 – at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 20 live on FOX – an event that will also host the regular season points race debut of the Next Gen race car. The Cup Series will then immediately head back out West, beginning with a stop at Auto Club Speedway on Feb. 27 – the first time NASCAR will visit the high-speed two-mile oval in nearly two years – followed by Las Vegas Motor Speedway (March 6) and Phoenix Raceway (March 13).
The Bristol Dirt Race returns to the schedule, this time under the lights on Easter Sunday Night (April 17). The NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race will also return to Texas Motor Speedway in 2022. The annual event featuring NASCAR’s biggest stars will shift to earlier in the season when festivities get underway on May 22.
After a natural off-week (June 19) following the conclusion of FOX Sports’ Cup Series coverage, Nashville Superspeedway will again kick off the NBC Sports’ portion of the schedule on June 26. The action in the Music City will immediately be followed by another fan favorite, Road America, which will highlight Fourth of July festivities for the second consecutive season.
Watkins Glen International will host the penultimate race of the regular season (Aug. 21) followed by an intense regular season finale under the lights at Daytona International Speedway (Aug. 27) – two distinctly different but equally pivotal tracks in determining the NASCAR Playoffs field.
As previously announced, Phoenix Raceway will be the home to NASCAR Championship Weekend for the third consecutive year, Nov. 4 – 6.
Start times and specific networks will be announced at a later date, as will the 2022 schedules for the NASCAR Xfinity and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.