NASCAR’s 2022 race schedule is out. Biggest changes and new races for Next Gen

NASCAR’s 2022 Cup season schedule features a reshuffling of race dates and the addition of World Wide Technology Raceway (Gateway) near St. Louis.

Additionally, the sanctioning body announced Tuesday night that the pre-season exhibition Clash race will move venues for the first time to run at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which is the most dramatic change fans will see next season.

The schedule is largely consistent with the direction NASCAR leadership demonstrated in unveiling a 2021 schedule that featured new Cup venues, different track configurations and more road course races. If the theme this year was “bold changes,” the schedule for next year highlights a refining of those changes with some tweaks timed with the Next Gen car’s first season.

“As we demonstrated last year, we are committed to creating the most dynamic schedule for our fans, long term,” NASCAR senior vice president of strategy and innovation Ben Kennedy said in a statement. “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.”

As previously announced, the Bristol Dirt Race, NASCAR’s major 2021 experiment, will return in 2022. That event is scheduled for April 17, which is also Easter Sunday. NASCAR has long avoided racing on Easter, last doing so more than 30 years ago (1989 at Richmond).

The start of next season will also be moved back a week compared to this year with the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20, one week after the Super Bowl. The championship race will again be held at Phoenix the first weekend of November (Nov. 6), while Pocono Raceway will lose one of its doubleheader events to an added race at Gateway on June 5, which means there will be just one week off after the race at Sonoma (June 12).

“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,” Kennedy said.

Other changes include Richmond’s exit as a playoff track with Homestead-Miami, a previous championship race site, getting a slot in the Round of 8 on Oct. 23. Richmond Raceway will still host two races as it has done in previous years. Those dates will be April 3 and Aug. 14.

The All-Star Race, a former Charlotte Motor Speedway staple, will again be held at Texas Motor Speedway as it was this year. There are no major scheduled changes for local tracks Charlotte and Darlington. The Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte is set for May 29 and the Charlotte Roval playoff race is set for Oct. 9.

Darlington Raceway will continue to host a race on Mother’s Day (May 8) and open the playoffs (Sept. 4).

Road-course races at Circuit of the Americas, Sonoma, Road America, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, Watkins Glen and the Charlotte Roval will make a return. NASCAR will also look to build on its momentum in the Nashville, Tenn., market after holding a Cup Series race at Nashville Superspeedway for the first time this year.

Below is a full 2022 schedule with race times to be announced.

NASCAR 2022 Cup Series schedule

The Clash at the ColiseumFeb. 6
Duel at DaytonaFeb. 17
Daytona 500Feb. 20
Auto ClubFeb. 27
Las VegasMarch 6
PhoenixMarch 13
AtlantaMarch 20
Circuit of The AmericasMarch 27
RichmondApril 3
MartinsvilleApril 9
Bristol dirt raceApril 17
TalladegaApril 24
DoverMay 1
DarlingtonMay 8
KansasMay 15
All-Star Race at TexasMay 22
Coca-Cola 600 at CharlotteMay 29
WWT Raceway/GatewayJune 5
SonomaJune 12
NashvilleJune 26
Road AmericaJuly 3
AtlantaJuly 10
New HampshireJuly 17
PoconoJuly 24
Indianapolis road courseJuly 31
MichiganAug. 7
RichmondAug. 14
Watkins GlenAug. 21
DaytonaAug. 27
Darlington*Sept. 4
Kansas*Sept. 11
Bristol*Sept. 17
Texas*Sept. 25
Talladega*Oct. 2
Charlotte Roval*Oct. 9
Las Vegas*Oct. 16
Homestead-Miami*Oct. 23
Martinsville*Oct. 30
Phoenix*Nov. 6

* — Playoff race

This story was originally published September 15, 2021 11:06 AM.

NASCAR and Charlotte FC beat reporter Alex Andrejev joined The Observer in January 2020 following an internship at The Washington Post. She played Division I volleyball at Columbia University before earning her master’s degree at the University of Southern California.
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