NASCAR Officially Confirms 2022 Cup Series Calendar with Big Changes

Published 09/15/2021, 12:04 PM EDT
May 30, 2021; Concord, North Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson (5) leads the field on turn 4 during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports


At long last, after lots of speculation in the past week, NASCAR has officially released its 2022 Cup Series schedule. As it turns out, this is a revamped calendar, with a fair number of changes.

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First and foremost, the only newcomer is the World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, and the race takes place during regular season. This track has hosted Xfinity and Truck Series races, but this will mark its official Cup Series debut.

Amid the take of changes, the one constant is that the Daytona 500 will remain as the season opener. Additionally, the Phoenix Raceway will play host to the season-ending championship race for the third consecutive year. It is also worth mentioning that 2021 newcomers, Circuit of The Americas, Nashville Superspeedway, and Road America will return next year.

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Furthermore, the Bristol Motor Speedway dirt event will be back, as will the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road-course layout. The biggest change is the season-opening Clash exhibition race at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

“The process has been very refreshing for me personally to see everyone work together from all the different industry stake-holders, getting feedback from our teams. Then a lot of feedback from our fans from different studies that we’ve done, too,” said Ben Kennedy, NASCAR senior vice president of strategy and innovation.

“So it’s been a very collaborative process, and it’s been really neat to see how it’s been received, both the 2021 schedule and looking forward to see how everyone reacts to ’22.”

Massive changes in NASCAR Cup Series 2022 season

As for the new tracks, the WWT Raceway event will kick off on June 5. However, this inclusion does not come without any sacrifices. To be precise the Pocono Raceway will be forced to drop to one race on July 24.

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Next season is hugely important because it features the debut of the Next Gen cars. What makes things even more crucial is the fact that the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum faces the new cars first. Other calendar tweaks include the Homestead-Miami Speedway’s return to the Playoffs, particularly in the Round of 8.

Jun 6, 2021; Sonoma, California, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Daniel Suarez (99) during the Toyota-Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, the Richmond Raceway will not be part of the Playoff schedule, but will be pushed back to August 14. The Texas Motor Speedway will also kick off the Round of 12, with Las Vegas moving to the Round of 8 segment. In a spot of good news for California natives, the Auto Club Speedway will return after a two-year absence.

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For the second season in a row, there will be a Bristol Motor Speedway dirt-track race, after the inaugural one’s success. Also, the Texas Motor Speedway will host the All-Star Race for the second consecutive year. Other inclusions to the calendar are Watkins Glen International and Michigan International Speedway.

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Dhruv George

11993 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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