2022 Cup Series Schedule Has More Races on Network TV

Daytona 500

Getty The Daytona 500 will kick off the 2022 Cup Series season.

The sanctioning body of stock car racing has unveiled the broadcast schedule for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season. There are multiple noticeable changes, including the most races available on network TV since 2009.

According to the broadcast schedule, there will be 19 races on network TV during the 2022 Cup Series season. 10 will air on FOX while nine will air on NBC. This is an increase from the 2021 season in which only 18 races aired on network TV while the rest aired on cable. 10 were on FOX while eight were on NBC. The remainder were split between FS1 and NBC Sports Network.

Additionally, the 2022 season marks the first time since 2009 that more races will air on network TV than on cable networks. Six races will air on FS1 while 11 will air on the USA Network. FS1 will also run three non-points-paying races — the Clash at the LA Memorial Coliseum, the Duel at Daytona, and the All-Star Race.

The Majority of Races Will Start After 3 PM

Bristol Night Race

GettyThe majority of races will take place after 3 p.m. ET in 2022.

Another significant change for the 2022 season is that the majority of races will take place in the late afternoon. There are 29 points-paying races on the schedule that will take place after 3 p.m. ET, including night races at Martinsville, Bristol Motor Speedway (dirt), Charlotte Motor Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Daytona International Speedway, and Bristol Motor Speedway (playoffs).

The remaining races will take place at 2-2:30 p.m. ET. This list includes the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis road course, Talladega Superspeedway (playoffs), Charlotte Roval (playoffs), Las Vegas Motor Speedway (playoffs), Homestead-Miami Speedway (playoffs), and Martinsville Speedway (playoffs).

Moving the races to starts after 3 p.m. will create concern about further rain delays, but the sanctioning body explained the decision. Brian Herbst, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Media and Productions, said that the number of fans attending races or tuning in at their respective homes played a significant role.

“Working with the broadcast partners, tracks, teams and industry stakeholders, we will be able to deliver the best racing in the world to an even broader audience in 2022,” Herbst said in a press release. “Based on data and fan feedback from the past several years, shifting afternoon start times back allows more of our fans – whether at home or at the track – to take in NASCAR racing on Sundays. In addition, airing the most Cup Series races on broadcast in more than a decade is consistent with our strategy of distributing our content to as many fans as possible during key moments in the season.”

USA Network Will Play a Major Role in 2022

The third big detail from the upcoming broadcast schedule focuses on a new addition to the weekly schedule. USA Network will air all of the races in the back half of the schedule that do not head to NBC proper. According to the information provided to media members by NASCAR, USA Network is available in roughly five million more homes than NBC Sports Network.

This schedule includes the July 3 race at Road America, the July 10 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the July 17 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and the July 24 race at Pocono Raceway. USA Network will also kick off the playoffs by airing all three races in the Round of 16 and the first race of the Round of 12.

USA Network will be the home of the majority of Xfinity Series races during the second half of the schedule. There are 19 races in this portion, starting with the trip to Nashville Superspeedway on July 25. USA Network will air this race at the track outside of Lebanon, Tenn., as well as 14 others. NBC will only air four races on the Xfinity Series schedule, including three in the playoffs.

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