The start of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season is just over one month away, and plans are taking shape for Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR has set a tentative schedule for a packed week of practice and qualifying sessions.
According to the NASCAR schedule, the Cup Series drivers will head to the track first. They will have two sessions on Tuesday, February 15 — one at 5:05 p.m. ET and one at 6:35 p.m. ET. The Cup Series drivers will then return to the track on Wednesday, February 16, for single-lap qualifying sessions.
The Cup Series action will continue on Thursday, February 17, with the Bluegreen Vacations Duel 1 (7 p.m. ET, FS1), and the Bluegreen Vacations Duel 2 (8:45 p.m. ET, FS1). Both races will help set the stage for the season-opening Daytona 500, which will take place on Sunday, February 20, at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX.
While the Bluegreen Vacations Duels will set the order for the Daytona 500, there will be two more sessions before the drivers take part in the Great American Race. They will practice on Friday, February 18, at 6 p.m. ET, and once more on Saturday, February 19, at 10:30 a.m. ET.
3 Other Series Will Have Practice & Qualifying Sessions
While the Cup Series drivers will have extensive time on the track, they will not be the only ones preparing for the start of the season. The ARCA Menards Series, Camping World Truck Series, and Xfinity Series drivers will all have practice and qualifying sessions later in the week.
The Truck Series drivers will practice on Thursday, February 17, at 4:35 p.m. ET. The ARCA Menards Series drivers will follow immediately after with a session starting at 5:30 p.m. ET. The two series will then return to Daytona International Speedway on Friday, February 18, for their qualifying sessions.
The ARCA Menards Series drivers will qualify at 1:30 p.m. ET while the Truck Series drivers will qualify at 3 p.m. ET. The Truck Series season-opening race will then take place on February 18 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1 while the ARCA Menards Series race will occur on February 19 at 1:30 p.m. ET on FS1.
The Xfinity Series drivers will practice for the first time on Friday, February 18, at 4:35 p.m. ET. They will return to the superspeedway on Saturday, February 19, for qualifying at 11:35 a.m. ET. The Xfinity Series season will then officially begin on February 19 with the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300 at 5 p.m. ET (FS1).
The Practice Sessions Will Be Extensive
Many of the NASCAR weekends will feature shortened practice sessions as part of a format change that the sanctioning body unveiled on November 19. The opening race weekend, however, will have more time on the track.
According to the updated format, the practice sessions will be 50 minutes in length as part of the “expanded weekend” that features multiple series. This extra time will provide drivers with several opportunities to take laps and provide feedback to their respective crews.
Most expanded weekends will feature one 50-minute practice session, but Speedweeks will be different. This annual week is the celebration of stock car racing’s return, and it will set the stage for the first points-paying race featuring Next Gen Cup Series cars, as well as the updated Truck Series bodies.