The sanctioning body has made some changes for the championship weekend at Phoenix Raceway. NASCAR has moved the ARCA Menards Series West championship race one day earlier and shifted the time of the Camping World Truck Series race.
Phoenix Raceway and NASCAR announced the news with a press release on June 20. They said that the ARCA Menards Series West race will move from Saturday, November 5, to Friday, November 5. It will take place at 11:30 a.m. MST, and it will air live on FloRacing. The race will kick off a day that also features Xfinity Series and Cup Series practice sessions.
The Camping World Truck Series race on November 4 had an original start time of 8 p.m. ET (FS1). Following the change, it will now take place at 10 p.m. ET as the top four drivers in the series battle over 150 laps for the trophy.
“This creates an incredible value for race fans on Championship Friday,” said Phoenix Raceway President Julie Giese. “Being able to see four series in action provides a power-packed ticket that will keep our fans thrilled throughout the day. And then on Saturday, fans will have a tremendous day of action on tap with Busch Light Qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series Championship and the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship Race. This is a huge win for our fans across the board.”
ALL the latest NASCAR news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on NASCAR newsletter here!
NASCAR Made Another Scheduling Change
The trip to Phoenix Raceway is not the only one with some changes. NASCAR also announced that another Camping World Truck Series race will have a significant change. The regular-season finale at Pocono Raceway will be available to more viewers.
The press release noted that this Truck Series race will air on July 23 at 12 p.m. ET. It will be on FOX instead of FS1. This is significant considering that one Reddit user noted that the Truck Series has not been on FOX since Kansas during the 2020 season.
This race will have extra importance for the drivers. It will be the last of the three remaining regular-season races, and it will be the final opportunity for the drivers below the cutline to secure a spot in the 10-driver field.
Five of the 10 spots in the grid are set based on wins. Stewart Friesen, Ben Rhodes, Zane Smith, Chandler Smith, and John Hunter Nemechek all have reached Victory Lane. The other five spots are still open. Some drivers are above the cutline with points, but they could lose their spots with new winners.
Some NASCAR Fans Were Not Happy About the Moves
There were several responses to the schedule change, including those from fans that were unhappy. Many expressed the opinion that the decision to move the ARCA Menards Series West championship race to early on November 4 would only hurt the sponsors and teams.
Others took issue with the Camping World Truck Series race. They said that moving the Lucas Oil 150 to 10 p.m. ET would only take away a large portion of the audience. Many stated that they would not be staying awake until after midnight to see which of the championship four drivers caps off the season by holding the trophy.
There were some loud opinions on social media, but there will be two factors that determine whether this decision is correct. The first will be the number of fans in the stands on November 4 and whether they stick around for both races and all of the practice sessions. The second will be the TV ratings. FOX Sports and/or Adam Stern of the Sports Business Journal will provide the numbers the week after the championship race ends.