NASCAR shakes up playoffs in 2022 Cup Series schedule

NASCAR released its 2022 Cup Series schedule on Wednesday which features two new venues and a shakeup of its 10-race playoffs.

One of the new tracks was announced Tuesday, with the preseason exhibition Clash race to be held Feb. 6 on a built-from-scratch quarter-mile asphalt track at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, a 1.25-mile slightly banked asphalt oval, will join the Cup Series schedule in 2022 as a points race on June 5. It will replace one of the two annual races that had been hosted by Pocono Raceway since 1982.

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

“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.

“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.”

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The biggest changes to the schedule come in the playoffs, which will see a race at Richmond, Va., replaced by one at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which was held in March this season.

The playoff will also see a shuffling of dates.

Darlington will still open the playoffs but will now be followed by a race at Kansas and the first round will again conclude at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

The second round will begin at Texas Motor Speedway, followed by Talladega and the round will conclude on the Charlotte Roval.

Round 3 will open at Las Vegas followed by the race at Homestead and again the round will end at Martinsville, Va. The championship finale once again will be held at Phoenix, concluding the 36-race season on Nov. 6.

Returning in the 2022 season are the dirt race at Bristol on April 17, a stop at Circuit of the Americas on March 27, the All-Star Race at Texas on May 22; Nashville Superspeedway on June 26; Road America on July 4 weekend; and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on July 31.

Start times and specific networks will be announced at a later date, as will the 2022 schedules for the NASCAR Xfinity and Truck series.

The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series schedule

Feb. 6, Clash at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

Feb. 17, Duel at Daytona

Feb. 20, Daytona 500

Feb. 27, Auto Club Speedway

March 6, Las Vegas

March 13, Phoenix

March 20, Atlanta

March 27, Circuit of the Americas

April 3, Richmond, Va.

April 9, Martinsville, Va.

April 17, Bristol dirt

April 24, Talladega

May 1, Dover, Del.

May 8, Darlington, S.C.

May 15, Kansas

May 22, All-Star Race at Texas

May 29, Charlotte/Coca-Cola 600

June 5, World Wide Technology Raceway/Gateway

June 12, Sonoma, Calif.

June 26, Nashville

July 3, Road America

July 10, Atlanta

July 17, New Hampshire

July 24, Pocono

July 31, Indianapolis road course

Aug. 7, Michigan

Aug. 14, Richmond

Aug. 21, Watkins Glen

Aug. 27, Daytona

Playoffs

Sept. 4, Darlington

Sept. 11, Kansas

Sept. 17, Bristol night race

Sept. 25, Texas

Oct. 2, Talladega

Oct. 9, Charlotte Roval

Oct. 16, Las Vegas

Oct. 23, Homestead-Miami

Oct. 30, Martinsville

Nov. 6, Phoenix

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