NASCAR released its 2022 Cup Series schedule Wednesday morning, adding World Wide Technology Raceway to its premier circuit.
The 1.25-mile oval, which has held NASCAR national series races since 1997 with the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series, will make its Cup debut Sunday, June 5, 2022.
The track, which is located in Madison, Illinois, near St. Louis, also has been the host of the NTT IndyCar Series for the past six seasons.
The Cup Series schedule will remain at 36 races with Pocono Raceway losing a race after playing host to two annual events from 1982-2021 (the last two years as a weekend doubleheader).
The 2022 season will open Feb. 20 with the Daytona 500, two weeks after the exhibition Clash race will take place Feb. 6 on a quarter-mile oval at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
It’ll be the first appearance by the Clash outside Daytona International Speedway since its 1979 inception (it was held on the road course for the first time this year).
Other notable changes:
- Homestead-Miami Speedway, which held the season finale from 2002-19, will return to the playoffs as the second race in the third round.
- Richmond Raceway’s second annual race will move from the playoffs to the regular season. Both of the 0.75-mile oval’s Cup races also will be held on Sunday afternoons (after being held on Saturday nights for most of the last 33 years).
- Kansas Speedway will move from the third to the first round of the playoffs, and Las Vegas will become the opener of the third round.
- The Bristol Dirt Race will be moved to a prime-time start on Easter Sunday.
Here’s the 36-race schedule for the 2022 season (start times and TV networks will be announced by NASCAR at a later date):
||Race / Track
|Sunday, Feb. 6
||Clash (L.A. Memorial Coliseum)
|Thursday, Feb. 17
||Duel at Daytona
|Sunday, Feb. 20
|Sunday, Feb. 27
||Auto Club (Fontana, California)
|Sunday, March 6
|Sunday, March 13
|Sunday, March 20
|Sunday, March 27
|Sunday, April 3
|Saturday, April 9
|Sunday, April 17
|Sunday, April 24
|Sunday, May 1
|Sunday, May 8
|Sunday, May 15
|Sunday, May 22
||All-Star Race (Texas)
|Sunday, May 29
|Sunday, June 5
||World Wide Technology Raceway
|Sunday, June 12
|Sunday, June 26
|Sunday, July 3
|Sunday, July 10
|Sunday, July 17
|Sunday, July 24
|Sunday, July 31
||Indianapolis Road Course
|Sunday, Aug. 7
|Sunday, Aug. 14
|Sunday, Aug. 21
|Saturday, Aug. 27
|Sunday, Sept. 4
|Sunday, Sept. 11
|Saturday, Sept. 17
|Sunday, Sept. 25
|Sunday, Oct. 2
|Sunday, Oct. 9
|Sunday, Oct. 16
|Sunday, Oct. 23
|Sunday, Oct. 30
|Sunday, Nov. 6
*–Bolded races are in the playoffs
Ross Chastain will start on the pole for Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at Circuit of the Americas.
Chastain earned the top starting spot in Friday’s qualifying with a lap of 91.877 mph. He’ll be joined on the front row by Kyle Busch (91.490 mph).
Ty Majeski qualified third with a lap of 91.225 mph. Rookie Nick Sanchez (90.993) will start fourth, and Christian Eckes (90.937) will complete the top five.
Alex Bowman failed to make the race. Bowman had a flat right front on his qualifying lap.
Tyler Reddick posted the fastest lap in Friday’s Cup practice at Circuit of the Americas.
Reddick, who won two road course races last season, topped the field in his 23XI Racing Toyota with a lap of 92.989 mph. Kyle Larson was next, posting a lap of 92.618 mph around the 3.41-mile road course.
Ross Chastain, who won this race a year ago, was third on the speed chart in practice with a lap of 92.520 mph. He was followed by Kyle Busch (92.498 mph) and Daniel Suarez (92.461 mph).
Jordan Taylor, subbing for the injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports, was 10th on the speed chart in practice after a lap of 92.404 mph.
Former world champion Jenson Button, driving for Rick Ware Racing, was 28th in practice with a lap of 91.759 mph. Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen, driving the Project 91 car for Trackhouse Racing, was 32nd in practice after a lap of 91.413 mph.
Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, driving in his first race for Legacy Motor Club since the Daytona 500, was 36th in practice after a lap of 91.072 mph. IndyCar driver Conor Daly was last among the 39 cars in practice with a lap of 90.095 mph.
Cup qualifying is Saturday. The series races Sunday.
Austin Hill, the dominant driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series through the early weeks of the season, will be looking for his first Xfinity road course win Saturday.
Hill has won three of the season’s first five races, scoring victories at Daytona, Las Vegas and Atlanta.
Hill has been close in previous road course runs. He has a second at COTA, a third at Portland, a fourth at Road America and a ninth at Indianapolis.
Kyle Busch and AJ Allmendinger own wins in the previous Xfinity races at COTA.
Allmendinger and three other Cup Series regulars — Aric Almirola, William Byron and Ty Gibbs — are scheduled to race in the Xfinity event.
Details for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Circuit of the Americas
(All times Eastern)
START: The command to start engines will be given at 5:08 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled at 5:19 p.m.
PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 2 p.m. … The invocation will be given by Jordan Thiessen of Pit Boss Grills at 5 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed by recording artist Payton Keller at 5:01 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is 46 laps (156 miles) on the 3.41-mile track.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 14. Stage 2 ends at Lap 30.
TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 5 p.m. … NASCAR RaceDay airs at 4 p.m. on FS1. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. and can be heard at goprn.com. …SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.
FORECAST: Weather Underground — Mainly sunny. Temperature of 82 at race time. No chance of rain.
LAST TIME: AJ Allmendinger won last March’s Xfinity race at COTA. Austin Hill was two seconds behind in second place. Cole Custer finished third.
NASCAR’s new Cup Series aerodynamic package for short tracks and road courses will be tested in competition on a road circuit for the first time this weekend as the tour stops at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
All three major national series will be in action at the 3.41-mile, 20-turn track this weekend. The schedule begins Friday with practice for all three series and qualifying for Xfinity and Trucks.
The Friday practice was added for Cup teams because of the new competition package, providing 50 minutes of on-track time for adjustments. Teams also will be racing with a new tire compound this weekend.
Chase Elliott (2021) and Ross Chastain (2022) are winners from the previous Cup races at COTA. Elliott won the inaugural event in a race shortened by rain, and Chastain won after a last-lap battle with AJ Allmendinger and Alex Bowman. The victory was Chastain’s first in the series.
A look at Friday’s schedule:
Circuit of the Americas (Cup, Xfinity and Truck)
Friday: Thunderstorms in the morning. Mostly sunny later. High of 87 with an 80% chance of rain.
Friday, March 24
(All times Eastern)
- 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. — Cup Series
- 11:30 a.m. .- 6:30 p.m. — Truck Series
- 1:30 – 8:30 p.m. — Xfinity Series
- 2:05 – 2:55 p.m. — Cup practice (No live broadcast; tape-delayed version airing at 8 p.m. on FS1)
- 4:30 – 5 p.m. — Truck practice (No live broadcast)
- 5 – 6 p.m. — Truck qualifying (No live broadcast; tape-delayed version airing at 9 p.m. on FS1)
- 6:30 – 7 p.m. — Xfinity practice (FS1)
- 7 – 8 p.m. — Xfinity qualifying (FS1)