2022 NASCAR schedule includes a night race on Easter and Homestead back in the playoffs

·3 min read

The Cup Series is racing on Easter. 

NASCAR has long avoided racing on Easter Sunday, but that will change in 2022. The sanctioning body released the 2022 Cup Series schedule on Wednesday and it includes a night race on April 17 at Bristol. It's the first Cup Series race on an Easter Sunday since 1989. 

That Bristol race will again be on a temporary dirt track covering the concrete oval. Bristol trucked in dirt for its spring race in 2021 and is trying the experiment again in 2022. The rain-delayed Cup Series race this season was the first Cup Series race on dirt in NASCAR's modern era.

Homestead back in the playoffs

Homestead-Miami Speedway is back in the playoffs after a two-year absence. The 1.5-mile track had hosted the winner-take-all season finale ever since NASCAR moved to its elimination playoff format in 2014 and had been the final race of the Cup Series season since 2002 before NASCAR moved the season finale to Phoenix in 2020.

Homestead will host a race in the third round of the playoffs in 2022. The track will have its race date on Oct. 23 between races at Las Vegas and Martinsville. 

The move of Homestead back into the playoffs pushes Richmond out of the playoffs. Richmond keeps two races but its second race will be in August instead of September. Kansas keeps its playoff race but it will now be the site of the second race of the playoffs. 

That Kansas race will be on Sunday, Sep. 11. That's the opening weekend of the 2022 NFL season. With Richmond on Saturday night, NASCAR hasn't gone up against the NFL's opening weekend in years — let alone in a market that has NFL fever right now. 

St. Louis gets a race

The Cup Series will race in the St. Louis area for the first time on June 5 when World Wide Technology Raceway (formerly Gateway) gets its inaugural Cup Series race. The Gateway race replaces a race at Pocono. The 2.5-mile triangle will have just one race in 2022 and that race is on July 24. Pocono has hosted a doubleheader at the track in each of the last two seasons. 

Here's what the 2022 schedule looks like in full. NASCAR announced Tuesday that the season-opening Busch Clash would be run at the Los Angeles Coliseum. There's also only one off-weekend the entire season after the Daytona 500, meaning that NASCAR is racing for 38 of 39 weekends from Feb. 20 to Nov. 6.

2022 NASCAR Cup Series schedule

Feb. 6: Busch Clash at L.A. Coliseum (exhibition)

Feb. 20: Daytona 500

Feb. 27: Auto Club Speedway

March 6: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

March 13: Phoenix Raceway

March 20: Atlanta Motor Speedway

March 27: Circuit of the Americas

April 3: Richmond Raceway

April 9: Martinsville Speedway

April 17: Bristol Motor Speedway (dirt)

April 24: Talladega Superspeedway

May 1: Dover International Speedway

May 8: Darlington Raceway

May 15: Kansas Speedway

May 22: Texas Motor Speedway (All-Star Race)

May 29: Charlotte Motor Speedway

June 5: World Wide Technology Raceway

June 12: Sonoma

June 26: Nashville Superpeedway

July 3: Road America

July 10: Atlanta Motor Speedway

July 17: New Hampshire Speedway

July 24: Pocono Raceway

July 31: Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course

Aug. 7: Michigan Speedway

Aug. 14: Richmond Raceway

Aug. 21: Watkins Glen

Aug. 27: Daytona International Speedway

Sep. 4: Darlington Raceway[1st round of playoffs]

Sep. 11: Kansas Speedway [1st round]

Sep. 17: Bristol Motor Speedway [1st round]

Sep. 25: Texas Motor Speedway [2nd round]

Oct. 2: Talladega Superspeedway [2nd round]

Oct. 9: Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval [2nd round]

Oct. 16: Las Vegas Motor Speedway [3rd round]

Oct. 23: Homestead-Miami Speedway [3rd round]

Oct. 30: Martinsville Speedway [3rd round]

Nov. 6: Phoenix Raceway [Championship race]

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