The Cup Series is racing on Easter.
NASCAR has long avoided racing on Easter Sunday, though 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]