The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series schedule has been released and will take the Cup series to two tracks never before raced at by the premier series.
Headlining the new additions, the Clash will be the going to the Los Angeles Coliseum for the smallest track on the schedule, which should resemble the loved Bowman Gray Stadium. This will be the first time the Clash has not been held at the prestigious Daytona International Speedway and will also be the first race with the new Next Gen car.
This new race at the Coliseum will test the drivers patience as there will be almost no room to pass and will be the cause for some aggressive driving.
The return of Circuit of the Americas and Bristol Dirt were both confirmed for the spring of 2022. After a mixed bag of results with theses tracks the first season of use, we will look to see improvement from NASCAR for these popular events.
The Bristol Dirt race was widely popular and NASCAR’s first dirt race since 1970. Visibility did become an issue once the track dried out and many believed a shorter race would be in store for the next season. That is not the case to this point, as the track still remains to be raced at 250 laps.
Nashville Superspeedway and Road America are both returning after a well-received first race and high popularity with fans. However, Nashville Superspeedway’s infrastructure was an issue the first year and steps will need to be taken to ensure traffic jams don’t become a consistent problem.
Road America also retains the July 4 weekend slot, which shows NASCAR will most likely not return the second Daytona date to its original placing anytime in the near future. This will be the Cup Series’ second visit to the track in the last 50 years.
The Pocono double-header has been removed and so has Pocono Raceways second date, which has been transferred to World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. It has been a recent staple of the truck and Indy Car series and is a 1.25-mile track which runs more like a short track because of its limited banking.
The Indianapolis Road Course stays on the schedule, which means the Brickyard 400 will not be run for the second time since its inception for the Cup Series in 1994. Drivers had stated they missed the “crown jewel” event, but will have to miss the race for another season.
The final major change would be in the playoff schedule, as Richmond Raceway has been moved out of the playoffs and will be raced August 14. Replacing Richmond, Homestead-Miami Speedway has returned to the playoffs and will be raced in the middle of the round of eight.
NASCAR continues to show a trend towards more short tracks and road courses, while getting rid of more intermediate tracks as well. Fans will still be hoping that the Nashville Fairgrounds or North Wilkesboro Speedway are eventually added to the schedule as NASCAR continues to “return to their roots”.