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Rather than simply a one-time change, the process of realigning the NASCAR Cup Series schedule over the past several years has become standard practice for stock car racing. The NASCAR calendar looks dramatically different now than it did three years ago, and it continues to change with the release of the Cup Series' 2022 schedule.

On Wednesday, NASCAR released the full 2022 NASCAR Cup Series schedule, which features two new racetracks, as well as various realignments of race dates. The new schedule is highlighted by the two new racetracks:

  • The Clash, an exhibition race that opens the season, has been moved from Daytona International Speedway to a purpose-built quarter mile track within the Los Angeles Coliseum
  • World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway in St. Louis, long a part of the Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series schedules, will host a Cup race for the first time and replace one of Pocono Raceway's two dates

The Clash at the Coliseum will mark the first time in decades that NASCAR has raced within the confines of a stadium, and its timing within one of the largest media markets in America is impeccable. The race will take place the week before Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles -- and two weeks before the Daytona 500.

"As we demonstrated last year, we are committed to creating the most dynamic schedule for our fans, long term," Ben Kennedy, NASCAR senior vice president of strategy and innovation, said in a statement. "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."

Among the other changes to the schedule:

  • Bristol Motor Speedway's Dirt Race will be moved to Easter Sunday night, April 17. This will mark the first time the Cup Series has raced on Easter since 1989, when a snowstorm forced a race at Richmond to be postponed from February to the next off week
  • Homestead-Miami Speedway will return to its traditional place on the schedule in the fall, moving to October 23 to become the second race of the Playoffs Round of 8
  • Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway have swapped their Playoff dates, with Texas (Sept. 25) becoming the first race of the Round of 12 and Vegas becoming the first race of the Round of 8 respectively. The All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway will also move from early June to May 22
  • Kansas Speedway's fall race will be moved to Sept. 11, becoming the second race of the Round of 16. Richmond Raceway's second race, which traditionally fell on this date, will be moved to Aug. 14. Richmond's spring race moves to early April, making it the first short track race of the season
  • Circuit of the Americas' race has been moved from mid-May to the end of March. COTA's inaugural Cup Series weekend in 2021 was plagued by rain and standing water, which caused several major accidents and ended the race short of its scheduled distance.
  • The penultimate race before the end of the regular season will be held on a road course, as Watkins Glen International's race will move to August 21. Michigan International Speedway's race will move to Aug. 7
  • Pocono Raceway will host only one Cup Series race for the first time since 1981. NASCAR's annual trip to Pocono will come on July 24
  • There is only one off week the entire season, with the Cup Series taking off for the week of Father's Day on June 19

2022 NASCAR Cup Series Schedule

(* denotes non-points race)

  • Sunday, Feb. 6 - The Clash* - Los Angeles Coliseum
  • Thursday, Feb. 17 - Daytona 500 Duels - Daytona International Speedway
  • Sunday, Feb. 20 - Daytona 500 - Daytona International Speedway
  • Sunday, Feb. 27 - Auto Club Speedway
  • Sunday, March 6 - Las Vegas Motor Speedway
  • Sunday, March 13 - Phoenix Raceway
  • Sunday, March 20 - Atlanta Motor Speedway
  • Sunday, March 27 - Circuit of the Americas
  • Sunday, April 3 - Richmond Raceway
  • Saturday, April 9 - Martinsville Speedway (Night)
  • Sunday, April 17 - Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt (Night)
  • Sunday, April 24 - Talladega Superspeedway
  • Sunday, May 1 - Dover International Speedway
  • Sunday, May 8 - Darlington Raceway
  • Sunday, May 15 - Kansas Speedway
  • Sunday, May 22 - All-Star Open* - Texas Motor Speedway
  • Sunday, May 22 - All-Star Race* - Texas Motor Speedway
  • Sunday, May 29 - Coca-Cola 600 - Charlotte Motor Speedway
  • Sunday, June 5 - World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway
  • Sunday, June 12 - Sonoma Raceway
  • Sunday, June 19 - OFF
  • Sunday, June 26 - Nashville Superspeedway
  • Sunday, July 3 - Road America
  • Sunday, July 10 - Atlanta Motor Speedway
  • Sunday, July 17 - New Hampshire Motor Speedway
  • Sunday, July 24 - Pocono Raceway
  • Sunday, July 31 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
  • Sunday, Aug. 7 - Michigan International Speedway
  • Sunday, Aug. 14 - Richmond Raceway
  • Sunday, Aug. 21 - Watkins Glen International
  • Saturday, Aug. 27 - Coke Zero Sugar 400 - Daytona International Speedway (Night)

NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs

Round of 16

  • Sunday, Sept. 4 - Southern 500 - Darlington Raceway
  • Sunday, Sept. 11 - Kansas Speedway
  • Saturday, Sept. 17 - Bristol Motor Speedway (Night)

Round of 12

  • Sunday, Sept. 25 - Texas Motor Speedway
  • Sunday, Oct. 2 - Talladega Superspeedway
  • Sunday, Oct. 9 - Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval

Round of 8

  • Sunday, Oct. 17 - Las Vegas Motor Speedway
  • Sunday, Oct. 23 - Homestead-Miami Speedway
  • Sunday, Oct. 30 - Martinsville Speedway

Championship Race

  • Sunday, Nov. 6 - Phoenix Raceway