Is there a NASCAR race today? Updated schedule, start times for Cup Series in 2020Sporting News — (Tadd Haislop)
The original NASCAR Cup Series schedule for 2020 featured an off weekend around July 26 for a quick break before a four-race stretch ahead of the playoffs. The modified NASCAR Cup Series schedule technically replaced that off weekend with a race weekend, but there is still no Cup Series race scheduled for Sunday, July 26.
NASCAR earlier this month released the third edition of its revised Cup Series schedule for 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down live racing for a couple months in the spring. A total of 15 races have been completed since NASCAR returned to live racing, and seven more are on the schedule before the playoffs start in September.
For now, NASCAR still has a 36-race Cup Series schedule intact for 2020, including a 10-race playoff slate that has not yet been modified.
Below are the details of that schedule and how NASCAR handled the July 26 race weekend.
Is there a NASCAR race today?
Nope. The Cup Series already completed this week's race, a Thursday night event at Kansas Speedway. Denny Hamlin won Thursday night's race, his series-leading fifth victory of the 2020 season.
The next Cup Series event on the schedule is one week from today at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, Aug. 2.
NASCAR scheduled the Kansas race for a Thursday night rather than a Sunday afternoon so NBC/NBCSN could experiment with a weekday night race as Fox/FS1 had done so many times while broadcasting its portion of the 2020 Cup Series schedule.
So rather than the cap of the weekend, the Cup Series race led a full slate of NASCAR racing at Kansas from Thursday through Saturday. The track hosted a Truck Series doubleheader Friday night and Saturday, and a Saturday evening Xfinity Series race closed the weekend.
Updated NASCAR schedule for 2020
Not including Thursday night's race at Kansas, there are seven NASCAR Cup Series races left before the start of the 10-race playoff slate.
The original schedule featured just four races in August ahead of the playoffs, but with its modified schedule, NASCAR is packing two doubleheaders — at Michigan Aug. 8-9 and at Dover Aug. 22-23 — into the schedule in order to keep a 36-race season intact.
NASCAR also moved the mid-August race at Watkins Glen to Daytona, where the Cup Series will run on Daytona International Speedway's road course for the first time in its history.
Below is NASCAR's schedule for the rest of 2020, starting with the Darlington races it ran in its return in May.
|Date||Track||TV channel||Start time|
|Sun., May 17||Darlington||FOX||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Wed., May 20||Darlington||FS1||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Sun., May 24||Charlotte||FOX||6 p.m. ET|
|Wed., May 27||Charlotte||FS1||8 p.m. ET|
|Sun, May 31||Bristol||FS1||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Sun, June 7||Atlanta||FOX||3 p.m. ET|
|Wed, June 10||Martinsville||FS1||7 p.m. ET|
|Sun, June 14||Homestead-Miami||FOX||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Sun, June 21||Talladega||FOX||3 p.m. ET|
|Sat., June 27||Pocono||FOX||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Sun., June 28||Pocono||FS1||4 p.m. ET|
|Sun., July 5||Indianapolis||NBC||4 p.m. ET|
|Sun., July 12||Kentucky||FS1||2:30 p.m. ET|
|Wed., July 15||Bristol (All-Star Race)||FS1||8:30 p.m. ET|
|Sun., July 19||Texas||NBCSN||3 p.m. ET|
|Thurs., July 23||Kansas||NBCSN||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Sun., Aug. 2||New Hampshire||NBCSN||3 p.m. ET|
|Sat., Aug. 8||Michigan||NBCSN||4 p.m. ET|
|Sun., Aug. 9||Michigan||NBCSN||4:30 p.m. ET|
|Sun., Aug. 16||Daytona (road course)||NBC||3 p.m. ET|
|Sat., Aug. 22||Dover||NBCSN||4 p.m. ET|
|Sun. Aug. 23||Dover||NBCSN||4 p.m. ET|
|Sat., Aug. 29||Daytona||NBC||7:30 p.m. ET|
The Darlington race on May 17 ran instead of the the Chicagoland race that was originally scheduled for June 21. The Darlington race on May 20 ran instead of the postponed Richmond race that was originally scheduled for April 19. The Charlotte race on May 27 ran instead of the Sonoma race that was originally scheduled for June 14.
The Pocono doubleheader remained as previously scheduled for the final weekend of June, with the Cup Series racing on back-to-back days. Those races were presented on Fox (and FS1) rather than on NBC. Fox closed its coverage this season with the All-Star Race at Bristol on July 15 before NBC took over, but NBC still carried the Brickyard 400 on July 5.
NASCAR playoff schedule 2020
NASCAR is hoping to keep its playoff schedule intact with its original dates and tracks. The only change being considered is a flip-flop of the dates for the Las Vegas and Texas races (similar types of tracks) to account for another event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Below is the original Cup Series playoff race schedule NASCAR hopes to preserve.
|Date||Track||TV channel||Start time|
|Sun., Sept. 6||Darlington||NBCSN||6 p.m. ET|
|Sat., Sept. 12||Richmond||NBCSN||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Sat., Sept. 19||Bristol||NBCSN||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Sun, Sept. 27||Las Vegas||NBCSN||7 p.m. ET|
|Sun., Oct. 4||Talladega||NBC||2 p.m. ET|
|Sun., Oct. 11||Charlotte (ROVAL)||NBC||2:30 p.m. ET|
|Sun., Oct. 18||Kansas||NBC||2:30 p.m. ET|
|Sun., Oct. 25||Texas||NBCSN||3 p.m. ET|
|Sun. Nov. 1||Martinsville||NBC||2 p.m. ET|
|Sun. Nov. 8||Phoenix Raceway||NBC||3 p.m. ET|