Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Unveils 2020 Cup Series Schedule

The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series schedule was revealed in a live stream on Tuesday afternoon (March 26), and it features numerous changes in each of the tracks’ contract year.

ISM Raceway becomes the season finale on Nov. 8, with the 2020 champion celebrating in the desert, while former title race host Homestead-Miami Speedway moves to March 22.

Atlanta Motor Speedway’s first date has been pushed back to March 15, and the series will head out for its West Coast Swing right after the Daytona 500.

Martinsville Speedway’s March date is moved to Mother’s Day weekend in May, and the race will be held under the lights for the first time. Meanwhile, The Paperclip’s fall date becomes the cutoff race of the playoff’s final trifecta.

Chicagoland Speedway will host a race on Father’s Day, moving its date to June 21. No changes to Dover International Speedway’s spring event, but the fall date is bumped out of the playoffs to Aug. 23.

Pocono Raceway will host the modern era’s first-ever weekend doubleheader, with both its Cup races being held on July 27 and 28 (Saturday and Sunday, respectively).

The weekends of July 26 and Aug. 2 won’t see any action on track, as the sport takes two weeks off for NBC’s coverage of the Olympics.

Daytona International Speedway’s second date becomes the regular season finale, resulting in the regular season getting bookended by the World Center of Racing. The Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway moves to the July 4 weekend.

Darlington Raceway will kick off the 10-race playoffs while keeping its historic Labor Day weekend slot, and Bristol Motor Speedway’s night race moves to Sept. 19 to become the cutoff race for the first round. Richmond Raceway’s second date is between those two races, while its first date becomes a day race.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s playoff date has been pushed back two weeks, as well, to Sept. 27.

Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports and NBCSN, said the network worked with NASCAR to create this new schedule.

“We enjoyed collaborating with NASCAR and their track partners to create what we think will be our most exciting schedule yet in 2020,” Miller said.

2020 NASCAR Cup Series Schedule

About the author

Adam Cheek joined Frontstretch as a contributing writer in January 2019. A 2020 graduate of VCU, he works as a producer and talent for Audacy Richmond's radio stations. In addition to motorsports journalism, Adam also covered and broadcasted numerous VCU athletics for the campus newspaper and radio station during his four years there. He's been a racing fan since the age of three, inheriting the passion from his grandfather, who raced in amateur events up and down the East Coast in the 1950s.

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Atlanta followed by Miami after Phoenix? Atlanta is still too early and could use the extra week if switched with Homestead.

Bill B

I am pleasantly shocked that the changes they made were as significant as they are.
Love Martinsville at night in May (actually the fall race will probably end under the lights as 11/1 is the first day we go back on standard time).
Love Daytona being the last race of the regular season. Since the win and your in deal has been around the cutoff race has been anti-climactic. There may be some real doubt now for at least a couple of drivers.
Love Darlington being the first race of the chase.
Not sure about Pocono. I would be more excited if they had a road course in the infield and one race was going to be on that.
Love the 3 cutoff races in the chase, Bristol, Martinsville and Charlotte-roval are all kind of wild card tracks where shit can happen which means someone will have a chance to defy odds and make the cut to the next round.
Not sure how I like Phoenix being the last race. I would be OK with it if they made if 400 miles instead of 312.
Happy for Atlanta getting a better date…. about time.
Love the logic of the west coast swing being right after Daytona giving the weather in the rest of the country a chance to warm up a bit.
Like the two week break at the end of July.
Having Indy close to the July 4th holiday may help that track a bit but nothing will make the race better unless they run the infield road course.

While I am still not a big fan of the chase/playoffs, this is the kind of changes that should have been put in place when they first announced the new format in 2004.


Pocono does have an infield road course.


At the risk of being the party pooper, this schedule is simply a technicality of the same bad thing i.e. no elimination of cookie cutters and addition of tracks with the potential to host good racing.

The firecracker 400 will now be the smoke bomb dud 400.

David Edwards

rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic. But then we knew they weren’t going to really do anything to cut out their own revenue.

Bill B

Yes, I realized that too even as I was making my comment. Until the actual racing improves changing the schedule is just window dressing.

Joe D.

The one thing the traditionalist in me isn’t thrilled about is the death of the Firecracker 400 (although, truth be told the autopsy will reveal that the first bullet was fired when then turned it into a night race 20 years ago).

But I can live with it given the trade-off of the Bristol, Charlotte Roval, Martinsville advance/elimiation trifecta.

One thing I’d love to see but know will never happen: For the Pocono doubleheader – set the Sunday field by reverse of the Saturday field results.

Fed Up

The Daytona race was bolstered by southeastern mills being closed for the week for the holiday. Maybe not so much any more, but it still is a common vacation week. It will be interesting to see the support from the fans. Maybe cooler is better.

Good to see the AtlanTUHH (like Mikey says) delayed for a few weeks.

Tom B

Glad to hear Homestead will not be the final race. The schedule should be fan friendly, that means weather conditions. Daytona should be moved up a week, followed by Homestead the next week. Take a week off then head out West for 3 weeks of racing. Take a week off then hit it hard for seven weeks, off a week, then race seven more weeks, off a week, race seven more weeks, off a week, race seven more weeks, off a week then the Championship Race at Daytona. Throw in a couple of double headers to make it a 36 race season. Having Daytona as the Championship Race makes it a crap shoot for the Championship. Fits right in with the crap shoot chase/playoffs. Have the banquet a day later in one of the domed covered stadiums in Florida so the fans can sit in the bleachers for free.

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