NASCAR Announces Return of Practice, Qualifying in 2022

Practice and qualifying will return to NASCAR’s national series in 2022, NASCAR announced Nov. 19.

Though the formats of each session will vary by track and series, NASCAR plans to hold practice and qualifying for all of its races in 2022.

“NASCAR is excited to return practice and qualifying to its race weekends,” Scott Miller, NASCAR svp, competition, said in a release. “We missed seeing cars and trucks on track all weekend long, and so did our fans. We worked closely with our broadcast partners, teams and racetracks to create an exciting, unique qualifying format, while keeping several of the efficiencies that helped our entire industry successfully navigate the pandemic.”

The majority of weekends in the NASCAR Cup Series will feature a 15-minute practice session, separating the series into two groups. Single-car, one-lap qualifying sessions, also split into two groups, will follow, with the fastest five from each session moving on to a final round to decide the pole (also one car and one lap).

At shorter tracks Bristol Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Richmond Raceway and Dover International Speedway, the same will occur except cars will have two laps to qualify.

At superspeedways (Daytona International Speedway, minus the Daytona 500, and Talladega Superspeedway), all entries will compete in the same one-lap qualifying session, with the top 10 transferring to the final round.

Road courses will feature a 20-minute practice session, followed by a pair of 15-minute qualifying groups, with the usual top five transfers.

The Daytona 500 and Bristol dirt races will keep their usual formats.

The Xfinity and Camping World Truck series largely follow the same formats, except for 20-minute practices at most tracks instead of 15.

Finally, certain weekends (called “expanded weekends”) will include 50-minute practice sessions for their respective series rather than one 10- or 20-minute bout. Those weekends include the season openers and finales for all series, plus Nashville Superspeedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway (all series), Bristol dirt (Cup, Truck), Portland International Raceway (Xfinity), World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway (Cup), Knoxville Raceway (Truck) and Sonoma Raceway (Truck).

A full breakdown of each weekend can be found here.

The changes come following a mostly practice- and qualifying-less 2020 and 2021 in NASCAR due to changes stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, with sessions not held at most weekends.

NASCAR has not yet announced if field size changes in the Xfinity and Truck series due to the lack of practice and qualifying will go back to their normal levels for all races in 2022.

About the author

Rutherford is the managing editor of Frontstretch, a position he gained in 2015 after serving on the editing staff for two years. At his day job, he's a journalist covering music and rock charts at Billboard. He lives in New York City, but his heart is in Ohio -- you know, like that Hawthorne Heights song.

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The networks won’t be pleased. This means no “competition caution” TV time out. But they’ll put commercials in anyway, so it won’t be any different.

They still don’t understand KISS. Not the band!

Bill B

I personally missed practice and qualifying. While I don’t sit front and center and watch them, I watch them with one eye while I do other chores. Really like how it builds things up and, as you mention, gets rid of the competition caution. Any bets that the comp cautions continue for the first 3rd of the season due to “a new car”.

And I think the networks will be pleased. Now they have a couple of hours more of programming in all three series. The sessions often occur when there aren’t other live sporting events happening so at least they have something to broadcast. The question is, are the ad revenues collected during the competition caution greater than the sum of all ad revenue from 2+ hours of practice and qualifying? Also, is the ad revenue for those 2+ hours greater than anything else that they could show at that time?


It’s mostly FIFTEEN minutes of practice. The networks won’t televise that.unless maybe Mikey or Butthead is involved to kill time.

From what I’ve seen of the new pit stops getting two cans of S’noco fuel in will take up more time than four Goodyear tars.

Bill B

Split into 2 groups with 15 minutes each, the practices can easily be padded for 1 hour of programming. We will see soon enough whether or not they broadcast them.


Kyle Larson won last night, Friday, in Placerville CA. Tonight both he and Chase will run the Hangtown 100 tonight..Nascar’s last two champions.


Sometimes I think there is a room full of drunken chimpanzees at NASCAR HQ who throw feces at a wall plastered with ridiculous concepts, after which some lackey comes in and sees what concept got hit the most and rushes to institute it.


Please don’t denagrate chimpanzees that way.


That has to be one of the funniest yet on point comments I have seen in a long time

Bob Davidson

I don’t understand the X and Trk deal. Are they going to practice and qualify or not? Help please.

kuku h

If th track has lights, my idea is single 50 minute pratice, qualify, then 30 minute happy (half) hour.


There is some merit to practice but the following 30 minutes would be by and large point less other than for entertainment. If you don’t unload ready your done for.

John W.

Sorry, but this kind of sux. To me practice/qualifying is for fans at the track also. I enjoyed going to the Xfinity races and seeing some Cup practice and in some cases qualifying. And when we would get pit passes it was more to do and see. 15 mins of practice…lol…come on.


A lot of time and expense for no real return. It gives the driver time to see the track that’s all.

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