Race Weekend Central

NASCAR TV Schedule This Weekend: March 1-4

This weekend, things begin to get a little busier. It’s not just going to be NASCAR on television, but NASCAR will take center stage Sunday.

Where to Watch NASCAR This Weekend

NASCAR’s national-level Series will all make the trip west to Las Vegas for a third straight tripleheader of action. That action will be headlined by the NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube. Coverage of the race is scheduled to start with NASCAR RaceDay on FOX Sports 1 at 2 p.m. ET. The show will move to FOX at 3 p.m. ET. Race coverage will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET with the green flag around 3:45 p.m. ET.

Saturday will have the NASCAR Xfinity Series race for 300 miles in The LiUNA! Coverage of The LiUNA! will begin with NASCAR RaceDay – Xfinity Edition at 4 p.m. ET on FS1. Race coverage will follow at 5 p.m. ET with the green flag falling around 5:10 p.m. ET.

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will race Friday night in Las Vegas, a city that has hosted the series for all but two years (1995 and 2000) of the series’ history. Coverage of the Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 will begin with NASCAR RaceDay – NCTS Edition at 8 p.m. ET on FS1. Race coverage will begin at 9 p.m. ET with the green flag falling around 9:10 p.m. ET for a twilight race.

See also
Here's Who's Performing & Appearing at Las Vegas

Where to Watch Other Racing Series This Weekend

This weekend is very busy in the Middle East. In Bahrain, the Formula 1 World Championship starts up in an island nation roughly the size of New York City.

Unlike previous years, the Grand Prix of Bahrain will be a Saturday night race instead of a Sunday night race. The reasoning for this is two-fold. One reason is due to the fact is that the month of Ramadan starts at sunset on March 10. It is traditionally marked by fasting during daytime hours. That includes eating, drinking (and anything that could substitute for them), smoking, sexual activity, etc.

The other reason is that F1 is running Bahrain and Jeddah back-to-back. FIA rules require a minimum of seven days between races. As a result, both Bahrain and Jeddah (which would fall on the first day of the month of Ramadan had it run on a Sunday) are Saturday races.

As a result, the eight-hour time difference between Bahrain and the Eastern Time Zone means that race coverage will begin bright and early Saturday morning. Pre-race coverage will start with Formula 1: Grand Prix Saturday at 8:30 a.m. ET on ESPN. Race coverage will start at 9:55 a.m. ET with the formation lap starting precisely at 10 a.m. ET.

75 miles away by air, the FIA World Endurance Championship will start their season with their first-ever race at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, the Qatar 1812km.

The 1812 has national significance in Qatar since it represents Qatar National Day. On Dec. 18 each year, the country commemorates the unification of the various tribes in Qatar against external forces that occurred in 1878. In practice, it’s more or less the equivalent of Independence Day in the United States, given the fireworks displays and parades that mark the celebration. Like the United States, Qatar didn’t become fully independent at that point. Full independence from foreign powers was achieved in 1971.

The race is being billed as an 1812-kilometer-long race, which would constitute 335 laps of the 3.367-mile road course. However, the official timetable for the event also lists a length of 10 hours for the race. Much like the previous WEC races at Sebring, either or could come into play, depending on safety car periods, full course yellows or red flags.

The race in Qatar will be on Saturday as well, but that is mainly due to the fact that it is a 10-hour race. Coverage of the Qatar 1812km will start at 2:30 a.m. ET Saturday morning on Motor Trend with pre-race coverage. The green flag will fly at 3 a.m. ET.

Coverage will remain on Motor Trend until 4 a.m. ET. It will rejoin the cable network at Noon ET and run through the finish. MotorTrend+ will have flag-to-flag coverage starting at 2:30 a.m. ET and running until post-race coverage is complete. Note that post-race coverage on Motor Trend may get cut off if the end of the timeslot at 1:30 p.m. ET is reached.

New for 2024 is live, flag-to-flag WEC coverage on Max via the B/R Live Sports Add-On. As of right now, the add-on is free.

The original plan was to start charging $9.99 a month for it on top of the regular cost for Max starting Thursday, but Variety reported in January that the charging will be delayed due to technical issues. It is currently unclear when Max will begin charging for the B/R Live Sports Add-On. Note that this will be a streaming option for the NASCAR Cup Series during Warner Bros. Discovery’s portion of the NASCAR Cup Series schedule starting next year.

See also
NASCAR Announces New TV Deal

The zMAX CARS Tour will start their 2024 season this weekend with a Pro Late Model-only race at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C. as part of Speedweek. Coverage from Southern National will begin at 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday afternoon on FLORacing.

Finally, the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series returns to Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. for the World of Outlaws Bike Week Jamboree. Coverage will start Sunday night at 6:15 p.m. ET on DirtVision. Coverage of Night No. 2 will be Monday at 6:15 p.m. ET.

For a full schedule of the weekend’s action, please check out our TV Schedule page, where we will update listings for all motorsports available on television and via internet streaming.

NASCAR TV Ratings Check — Atlanta

Ratings-wise, Atlanta was quite positive for NASCAR. The Ambetter Health 400 earned a Nielsen rating of 2.5 Sunday and 4.546 million viewers Sunday. As compared to last year’s Atlanta spring race, it was up 33%. However, that is not an apples-to-apples comparison since Atlanta was the fifth race of the season last year.

The second race of the 2023 season, the Pala Casino 400, was held at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Compared to that race, the Cup Series was up 5%. This was the first year-to-year increase for the second race of the season since 2020, when the second race of the year moved from Atlanta to Las Vegas.

For the NASCAR Xfinity Series, the Raptor King of Tough 250 earned a 0.7 rating with 1.19 million viewers. There is no real comparison with the second race of last season from Fontana due to the fact that it rained and snowed. That resulted in the race getting postponed a day and airing on FOX Sports 2. As compared to the Atlanta race last year, the ratings are up 21% with 171,000 additional viewers.

The broadcast of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Fr8 208 drew a 0.54 rating with 914,000 viewers. Both are a 13% increase over last year’s race, which earned a 0.48 rating with 807,000 viewers.

About the author

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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