Race Weekend Central

NASCAR TV Schedule This Weekend: March 15 – 17

As the racing season continues to heat up, NASCAR returns to the East Coast after two weekends of desert racing. Bristol Motor Speedway will host two different events this weekend.

Where to Watch NASCAR This Weekend

The NASCAR Cup Series will race in the Food City 500 on Sunday, marking the 33rd straight year that the Abingdon, Va.-based grocery store chain has served as the race’s title sponsor. Coverage will start with NASCAR RaceDay Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. Pre-race coverage will move to FOX at 3 p.m. ET. Race coverage is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. ET with the green flying at 3:45 p.m. ET.

The Cup teams will be supported by the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, who will race for 250 laps at Bristol for the very first time in the Weather Guard Truck Race at Bristol (previous races have been either 150 or 200 laps). Coverage will start with NASCAR RaceDay – NCTS Edition at 7 p.m. ET Saturday night on FS1. Race coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET with the green flag around 8:10 p.m. ET.

The weather forecast for both Saturday and Sunday in Bristol is a bit questionable. There is a chance of rain both days in Eastern Tennessee. Should changes be made to the schedule, we will update this article and additional news articles will be posted to Frontstretch to explain what happened.

Where to Watch Other Racing Series This Weekend

Outside of NASCAR, IMSA will take center stage with their second-biggest race weekend of the year, the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring. As the name states, 58 teams will be racing for 12 hours around an infamously bumpy 3.74-mile Sebring International Speedway.

The Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring is scheduled to go green at 9:40 a.m. ET Saturday morning. Coverage will start at 9:30 a.m. ET on Peacock. The whole race will be available on Peacock, while USA Network will join in progress at 4 p.m. ET.

IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge teams will race in the Alan Jay Automotive Network 120, a two-hour sprint race. Coverage of that event will commence at 3:10 p.m. ET Friday afternoon on Peacock. Highlighted coverage of the race is currently scheduled to air March 23 at 1 p.m. ET on CNBC.

IMSA’s single-make series have each already held their first race of the weekend in Sebring. Friday will see each series have their second race.

Whelen Mazda MX-5 Cup teams race at 11:45 a.m. ET, Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America at 6:05 p.m. ET and Porsche Carrera Cup North America at 7:15 p.m. ET. The MX-5 Cup race will be on IMSA.com, while the Porsche and Lamborghini races will be simulcast on IMSA.com and Peacock.

The ABB FIA Formula E Championship is back in action in Sao Paulo, Brazil this weekend for the Sao Paulo e-Prix. Coverage will start at 1:03 p.m. ET Saturday on The Roku Channel.

After last weekend’s double rainout at Kennedale Speedway Park, the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series travels to Cotton Bowl Speedway in Paige, Tex. for the Texas Two-Step. Coverage both Friday and Saturday nights will start at 7:15 p.m. ET on DirtVision.

For more TV listings, please check out our TV Listings page, which is updated every day with up-to-date racing-related listings for broadcast networks, cable networks, premium channels, subscription-based pay-per-view, FAST channels and more.

NASCAR TV Ratings Check — Phoenix

Despite many race fans not particularly liking the new short track/road course rules package that debuted last week, FOX’s broadcast of the Shriners Children’s 500 did quite well on television.

The broadcast earned a 2.2 Nielsen rating with 4.028 million viewers. This is up nearly .3 of a ratings point over last year and attracted 639,000 more viewers. It was the highest-rated sporting event of the entire weekend.

Saturday’s broadcast of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Call811.com Every Dig. Every Time. 200 earned a .6 rating with 1.087 million viewers. Due to a lack of a second digit to the right of the decimal point, it is unclear whether it represents a rating increase. However, viewership was up by 62,000 over last year.

Friday night’s ARCA Menards Series/ARCA Menards Series West General Tire 150 saw the biggest viewership percentage increase of the weekend. A Nielsen rating is not currently available, but the race attracted 366,000 viewers on FS1. ARCA is quite pleased with the additional eyes on their series.

Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the season opener for the NTT IndyCar Series, was likely hurt by the Iowa-Ohio State women’s basketball game airing at the same time on FOX. Or, in other words, the Caitlin Clark effect. The race earned a .6 rating with 975,000 viewers. The numbers are down by .16 of a point and 214,000 viewers over last year.

Finally, Saturday’s Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia from the Jeddah Cornische Circuit earned a .51 rating and 920,000 viewers. This is down substantially from the 1.52 million viewers that watched last year. It should be noted that last year’s race ran on a Sunday.

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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