Race Weekend Central

NASCAR TV Schedule This Weekend: April 19 – 21

This weekend is a busy one in motorsports with four major race weekends on tap. You’ll have NASCAR in Talladega with ARCA, INDYCAR in Long Beach along with IMSA and SRO America’s GT America powered by AWS, Formula 1 in China and the FIA World Endurance Championship in Italy.

Where to Watch NASCAR This Weekend

This weekend, NASCAR will be at Talladega Superspeedway for a tripleheader of racing headlined by the NASCAR Cup Series. The Cup teams are scheduled to race for 500 miles Sunday afternoon in the GEICO 500.

Coverage of the GEICO 500 will begin with NASCAR RaceDay at 1:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. Pre-race coverage will move to FOX at 2 p.m. ET. Race coverage is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. ET with the green flag around 3:15 p.m. ET.

However, this may be subject to change. The weather forecast for the area near Talladega Superspeedway is not good. As of this writing, ABC 33/40’s James Spann is forecasting an 80% chance of rain Sunday with a high of 59.

Given how long it takes to dry Talladega Superspeedway, the start of the race could be moved up or back due to it. We at Frontstretch will keep you abreast of any changes. If any changes are made to the race schedule, we will update this article.

The primary support to the Cup Series will once again be the NASCAR Xfinity Series with the Ag-Pro 300. Coverage of the 113-lap race will begin with NASCAR RaceDay – Xfinity Edition at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX. Race coverage will start at 4 p.m. ET with the green flag around 4:15 p.m. ET.

Finally, the tertiary series in Talladega this weekend is the ARCA Menards Series, returning to action for the first time since Phoenix in the General Tire 200. That race will air live on FS1 at 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday afternoon (11:30 a.m. CT). If the weather forecast deteriorates for Saturday, the schedules for both races could change.

Where to Watch Other Racing Series This Weekend

Outside of Talladega, the biggest race weekend in North America will be in Long Beach, Calif., where the 49th Annual Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend will be in full swing. For the NTT IndyCar Series, it is likely their second biggest event of the year.

Coverage of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will begin with INDYCAR Live at 3 p.m. ET Sunday afternoon on USA Network. The green flag will fly at 3:30 p.m. ET. Given the weather forecast for Sunday in Talladega, the INDYCAR race could make for alternate programming should the GEICO 500 get postponed.

On the undercard of the INDYCAR event is in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with their own Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. That race will air live on USA Network starting at 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday.

Also on the undercard is GT America powered by AWS. They will have two 40-minutes on the 1.968-mile circuit. Race No. 1 is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. ET Saturday, while Race No. 2 will wrap up the race weekend at 7:20 p.m. ET Sunday. Both races will stream live on the GT World YouTube channel.

On the other side of the world, the Formula 1 World Championship returns to Shanghai Circuit in China for the first time since prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also be the first Formula 1 race at home for Zhou Guanyu.

It is also the first Sprint weekend of the season. Coverage of the Sprint Race will be at 10:55 p.m. ET Friday night on ESPNU. Points will be on the line there for top finishers.

Coverage of the Grand Prix of China will begin with Formula 1: Grand Prix Sunday at 2 a.m. ET on ESPN. Race coverage will begin at 2:55 a.m. ET with the formation lap starting precisely at 3 a.m. ET.

The FIA World Endurance Championship has their second race of the year at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, Italy. Coverage of the 6 Hours of Imola will begin at 6:30 a.m. ET Sunday morning on Motor Trend. TV coverage will air pre-race, then the first hour. It will then rejoin at Noon ET for the final hour and post-race coverage.

This will be the first WEC race since the closure of MotorTrend+. The same setup remains from when MotorTrend+ was in operation, but the new streaming home in the United States for the WEC is the B/R Sports Add-On that is part of Max. The whole race will stream on Max, but only the middle four hours are guaranteed to be exclusive to the streaming service. If any post-race coverage continues after 1:30 p.m. ET, that will also be exclusive to Max.

While the National-level ARCA Menards Series will be at Talladega, ARCA Menards Series West teams will have their first standalone race of the season Saturday at Kevin Harvick’s Kern Raceway. Coverage of the MMI Oil Workers 150 presented by the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame will stream live at 11 p.m. ET on FLORacing.

World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series teams will make their sole visit of the year to Paducah International Raceway in Kentucky Friday night. Coverage will start at 7:15 p.m. ET on DirtVision.

Saturday night will see the series move to Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind. For the Haubs Town Showdown. Coverage will start from Haubstadt at 7:15 p.m. ET on DirtVision.

World of Outlaws CASE Construction Late Model Series teams will be very close to the NASCAR contingent this weekend. They’ll be just down the road at Talladega Short Track for the Alabama Gang 100 weekend. Coverage both Friday and Saturday nights from the Talladega Short Track will begin at 7:15 p.m. ET on DirtVision.

For complete TV listings for this weekend, be sure to check out our TV Schedule page.

NASCAR TV Ratings Check — Texas

The date change for the Texas weekend means that a slightly larger audience tuned for Sunday’s AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400. That is despite the lack of quality of the broadcast.

The AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400 earned a 1.3 rating with 2.310 million viewers. That is up by at least .14 of a rating point over last year’s broadcast that aired on USA Network in September. There were also 310,000 more viewers.

Last year, Martinsville was on this weekend. Sunday’s race rated .04 higher than the Martinsville race with 92,000 more viewers.

Saturday’s Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series had an exquisite finish, but that didn’t necessarily translate to higher viewership. The race earned a .48 rating, flat with last year. The race averaged 803,000 viewers, down 25,000 from last fall.

Friday night’s SpeedyCash.com 250 for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series attracted an audience of 503,000 viewers despite running only two weeks later than last year’s race. That is a drop of 141,000 viewers, or 21.9% from last year. A Nielsen rating number for the race is unavailable.

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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