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October 4, 2023

NASCAR reveals 2024 Cup schedule as Atlanta, Watkins Glen move to playoffs

The 2024 NASCAR Cup Series schedule is here with yet another splash set for the sport’s mapped path through the next year.

Dazzling changes dot the calendar in another milestone year for the Cup Series, highlighted by a trip to Iowa Speedway on June 16, the circuit’s inaugural visit to the 0.875-mile oval and first venture to the Hawkeye State since 1953.

RELATED: Iowa set to host Cup race weekend in 2024

Additionally, the opening Round of 16 in the NASCAR Playoffs takes on a new look for the 2024 slate and will come a week later than usual. Atlanta Motor Speedway (Sept. 8) becomes the first race of the Cup Series’ postseason in a round that now features Watkins Glen International (Sept. 15) before closing out with the Bristol Motor Speedway night race (Sept. 21).

“I think having an Atlanta, a Watkins Glen and then a Bristol night race in that Round of 16 — three very different types of tracks — it’s going to test our drivers quite a bit as they think about the Round of 12 and continuing through the playoffs,” said Ben Kennedy, NASCAR’s senior vice president of racing development and strategy. “I’m excited to see the change for Atlanta. I think it’s a testament to the great racing product that we’ve seen the last year or two.”

Watkins Glen replaces Texas Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Playoffs as Texas moves to the spring for an April 14 date, an opportunity Kennedy said the scheduling saw “to shake up the playoff schedule a little bit.”

“We’ve had kind of status quo the past few years, and I know we shook it up a ton three or four years ago,” Kennedy said. “I think the diversity that we have and types of tracks in that first round is going to be fun to watch.”

RELATED: Highlighting notable changes in Cup schedule

Kansas Speedway will host the opening race of the Round of 12 on Sept. 29 ahead of Talladega Superspeedway and the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course. The Round of 8 features a familiar run of Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway and Martinsville Speedway ahead of the Nov. 10 finale at Phoenix Raceway.

The regular season will come to an end on Labor Day Weekend on Sept. 1 at Darlington Raceway with the storied Southern 500 marking the final opportunity for drivers to qualify for a championship run. Daytona International Speedway’s second date held that slot since 2020 but slides back to Saturday night, Aug. 24, as race No. 25 on the schedule of 36 points-paying events.

The 66th annual Daytona 500 will kick off the Cup schedule on Feb. 18 before a trip to Atlanta, which returns to the second date on the circuit for the first time since 2019. Atlanta held that position from 2015-19 and returns in place of Auto Club Speedway as the former 2-mile track undergoes renovations.

“I think now that we’ve seen Atlanta play out and how the racing product has frankly evolved there,” Kennedy said, “Having it come out of our biggest event of the year in the Daytona 500 and then carrying that momentum to Atlanta … I think it’s going to be something really special.”

RELATED: Xfinity schedule | Truck schedule

Bristol’s first date on the NASCAR schedule returns to the concrete surface on March 17, 2024, after three years of dirt racing. Richmond Raceway, a 0.75-mile tri-oval, moves to Easter Sunday — 7 p.m. ET on March 31 on FOX — in place of the Bristol dirt race. The second Richmond race will also be in primetime at 6 p.m. ET on Aug. 11 (USA).

The Chicago Street Race, site of the Cup Series’ inaugural street-course event, returns for a sophomore year with Cup cars ready to charge into the downtown metropolis on July 7. Two weeks later, NASCAR returns to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval for the 30th anniversary of the Brickyard 400 on July 21, preceding a two-week hiatus for the sport during the 2024 Summer Olympics.

“We’ve seen the road course play out for a handful of years at Indianapolis,” Kennedy said. “And what better way to return to the oval than the 30th anniversary of the Brickyard 400 and really make it something special again? And again, I think the way that these Next Gen cars are racing on a lot of these tracks, I’m excited to see what the racing product looks like for the first time when the Next Gen cars run around the oval.”

The exhibition Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is back to open NASCAR festivities in southern California on Feb. 4, while the series’ other non-points event — the storied NASCAR All-Star Race — returns to the historic North Wilkesboro Speedway on May 19.

One piece absent from the 2024 schedule is an international race on the Cup docket, but efforts remain ongoing for future expansion outside the United States.

“We haven’t ruled it out. It’s something that we’ve continued to explore,” Kennedy said. “We’ve been exploring this since we put the scheduling group together several years ago. We’ve explored it for ’22, ’23, ’24. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything that necessarily came together around ’24. I think that said, as we think about ’25 and beyond, we’re still bullish on taking the Cup Series international.”

DateRace/TrackNetworkStart time (ET)Radio
Sunday, February 4Clash (L.A. Memorial Coliseum)FOX8 p.m.MRN/SiriusXM
Thursday, February 15Duel at DaytonaFS17 p.m.MRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, February 18DAYTONA 500FOX2:30 p.m.MRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, February 25Atlanta Motor SpeedwayFOX3 p.m.PRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, March 3Las Vegas Motor SpeedwayFOX3:30 p.m.PRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, March 10Phoenix RacewayFOX3:30 p.m.MRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, March 17Bristol Motor SpeedwayFOX3:30 p.m.PRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, March 24COTAFOX3:30 p.m.PRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, March 31Richmond RacewayFOX7 p.m.MRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, April 7Martinsville SpeedwayFS13 p.m.MRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, April 14Texas Motor SpeedwayFS13:30 p.m.PRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, April 21Talladega SuperspeedwayFOX3 p.m.MRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, April 28Dover Motor SpeedwayFS12 p.m.PRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, May 5Kansas SpeedwayFS13 p.m.MRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, May 12Darlington RacewayFS13 p.m.MRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, May 19All-Star Race (N. Wilkesboro)FS18 p.m.MRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, May 26Charlotte Motor SpeedwayFOX6 p.m.PRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, June 2World Wide Technology RacewayFS13:30 p.m.MRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, June 9Sonoma RacewayFOX3:30 p.m.PRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, June 16Iowa SpeedwayUSA7 p.m.MRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, June 23New Hampshire Motor SpeedwayUSA2:30 p.m.PRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, June 30Nashville SuperspeedwayNBC3:30 p.m.PRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, July 7Chicago Street RaceNBC4:30 p.m.MRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, July 14Pocono RacewayUSA2:30 p.m.MRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, July 21Indianapolis Motor SpeedwayNBC2:30 p.m.IMS/SiriusXM
Sunday, August 11Richmond RacewayUSA6 p.m.MRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, August 18Michigan International SpeedwayUSA2:30 p.m.MRN/SiriusXM
Saturday, August 24Daytona International SpeedwayNBC7:30 p.m.MRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, September 1Darlington RacewayUSA6 p.m.MRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, September 8Atlanta Motor SpeedwayUSA3 p.m.PRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, September 15Watkins Glen InternationalUSA3 p.m.MRN/SiriusXM
Saturday, September 21Bristol Motor SpeedwayUSA7:30 p.m.PRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, September 29Kansas SpeedwayUSA3 p.m.MRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, October 6Talladega SuperspeedwayNBC2 p.m.MRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, October 13Charlotte RovalNBC2 p.m.PRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, October 20Las Vegas Motor SpeedwayNBC2:30 p.m.PRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, October 27Homestead-Miami SpeedwayNBC2:30 p.m.MRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, November 3Martinsville SpeedwayNBC2 p.m.MRN/SiriusXM
Sunday, November 10Phoenix RacewayNBC3 p.m.MRN/SiriusXM