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MAJOR 2025 NASCAR Schedule Update: International Racing, The Clash, Championship Race, and MORE

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What’s Happening?

Jordan Bianchi of The Athletic just dropped what he’s been hearing from insiders about the 2025 NASCAR schedule, and some of these updates are not at all what fans were expecting. Here are the biggest takeaways from the most recent 2025 NASCAR schedule update.

  • The 2025 NASCAR schedule has been littered with rumors all throughout the early part of the 2024 season, from potential new venues to traditional venues dropping dates.
  • Bianchi confirms some rumors, but he pushes back against others. This includes contradicting direct comments from NASCAR. He also reiterates that nothing is definite as of right now.
  • Fans are intrigued to see how the 2025 schedule shakes out. Some changes could be fan favorites, but others could be highly polarizing choices.

International Racing: Mexico – YES!; Canada – Maybe?

Bianchi reports that, according to his sources, NASCAR is “close” to a deal to race in Mexico City. However, Bianchi gives, at best, coin-flip odds to race in Montreal, Canada in 2024, even if the door isn’t shut. Steve Phelps said during the pre-race for the 2024 Daytona 500 on Fox that he “Would be surprised” if NASCAR was not racing in BOTH Mexico and Canada in 2025.

It seems NASCAR could get half of their wish, and it’s understandable to see why. Due to the local climate, NASCAR can race in Mexico at any point in the season, and, with Mexican-born Daniel Suarez on the grid, NASCAR has an incentive to be in Mexico. Canada is tougher to schedule with the climate allowing NASCAR to only race during the summer, and there are currently no Canadian drivers on the grid.

The Clash: Bowman Gray Stadium

Bianchi seemingly confirmed the rumor Mike Joy disclosed during the Advent Health 400 at Kansas Speedway. The current favorite, with the LA Coliseum likely out of the picture, is Bowman Gray Stadium, but, that’s far from a done deal at this point.

This would be an interesting decision by NASCAR. While it would bring the Clash to a historic short track where tempers often flare, early February is quite early for a race in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Richmond Loses a Date

Bianchi confirmed an earlier report he made following the Richmond race in March. Should Mexico join the schedule, he predicts Richmond will lose its’ spring date.

This would be a break from tradition as NASCAR has hosted 2 races at Richmond every year since 1953. However, Richmond has not brought in good crowds in recent years, and the racing product has been hit or miss, especially in the Next-Gen era. Richmond simply isn’t what it was during NASCAR’s boom.

NO Race in Southern California

Perhaps Bianchi’s most eyebrow-raising report was that it is “Increasingly likely” that NASCAR will not host a race in Southern California in 2025. This directly contradicts Steve Phelps, who said before the 2024 Daytona 500 to Fox Sports’ Chris Myers on racing in Southern California, “We’re not going to miss a year.”

However, this is not a surprising report as the options are limited for NASCAR in Southern California. If the LA Coliseum and Auto Club Speedway are both not available, there’s no other race track NASCAR can realistically go to. Thankfully, with Sonoma likely still on the schedule, NASCAR will not be totally absent from California in 2025.

Staying the Same: All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro and Finale at Phoenix

Two races fans were looking at potentially changing hands in 2025 were the All-Star Race and the Championship weekend at Phoenix. Well, according to Bianchi, North Wilkesboro seems likely to retain the All-Star Race and Phoenix will keep the Championship race, at least for now. For North Wilkesboro, Bianchi cited the investment SMI put into the track, and, for Phoenix, Bianchi pointed to local support for the weekend,

Keeping these races at these two venues does make a lot of sense. North Wilkesboro is an SMI track, and, there are no SMI regular season dates in jeopardy for NWB to slot into the regular season. Phoenix sells out the Cup Series Championship race every year, even if the racing product is questionable. However, Bianchi did say that Homestead-Miami is lobbying to get the finale in 2026, and, there is support in the industry to move the Championship race to the venue.

NO Racing on Easter Sunday

Bianchi reported that NASCAR will likely not race on Easter in 2025. NASCAR had traditionally not raced on Easter, but, they broke that in 2022. They have raced on Easter every year since with two races at Bristol Dirt and the most recent at Richmond.

There’s a double-edged sword to this move. On one hand, sports normally play on holidays, and they often stack those days with marquee matchups for TV audiences. On the other hand, it’s nice for those in the industry to count on being able to spend Easter with their families.

Regular Season Finale Back at Daytona

Bianchi reports that Daytona is “All but certain” to return as the regular season finale in 2025. This would likely put the Southern 500 at Darlington back into the Playoff opening slot. There may be other shifts if NASCAR keeps the second off-weekend on the schedule, but, there’s nothing reported on what that looks like yet.

This move always felt like a one-year move. NASCAR’s schedule was pushed back a week due to the Olympics, so, that’s why the end of the regular season shifted. Darlington was immensely popular as the Playoff opener, and bringing that back would be well-received by fans.

The 2025 schedule is starting to take shape. Speculation will continue to run rampant throughout the summer.

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