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The ENTIRE 2024 NASCAR Schedule Broken Down: What Are We In For Next Year?

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Joshua Lipowski

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From the West Coast Swing, to the Playoffs, to the amount of road courses and short tracks, the 2024 NASCAR schedule has a lot of layers to it. Let’s break down the entire 2024 schedule, and take a look at all of the major dates to look forward to.

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The “Crown Jewels”

Daytona 500: February 18th

The Daytona 500’s 2024 date was announced well before the schedule came out, and once again it opened the schedule. It’s the traditional date of “The Great American Race”, and there is no reason to see why this will change anytime soon.

Coca-Cola 600: May 26th

The Coca-Cola 600 once again caps off motor racing’s greatest day as it runs the night of May 26th. Following the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500, the Coca-Cola 600 continues to be NASCAR’s Memorial Day weekend tradition. Maybe the rain will stay away this time.

Brickyard 400: July 21st

The Brickyard 400 returns and that means NASCAR now has four “Crown Jewels” once again. The road course was a worthwhile experiment, but the Next-Gen car combined with fan/driver sentiment towards the Indianapolis Oval convinced NASCAR to bring the race back. The race may never reach the heights it once did in the 1990s and 2000s, but, hopefully, an improved racing product will allow it to stay on the schedule for years to come.

Southern 500: September 1st

The Southern 500 returns to its traditional Labor Day weekend slot in 2024 as is expected, however, it is now the final race of the regular season. That change may not be the most popular amongst fans, but, it’s still the Southern 500 at the end of the day. Regardless of whether or not it is the Playoff opener, it will attract a good crowd, and every driver will want to win it just as badly.

New/Returning Venues

Bristol Spring Race: March 17th

The Food City 500 returns to the 2024 NASCAR schedule. While the dirt race at Bristol was an interesting experiment, the concrete Bristol is one of the most popular tracks on the calendar. As a result, many fans disliked the dirt race because it took a race date away from Bristol’s iconic concrete high banks. The Food City 500 is back, but, the question is, will the fans spend the money to come back to the venue?

Iowa Speedway: June 16th

Iowa Speedway returns to the NASCAR calendar this year, but, this time, it will host the sport’s top division. The race date announcement was received with generally positive fan reaction, but there is some speculation about the quality of the racing product at the track given the Next-Gen short track product. Regardless, it’s a new venue for the sport, marking the fourth consecutive season a new track has entered the 2024 schedule.

The West Coast Swing

The West Coast Swing is not quite what it once was on the 2024 schedule. With the loss of Auto Club Speedway, the West Coast Swing is down to two races: Las Vegas on March 3 and Phoenix on March 10. Many theorized that Sonoma could take that slot in the spring, but, NASCAR decided to keep Sonoma in its’ traditional June slot.

Now, the West Coast Swing going down to two races is not as big of a deal with the Clash at the LA Coliseum happening on February 4th. However, it is a shame to some to see the “West Coast Swing” decrease from three to two races in 2024.

Rest of the Regular Season Breakdown

Road Courses/Street Circuits: COTA (March 24th), Sonoma (June 9th), Chicago (July 7th)

With the loss of the Indianapolis road course, NASCAR is down to only five road course races in 2024, but they have only three in the regular season as Watkins Glen moves into the Playoffs (more on that later). COTA and Sonoma don’t really change much at all, and the Chicago Street Race is contractually obligated to run on the 4th of July weekend.

Intermediate Ovals: Texas (April 14th), Kansas (May 5th), Darlington (May 12th), Gateway (June 2nd), Nashville (June 30th), Michigan (August 18th),

With the loss of Auto Club Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway in, NASCAR maintains eight intermediate track races throughout the regular season. Texas was run in 100-degree heat in September in 2023, so, NASCAR and the track elected to move the race back to the spring, when the track hosted at least one race in the spring from its’ opening in 1997 until the pandemic in 2020. Aside from that, all of the usual suspects return, including Las Vegas in March and the Coca-Cola 600 on Labor Day.

Short Tracks: Richmond (March 31st/August 11th), Martinsville (April 7th), Dover (April 28th), New Hampshire (June 23rd)

With the return of the Food City 500 at Bristol and the addition of Iowa, NASCAR is now up to eight short track races in the regular season. The biggest thing to note is that Richmond is now on Easter Sunday, where Bristol Dirt used to be, and New Hampshire is now in June to accommodate the Olympic break for two weeks in late July and early August. Richmond is the first race after the break, and it joins Daytona as the only two tracks with both of their two races in the regular season. Aside from that, Martinsville and Dover return to their traditional spring slots.

Superspeedways: Atlanta (February 25th), Talladega (April 21st), and Daytona (August 24th)

Superspeedways go from five dates to four on the 2024 calendar as Atlanta’s second dates move into the Playoffs (more on that later). The spring date for Atlanta is now the second race of the season, meaning that for the first time since the 1998 Pepsi 400 at Daytona was postponed due to wildfires, there will be two superspeedway races in a row. Daytona’s August date does not change, but it is no longer the cut-off race for the Playoffs, and Talladega’s April date also remains the same.

Pocono: July 14th

Pocono has no good comparison, so we have to analyze it on its’ own. Pocono moves up a couple of weeks to July 14th in 2024 to accommodate the Olympic break. It’s not a big change, and the great crowd at Pocono this year shows that this track will likely keep this mid-summer slot for the foreseeable future.

Non-Points Events: Clash at the Coliseum (Feb. 4th), Duels at Daytona (February 15th), All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro (May 19th)

All of the non-point events remain unchanged for 2024. There was some speculation that North Wilkesboro Speedway could get a points date in 2024, but NASCAR kept it as the All-Star Race for now. The LA Coliseum is entering the third year of a three-year contract to host the Clash, so, it’s not impossible that this could be the last race there. However, given Auto Club Speedway’s absence from the calendar, NASCAR may want to re-up.

The Playoffs

First Round: Atlanta (September 8th), Watkins Glen (September 15th), and Bristol (September 21st)

The First Round of the Playoffs is completely revamped for 2024. For the first time since 2008, Atlanta is in the Playoffs, and its addition means there are now two superspeedways in the Playoffs. Watkins Glen moves from its traditional August slot into the Playoffs to make for two road course races in the Playoffs, but the Bristol Night Race remains the cut-off for the Round of 16. The changes in Watkins Glen and Atlanta are the source of major controversy amongst fans.

Second Round: Kansas (September 29th), Talladega (October 6th), and Charlotte Roval (October 13th)

With Texas Motor Speedway in the spring, Kansas moves from the middle of Round One to the opening race of Round Two. Talladega and the Roval remain the same for 2024, despite rumors from some that the Roval could get the boot on the 2024 schedule. These changes mean that the 2024 Playoffs move from a breakdown of five intermediates, one road course, one superspeedway, and three short tracks to three intermediates, two road courses, two superspeedways, and three short tracks.

Third Round: Las Vegas (October 20th), Homestead-Miami (October 27th), and Martinsville (November 3rd)

Aside from being shifted a week later by the Olympic Break, the Round of Eight remains exactly the same for 2024. When it comes to this time of year, NASCAR is limited in what tracks it can run due to weather, so, the later part of the Playoffs remains the same. After two wild card rounds in Rounds one and two, the Round of Eight features more traditional NASCAR venues including two intermediates and the circuit’s oldest race track, Martinsville.

Championship Race: Phoenix (November 10th)

Phoenix returns as the Championship weekend venue for 2024. NASCAR fans are not all pleased with this move, but it is easy to see why NASCAR continues to return to this venue for this weekend. The weather is great, and it is generally dry. On top of that, Phoenix is a big market, and the track’s facilities are top-notch. It is an ideal venue for NASCAR to host this weekend outside of the sometimes lackluster racing product.

Tracks Left of the 2024 Schedule

Bristol Dirt

Bristol Dirt’s three-year run is over following the 2023 season. The race was met with generally mixed reactions from fans. Some fans loved it because of how diverse it made the schedule. However, others did not like it because it took a race date away from the concrete Bristol, and some argued that it took the sport backward rather than pushing it into the future. Bristol dirt is gone, and NASCAR is gone from dirt racing in general for at least next season.

Montreal

For the majority of the summer, reports were flying around that Montreal was a candidate to be added to the 2024 schedule. Unfortunately, NASCAR will have to wait at least one year before they take their series out of the United States. It’s easy to see why this may have fallen apart given the logistics of taking an entire racing series out of the country, but, fans were looking forward to this venue potentially being added.

Auto Club Speedway

This was not a surprise as NASCAR had announced when they raced at Auto Club in February that they were going to convert it to a short track. Nothing has been done to convert it as of yet seemingly, so those plans still seem too uncertain to pan out. However, the silver lining is that the loss of Auto Club means it opened up a spot for Iowa Speedway on the 2024 schedule.

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Joshua Lipowski

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