NASCAR: It’s Daytona 500 Week!

The biggest race on the NASCAR schedule is up this coming Sunday. The Daytona 500 is here to officially kick off the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season and the Next Gen era. Everything you need — from the event schedule to the qualifying format — is right here.

The 64th annual Daytona 500 (Sunday, Feb. 20, 2:30 p.m. ET) carries rich history as one of the most coveted triumphs in all of racing. Legends such as Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Richard Petty and Mario Andretti have all tasted victory within the high banks of the mammoth, 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway.

1967 Daytona 500 winner Mario Andretti

On Feb. 20, 40 drivers will compete in the Great American Race. Let’s dive into how the field will take shape over the course of six days in Daytona Beach:


Qualifying for the Daytona 500 is unlike any other points race on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule.

Single-car qualifying on Feb. 16 will now have two rounds, with the top 10 speeds in Round 1 moving on to the second round. The fastest two cars in Round 2 will lock in as the front-row starters for Sunday’s Great American Race.

The rest of the starting grid, however, follows a unique formula.

First, the single-car qualifying results will set the lineups for the Bluegreen Vacation Duels races on Thursday evening. Cars finishing first, third, fifth, seventh, etc. in single-car runs will comprise the field for Duel 1. The cars in even-numbered finishing positions in single-car qualifying will comprise the field for Duel 2. However, NASCAR will ensure there are an equal number of Open, or non-Charter teams, in each Duel race.

Then the results from the Bluegreen Vacation Duels will set the starting lineup for the Daytona 500. The finishers from Duel 1 will line up on the inside row in order of their Duel finish. Meanwhile, the finishers from Duel 2 will line up on the outside row in order of their Duel finish.

The fastest open team in each Duel race will qualify into the Daytona 500 field, while the two open teams with the fastest times from single-car qualifying that didn’t qualify through the duels will fill the last two spots in the 40-car field.

Additionally, the top-10 finishers in each Duel will receive points toward the regular-season championship. The winner will receive 10 points, the runner-up nine, and so on until the 10th-place finisher receives one point. No playoff points will be awarded through the Duel.

If rain washes out the Duel races, NASCAR will set the grid for the Daytona 500 by qualifying speeds, taking the four fastest Open cars to complete the 40-car field. If only the second duel is canceled, then the highest-finishing open team from the first duel and the three remaining fastest open teams from qualifying will advance.

Here is the week’s schedule with radio and TV information:

Tuesday, Feb. 15

Noon – 10 p.m. – Cup garage open

5:05 – 5:55 p.m. – Cup practice (FS1, Motor Racing Network)

6:35 – 7:25 p.m. – Cup practice (FS1, MRN)

Wednesday, Feb. 16

2 – 10 p.m. – Cup garage open

8:05 – 9:30 p.m. – Cup qualifying/single vehicle, one lap, two rounds (FS1, MRN)

Thursday, Feb. 17

9 a.m. – 6 p.m. – ARCA garage open

11 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Truck garage open

4 – 11 p.m. – Cup garage open

4:05 – 4:55 p.m. – ARCA practice

5:05 – 5:35 p.m. – Truck practice (FS1)

7 p.m. – Cup Duel 1 qualifying race/60 laps, 150 miles (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Approx. 8:45 p.m. – Cup Duel 2 qualifying race/60 laps, 150 miles (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Friday, Feb. 18

8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. – ARCA garage open

9 a.m. – Truck garage opens

9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. – Xfinity garage open

11:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. – Cup garage open

1:30 – 2 p.m. – ARCA qualifying (groups)

3 – 4:30 p.m. – Truck qualifying/single car, one lap, two rounds (FS1)

4:35 – 5:25 p.m. – Xfinity practice (FS1)

5:35 – 6:25 p.m. – Cup practice (FS1, MRN)

7:30 p.m. – Truck race; 100 laps, 250 miles (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Saturday, Feb. 19

6 a.m. – Xfinity garage opens

8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Cup garage open

10 a.m. – ARCA garage opens

10:30 – 11:20 a.m. – Cup final practice (FS2, FS1 joins at 11 a.m., MRN)

11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Xfinity qualifying/single car, one lap, two rounds (FS1)

1:30 p.m. – ARCA race; 80 laps, 200 miles (FS1, MRN)

5 p.m. – Xfinity race; 120 laps, 300 miles (FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Sunday, Feb. 20

8 a.m. – Cup garage opens

2:30 p.m. – Daytona 500; 200 laps, 500 miles (FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)


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