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Updated NASCAR schedule 2020: Everything to know about Cup Series races as season resumes

Sporting News — (Tadd Haislop)

Entering the season, we knew the 2020 NASCAR schedule would feature significant changes in terms of which tracks would host races on which dates. Yet nobody could have predicted the amount of change the 2020 NASCAR schedule is actually enduring.

A couple NASCAR Cup Series races remain postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic that shut down live sports in March. None are canceled, as NASCAR still hopes to have a complete slate of 36 races in 2020. Four Cup races were completed before the outbreak reached the United States, and NASCAR became the first American sports league to resume its season — albeit without fans in attendance — starting with a previously unscheduled race at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, May 17.

For now, though, NASCAR's 2020 schedule beyond Aug. 2 remains unclear.

In its effort to squeeze a 36-race schedule into a condensed time frame before the start of what the organization hopes will be a normal playoff race schedule, NASCAR already has scheduled all of the Cup races that will play out through July. The revised NASCAR schedule started with races in a relatively close proximity to the Charlotte, N.C., area, where the majority of race teams are located. That eliminated most of the travel-related logistics issues associated with running multiple races in one week.

With more schedule changes on the way, below is what we know about NASCAR's plan and the viability of Cup Series races on the schedule moving forward.

NASCAR schedule 2020

NASCAR on June 4 released more of its revised Cup Series schedule. For now, with remaining doubt about how NASCAR can construct its schedule beyond July given differing restrictions on gatherings of people from state to state, the short-term schedule includes races through Aug. 2.

Below is NASCAR's confirmed schedule for the rest of 2020, starting with the Darlington races it ran in its return last month.

DateTrackTV channelStart time
Sun., May 17DarlingtonFOX3:30 p.m. ET
Wed., May 20DarlingtonFS17:30 p.m. ET
Sun., May 24CharlotteFOX6 p.m. ET
Wed., May 27CharlotteFS18 p.m. ET
Sun, May 31BristolFS13:30 p.m. ET
Sun, June 7AtlantaFOX3 p.m. ET
Wed, June 10MartinsvilleFS17 p.m. ET
Sun, June 14Homestead-MiamiFOX3:30 p.m. ET
Sun, June 21TalladegaFOX3 p.m. ET
Sat., June 27PoconoFOX3:30 p.m. ET
Sun., June 28PoconoFS14 p.m. ET
Sun., July 5IndianapolisNBC4 p.m. ET
Sun., July 12KentuckyFS12:30 p.m. ET
Wed., July 15All-Star Race (Charlotte)FS17 p.m. ET (open) | 8:30 p.m. ET (race)
Sun., July 19TexasNBCSN3 p.m. ET
Thurs., July 23KansasNBCSN7:30 p.m. ET
Sun., Aug. 2New HampshireNBCSN3 p.m. ET

The Darlington race on May 17 ran instead of the the Chicagoland race that was originally scheduled for June 21. The Darlington race on May 20 ran instead of the postponed Richmond race that was originally scheduled for April 19. The Charlotte race on May 27 ran instead of the Sonoma race that was originally scheduled for June 14.

The Pocono doubleheader remains as previously scheduled for the final weekend of June, with the Cup Series racing on back-to-back days. Those races now will be presented on Fox (and FS1) rather than on NBC. Fox's will close its coverage this season with the All-Star race at Charlotte on July 15 before NBC takes over, but NBC will still broadcast the Brickyard 400 on July 5.

Fans in stands will not be permitted at any tracks through the Kentucky race on July 12. Charlotte, Texas and Kansas reportedly are working with health officials about the possibility of fans in the stands for races at those tracks in mid to late July.

The Cup Series races still postponed include events at Dover and Michigan. NASCAR's next challenge will be finding dates for those races while it tries to sort out the rest of the 2020 schedule, but doubleheaders at those tracks in August are possible.

The following are the dates and races on NASCAR's original 2020 schedule that have yet to be addressed.

Aug. 9: Michigan

  • Start time: 3 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: NBCSN
  • Radio: MRN

The June race at Michigan was postponed, so NASCAR could look to this date on the schedule for a possible doubleheader. That will depend on the availability of the track given local restrictions.

Aug. 16: Watkins Glen

  • Start time: 3 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: NBCSN
  • Radio: MRN

Though the state of New York is still prohibiting nonessential gatherings, Watkins Glen International president Michael Printup is confident his track's date will stick on the NASCAR schedule.

"We're ready," Printup has said. "I always say we're ready, but we're really ready this time because we've had a little diversion here."

Aug. 23: Dover

  • Start time: 3 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: NBCSN
  • Radio: MRN

Dover's spring race remains postponed, so there has been speculation that NASCAR might try to squeeze in a doubleheader at the track in August. That's assuming Dover will be allowed to host one race, let alone two.

Aug. 29: Daytona

  • Start time: 7:30 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: NBC
  • Radio: MRN

The state of Florida has no restrictions on gatherings, just a suggestion that people should avoid congregating in places that don't allow for social distancing. Which means Daytona International Speedway should have no trouble hosting the Coke Zero 400.

NASCAR playoff schedule 2020

NASCAR reportedly is hoping to keep its playoff schedule intact with its original dates and tracks. So if NASCAR wants to run a complete, 36-race schedule, it will need to squeeze the currently postponed races into some new slots before September.

Below is the original Cup Series playoff race schedule NASCAR hopes to preserve.

DateRaceTrackStart timeTV channelRadio
Sept. 6Southern 500Darlington Raceway6 p.m. ETNBCSNMRN
Sept. 12 (Sat.)Federated Auto Parts 400Richmond Raceway7:30 p.m. ETNBCSNMRN
Sept. 19 (Sat.)Bass Pro Shops NRA Night RaceBristol Motor Speedway7:30 p.m. ETNBCSNPRN
Sept. 27South Point 400Las Vegas Motor Speedway7 p.m. ETNBCSNPRN
Oct. 4Alabama 500Talladega Superspeedway2 p.m. ETNBCMRN
Oct. 11Bank of America ROVAL 400Charlotte Motor Speedway2:30 p.m. ETNBCPRN
Oct. 18Hollywood Casino 400Kansas Speedway2:30 p.m. ETNBCMRN
Oct. 25Texas 500Texas Motor Speedway3 p.m. ETNBCSNPRN
Nov. 1NASCAR Cup Series Fall Race at MartinsvilleMartinsville Speedway2 p.m. ETNBCMRN
Nov. 8NASCAR Cup Series ChampionshipPhoenix Raceway3 p.m. ETNBCMRN