NASCAR announces practice, qualifying return in 2022 with knockout-style format

NASCAR announced practice and qualifying formats across all three national series for the 2022 season on Friday, Nov. 19, including a look at how NASCAR Cup Series drivers will break in the Next Gen car.

The knockout-style format will vary for all three series depending on both track type and series, but on-track qualifying is scheduled for every event in the upcoming season. Friday‘s news comes after nearly two seasons with race weekends largely held without practice or qualifying — a procedure born out of necessity to reduce travel days and on-site personnel while navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.

“NASCAR is excited to return practice and qualifying to its race weekends,” said Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition. “We missed seeing cars and trucks on track all weekend long, and so did our fans. We worked closely with our broadcast partners, teams and racetracks to create an exciting, unique qualifying format, while keeping several of the efficiencies that helped our entire industry successfully navigate the pandemic.”

In a majority of Cup Series races, the field will be split into two groups and participate in a two-hour practice and qualifying event. Some events — six Cup, five Xfinity and eight Truck — will also be classified as “expanded weekends.”

An expanded weekend includes one stand-alone, 50-minute practice (and the warm-up/practice that typically will precede qualifying next year will be eliminated). Only these expanded weekends will feature a practice that is separate from qualifying. 

Read on for the full list of every event in 2022.

RELATED: Full timeline of Next Gen development | 2022 schedule

EXPANDED WEEKENDS

One 50-minute practice in addition to on-track qualifying

NASCAR Cup Series: Daytona 500, Atlanta, Bristol Dirt, Gateway, Nashville, Phoenix-2

NASCAR Xfinity Series: Daytona, Atlanta, Portland, Nashville, Phoenix-2

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: Daytona, Atlanta, Bristol Dirt, Knoxville, Sonoma, Mid-Ohio, Nashville, Phoenix-2

Note: It‘s possible for an expanded weekend to apply to only one series. For example, at Sonoma, it will be an expanded weekend for the Truck Series and not the Cup Series.
 

NASCAR CUP SERIES

One-lap qualifying format

Tracks: Atlanta*, Auto Club , Charlotte Oval , Darlington , Gateway*, Kansas , Las Vegas , Miami, Michigan , Nashville*, New Hampshire , Phoenix*, Pocono , Texas

* denotes expanded weekend

Format

  • 15-minute warm-up/practice, separated into two groups
  • Qualifying Round 1 (Group A) — single car, 1 lap
    • Top five transfer to Final Round
  • Qualifying Round 1 (Group B) — single car, 1 lap
    • Top five transfer to Final Round
  • Qualifying Final Round — single car, 1 lap

Two-lap qualifying format

Tracks: Bristol-2, Dover, Martinsville, Richmond 

Format

  • 15-minute warm-up/practice separated into two groups
  • Qualifying Round 1 (Group A) — single car, 2 laps 
    • Top five transfer to Final Round
  • Qualifying Round 1 (Group B) — single car, 2 laps 
    • Top five transfer to Final Round
  • Qualifying Final Round — single car, 2 laps 

Superspeedway qualifying format

Tracks: Daytona 500*, Daytona-2, Talladega

* denotes expanded weekend

Format

  • Qualifying Round 1 — single car, 1 lap (all vehicles)  
    • Top 10 transfer to Final Round
  • Qualifying Final Round — single car, 1 lap

Road-course qualifying format

Tracks: Charlotte Roval, COTA, Indianapolis Road Course, Road America, Sonoma, Watkins Glen

Format

  • 20-minute warm-up/practice separated into two groups
  • Qualifying Round 1, Group A (15 minutes)
    • Top 5 transfer to Final Round
  • Qualifying Round 1, Group B  (15 minutes)
    • Top 5 transfer to Final Round
  • Qualifying Final Round  (10 minutes)

Dirt qualifying

Track: Bristol Dirt (also an expanded weekend)

Format

  • Two 50-minute practice sessions
  • Four qualifying races to determine the field and lineup for the main race; order based on random draw

NASCAR Xfinity Series

One-lap qualifying format

Tracks: Atlanta-1*, Atlanta-2, Auto Club, Charlotte Oval, Darlington, Kansas, Las Vegas, Miami, Michigan, Nashville*, New Hampshire, Phoenix-1, Phoenix-2*, Pocono, Texas

* denotes expanded weekend

Format

  • 20-minute warm-up/practice for all cars
  • Qualifying (all cars) — single car, 1 lap

Two-lap qualifying

Tracks: Bristol-2, Dover, Martinsville, Richmond

Format

  • 20-minute practice/warm-up for all cars
  • Qualifying (all cars) — single car, 2 laps

Superspeedway qualifying

Tracks: Daytona-1*, Daytona-2, Talladega

* denotes expanded weekend

Format

  • Qualifying Round 1 — single car, 1 lap (all vehicles)  
    • Top 10 transfer to final round
  • Qualifying Final Round — single car, 1 lap

Road-course qualifying

Tracks: Charlotte Roval, COTA, Indianapolis Road Course, Portland*, Road America, Watkins Glen

* denotes expanded weekend

Format

  • 20-minute warm-up/practice — all cars
  • Qualifying Round 1, Group A (15 minutes)
    • Top five transfer to Final Round
  • Qualifying Round 1, Group B  (15 minutes) 
    • Top five transfer to Final Round
  • Qualifying Final Round  (10 minutes)

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

One-lap qualifying

Tracks: Atlanta-1*, Atlanta-2, Charlotte Oval, Darlington, Kansas, Las Vegas, Miami, Nashville*, Phoenix-1, Phoenix-2*, Pocono, Texas

* denotes expanded weekend

Format

  • 20-minute warm-up/practice for all trucks
  • Qualifying (all trucks) — single truck, 1 lap

Two-lap qualifying

Tracks: Bristol-2, Dover, Martinsville, Richmond

Format

  • 20-min warm-up/practice for all trucks
  • Qualifying (all trucks) — single truck, 2 laps

Superspeedway qualifying

Tracks: Daytona-1*, Daytona-2, Talladega

Format 

  • Qualifying Round 1 — single car, 1 lap (all vehicles)
    • Top 10 transfer to final round
  • Qualifying Final Round — single car, 1 lap

Road-course qualifying

Tracks: COTA, Mid-Ohio*, Sonoma*

* denotes expanded weekend

Format

  • 20-minute warm-up/practice — all cars
  • Qualifying Round 1, Group A (15 minutes)
    • Top 5 transfer to Final Round
  • Qualifying Round 1, Group B  (15 minutes)
    • Top 5 transfer to Final Round
  • Qualifying Final Round (10 minutes)

Dirt qualifying

Tracks: Bristol Dirt, Knoxville

Format

  • Two 50-minute practice sessions
  • Four qualifying races determine the field and lineup for the main race, order based on random draw