NASCAR Truck SeriesNASCAR Xfinity Series

Portland debut, IRP return headline 2022 NASCAR Xfinity, Truck schedules

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Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR

The NASCAR Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series‘ 2022 calendars are now available, and both feature plenty of eye-catching stops from new dates to returning circuits after years away from the national series realm.

“I think the neat thing about the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series,” began said NASCAR senior vice president of strategy and innovation Ben Kennedy on Wednesday, “the ability to not only bring some great racing to a lot of our Cup Series weekends and create a lot of those companion events but have some standalone weekends too.”

Xfinity: Portland addition marks return to PNW

The Xfinity schedule mainly follows the Cup Series slate, which comes with little surprise as the second tier below said division; all but one of the thirty-three dates are a companion event with the parent series. Such a pattern was also done for the 2021 schedule as Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course was the only standalone that year.

For 2022, however, Mid-Ohio will be switched out in favour of another road course. For just the second time ever, a NASCAR national series will visit Portland International Raceway when the Xfinity Series does so on 4 June. From 1999 to 2000, the 1.967-mile (3.166 km) circuit hosted the Truck Series, and it also welcomed what is now the ARCA Menards Series West in 1986 and again from 2009 to 2012 before being restored for 2021. Portland has also hosted the NTT IndyCar Series since 2018, with the ARCA West race being an undercard.

The addition of Portland also marks NASCAR’s return to the Pacific Northwest, a market that the sanctioning body has sought to expand into but has seen varying degrees of success. During the Truck Series’ western-heavy infancy in the late 1990s, the series raced at multiple tracks in the region such as Evergreen Speedway and Portland Speedway (not to be confused with PIR). However, the Cup and Xfinity Series did not follow suit and efforts by International Speedway Corporation, a NASCAR-owned venture that operates multiple tracks, to construct a venue in the region never came to fruition. In spite of this, the West Series continued racing there at tracks like Spokane County Raceway.

Both Mid-Ohio and Portland are operated by Green Savoree Racing Promotions. Despite the former losing its Xfinity date, it will gain a Truck date (as discussed below).

“So I’ve heard a rumor that The @NASCAR   #XfinitySeries is going to race in my hometown  @portlandraceway next year!! I should get my gear ready,” quipped PNW native Greg Biffle. The 2002 Xfinity champion, who last competed in the series in 2010, won the 1999 Truck race at Portland and scored a podium there with the Stadium Super Trucks in 2019.

The Daytona International Speedway Road Course, which replaced Auto Club Speedway in 2021 due to COVID-19, will not return for 2022. Richmond Raceway‘s lone race in September will be moved to 2 April.

Full Xfinity Series schedule

1Daytona International Speedway19 February
2Auto Club Speedway26 February
3Las Vegas Motor Speedway5 March
4Phoenix Raceway12 March
5Atlanta Motor Speedway19 March
6Circuit of the Americas26 March
7Richmond Raceway2 April
8Martinsville Speedway8 April
9Talladega Superspeedway23 April
10Dover International Speedway30 April
11Darlington Raceway7 May
12Texas Motor Speedway21 May
13Charlotte Motor Speedway28 May
14Portland International Raceway4 June
15Nashville Superspeedway25 June
16Road America2 July
17Atlanta Motor Speedway9 July
18New Hampshire Motor Speedway16 July
19Pocono Raceway23 July
20Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course30 July
21Michigan International Speedway6 August
22Watkins Glen International20 August
23Daytona International Speedway26 August
24Darlington Raceway3 September
25Kansas Speedway10 September
26Bristol Motor Speedway16 September
27Texas Motor Speedway24 September
28Talladega Superspeedway1 October
29Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval8 October
30Las Vegas Motor Speedway15 October
31Homestead-Miami Speedway22 October
32Martinsville Speedway29 October
33Phoenix Raceway5 November
Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images for NASCAR

Trucks: Mid-Ohio, duo of returnees highlight new stops

After the 2021 calendar featured a one-race reduction to twenty-two, the 2022 Truck Series schedule will return to twenty-three dates as had been the case from 2015 to 2020. With the added round comes a multitude of changes, two of which will surely bring back memories for longtime fans.

Sonoma Raceway, which has long been a Cup Series standalone date with ARCA West as an undercard, will bring back the Trucks for 2022. The 2.52-mile (4.05 km) California circuit was a Truck stop from the inaugural season in 1995 to 1998.

“This is such an exciting day for Sonoma Raceway,” track executive vice president and general manager Jill Gregory stated“The Truck Series was born on the West Coast, and some of the most memorable moments in the history of that series have come on road courses just like Sonoma. This race will be a great addition to the biggest motorsports weekend in the Bay Area.”

Sonoma replaces another West Coast track in Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which loses its fall date but still has a race in the spring. Such a change was spurred by the lack of available television window for FOX Sports in the fall, especially as the network is airing other sports such as college football. FOX’s final Cup broadcast of the season will also take place at Sonoma.

However, perhaps the biggest addition is Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. Affectionately called IRP in reference to its previous name Indianapolis Raceway Park, the .686-mile (1.1km) oval is located seven miles away from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the Cup and Xfinity Series will race on the road course as the weekend’s main events in late July.

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome back NASCAR and the Camping World Truck Series to Lucas Oil Raceway in 2022,” stated track manager Kasey Coler“The Truck Series has celebrated many exciting finishes in its history at the track and we can’t wait to add to that history beginning next year.”

The Xfinity and Truck Series had raced at IRP since their first seasons, though both stopped after 2011 as NASCAR focused its Indianapolis scope on just the larger Indianapolis Motor Speedway. However, the Trucks were excluded and have never raced at the Brickyard. In the meantime, IRP has hosted series like USAC, ARCA, and the Superstar Racing Experience. As fan interest in IMS declined in recent years due to poor racing (hence the move from the oval to the infield road course), calls to return to IRP—and potentially move Cup there—have since grown. When Canadian Tire Motorsport Park‘s 2021 date was jeopardised by COVID-19, rumours circulated of it being replaced by IRP; the race was ultimately switched out for Darlington.

“Lucas Oil is something actually we’ve been looking at for a while now,” Kennedy commented. “Ultimately, a lot of those conversations kind of came to a head over the summer. We felt like the timing made a lot of sense.”

With the pandemic ongoing and affecting the United States/Canada border, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is once again removed from the schedule.

“A big reason for that is because of the current COVID restrictions and a lot of the planning, logistics and lead time that are required for our teams and our industry to travel outside of the country,” added Kennedy. “We felt like it was in our collective best interests to go ahead and not have Canadian Tire on the schedule. […]

“I think from a planning perspective, a lot of our teams like to get out front as soon as they can of these events. Canada takes an extra lead time. We felt like it was our collective kind of best decision to go ahead and not have Canadian Tire as a part of the schedule rather than waiting several months, seeing how restrictions play out, the number of unknowns around COVID, the current landscape of it and everything.”

However, the loss of a road course is offset as the Trucks will race at Mid-Ohio for the first time.

“Our fans are going to experience a great show with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series racing at Mid-Ohio for the very first time,” said circuit president Craig Rust“The 2022 schedule continues our commitment to bring our fans the best variety of motorsports that they have come to expect. With the uncertainty we all have faced the past couple seasons, it’s great to be able to release our full schedule this early to our fans, so they can make their racing plans for next summer.”

Like its parents, the Trucks will also skip the Daytona Road Course, which replaced Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2021 but will return for 2022. Watkins Glen International, added for 2021, is also removed.

Full Truck Series schedule

1Daytona International Speedway18 February
2Las Vegas Motor Speedway4 March
3Atlanta Motor Speedway19 March
4Circuit of the Americas26 March
5Martinsville Speedway7 April
6Bristol Motor Speedway (Dirt)16 April
7Darlington Raceway6 May
8Kansas Speedway14 May
9Texas Motor Speedway20 May
10Charlotte Motor Speedway27 May
11World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway4 June
12Sonoma Raceway11 June
13Knoxville Raceway18 June
14Nashville Superspeedway24 June
15Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course9 July
16Pocono Raceway23 July
17Lucas Oil Raceway29 July
18Richmond Raceway13 August
19Kansas Speedway9 September
20Bristol Motor Speedway15 September
21Talladega Superspeedway1 October
22Homestead-Miami Speedway22 October
23Phoenix Raceway4 November
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Justin is neither a NASCAR nor off-road racer, but he has covered them for The Checkered Flag since 2018.
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