NASCAR Facing a 2022 Schedule Conflict?

The NFL is moving forward with plans to move from a 16-game schedule to a 17-game schedule for each of the 32 teams in the league beginning in the 2021 season.

by Asher Fair Courtesy of Fanside.com

The previous 16-game schedule for each team is comprised of the following:

  • Two games against each division rival (Six games)
  • One game against each team in a specific in-conference division (Four games)
  • One game against each team in a specific division out of the conference (Four games)
  • One game against the team in the remaining two in-conference divisions whose division rank in the previous season matched theirs (Two games)

The additional 17th game will be a game against the team in a specific division out of the conference whose division rank in the previous season matched theirs. The coinciding divisions for the 2021 season will be based on the 2019 schedule.

So, for example, the Kansas City Chiefs (AFC West) and the Green Bay Packers (NFC North) played each other in the 2019 season. They both won their divisions in the 2020 season. So they are slated to meet up in the 2021 season.

Now, the big question: with the 2021 NFL schedule having been confirmed on Wednesday, how does this affect NASCAR?

In short, it won’t, but there were some valid concerns before this was confirmed.

This situation has naturally moved the Super Bowl back by one week. This season, Super Bowl LV, which was won by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a score of 31-9 in dominant fashion over the Chiefs, was contested on Sunday, February 7 — the first Sunday in February.

That was just one week before the Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, February 14. Let’s also not forget that there were multiple schedule changes to this year’s Daytona Speedweeks presented by AdventHealth, preventing any on-track activity from taking place on Super Bowl Sunday.

Typically, the Busch Clash and single-car Daytona 500 qualifying would have taken place the Sunday before the Daytona 500. But they took place on the Tuesday and Wednesday leading up to this year’s running of the 200-lap race around the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) high-banked oval in Daytona Beach, Florida instead.

Now, next year, Super Bowl LVI is scheduled to take place on Sunday, February 13 — the second Sunday in February.

The Daytona 500 isn’t always on the second Sunday in February, but it has happened multiple times before, and that was the case again this season.

If that were the case again next season, it would be contested on the same day as Super Bowl LVI, and if that were the case, obviously the NFL wouldn’t be the one changing its schedule around.

But fortunately, that will not happen.

The “Great American Race” is slated to be contested on Sunday, February 20, the day before President’s Day, just like it was this year, even though that is the third Sunday, not the second, of the month in 2022.

The Speedweeks schedule will likely resemble something along the lines of what it was this season, with the Busch Clash on Tuesday evening, single-car qualifying on Wednesday evening and the Bluegreen Vacations Duels on Thursday evening, leading up to the main event on Sunday afternoon.

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