Six months ago, NASCAR Cup Series teams arrived at Daytona International Speedway for the Daytona 500 with very little real-world knowledge of the new Next Gen car.
This weekend teams return to DIS with 25 regular-season races in the record books and with big notebooks about the likes and dislikes of the new car. The regular season will end with Saturday night’s 400-mile race (7 p.m. ET, NBC and Peacock) on the 2.5-mile oval.
The weekend’s major storyline centers on the playoff starting grid. Fifteen drivers have qualified with race wins. Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. could claim the 16th and final playoff position via points, while other non-winners could move into the playoffs with a Saturday night victory.
The Daytona weekend also includes a Friday Xfinity race (7:30 p.m. ET, USA Network).
Here’s a look at this weekend’s schedule:
Daytona International Speedway (Cup and Xfinity)
Friday: Morning showers. Scattered thunderstorms afternoon and evening. High of 88. 60% chance of rain.
Saturday: Scattered thunderstorms afternoon and evening. High of 86. Chance of rain 50%.
Friday, August 26
(All times Eastern)
- 8 a.m. — Xfinity Series
- Noon – 7 p.m. — Cup Series
- 3:05 – 4:30 p.m. — Xfinity Series qualifying (USA Network)
- 5:05 – 6:30 p.m. — Cup Series qualifying (USA Network, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
- 7:30 p.m. — Xfinity Series race (100 laps, 250 miles; USA Network, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
Saturday, August 27
- 7 p.m. — Cup Series race (160 laps, 400 miles; NBC and Peacock, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)