DAYTONA Seaside, Fla. — The 2022 NASCAR Cup Collection season has not experienced its very first official race however, but the activity now grabbed a preseason victory with The Clash at The Coliseum — an annual exhibition race that moved to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 2022 — before this month. From the sights to the racing, the event spectacularly lived up to the pre-race excitement.
Now, it is really onto the real nine-thirty day period season with details, playoffs and a big trophy waiting at the finish of it all in November. But you can find a lot going on this year with a new automobile, new tracks on the routine, motorists with various groups and a shakeup to follow and qualifying amongst them.
It really is a great deal to preserve monitor of, so with the time-opening Daytona 500 on Sunday, here is a breakdown of four prime storylines to hold in head through the 9-month NASCAR season.
Subsequent Gen car’s formal debut
Guaranteed, NASCAR’s seventh era car’s 1st race was The Clash, but the Up coming Gen vehicle can make its formal debut in Sunday’s Daytona 500 right after being delayed a time simply because of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the floor, apparent differences as opposed with the previous motor vehicle include a symmetrical entire body, auto quantities moved ahead and bigger wheels with a solitary lugnut instead of 5.
Also, with a wide range of aerodynamic adjustments to the physique, this motor vehicle has considerably less downforce compared with the prior variations, and it is envisioned that it will be a lot more hard for drivers to pilot. So it may just take drivers and teams a few races to get altered to the new products.
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New year, new group
Silly season, effectively NASCAR’s cost-free agency, was a fast paced one particular forward of 2022, and now, there are various motorists who switched teams.
Following a dozen seasons, like the 2012 championship, with Group Penske, Brad Keselowski joined Roush Fenway Racing as a driver and co-proprietor, and the team is now Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing (RFK). He’ll generate the No. 6 Ford, changing Ryan Newman, who’s not at this time racing in the Cup Collection, and 2020 Xfinity Sequence champ and Cup rookie Austin Cindric is getting over the No. 2 Group Penske Ford.
And Keselowski has some lofty plans for his 1st yr with the crew, including acquiring each himself and fellow RFK driver Chris Buescher in the 10-race playoffs in the slide. The crew begun off the season with a bang winning both of those of the Daytona duels Thursday evening.
At the close of the 2021 season, Chip Ganassi Racing exited NASCAR, meaning Kurt Busch and Ross Chastain essential new rides.
23XI Racing — the team owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin, who drives the No. 11 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing — expanded to a two-car crew, bringing in 2004 NASCAR champ Busch in the No. 45 Toyota to be part of Bubba Wallace in the No. 23 Toyota.
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“I do believe it’s probable [to have both drivers make the playoffs],” Hamlin reported Wednesday. “I assume Bubba isn’t far off from that. …
“I assume, in standard, the ordinary finish of the field is going to go up this year. Possibly not for the fellas in the back again, who ran in the again fairly considerably every single 7 days. But actually, your major 10, I would say, in typical complete almost certainly will go up at minimum a number of factors from in which [they’ve] been in the previous just simply because of mechanical failures, wrecks. All these matters will be up drastically this 12 months.”
Driving the No. 1 Chevrolet, Chastain is now teammates with Daniel Suárez on Pitbull’s crew, Trackhouse Racing. And Harrison Burton replaces Matt DiBenedetto — who’s not at the moment in the Cup Collection — driving the No. 21 Ford for Wooden Brothers Racing.
Can Kyle Larson carry on dominating?
In his first season with Hendrick Motorsports, Larson — who was fired in 2020 immediately after expressing the N-word through an iRacing occasion prior to becoming a member of the powerhouse staff — dominated, successful 10 races and his initially championship. Not only was he the lone driver to strike double-digit victories, but it was not even shut with Martin Truex Jr. and Alex Bowman having the upcoming greatest get complete in 2021 with 4 checkered flags apiece.
Even though definitely not impossible, it however would seem not likely Larson will be able to repeat his good results and hit 10 wins once again, specifically as he and his group — as well as anyone else in the garage — modify to the Up coming Gen auto. He’ll likely choose many checkered flags in 2022, but with the new car, domination could possibly appear a little unique this year.
New and new ish tracks
The 2021 NASCAR season included several street programs to the program, together with adding Nashville Superspeedway to the docket and a Bristol Motor Speedway dust race. Most of people additions are back in 2022, minus a race at Daytona Intercontinental Speedway’s road study course.
NASCAR:Total 2022 Cup Collection race agenda
NASCAR will nevertheless race on filth at Bristol (April 17) and at Nashville (June 26), Circuit of The Americas (March 27), Street The united states (July 3) and Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s highway course (July 31). Entire world Wide Technologies Raceway is now on the Cup agenda (June 5), and Homestead-Miami Speedway is back again in the playoffs (October 23). The playoff elimination races keep on being the very same, and the championship race in November is however at Phoenix Raceway.
Follow Michelle Martinelli on Twitter @MMartinelli4.