How NASCAR can avoid a 2022 schedule disaster

Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

An NFL schedule change would provisionally push the Super Bowl back to the same day as the projected Daytona 500 race day in 2022.

When it’s all said and done, it’s highly unlikely that the Super Bowl and NASCAR‘s “Super Bowl”, the Daytona 500, will be contested on the same day. Simply put, nobody wants that to happen, and I’m not talking just about the fans.

However, an NFL schedule change has lined up this possibility for 2022, at least for now.

Beginning in the 2021 season, the NFL is in line to move from a 16-game schedule to a 17-game schedule, with an official announcement about the matter and how the opponent in each team’s additional game will be determined expected at some point in the near future.

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The 32 teams in the league currently play their three division rivals two times each, all four teams from one of the other three divisions in their conference, all four teams from one of the four divisions in the opposing conference, and the teams in the other two divisions in their conference which finished in the same position that they did the year before.

This schedule change is slated to push the Super Bowl back to the second Sunday in February, beginning with Super Bowl LVI.

For 2022, that would be Sunday, February 13, which is also be the date on which the Daytona 500 would typically be held.

The race is rarely contested on the second Sunday in February, but that is when it is scheduled to be run in 2021 (Sunday, February 14) for the first time since 2010.

The most likely option for NASCAR would be to schedule the Daytona International Speedway event for Sunday, February 20, while maintaining this year’s updated format for a Speedweeks schedule. This is the third Sunday of the month, which is when the race has been held in each of the last three years.

The Daytona 500 typically goes green in the mid-afternoon (~2:30 p.m. ET), while the Super Bowl typically kicks off in the early evening (~6:30 p.m. ET). The upcoming Super Bowl LV is scheduled to be contested this evening at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

Notably, Daytona 500 qualifying will not even be run on Super Bowl Sunday in 2021, as NASCAR reconstructed the Speedweeks format for the upcoming season, so again, it’s highly unlikely that we will ever see a scenario that results in the Daytona 500 and the Super Bowl being contested within hours of each other.

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But suffice it to say that it won’t be the NFL that changes their plans to make way for NASCAR.