NASCAR: Surprising mid-season decision leads to bigger questions

Fox's decision to cancel NASCAR Race Hub for good in the middle of the 2024 season was baffling to say the least.
Daytona 500, NASCAR
Daytona 500, NASCAR / Sean Gardner/GettyImages

On Wednesday, longtime NASCAR broadcast partner Fox made the surprising decision to cancel NASCAR Race Hub, the popular one-hour daily program that airs on Fox Sports 1 and debuted 15 seasons ago.

It moved to Fox Sports 1 more than a decade ago and recently eclipsed 2,500 episodes, but after Tuesday, June 11, the program will be no more.

The decision to abruptly end the program drew disappointment, frustration, and above all, a significant element of confusion among NASCAR social media circles, with many lamenting the fact that the surprise loss of the program will have a domino effect on so many of the industry's hardest working individuals.

How committed is Fox to their coverage of NASCAR?

The decision comes ahead of NASCAR's new media rights deal taking effect in 2025, as Fox and NBC are now in the 10th and final year of their current contracts to air Cup Series races. The former accounts for the coverage of 18 races, including the two exhibitions, and the latter accounts for the final 20, including the entire four-round, 10-race postseason.

The new deal, a seven-year agreement that runs through 2031, also includes Amazon Prime Video and TNT Sports, which are each set to take over for five races between Fox's portion and NBC's portion of the broadcast schedule.

Fox's NASCAR Race Hub decision was announced just hours after former NBC announcer Dale Earnhardt Jr. confirmed his move to both Amazon and TNT for 2025 and beyond.

The fact that Fox's decision to cancel NASCAR Race Hub came before the new media rights deal sees them drop from 16 to 12 points races makes one question how committed they are to the sport beyond the annual season-opening Daytona 500.

They do still have the broadcast rights to the Busch Light Clash preseason exhibition race and the All-Star Race, giving them 14 races in total, but only four races aside from the Daytona 500 are actually set to be shown on Fox. The other nine are slated for Fox Sports 1.

And that's not to mention the fact that the shutdown of NASCAR Race Hub isn't waiting until the end of the season; it's coming immediately after the end of Fox's portion of this year's schedule, which runs through the race at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday, June 9.

The first race of NBC's portion of the schedule is set to take place at Iowa Speedway on Sunday, June 16, just days after the final episode of Race Hub airs.

NBC's new part of the media rights deal sees them drop from 20 to 14 races, with only four on NBC and the other 10 on USA Network. It's currently a 10/10 split; the NBCUniversal-owned USA Network became the alternate network during NBC's portion of the broadcast schedule in 2022 after NBC Sports Network shut down at the end of 2021.

Just nine of 38 races are set to be shown on Fox or NBC next year.

Next. NASCAR: Daytona 500 winner switching teams in 2025. NASCAR: Daytona 500 winner switching teams in 2025. dark

The remainder of Fox's portion of this year's broadcast schedule includes five races, with two on Fox and three on Fox Sports 1. This Sunday afternoon's Goodyear 400 is set to be shown live on Fox Sports 1 from Darlington Raceway beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET. Begin a free trial of FuboTV and don't miss any of the upcoming action!