In a world of change for the NASCAR schedule this season, one thing is remaining a constant. That’s the championship weekend will remain at the Phoenix Raceway. NASCAR and the track made it known on Tuesday that the 2022 season will once again conclude in the Valley of the Sun.
Phoenix, will host the final weekend of the NASCAR season, scheduled for Nov. 4-6, 2022. The 1-mile Avondale, Arizona oval first hosted the sport’s pinnacle events in 2020 and is scheduled to crown four champions in three days for the second consecutive season this fall.
“We’re so proud of the fact that we get to host NASCAR’s biggest weekend, crowning those four champions and celebrating the series, our drivers, our teams,” track president Julie Giese told NASCAR.com. “It’s going to be a great event. We’re really looking forward to it and honored that we have the opportunity to host this once again.”
The 2022 NASCAR Championship Weekend will again feature culminating events in the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the ARCA Menards Series West.
We know Daytona will kickoff the season on Feb. 20 for the 64th Daytona 500 and the season will conclude on Nov. 6. Everything in between is still TBA.
Season ticket renewals are already underway for fans to lock in their seats for the 2022 championship weekend. To learn more about becoming a Phoenix Raceway Season Ticket Holder, please call 866-408-RACE (7223). Public on-sale for the 2022 NASCAR Championship Event will occur at a later date.
To learn more about all happenings and upcoming events Phoenix Raceway, including the 2021 NASCAR Championship Weekend later this season, Nov. 5-7, please visit PhoenixRaceway.com.
The thing is though, should Phoenix just become the new norm as the championship round? Since the playoff era began in 2004, the Homestead-Miami Speedway was the championship site every year until last season. 2019 was the final time Homestead served as the season finale while Phoenix replaced it in 2020. They’ll crown a champion now in Phoenix this year and next sparking a question, should Phoenix be the new permanent host of the final round?
When it was moved between 2019 and 2020, everyone kind of wondered if this was going to potentially make the championship race a revolving thing. I mean, the Super Bowl, the NCAA College Football as well as the NCAA Final Four and other marquee championship deciding events rotate venues. Should NASCAR do the same with their format?
The drivers have pretty well all shared their thoughts in thinking it should and some wondered if it would happen in the near future. But, while speculation was surrounding that topic, a third straight year in Phoenix may signal that this could be the new championship venue.
I always thought Homestead was a great place for a season finale because the track stood out. It sparked great racing with multiple lanes to race on and didn’t have another date earlier in the season. Phoenix, has a spring race and you can take notes from March and apply it to November.
Phoenix does serve a purpose though as it’s a great facility, in a great city and has the potential for some late race drama where drivers can beat and bang for a title which is something you really can’t do in Homestead.
Also, Phoenix isn’t a place where you necessarily have to worry about weather interruptions either, so it’s a win-win there.
If the race was to rotate around, there’s really not a lot of places to do so anyways. NASCAR purchased the ISC tracks, so you got to think they’re going to keep the championship weekend in house and not to SMI. That means Homestead, Phoenix, Fontana, Daytona, Talladega, Martinsville, Richmond, Kansas, Darlington or Watkins Glen would be the championship deciders but among that group, Watkins Glen would be too cold in November. So would Kansas. Richmond would be iffy. Daytona and Talladega would be too much of a crap shoot and not really a fair way to decide a championship leaving just Homestead, Phoenix, Fontana and Martinsville as the only viable options.
Martinsville could in theory host since they host a race a week earlier, but weather could be a factor in play. You don’t have to worry about that in Phoenix. Plus, wouldn’t it be better to end the season in a city like Phoenix than a small town like Martinsville?
Fontana makes since to add to the rotation with the LA market plus a new designed track soon, but that’s about it.
While I hear the rumors for Vegas, you have to remember SMI owns that. I don’t see NASCAR relinquishing that date to SMI. That’s why Phoenix remains in play for the championship race again.