The TV channel for a NASCAR race is elusive enough in a normal season when Fox and FS1 trade broadcasts of Cup Series events through the first half of the schedule. The challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic make the «what channel is today's NASCAR race on» question even more understandable.
This week, for the first time in months, those who seek the TV channel for Sunday's NASCAR race will be doing so in order to watch a real, live event rather than a virtual competition. The Cup Series' return at Darlington will broadcast live on Fox with a start time of 3:30 p.m. ET.
Sunday's Darlington race is the first on an altered, short-term schedule for NASCAR's races as it attempts to keep a 36-race slate intact. For now, with remaining doubt about how NASCAR can construct its schedule beyond June given differing restrictions on gatherings of people from state to state, the short-term schedule includes only a handful of tracks.
As for Sunday's Darlington race, it will run May 17 in place of the June 21 race that would have been held at Chicagoland Speedway. NASCAR chose the South Carolina venue as the host track for the next couple races in part because of its proximity to race teams based in Charlotte, N.C. From Chicagoland president Scott Paddock: “The difficult decision to realign our race events was a combination of where we fell on the schedule, proximity to NASCAR’s teams and the safety and well-being of our community and larger NASCAR industry.»
Below is how to watch Sunday's Cup Series race at Darlington, including the TV channel and live stream options.
MORE: Updated NASCAR schedule for 2020
What channel is NASCAR on today?
- Race: NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway
- Date: Sunday, May 17
- TV channel: Fox
- Live stream: Fox Sports Go, fuboTV (7-day free trial)
- Radio: MRN
Like the schedule itself, the TV channels for Cup Series races after June are up in the air. Sunday's race at Darlington, though, as well as the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway next weekend, will air live on Fox.
Below are the top 40 TV markets in the Unites States and the local Fox affiliate for each.
|Market||Fox affiliate (digital/virtual channel)|
|New York||WNYW (5)|
|Los Angeles||KTTV (11)|
|Dallas-Ft. Worth||KDFW (4)|
|San Francisco/Bay area||KTVU (2)|
|Washington D.C.||WTTG (5)|
|Tampa/St. Petersburg||WTVT (13)|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul||KMSP-TV (9)|
|St. Louis||KTVI (2)|
|San Diego||KSWB-TV (69)|
|Salt Lake City||KSTU (13)|
|San Antonio||KABB (29)|
|Kansas City||WDAF-TV (4)|
|Las Vegas||KVVU-TV (5)|
|Oklahoma City||KOKH-TV (25)|
|New Orleans||WVUE-DT (8)|
What time does the NASCAR race start today?
- Date: Sunday, May 17
- Start time: 3:30 p.m. ET
NASCAR's annual trip to Darlington in recent years has been a night race, but this special occasion calls for an afternoon green flag.
Sunday's race at Darlington is scheduled for 400 miles, so chances are it will end under the lights. It will include three stages, which will end on Lap 90, Lap 185 and Lap 293.
There will be no practice or qualifying for Sunday's race, but Cup Series haulers will be able to enter the track Saturday at 5:30 p.m. ET to set up.
NASCAR live stream for Darlington race
Anybody who has a cable or satellite subscription can stream Sunday's Darlington race live via Fox Sports Go. This should be the preferred route for a viewer who has such a subscription but isn't able to get in front of his or her TV.
For those who don't have a cable or satellite subscription, there are five OTT TV streaming options that carry Fox — Sling, Hulu, YouTubeTV, fuboTV and AT&T Now. Of the five, Hulu, YouTubeTV and fuboTV offer free trial options.
Below are links to each.
NASCAR schedule 2020
NASCAR on May 14 released its revised Cup Series schedule for May 2020. It remains committed to running 36 races, four of which were completed before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the sports world. According to Fox Sports, NASCAR hopes to keep its 10 playoff races in the fall intact and at their original tracks.
Below is the schedule revision for the Cup Series:
|Date||Track||Series||Distance||Stage lengths (laps)||TV channel||Start time|
|Sun., May 17||Darlington||Cup||400.2 miles||90-95-108||FOX||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Wed., May 20||Darlington||Cup||311.4 miles||60-65-103||FS1||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Sun., May 24||Charlotte||Cup||600 miles||100-100-100-100||FOX||6 p.m. ET|
|Wed., May 27||Charlotte||Cup||312 miles||55-60-93||FS1||8 p.m. ET|
|Sun, May 31||Bristol||Cup||266 miles||TBD||FS1||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Sun, June 7||Atlanta||Cup||500 miles||TBD||FOX||3 p.m. ET|
|Wed, June 10||Martinsville||Cup||263 miles||TBD||FS1||7 p.m. ET|
|Sun, June 14||Miami||Cup||400 miles||TBD||FOX||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Sun, June 21||Talladega||Cup||500 miles||TBD||FOX||3 p.m. ET|
To start, NASCAR is scheduling races within driving distance of the Charlotte area, where most race teams are headquartered. That eliminates most of the travel-related logistics issues associated with running multiple races in one week, which appears necessary for a full season of racing.
Because those tracks are hosting more races than originally scheduled, NASCAR had to take races away from Chicagoland, Richmond and Sonoma. Via NASCAR, below are the details of those changes:
— «Chicagoland’s NASCAR Cup Series race, originally set for June 21, has been reassigned to Darlington on May 17. The 1.5-mile Illinois track’s Xfinity Series race that was scheduled June 20 will be held May 19 at Darlington. Chicagoland was also set to host the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series (June 19) and ARCA Menards Series (June 18); officials indicated that those races will be reassigned at a later date.»
— «Richmond Raceway’s springtime Cup Series event on the initial schedule for April 19 has been moved to Darlington on May 20. A Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race that was to be run April 18 remains postponed, with officials saying details would come later for rescheduling. The .75-mile Virginia track’s Sept. 11-12 race weekend remains on the schedule.»
— «Sonoma Raceway’s Cup Series date for June 14 has been moved to Charlotte on May 27. Officials for the road course said in a release that they had worked with NASCAR to find an alternate date on the schedule, but that a suitable replacement could not be reached, ‘given the ongoing uncertainty around large events in California.'»
Below are the four NASCAR Cup Series races that are currently postponed (and their original dates on the schedule):
- Texas (March 29)
- Dover (May 3)
- Kansas (May 31)
- Michigan (June 7)