NASCAR is preparing to launch an in-season tournament in 2025, kicking off with the first race held in Atlanta

Published Categorized as Motorsport No Comments on NASCAR is preparing to launch an in-season tournament in 2025, kicking off with the first race held in Atlanta
Denny Hamlin celebrates after winning a NASCAR Cup

Taking a cue from the NBA, the NASCAR Cup Series is planning a five-race tournament in the middle of the 2025 season. It all kicks off with a night race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

This tournament, offering a $1 million prize to the winner, is part of a new deal with TNT, which will broadcast all five races. The action begins with a 400-mile race in Atlanta on June 28, 2025.

Kyle Larson is excited about the added incentive, saying, “Having $1 million on the line next year will definitely be a goal before the season starts.” He believes it will inject fresh excitement into the summer months.

Atlanta Motor Speedway, known for its thrilling races, especially since its redesign, will host the first tournament race. The rest of the 36-race schedule will be announced later.

Brandon Hutchison, the track’s president, is thrilled to host a night race after having two day races this season. He sees it as an added bonus to kick off the new tournament.

Kyle Larson driving his car

“We’ve listened to our fans,” said Hutchison. “We know they wanted the night race back. We were thrilled to even consider giving that to them. With TNT — a hometown broadcast partner, home track, the first season of the in-season bracket tournament, the first time that’s ever been held in NASCAR — we believe that June 28, 2025, will be a very exciting time at Atlanta Motor Speedway.”

The tournament follows the format of in-season tournaments seen in soccer leagues worldwide and introduced to the NBA this season. The Los Angeles Lakers won the first event in December, defeating Indiana in a Las Vegas title game.

The NASCAR tournament will involve the top 32 drivers from three seeding races, held just before the Atlanta race and broadcasted by Amazon Prime.

Drivers will compete in head-to-head matchups based on seeding, with winners advancing to the next round in a bracket format similar to NCAA basketball tournaments.

The field will be reduced to 16 for Race 2, followed by quarterfinals in Race 3, semifinals in Race 4, and the final in Race 5.

“It’s a great time to be a motorsports fan, and this new in-season tournament will bring a fresh competitive edge to NASCAR’s summer races,” said Craig Barry, executive vice president and chief content officer of TNT Sports.

Hutchison mentioned that Atlanta Speedway will continue to host two races in 2025, but the full schedule is yet to be finalized.

Kye Larson waits for the practice to begin

This year, the 1.54-mile oval track in Hampton hosted its second points race on Feb. 25, a week after the Daytona 500. Daniel Suarez won that race in a thrilling three-wide photo finish against Ryan Blaney and Kyle Busch.

Atlanta’s second race in 2024 is scheduled for Sept. 8, marking the start of the NASCAR playoffs. However, next year, this race will be part of the in-season tournament rather than the playoffs.

In a post on X, Denny Hamlin expressed his excitement about the tournament, calling it “a win for our sport and drivers.” He humorously added, “I will collect my 1M royalty next season.”

Larson believes the tournament will inject excitement into the summer season. “I think this bracket, or whatever you want to call it, is going to add a lot of excitement and more storylines,” he said. “So I love it.”


By Christopher Kamila

I am an experienced content writer with a specialization in WordPress. I have written engaging articles for various websites that have achieved a total of 5,500 monthly views. In addition, I have played a key role in boosting their organic traffic by 30% and achieving top Google rankings through SEO. My passion lies in creating user-friendly content.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *