The anticipation has been building and the time has come for the NASCAR Cup Series to make its debut at the Circuit of The Americas this Sunday, May 23 for the EchoPark Texas Grand Prix at 2:30 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
The Circuit of The Americas (COTA) is a multi-elevational, 20-turn, 3.41-mile, paved road course located just outside Austin, Texas, and will be the stage for this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race. The Circuit of The Americas is the second of seven road course tracks on the Cup Series schedule this season – Daytona RC (won by Christopher Bell, 2/21), COTA (5/23), Sonoma (6/6), Road America (7/4), Watkins Glen (8/8), Indianapolis RC (8/15) and Charlotte ROVAL (10/10).
This weekend’s procedures will be action packed, with practice and qualifying taking place over the weekend. This will be the third of eight race weekends this season with designated practice and qualifying.
The lone NASCAR Cup Series Practice will take place at 10:05 a.m. ET – 10:55 a.m. ET (Saturday, May 22) and can be viewed on FS2 from 10-11 a.m. ET.
The Busch Pole Qualifying will be held on the same day as the race at 11:00 a.m. ET (Sunday, May 23) and can viewed on FS1 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET followed by NASCAR Race Day (1 p.m. ET).
Expect the drivers and teams to soak up every bit of the extra time on track because very few of the competitors in the field have any experience in a stock car at the road course. Two-time NASCAR Cup Series champ Kyle Busch participated in a FOX Sports production day at COTA back in April, where he got to drive production cars around the 3.41-mile course.
“It’s definitely an interesting place,” said Busch. “It’s a long course – a lot of corners, a lot of high-speed straightaways, heavy braking zones, so it’s definitely going to have its challenges for the drivers as well as the equipment.”
This weekend’s event, the EchoPark Texas Grand Prix is scheduled for 68 laps (231 miles). The race will be broken up into three stages. The first stage is 15 laps, the second stage is 17 laps, and the final stage will be 36 laps in length.