A look at the 10 races that will decide the next Cup Series Champion.

2022 nascar cup playoff schedule, how the playoffs work
Sean GardnerGetty Images

The upcoming NASCAR Cup Series championship schedule features 10 races contested in three three-race sets, then a championship-deciding showdown that will end the 36-race season on Nov. 6.

How The Playoff Works

• The 16-driver field is reduced by four after the first, second, and third sets, leaving four drivers eligible for the Cup Series title.

• Regardless of where they finish among the full 36-driver field at Phoenix, the best finisher among those four is this year’s champion.

• Drivers are eliminated based on cumulative points scored in each of the three-race sets. If a Playoff driver wins during any of the sets, he automatically advances to the next set, regardless of his points position. It is possible for at least one and maybe two winless drivers to finish well enough through the first three sets to be in the four-man championship race at Phoenix.

• The field will be reduced from 16 championship contenders to 12 after the Sept. 17 night race at Bristol, Tenn. It will be further reduced from 12 to eight after the Oct. 9 Roval race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, then from eight to the last four hopefuls after the Oct. 30 race at Martinsville Speedway.

Playoff Schedule

Date, Event, Where, Laps, Miles, Most recent winner

Round of 16

Sunday, Sept. 4 – Cook Out Southern 500, Darlington Raceway, 367 laps, 500 miles, Joey Logano (’22)

Sunday, Sept. 11 – Hollywood Casino 400, Kansas Speedway, 267 laps, 400 miles, Kurt Busch (’22)

Saturday, Sept. 17 – Bass Pro 500, Bristol Motor Speedway, 500 laps, 266 miles, Kyle Larson (’21)

Round of 12

Sunday, Sept. 25 – Auto Trader 500, Texas Motor Speedway, 334 laps, 500 miles, Kyle Larson (’21)

Sunday, Oct. 2- YellaWood 500, Talladega Superspeedway, 188 laps, 500 miles, Ross Chastain (’22)

Sunday, Oct. 9 – Bank of America Roval, Charlotte Motor Speedway, 109 laps, 253 miles, Kyle Larson (’21)

Round of 8

Sunday, Oct. 16 – South Point 400, Las Vegas Motor Speedway,267 laps, 400 miles, Alex Bowman (’22)

Sunday, Oct. 23 – Dixie Vodka 400, Homestead-Miami Speedway, 267 laps, 400 miles, William Byron (’21)

Sunday, Oct. 30 – Xfinity 500, Martinsville Speedway, 500 laps, 263 miles, William Byron (’22)

Championship 4

Sunday, Nov. 6 – Cup Series Championship, Phoenix Raceway, 312 laps, 312 miles, Chase Briscoe (’22)

Keyword: 2022 NASCAR Cup Playoff Schedule, How the Playoffs Work

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