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 before NBC and NBCSN take over for the second half. The schedule shake-up associated with the coronavirus pandemic make the “what channel is today’s NASCAR race on” question even more understandable.
The NASCAR playoff schedule, though, remains unchanged. So the TV channel for Saturday night’s Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway is still NBCSN. This is the third of NASCAR’s 10-race playoffs in the Cup Series and the first cut-off race.
Saturday night’s NASCAR race at Bristol marks NBC/NBCSN’s 13th broadcast of the season after Fox/FS1’s slate ended with the July 15 All-Star Race. It is the 25th race in NASCAR’s return on an altered, short-term schedule, and the 29th Cup Series races overall as NASCAR keeps its 36-race slate intact for 2020.
The start time for Saturday’s NASCAR race at Bristol marks the fourth of five consecutive night races for the Cup Series. Below is how to watch Saturday night’s race, including the TV channel and live stream options.
NASCAR is back on schedule even after its two-month hiatus amid COVID-19 in the spring, so Saturday night’s race at Bristol will still be shown on NBCSN as originally scheduled.
Of the 20 NASCAR Cup Series races NBC was scheduled to broadcast in 2020, 12 were slated to be shown on NBCSN with the other eight on NBC’s flagship cable network. Five of the last six races of the season will be shown on NBC.
As for Saturday night’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol on NBCSN, the network has a channel finder feature for viewers to find the TV channel options in their areas.
As is the case for all the Cup Series races on NBC and NBCSN this season, Rick Allen will call Saturday night’s race at Bristol with the assistance of analysts Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte.
The green flag for Saturday night’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol will wave shortly after 7:30 p.m. ET, assuming there are no rain delays as there have been so often since NASCAR returned to live racing in May.
The 7:30 p.m. ET start time will make mid-race adjustments key for race teams, even at a short track like Bristol. The track will be hot and slick at the beginning of the race and get cooler and faster as the night progresses.
Bristol Motor Speedway obviously has lights, so a weather delay could push the race into the late hours of Saturday and early hours of Sunday. The race is scheduled for 500 laps (266.5 miles) and needs to reach the halfway point to be considered official in the event of weather issues.
Anybody who has a cable or satellite subscription can stream Saturday night’s NASCAR race at Bristol live via NBCSports.com or the NBC Sports app. 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 NBC and NBCSN — Sling, Hulu, YouTubeTV, fuboTV and AT&T Now. All five currently offer free trial options.
Below are links to each.
NASCAR remains committed to running 36 races this season, four of which were completed before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the sports world.
Despite so many changes to the regular-season schedule, NASCAR is keeping its 10 playoff races in the fall intact and at their original tracks. Below is that playoff schedule.
As for the regular season, a previously unscheduled Darlington race ran on May 17 instead of the the Chicagoland race that was originally scheduled for June 21. Another Darlington race ran on May 20 instead of the postponed Richmond race that was originally scheduled for April 19. The Charlotte race on May 27 ran instead of the Sonoma race that was originally scheduled for June 14.
The Pocono doubleheader remained as previously scheduled for the final weekend of June, with the Cup Series racing on back-to-back days. Those races were presented on Fox (and FS1) rather than on NBC. Fox’s closed its coverage this season with the All-Star Race at Bristol on July 15.
Previously postponed races at Dover and Michigan became part of Saturday-Sunday doubleheaders at those respective tracks in August.
Because New York required people to quarantine for 14 days after traveling from one of the states impacted heavily by COVID-19 (including North Carolina), the Watkins Glen race on Aug. 16 was moved to the Daytona road course. According to The Athletic, NASCAR tried to get a quarantine waiver for its Watkins Glen races but was denied by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.
The Aug. 16 race was the NASCAR Cup Series’ first on the road course at Daytona.
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