NASCAR at COTA schedule: How to watch on TV, weather, odds


After five races of driving on ovals, the NASCAR Cup Series is headed to its first road course race of the season.

Circuit of the Americas (COTA), a 20-turn road course located in Austin, Texas, will host NASCAR’s top series for the second-straight season after its inaugural race last May. That race was rain-shortened after heavy storms, running just 54 of the scheduled 68 laps before it was called early and leader Chase Elliott was awarded the win. 

This year’s race at COTA could be a completely different story, for multiple reasons. Most importantly, the weather likely won’t be an issue this weekend. Drivers will get their first real experience around a dry COTA track, and they’ll do it in the brand new Next Gen cars. The new cars were designed with the idea of handling better on road courses. They will be put to the test for the first time at COTA.

Here’s everything you need to know for COTA:

What is the COTA NASCAR schedule?

The race weekend at COTA will feature a full practice and qualifying schedule before the big show on Sunday. The 39-car field will be split into two groups, and each group will get a 20-minute practice session on Saturday, March 26 beginning at 10 a.m. ET.

Qualifying will begin immediately after practice, around 11 a.m. ET. Both of the practice groups will get 15 minutes to set a fast lap, with the five quickest cars in each group advancing to the second and final qualifying round. In the final round, the 10 advancing drivers will have 10 minutes to set a fast lap. Drivers can run as many laps as they want during their qualifying round, and only the fastest lap matters to set their starting position.

The EchoPark Texas Grand Prix at COTA will go green at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 27.

What channel is NASCAR on this weekend?

The race at COTA is on FOX, Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Pre-race coverage starts with NASCAR RaceDay at 2 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1. The coverage moves to FOX at 3 p.m., with more pre-race festivities before the race at 3:30 p.m.

All coverage before, during and after the race can be streamed online here.

NASCAR standings entering COTA

Now five races into the 26-race regular season, contenders are starting to emerge up and down the points grid. Only 16 drivers make the playoffs, and you can secure your spot by winning a race or scoring the most points among non-winners. Here’s a look at the current playoff standings, where winners reign supreme despite their points situation:

  1. Chase Briscoe, 156 points, 1 win
  2. William Byron, 150 points, 1 win
  3. Alex Bowman, 140 points, 1 win
  4. Kyle Larson, 135 points, 1 win
  5. Austin Cindric, 121 points, 1 win
  6. Chase Elliott, 171 points
  7. Joey Logano, 164 points
  8. Kurt Busch, 148 points
  9. Ryan Blaney, 148 points
  10. Aric Almirola, 144 points
  11. Martin Truex Jr., 142 points
  12. Ross Chastain, 137 points
  13. Kyle Busch, 136 points
  14. Daniel Suarez, 127 points
  15. Kevin Harvick, 127 points
  16. Tyler Reddick, 126 points

Unless there are more than 16 different winners, we already have two new playoff participants for 2022 – Briscoe and Cindric. With five winners in five races, just 11 playoff spots are up for grabs based on points, and that number is sure to drop as we get more new victors.

Which active drivers have won at COTA?

There’s only been one previous Cup race at COTA, so there’s only been one previous winner: Chase Elliott.

Not only did Elliott win at COTA last year, he is the series’ active leader with seven career road course wins (including two in 2021). Kyle Larson won a series-best three road course races last year, giving Hendrick Motorsports five road wins in 2021. Other drivers with multiple road course wins in their career include Kyle Busch (4), Martin Truex Jr. (4), A.J. Allmendinger (2) and Kevin Harvick (2).

Who is favored to win NASCAR this weekend?

It’s hard to pick a favorite considering there’s only been one, rain-soaked race at COTA. The 20-turn, 3.426-mile road course provides drivers with plenty of chances to pass, and even more chances to make mistakes. That was evident throughout last year’s race:

In addition to his seven career road course wins, Elliott leads active drivers with a 7.89 average finish in 19 starts. Over Elliott’s last 12 road course starts, he has six wins and 10 top-five finishes. His teammate Larson has been equally as good at these tracks lately, with three wins and five top-five finishes in his last six road course starts.

The other top average finishers at road courses are Blaney (12.89 in 19 starts), Harvick (13.78 in 49 starts), Truex (13.85 in 39 starts) and Logano (13.97 in 33 starts). Kyle Busch leads all active drivers with 404 laps led in 41 starts at road courses.

Here are some of the favorites to win at COTA, courtesy of our partner, PointsBet:

  • Chase Elliott, +300
  • Kyle Larson, +420
  • Martin Truex Jr., +1000
  • Kyle Busch, +1100
  • Austin Cindric, +1500
  • Denny Hamlin, +1600
  • Ryan Blaney, +1800
  • William Byron, +1800
  • Chase Briscoe, +1800
  • A.J. Allmendinger, +1800
  • Christopher Bell, +2000
  • Ross Chastain, +2200
  • Joey Logano, +2200
  • Tyler Reddick, +2500
  • Alex Bowman, +3000
  • Kurt Busch, +4000
  • Kevin Harvick, +5000

Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.

What is the weather for Austin, Texas?

The Weather Channel is expecting a beautiful weekend in the Lone Star State. The track, located in Austin, Texas, isn’t expected to receive any rain over the weekend. Temperatures could reach 87 degrees on Saturday (0% chance of rain) and 85 degrees on Sunday (2% chance of rain), with hardly any clouds both days.

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