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How to watch a NASCAR race, what to expect when attending a race

Where to watch a NASCAR race

All three NASCAR national series can be viewed on the FOX Sports or the NBC Sports family of networks. For the first half of each year, NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series races, qualifying and practice sessions are broadcast on FOX and FS1. Both series are featured on NBC and NBCSN for the second half of the season. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race season can be viewed on FS1 throughout the entire schedule. Affiliate networks such as FS2 or CNBC are sometimes used to fulfill NASCAR programming needs during the course of the season.

Who hosts NASCAR races

For the FOX Sports portion of the schedule, the NASCAR Cup Series broadcast team is led by Mike Joy and Clint Bowyer, along with analyst Larry McReynolds and pit-road reporters Jamie Little and Regan Smith. For the NASCAR Xfinity Series, play-by-play announcer Adam Alexander leads the commentary while being joined by a host of various guest appearances by current and former NASCAR Cup Series drivers along the way.

For the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, play-by-play announcer Vince Welch and two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip are in the TV booth for the broadcast.

The NBC Sports portion of the schedule includes play-by-play announcer Rick Allen, accompanied by NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Dale Earnhardt Jr., former NASCAR Cup Series driver Jeff Burton and former crew chief Steve Letarte. On pit road, Dave Burns, Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Parker Kligerman and Dillon Welch serve as reporters.

NASCAR Pre-Race Shows

Each race broadcast is accompanied with a pre-race show, which serves to break down story lines and analyze drivers and teams prior to the green flag. A post-race show often immediately follows each event, which features the winning driver’s interview in Victory Lane and other driver or crew chief interviews who highlighted the action for that particular race.

What to expect when attending a NASCAR race

While attending a race, it’s more than just the high intensity action on the race track. It’s a full experience. Before the race, fans in attendance can enjoy various sponsor activations outside of the race track that are entertaining and interactive. Fans can also expect other activities such as with driver appearances and merchandise trailers where your favorite drivers’ gear can be purchased. Camping is also available outside of the race track, as well as the infield depending on the size of the facility.

As the green flag nears, drivers will make their way to the frontstretch for driver introductions before climbing into their machines for the race. Other pre-race ceremonies include the presentation of colors, the invocation, and the performance of the national anthem — the Canadian national anthem as well at some events. Finally, the ceremonies are concluded with the famous, “Drivers, start your engines” command.

Drivers will then pull off pit road and begin a series of pace laps at caution-flag speed until it’s time for the pace car to pull off the race track and the green flag to fly.