What time does the NASCAR race start today? TV schedule, channel for Saturday’s Richmond race

The start time for Saturday’s NASCAR race at Richmond Raceway marks the third of five consecutive night races for the Cup Series. The Federated Auto Parts 400 also marks the second of 10 NASCAR playoff races that will crown a 2020 champion.

Amazingly, the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series schedule is back on track as originally constructed despite a two-month long hiatus in the spring amid the COVID-19 pandemic. That schedule continues tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET on the 0.75-mile oval in Richmond, Va.

Saturday night’s NASCAR race is actually the first at this track in 2020 even though it was originally scheduled to be the second.  as the lone Darlington race for the season. The spring Richmond race that was originally scheduled for April 19 was postponed because of the virus, and NASCAR eventually moved the race to Darlington Raceway.

Below is all you need to know about the schedule for Saturday night’s NASCAR race at Richmond and beyond.

What time does the NASCAR race start today?

The green flag for Saturday night’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond 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 (0.75 miles) like Richmond. The track will be hot and slick at the beginning of the race and get cooler and faster as the night progresses. And Richmond Raceway is notoriously tough on tires and brakes. 

Richmond Raceway 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 400 laps (300 miles) and needs to reach the halfway point to be considered official in the event of weather issues.

What channel is NASCAR on today?

NASCAR is back on schedule even after its two-month hiatus amid COVID-19 in the spring, so Saturday night’s race at Richmond 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 Richmond 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 Richmond with the assistance of analysts Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte.

NASCAR live stream for Richmond race

Anybody who has a cable or satellite subscription can stream Saturday night’s NASCAR race at Richmond 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. Of the five, Hulu, YouTubeTV and fuboTV offer free trial options.

Below are links to each.

NASCAR schedule 2020

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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