American sports are increasingly starting to utilize in-season tournaments as a way to drum up interest in the early stages of their respective seasons.

NASCAR is the latest to join the trend. The racing giant is planning to begin its own in-season tournament in 2025.

The plan? Drivers will compete for spots in a 32-driver, single-elimination bracket in seeding races. Once the actual, tournament-style races begin, the drivers will be competing not only with the full field of drivers to try to win the race, but they will also be competing head-to-head with their opponent in the bracket.

Whichever driver finishes better among the pair advances while the loser is eliminated.

Here’s everything to know about the NASCAR In-Season Tournament and the format for when it begins in 2025.

MORE: Full list of races, winners, dates for all NASCAR races in 2024

NASCAR In-Season Tournament format

The NASCAR’s In-Season Tournament will feature 32 drivers and will be comprised of eight races, per Front Office Sports. Three will be of the seeding variety while five will be tournament-style races to determine the circuit’s in-season champion.

The three seeding races will air on Prime Video and will be used to create a bracket for the five tournament races. TNT will carry those five contests while those involved with the tournament will compete to advance to the next race.

How does that happen? The In-Season Tournament is done bracket-style, so while the drivers will compete with all in the field, they each need to beat just one specific opponent. If they do, they will advance to the next round in the bracket. This will continue until a champion is crowned in the fifth and final race.

It isn’t clear what will happen if drivers facing one another fail to finish due to a crash or a mechanical issue. But at its core, NASCAR’s In-Season Tournament will be a single-elimination event that puts pressure on drivers to win — or at least beat their opponent — at each race.

MORE: Brad Keselowski snaps 110-race losing streak at Darlington

NASCAR In-Season Tournament bracket

Front Office Sports provided a visual of what the NASCAR In-Season Tournament will look like:

This format will be familiar to college basketball fans, as it operates similarly to the NCAA Tournament bracket. The only difference is that the NCAA Tournament has 68 teams in it; NASCAR’s In-Season Tournament will feature 32 drivers.

NASCAR In-Season Tournament prize money

The winner of the NASCAR In-Season Tournament will receive $1 million in prize money, per Front Office Sports. The publication did not specify the full purse for the losing drivers.

For context, the Dayton 500’s total purse was worth about $28 million in 2024
with the winner getting between $1.5 million and $2 million. Thus, it’s fair to assume that the NASCAR In-Season Tournament’s total prize money will be worth a bit less given the winner’s share.

How to watch NASCAR In-Season Tournament

  • Seeding races: Prime Video
  • In-Season Tournament races: TNT | Sling

The NASCAR In-Season Tournament won’t begin until 2025, but once it does, the races will be shown on Amazon’s Prime Video and TNT.

Prime Video will carry the three seeding races. This will determine the 32 drivers involved in the In-Season Tournament bracket and their head-to-head matchups for the first round. TNT will carry the non-seeding, single-elimination races once they begin.

It isn’t clear if all the races will be broadcast specifically on TNT or across the Turner Sports family of networks. Either way, cord-cutters will be able to catch the action on Sling TV, which carries TNT and the other channels in the Turner Sports family.


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