An easy guide to streaming NASCAR races on your phone, laptop or TV
It has become common practice for fans of NASCAR to watch races online via live streaming. It is one of the great perks of living in the modern digital age. Whether you’re simply trying to catch a Cup, Xfinity or Truck series race on the go or you’re ready to cut the cord on cable TV, there are plenty of options on the table. Some ways require a subscription to stream, some are free with a service provider, and there are even a few completely free options to live stream NASCAR events (if you are willing to take the risk). So, how do you watch NASCAR races online? Here are some of your best options as the NASCAR season gets underway.
Online options with paid subscriptions to a TV service provider
You are required to have a paid subscription to a TV service provider to access online live streams on the FOX Sports Go and NBC Sports apps. So, unfortunately, this isn’t an option for the cord-cutters. But It is ideal for those that do have cable/satellite and want to catch all the NASCAR action on the go. Better yet, these apps are free and online live streams are provided at no additional charge.
Broadcasting rights for NASCAR’s top two series’, Monster Energy Cup and Xfinity, are split between FOX and NBC (and their affiliates). So, FOX Sports Go will only get you through the first half of the NASCAR season. That said, FOX does own the exclusive broadcasting rights for NASCAR’s Gander Outdoor Truck Series, allowing you to catch the entire season in this series on the FOX Sports Go.
You can also download the free Fox Sports Go app on your favorite digital device(s) (see link at the bottom to download the app). From there, simply sign into your TV service provider and you’re good to go! You will be granted live access to practice sessions, qualifying, all the races that coincide with the FOX and FS1 NASCAR TV schedule and more.
If you are a cable subscriber, and you want to catch races online in the Monster Energy Cup Series and Xfinity Series during the second half of the NASCAR season (starting June 29 at Chicagoland Speedway), you will need to turn to NBC Sports or the NBC Sports app. The app itself is free. All you need to do is download it to your favorite digital device(s) (see link at the bottom to download the app), sign into your TV service provider, and you will be able to stream live practice sessions, qualifying, all the races on the NBC and NBCSN NASCAR TV schedule and much more!
Cable-free online streaming services
The high costs and tricky contracts associated with cable TV can be a bit much. That’s why millions have decided to cut the cord and turn to cheaper alternatives such as online streaming services. The good news is that most, if not all, of these alternatives have packages that make it possible to catch all the NASCAR action without missing a single lap, at a cost of course. All you need is a supported digital device and a reliable internet connection/mobile data plan. Here are a few of the best options for those who are ready to cut the cord on cable.
PS Vue is an outstanding alternative to cable and ranks No.1 in customer satisfaction among online streaming services. It offers four packages with a wide variety of channels, ranging from $45 - $80 per month (no contract, cancel anytime). The base package or “Access” package includes the necessary channels (in most areas) to catch all the races in NASCAR’s top-3 touring series’ and beyond. Some of the perks include simultaneous streaming on up to five devices, multi-view capabilities, on-demand options and a powerful cloud DVR at no additional cost. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t even need to own a PS4 or PS3 to access PS Vue. In fact, PS Vue is supported on just about every device and smart TV under the sun.
YouTube TV is another cord-cutting option growing wildly in popularity. For $40 per month, YouTube TV offers 60-plus channels, including FOX, NBC, FS1 and NBCSN to cover all your NASCAR needs. Six accounts per household are included, and you can stream on up to three devices at the same time. They even throw in an unlimited DVR feature at no extra cost. YouTube TV is supported on most iOS and Android devices. It is also supported on Xbox One, Apple Tv, Roku, Chromecast and Android TV to name a few.
If you’re a fan of options and bundles, DirecTV Now might just be the cord-cutting solution for you. DirecTV Now offers five packages, ranging in price from $40 (65-plus channels) - $75 (125-plus channels) per month. They also offer some of the best channel lineups in the cable/satellite-free market. The good news for NASCAR fans is that all the DirecTV Now packages include the channels (in most markets) you need to catch all the race day action. The only drawbacks are that you are limited to just 20 hours of cloud DVR space and content can only be watched on two devices simultaneously, with an option to add a third device for an additional $5 per month. Supported devices for DirectTV Now include Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, iOS, Android and multiple browsers - among others. Try it free for one week.
Hulu is best known for its vast library of videos on demand. But they also offer a Hulu + Live TV bundle that allows you to stream 60-plus channels of live TV for $44.99/mo., with an option to add premium channels at an additional cost. Included in the base package are all the channels you need to get your NASCAR fix. You also get unlimited access to thousands of shows and movies in the Hulu streaming library, 50 hours of cloud DVR, and the ability to stream on two devices at once. Hulu is supported on a wide variety of devices as well. You can try it free of charge for 7 days.
One of the more economical cord-cutting alternatives is Sling TV. They offer three packages – Sling Orange ($25/mo), Sling Blue ($25/mo), and a combination of the Orange and Blue packages ($40/mo). You can also add channel packages and select premium channels at an extra cost. For NASCAR viewing purposes, you will need to select the Blue package or the Orange/Blue combo package. Those are the only options that include FS1 and NBCSN. Local network offerings, including NBC and FOX, are somewhat limited with Sling TV. So, you will need to check to see if those channels are available in your area. But even if they are not available, Sling TV offers an easy solution in the form of a free indoor digital antenna with a 2-month pre-paid subscription. That should cover all your race day needs. Sling TV is supported by most digital devices, it can be streamed on up to four devices simultaneously (Orange/Blue package) and includes up to 50 hours of DVR space. Try it free for 7 days!
For the hardcore NASCAR enthusiasts
The NASCAR Mobile app doesn’t allow you stream live TV broadcasts of the races in the traditional sense, but it does include plenty of cool real-time race day features. Free features include live race, qualifying and practice leaderboards for all NASCAR series. Live 360 degree in-car cameras for the Monster Energy Cup and Xfinity Series, live radio broadcast for all NASCAR Series, full schedules, driver and manufacturer standings, in-race highlights and exclusive video content. The NASCAR Mobile app also provides a premium paid subscription option. It can be purchased as a seasonal package for a one-time seasonal fee of $29.99 or as a monthly subscription at a cost of $4.99. Perks of the subscription-based premium content include an ad-free experience, live audio between drivers and teams in all three NASCAR Series, live audio for NASCAR officials (Monster Energy Cup only), live real-time data for every driver and car telemetry (including speed, RPM, throttle and estimated fuel) and real-time GPS tracking of the top-10 drivers on the track.
Much like the NASCAR Mobile app, NASCAR RaceView and the accompanying app do not offer traditional live TV broadcasts. However, if you are an extreme fan of NASCAR or a particular driver, RaceView goes above and beyond. While the app itself is free, this is a subscription-based service. Options include a mobile-only yearly subscription for a one-time fee of $29.99 or a monthly mobile only rate of $4.99 a month. You can also opt for a mobile and desktop combo for a one-time seasonal fee of $79.99 or a monthly subscription fee of $9.99 per month.
Premium live features include:
- 3-D virtual rendering of every car and track with multiple viewing angles
- REAL-TIME DRIVER STATS including MPH, RPM, throttle/brake, lap times, time off lead, turn by turn performance, fuel estimates and points
- CHOOSE YOUR DRIVER: Select your favorite driver and watch for the entire race
- CUSTOMIZE YOUR EXPERIENCE: Listen and watch different drivers at the same time
- LIVE LEADERBOARDS: Position Rankings and Driver Stats
- LIVE IN-CAR AUDIO Position Rankings and Driver Stats
- LIVE RADIO broadcast
- SCAN function for all audio channels
- SCANNER PRODUCT ACCESS included with subscription
EXCLUSIVE PC FEATURES:
- CHOOSE FROM THREE VIEWS: RACE, DRIVER & PIT
- LEAD PREDICTION for all drivers on lead lap
- PIT MODE: Virtual video of each driver's pit stops, complete with performance data such as driver/crew times, total time and number of tires
- NASCAR XFINITY SERIES 28 races available
EXCLUSIVE MOBILE FEATURES:
- WEEKLY TRACK TOURS: Flyover with track history
- DRIVER PAGES with paint schemes updated for each race
- TIME TRIAL: Interactive feature to drive each week’s track and post
FansChoice.TV is for the hardest of hardcore NASCAR and motorsports fan. Owned and licensed by NASCAR, INC., FansChoice.TV allows NASCAR and motorsport aficionados the ability to live stream and re-watch races from multiple series and local NASCAR tracks that they might not otherwise have a chance to see on traditional television and streaming services. FansChoice.TV features select races from several of NASCAR’s touring series’, including the K&N Pro East and West Series, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, the NASCAR Peak Mexico Series, the NASCAR Pintys Series, along with plenty of streamed races from most of the top NASCAR sanctioned tracks around the country and beyond. Best of all – it’s totally free! Simply register and sign in on the FansChoice.TV website and you’re ready to stream.
Reddit NASCAR and Motorsports Streams
When in doubt, go to Reddit. There are a few places on Reddit that can help you find NASCAR streams to watch the race. Or to just have a discussion about your favorite drivers and the race at hand. You can check /r/motorsportsstreams/ or Reddit's main NASCAR hub /r/NASCAR/.
-Written by Rob McVey, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @Rob_UTVOLS.