The loss of dates for two tracks, the addition of three new road courses, and a race on dirt highlight the sweeping changes to the NASCAR Cup Series schedule announced on Wednesday. The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule will showcase 36 races ranging from super-speedways to dirt tracks and everything in between. Here’s a look at some of the key additions, subtractions and facts about the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule!
Road America, Circuit of the Americas and Indianapolis Road Courses Added!
The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule will now have double the amount of road courses, as the Cup Series will visit Road America, COTA and Indianapolis. Road America has been featured on the NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule since 2010, with thrilling and exciting races through the last ten years. In 2021, the top tier of NASCAR will tackle the 14-turn four-plus mile road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The Circuit of the Americas in Texas will host its first NASCAR Cup Series event on May 23rd of next year, becoming the second track in Texas to host a Cup Series race. While it is unknown what configuration of the circuit the Cup Series will use, the track has just completed the reconfiguration of a smaller 2.2 mile 15-turn track. The third road course added to the 2021 Cup Series schedule is the Indianpolis Motor Speedway road course, which was first raced on this season by the Xfinity Series. NASCAR’s top series will tackle the 14-turn 2.439 mile infield road course for the first time next season, and will no longer run the oval. This breaks a streak of 27 consecutive years the Cup Series has raced on the IMS oval.
Chicago, Kentucky Lose Cup Series Races
With the addition of new tracks on the schedule, there is inevitably going to be the loss of dates for some tracks. Unfortunately for NASCAR fans in the Chicago and Northern Kentucky, Chicagoland and Kentucky Speedway are not on the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule. Since 2001, Chicagoland has been a stop on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule with past champions such as Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr. claiming wins at the track. The same fate has been set for the Kentucky Speedway, which has hosted a Cup Series race since 2011. What is to become of these two mainstays of the Cup Series schedule over the past 20 years is uncertain.
Darlington, Atlanta Gain Second Races
Darlington Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway will once again return to hosting two races on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule next season. For the first time since 2004, the Darlington Speedway will host two Cup Series races in the same season. Set to take place on May 9th and September 5th, the “Lady in Black” will now be set to deliver double the action next year. The same can be said for the Atlanta Motor Speedway, which will host a second race on the schedule for the first time since 2010. Races at the Atlanta Motor Speedway are scheduled to take place on March 21st and July 11th.
Bristol Spring Race to be Run on Dirt!
Yes, you read that correctly. The Bristol Motor Speedway will convert its bull-ring short track to a dirt track for its Spring NASCAR Cup Series race in March. Set to make history in the modern era, NASCAR will contest a Cup Series race on dirt for the first time since 1970. Bristol Motor Speedway is no stranger to hosting events on dirt, as the World of Outlaws races on the track in 2000 and 2001. Of the changes made to 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule, a race on dirt is something fans have been wanting for a very, very long time, and in 2021, fans get their wish!
Texas Loses a Race, but Gains the All-Star Race!
For the first time, Texas Motor Speedway will host the NASCAR All-Star Race on June 13th. The yearly exhibition race, which has been historically raced at Charlotte Motor Speedway, will move to Texas in 2021 after being raced at Bristol Motor Speedway this season. Since 1985, the All-Star race has been a showcase of the top stars of NASCAR, and has produced some of the most exciting racing in the sports history. With everything being bigger in Texas, the All-Star Race will definitely showcase the top tier of NASCAR under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway next season!
2021 NASCAR Cup Series Schedule
NASCAR fans sure have a lot to look forward to in 2021!
Featured Image Credit: NASCAR
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