NASCAR Announces 2021 Cup Schedule With Big Surprises

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Daytona Beach, FL — September 30, 2020

NASCAR released today the 2021 Cup Series Schedule and it includes a number of surprises. For local stock car fans, it revealed some disappointment. Michigan International Speedway received only one Cup race next year, August 22nd. In addition, the two tracks closest to Southern Michigan, Chicagoland, and Kentucky lost their Cup races.

Fans flock to Michigan International Speedway / Lasco Press Photo

NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and ARCA Menards Series schedules will be announced soon and all three tracks are expected to receive dates for those races. Unfortunately, the sport’s premier series is moving in a different direction.

The announcement brought some eye-opening moments that included the spring race at Bristol being on dirt that will be trucked into the Last Great Colosseum, Bristol Motor Speedway. The Brickyard will be run on Indy’s road course instead of the Oval and teamed with an Indy Car race.

Cup Series cars will be heading the wrong way on Indy’s oval as they race down the front stretch and turn right onto the road course / Lasco Press Photo

Pocono’s doubleheader is back and new tracks have been added. No surprise, the playoff schedule remains basically the same as this year’s exciting 10-week run. Here are the complete Cup Series dates and NASCAR’s press release.

2021 NASCAR CUP SERIES SCHEDULE

Date Race / Track
Tuesday, February 9 Clash (Daytona Road Course)
Thursday, February 11 Duel at Daytona
Sunday, February 14 DAYTONA 500
Sunday, February 21 Homestead-Miami
Sunday, February 28 Auto Club
Sunday, March 7 Las Vegas
Sunday, March 14 Phoenix
Sunday, March 21 Atlanta
Sunday, March 28 Bristol Dirt
Saturday, April 10 Martinsville
Sunday, April 18 Richmond
Sunday, April 25 Talladega
Sunday, May 2 Kansas
Sunday, May 9 Darlington
Sunday, May 16 Dover
Sunday, May 23 COTA
Sunday, May 30 Charlotte
Sunday, June 6 Sonoma
Sunday, June 13 All-Star (Texas)
Sunday, June 20 Nashville Superspeedway
Saturday & Sunday, June 26-27 Pocono Doubleheader
Sunday, July 4 Road America
Sunday, July 11 Atlanta
Sunday, July 18 New Hampshire
Sunday, August 8 Watkins Glen
Sunday, August 15 Indianapolis Road Course
Sunday, August 22 Michigan
Saturday, August 28 Daytona
Sunday, September 5 Darlington
Saturday, September 11 Richmond
Saturday, September 18 Bristol
Sunday, September 26 Las Vegas
Sunday, October 3 Talladega
Sunday, October 10 Charlotte Roval
Sunday, October 17 Texas
Sunday, October 24 Kansas
Sunday, October 31 Martinsville
Sunday, November 7 Phoenix

Playoff Races listed in Bold

Five Decades In The Making: NASCAR Introduces Three New Tracks,
Two New Layouts to 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Schedule

Historic Slate Includes Three New Road Courses and First Dirt Race in Half A Century

NASCAR today announced the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule, a historic slate that includes the introduction of three new racetracks – and new layouts at two iconic venues – to the sport’s top level. Not since 1969 has NASCAR added this many new venues to its premier series schedule.

The 36-race slate includes races at three new road course layouts, and the first Cup Series dirt race in more than 50 years. The road course at Circuit of the Americas (May 23) joins the schedule for the first time, Road America (July 4) returns for the first time since 1956 and, after a thrilling debut in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2020, the Cup stars will race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course in 2021 (Aug. 15).

The high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway will transform into a dirt track for a NASCAR Cup Series race on March 28, the first premier series race on dirt since Sept. 30, 1970 (North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, N.C.). And as previously announced, NASCAR returns to the Music City with a race at Nashville Superspeedway on June 20, which will kick off the NBC Sports portion of the season.

“We developed the 2021 schedule with one primary goal: Continue to take steps to create the most dynamic schedule possible for our fans,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “Extensive collaboration between NASCAR, the racetracks, race teams and our broadcast partners allowed NASCAR to create what promises to be an exciting 2021 schedule of races.”

In addition, NASCAR announced the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race’s return to a high-speed 1.5-mile track in 2021, as the annual star-studded event moves to Texas Motor Speedway on June 13 for the first time in its 36-year history.

NASCAR will open its Cup Series season with two consecutive races in Florida. As is tradition, the season will kick off with the running of The Great American Race – the DAYTONA 500 – at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 14 live on FOX before heading south to Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 21.

The series will also double down on a pair of familiar venues in markets threaded deep with historical NASCAR ties and passionate fanbases. Cars will hit the track at Darlington Raceway for the first time on Sunday, May 9 and again to kick off the Playoffs on Sunday, Sept. 5 while Atlanta Motor Speedway will host NASCAR’s premier series on Sunday, Mar. 21 and Sunday, July 11.

After an overhaul for the 2020 season, the only change in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs will be a swap of dates between Texas and Kansas in the Round of 8. Wholly unpredictable venues – Bristol Motor Speedway (Sept. 18), the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval (Oct. 10), and Martinsville Speedway (Oct. 31) – will once again serve as the cutoff races in 2021. Phoenix Raceway culminates the 10-race Playoffs slate as host of the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race for the second consecutive year.

NASCAR Cup Series races in 2021 will once again air on the FOX and NBC family of networks. Start times and specific networks will be announced at a later date. Schedules for the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will also be announced at a later date.

About NASCAR

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States and owner of 16 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities. NASCAR consists of three national series (NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR Xfinity Series™, and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series™), four regional series (ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East & West and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour), one local grassroots series and three international series. The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. NASCAR also owns Motor Racing Network, Racing Electronics, Americrown Service and ONE DAYTONA. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com and www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’).

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Steve Sweitzer
Steve is the Sports Editor for the Lasco Press and highlights our coverage of the NASCAR Cup Series. Steve is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association and a nationally published author of automotive related articles for industry trade magazines. He is also a freelance technical writer and accomplished photographer. A 25-year resident of Southeast Michigan, Steve’s passion for reporting on our community, it’s residents, and our automotive connections allow us to use his skills to cover a number of events. Steve’s ability to seek out the unique behind the scenes accounts that tell the often-overlooked aspect of a story makes for entertaining reading. Follow Steve at thelascopress.com with weekly NASCAR updates and featured articles.