The NASCAR Cup Series schedule will look radically different in 2021.
Highlighted by the first dirt race in over 50 years, at Bristol Motor Speedway no less, NASCAR has also doubled the number of road course events and will limit its low horsepower, high downforce rules package to oval tracks 1.5-miles or larger.
The Brickyard 400 will no longer take place on the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval after 27 years. Instead, NASCAR and IndyCar will share the August 14-15 weekend on the IMS Road Course.
Bristol Motor Speedway will be covered in clay for its Mar. 28 event — marking the first time since 1970 that the highest level of the discipline will race on a dirt surface. The Night Race at Bristol on Sept. 18 will remain on the more traditional concrete surface.
The Cup Series will double its overall number of road course events from three to six. Those races will take place at Indianapolis, Sonoma Raceway on June 6, Road America on July 4,
Watkins Glen on Aug. 8 and the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL on Oct. 10.
In addition to Circuit of the Americas, Road America and the Bristol Dirt Configuration, Nashville Superspeedway will also host a new event on June 20.
Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. and Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ken. will no longer host any NASCAR national touring events. Texas Motor Speedway will only host one points paying race on Oct. 17 but gains the All-Star Race on June 13.
That agreement allowed Speedway Motorsports Inc. to lease Circuit of the Americas and for Atlanta Motor Speedway to gain two dates on Mar. 21 and July 11.
Michigan International Speedway will lose a date and will only host one Cup Series race on August 22.
That allows Darlington Raceway to pick up a second date for the first time since 2004. The spring race has been added for May 9 and the Southern 500 has been scheduled for Sept. 5. After two years of utilizing the low (550) horsepower, high downforce rules package, Darlington will now revert to the higher (750) horsepower, low downforce configurations.
The new race at Nashville will also utilize the higher horsepower and low downforce package.
NASCAR has scheduled off weekends for Easter on April 4 and a two-week break for the Olympics where no races are scheduled on Aug. 1 and August 8.
Pocono Raceway will continue its doubleheader weekend that features two Cup Series races on June 26-27.
The Cup Series Playoffs are largely unchanged from the 2020 season with Kansas and Texas switching dates inside the final three-race round.
The Xfinity Series and Truck Series schedules will be released at a later date. Start times, television networks and the number of one-day shows will also be revealed at a later date.
Feb. 14 | Daytona 500
Feb. 21 | Homestead-Miami Speedway
Feb. 28 | Auto Club Speedway
March 7 | Las Vegas Motor Speedway
March 14 | Phoenix Raceway
March 21 | Atlanta Motor Speedway
March 28 | Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Layout
April 10 | Martinsville Speedway
April 18 | Richmond Raceway
April 25 | Talladega Superspeedway
May 2 | Kansas Speedway
May 9 | Darlington Raceway
May 16 | Dover International Speedway
May 23 | Circuit of the Americas
May 30 | Charlotte Motor Speedway
June 6 | Sonoma Raceway
June 13 | All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway
June 20 | Nashville Superspeedway
June 26-27 | Pocono Raceway (doubleheader)
July 4 | Road America
July 11 | Atlanta Motor Speedway
July 18 | New Hampshire Motor Speedway
August 8 | Watkins Glen International
August 15 | Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
August 22 | Michigan International Speedway
August 28 | Daytona International Speedway
Sept. 5 | Darlington Raceway
Sept. 11 | Richmond Raceway
Sept. 18 | Bristol Motor Speedway
Sept. 26 | Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Oct. 3 | Talladega Superspeedway
Oct. 10 | Charlotte Roval
Oct. 17 | Texas Motor Speedway
Oct. 24 | Kansas Speedway
Oct. 31 | Martinsville Speedway
Nov. 7 | Phoenix Raceway
Did NASCAR deliver on its long-promised schedule upheavel? Let us know in the comments section below.
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