Chicagoland Speedway, a staple on the NASCAR National Series schedule since 2001, will not host any NASCAR National Series events during the 2021 season a source disclosed to TobyChristie.com on Tuesday afternoon.
An email forwarded from the source, which was sent from Chicagoland Speedway’s President Scott Paddock, states, “[Wednesday] the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule will be unveiled, and Chicagoland Speedway will not be a part of that lineup. In addition, the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Gander Trucks and ARCA will also not be returning to Chicagoland Speedway in 2021.”
Since the email had been revealed to tobychristie.com and other outlets, Chicagoland Speedway has publicly released the statement confirming that it will indeed not host NASCAR or ARCA races next year.
Chicagoland Speedway has hosted 19 NASCAR Cup Series races, 24 NASCAR Xfinity Series races and 11 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series races since opening in 2001.
The speedway in Joliet, Illinois had been rumored to be redeveloping portions of their land into an industrial warehouse complex, a plan which was denied recently by the City of Joliet’s Planning Commission. The planning commission determined on August 20, 2020 that due to several other ongoing construction projects in the town as well as a really bad existing traffic issue in the area that the speedway wanted to convert, that they could not justify allowing the project to go forward at this time.
It’ll be interesting to see if this is a one-year removal of the speedway from NASCAR or if perhaps the track will return in 2022 or beyond. There is always the option of the track being reconfigured as well.
Auto Club Speedway, a two-mile oval in Fontana, California, will be undergoing a transformation into being a short track very soon. This news was first reported by The Athletic. Could this be a possible avenue for the speedway to rejoin the schedule in the future? That remains to be seen.
NASCAR is expected to drop it’s 2021 full NASCAR Cup Series schedule on Wednesday and it appears that Chicagoland Speedway was one of the current tracks who drew the short straw for next season.
There are expected to be huge swings taken at the makeup of the tracks on the schedule next season and this is just one of the very first shoes to drop.
UPDATE: September 29, 2020 — 6:00PM ET
NASCAR has confirmed to Bob Pockrass of FOX Sports that in addition to Chicagoland Speedway, Kentucky Speedway will also not host any NASCAR events in 2021.
NASCAR has confirmed no races at Chicagoland and Kentucky for next year. I'd expect — but have not confirmed — those races to Road America and Atlanta. #nascar
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) September 29, 2020
Kentucky Speedway has been on the NASCAR National Series schedule since 2000 when it hosted it’s first NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series event, which was won by Greg Biffle.
The following season the speedway added NASCAR Xfinity Series to their slate, and in 2011 they were awarded a NASCAR Cup Series date.
Overall, the 1.5-mile speedway has hosted 10 NASCAR Cup Series events, 27 NASCAR Xfinity Series events and 23 Truck Series races.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.