TobyChristie.com will be running a live update blog of all of the announced NASCAR schedule changes for the 2021 season throughout the day on Wednesday. The entire schedule is expected to be revealed at 3:00 PM ET, but chunks of the schedule will be revealed by individual tracks throughout the day. This post will be updated all day long.
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FINAL UPDATE – Wednesday, September 30th at 3:00PM / EST – FULL SCHEDULE RELEASED
OFFICIAL 2021 NASCAR CUP SERIES SCHEDULE:
|February 9th||--||Daytona International Speedway Road Course|
|February 11th||--||Daytona International Speedway|
|February 14th||1||Daytona International Speedway (Daytona 500)||NO CHANGES|
|February 21st||2||Homestead-Miami Speedway||DATE CHANGE - Was March 22nd (2020)|
|February 28th||3||Auto Club Speedway||NO CHANGES|
|March 7th||4||Las Vegas Motor Speedway||DATE CHANGE - Was February 23rd (2020)|
|March 14th||5||Phoenix Raceway||DATE CHANGE - Was March 8th (2020)|
|March 21st||6||Atlanta Motor Speedway|
(Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500)
|DATE CHANGE - Was March 15th (2020)|
|March 28th||7||Bristol Motor Speedway||DATE CHANGE - Was April 5th (2020)
|April 10th||8||Martinsville Speedway||DATE CHANGE - Was May 9th (2020)|
|April 18th||9||Richmond Raceway||NO CHANGES|
|April 25th||10||Talladega Superspeedway||NO CHANGES|
|May 2nd||11||Kansas Speedway||DATE CHANGE - Was May 31st (2020)|
|May 9th||12||Darlington Raceway||SECOND DATE ADDED|
|May 16th||13||Dover International Speedway||DATE CHANGE - Was May 3rd (2020)|
|May 23rd||14||Circuit of the Americas||NEW TRACK|
|May 30th||15||Charlotte Motor Speedway|
|June 6th||16||Sonoma Raceway||DATE CHANGE - Was June 14th (2020)|
|June 13th||--||Texas Motor Speedway|
(NASCAR All-Star Race)
|DATE CHANGE - Was May 16th (2020)
NEW ALL-STAR VENUE
|June 20th||17||Nashville Superspeedway||NEW TRACK|
|June 26th||18||Pocono Raceway||NO CHANGES
|June 27th||19||Pocono Raceway||NO CHANGES
|July 4th||20||Road America||NEW TRACK|
|July 11th||21||Atlanta Motor Speedway|
(Quaker State 400)
|SECOND DATE ADDED (from Kentucky)|
|July 18th||22||New Hampshire Motor Speedway||NO CHANGES|
|August 8th||23||Watkins Glen International||DATE CHANGE - Was August 16th (2020)|
|August 15th||24||Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course|
|DATE CHANGE - Was July 5th (2020)
ROAD COURSE CONFIGURATION
|August 22nd||25||Michigan International Speedway.||DATE CHANGE - Was August 9th (2020)
MICHIGAN'S ONLY DATE
|August 28th||26||Daytona International Speedway||NO CHANGES
REGULAR SEASON FINALE
|September 5th||27||Darlington Raceway (Southern 500)||NO CHANGES
|September 11th||28||Richmond Raceway||NO CHANGES|
|September 18th||29||Bristol Motor Speedway||NO CHANGES
ROUND OF 16 ELIMINATION
|September 26th||30||Las Vegas Motor Speedway||NO CHANGES|
|October 3rd||31||Talladega Superspeedway||NO CHANGES|
|October 10th||32||Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL||NO CHANGES
ROUND OF 12 ELIMINATION
|October 17th||33||Texas Motor Speedway|
(Autotrader EchoPark 500)
|DATE CHANGE - Was October 25th (2020)|
|October 24th||34||Kansas Speedway||DATE CHANGE - Was October 18th (2020)|
|October 31st||35||Martinsville Speedway||NO CHANGES
ROUND OF 8 ELIMINATION
|November 7th||36||Phoenix Raceway||NO CHANGES
On Wednesday, NASCAR announced the remainder of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule, which will begin Tuesday, February 9th with the Busch Clash at Daytona’s Road Course and come to an end nearly ten months later at Phoenix Raceway on November 7th.
COTA (Austin, Texas), Road America and Nashville Superspeedway will all be added to the NASCAR Cup Series schedule in 2021, while Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway will see a change in track configuration for the 2021 season.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway will move its NASCAR Cup Series event to the road course, participating in a doubleheader weekend with the NTT IndyCar Series on August 14th and 15th.
Bristol Motor Speedway is taking the advice of parents everywhere quite literally and will “rub some dirt on it” for their first of two race weekends in 2021, with the NASCAR Cup Series contesting their first dirt race in over 50 years on March 28th on the .533-mile track’s high banks.
Atlanta Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway will each double up on NASCAR Cup Series races in 2021, with Atlanta holding two NASCAR Cup Series events on March 21st and July 11th and Darlington Raceway holding events on May 9th and September 5th – maintaining its spot as the first race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
The “West Coast Swing” will be pushed back one week, with Homestead-Miami moving to the second race of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, the weekend following The Great American Race.
Pocono Raceway will get another chance to hold their doubleheader weekend in 2021, with the 2.5-mile facility holding NASCAR Cup Series events on June 26th and 27th.
Daytona International Speedway will end the series’ regular season, with playoff elimination races happening at Bristol Motor Speedway (Sept. 18), Charlotte Motor Speedway’s “ROVAL” (Oct. 10) and Martinsville Speedway (Oct. 31).
Due to the massive schedule overhaul, the NASCAR Cup Series will no longer contest races at Kentucky Speedway or Chicagoland Speedway, with the other two NASCAR National Series expected to follow suit.
UPDATE 1 — Wednesday, September 30th — 9:00 AM ET
Atlanta Motor Speedway has officially announced that it will have two dates on the 2021 NASCAR schedule.
The first weekend will be the March 21st weekend and will include NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series. The Cup Series race, as it has been the last several years, will be named the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.
The second race weekend will be the July 11th weekend and will feature a NASCAR Xfinity Series race on July 10th and the Cup race on July 11th. This race date will come from Kentucky Speedway, which will no longer have a date, and the race will retain Kentucky’s sponsorship as it’ll be named the Quaker State 400.
This is a return to tradition as AMS had hosted two NASCAR Cup Series races from 1960 until 2010. Since 2011, the speedway’s schedule had been reduced to one race weekend, but now that will expand back to two races for 2021.
“We’re beyond excited to deliver what our fans have been yearning for: A second weekend of NASCAR action in Atlanta once again,” said AMS Executive Vice President and General Manager Brandon Hutchison.
— Atlanta Motor Speedway (@amsupdates) September 30, 2020
UPDATE 2 — Wednesday, September 30th — 10:10 AM ET
Darlington Raceway will officially have two race dates on the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule.
While the track has hosted more than two NCS events in 2020, it was only originally scheduled to hold one NCS race this season. COVID-19 caused NASCAR to get creative with the schedule, which brought more racing to Darlington.
Next season, Darlington — which was a traditional two-stop venue from 1960 to 2004 — will be scheduled to hold two NCS races for the first time since 2004.
The first race weekend will take place on May 9th (Mother’s Day Weekend) while the second race date will be September 5th (Labor Day weekend).
“A NASCAR tradition returns as Darlington Raceway will host two NASCAR Cup Series race weekends as part of the 2021 NASCAR schedule,” said Darlington President Kerry Tharp. “We are grateful for NASCAR’s trust in the track Too Tough To Tame to continue to deliver one of the most competitive race experiences and loyal fan bases in the sport.”
NASCAR’s Steve O’Donnell has confirmed on Twitter that both races at Darlington in 2021 will be run with the high horsepower, low downforce package.
And both races will be run with the low df package. https://t.co/bmueava45R
— Steve O'Donnell (@odsteve) September 30, 2020
All races at Darlington in 2020 were contested with the low horsepower, high downforce package.
Darlington Raceway also confirmed that the Southern 500 will once again kick off the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in 2021.
A release from Darlington Raceway stated that schedules for the Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series in 2021 will be announced in the near future.
UPDATE 3 — Wednesday, September 30th — 11:05 AM ET
Indianapolis Motor Speedway will replace it’s oval track on the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule with their road course. The NCS road course event will become a double header with IndyCar in mid-August and both series will run on the same layout.
The IndyCar Series will run their race on August 14th, while the NASCAR Cup Series will contest their race on August 15th.
A new chapter of #NASCAR history will be written Aug. 15, 2021. 📕🧱
— Indianapolis Motor Speedway (@IMS) September 30, 2020
The traditional Brickyard 400 is no more.
Track president Doug Boles says that no decision has been made about an Xfinity Series event for the speedway in 2021, just yet.
UPDATE 4 — Wednesday, September 30th — 11:10 AM ET
Michigan International Speedway officially informs fans via email that they will reduce from two NASCAR Cup Series races per season on their 2-mile oval to just one race in 2021.
In the email statement to fans, the speedway stated, “This is by no means a reflection of the support and loyalty you as fans have shown our track. Rather, it is a desire & an important step for the industry to incorporate new courses in new markets into the schedule to expand the variety of competition.”
The one Michigan International Speedway NCS event in 2021 will be held on August 22nd.
UPDATE 5 — Wednesday, September 30th — 12:05 PM ET
Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX, as expected, will officially be placed on the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule.
The picturesque road course will run it’s first NCS event on May 23, 2021.
— NASCAR at COTA (@NASCARatCOTA) September 30, 2020
Additionally, the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will share the weekend with the NCS at COTA in 2021.
Speedway Motorsports Inc. states that the final configuration of COTA is to be determined.
This event will be promoted by SMI.
UPDATE 6 — Wednesday, September 30 — 1:04 PM ET
Road America will officially join the NASCAR Cup Series schedule in 2021.
The road course in Wisconsin held one NASCAR Cup Series race back in 1956 and has been a fixture on the NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule since 2010.
At more than 4-miles long, the track will become the longest on the NCS schedule.
The race will be promoted by NASCAR, who lost their race date for Chicagoland Speedway in order to bring this race to Road America. The NASCAR Cup Series race will run on July 4th, while there will be companion events to be announced later.
“Since we welcomed the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2010, our fans have been asking for the NASCAR Cup Series, and we are very proud to make it happen on the Fourth of July,” said Road America’s President and General Manager, Mike Kertscher. “The weekend is going to be memorable and exciting for everyone as we celebrate Independence Day at America’s National Park of Speed.
— Road America (@roadamerica) September 30, 2020
UPDATE 7 — Wednesday, September 30 — 2:12PM ET
Bristol Motor Speedway will be home to the first NASCAR Cup Series event on dirt since 1970, after the track announced that one of their two dates would feature a race on a dirt surface.
The .533-mile short track will hold its first dirt race for the NASCAR Cup Series on March 28th, while returning to its traditional paved surface later on in the season, capping off round one of the playoffs on September 18th.
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) September 30, 2020
Bristol Motor Speedway’s General Manager Jerry Caldwell says that any additional dirt events will be announced at a later date and the format of the race has not yet been decided.
The track has held dirt events in 2000 and 2001 – although not with NASCAR — but at that time, the track was only banked 24 degrees. There are no plans to resurface the concrete after the event is held.
UPDATE 8 – Wednesday, September 30 — 2:40PM ET
Phoenix Raceway announced Wednesday Afternoon that the track would once again be holding two races for the NASCAR Cup Series, with the one-mile facility holding the season finale for the second consecutive season.
The NASCAR Cup Series – as well as presumably the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series — will be wrapping up their seasons on November 5th, 6th and 7th, meaning the track’s Fall date will see no movement.
As for the Spring race, the event will be pushed back one week, as the entire”West Coast Swing” has been pushed back due to Homestead-Miami Speedway’s race weekend moving to February and becoming the second race of the 2021 season.
We're heading back to the desert🌵🏆
— Phoenix Raceway (@phoenixraceway) September 30, 2020
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.