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NASCAR will race 3.41 mile COTA course for inaugural weekend

AUSTIN, TEXAS – OCTOBER 31: Tony Stewart (centre), Kevin Magnussen of Denmark and Haas F1 (L) and Romain Grosjean of France and Haas F1 (R) pose for a photo before driving the No. 14 Haas Automation Ford Mustang in a demonstration run during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas on October 31, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

NASCAR and Speedway Motorsports confirmed on Friday that the inaugural weekend at the Circuit of the Americas will feature the utilization of the historic 3.41 mile course.

The news had been teased via the @NASCARatCOTA Twitter account, where fans were tasked with keeping a steady eye on the page to figure out the configuration NASCAR would race on.

“We took a hard look at both the 3.41-mile long course and the newly reconfigured 2.2-mile short course,” said Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith. “There’s no doubt the long course will be the most entertaining for the fans. There are more sight lines and opportunities for hillside viewing, plus we’ll have additional options for trackside camping.”

The 20-turn configuration will be the same layout that Formula One drivers race at when the international series takes their yearly trip to Austin, Texas.

Among other updates from SMI, a media release states that officials are looking to add rumble stripes (also known as “turtles”) to select corners of COTA. Other adjustments being looked at include adding tire-packs to potential dangerous areas for high-energy impact, extending the pit road wall, and adding caution lights.

“The Circuit of The Americas is already a world-class, world-renowned facility,” said Smith. “Along with NASCAR, we now have to make a few safety and competition enhancements to accommodate the Camping World Trucks, Xfinity and Cup Series. Every effort will be made to make the first NASCAR weekend an experience like no other for both fans and competitors.”

When NASCAR visits COTA, they will not be alone as the IMSA-sanctioned Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America Series will also compete in the same weekend.

The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule will feature an unprecedented seven road courses including new additions such as COTA and Road America.

The historic three-day weekend of racing will take place May 21-23 with FOX Sports 1 carrying the NASCAR Cup Series, XFINITY Series, and Camping World Truck Series.

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