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Eight NASCAR Cup Series Events to Feature Practice and Qualifying in 2021

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 16: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #47 Kroger Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2020 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

Only eight of the 36 events on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule will feature practice and qualifying sessions, NASCAR officials announced on Friday Morning.

The majority of NASCAR National Series events last season were held without any additional on-track sessions, due to the widespread outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last March, which initially caused all racing activities to be shutdown for nine weeks.

The eight events that will feature practice and qualifying last season, include a mix of new venues on the schedule and high-profile races:

  • 2021 DAYTONA 500 – Daytona International Speedway – February 14th
  • Bristol Motor Speedway (Dirt) – March 28th – (new track configuration)
  • Circuit of The Americas (COTA) – May 23rd – (new venue)
  • 2021 Coca-Cola 600 – Charlotte Motor Speedway – May 30th
  • Nashville Superspeedway – June 20th – (new venue)
  • Road America – July 4th – (new venue)
  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course – August 15th – (new venue)
  • Phoenix Raceway – November 7th

Official weekend schedules – which will include details on the qualifying format and length of practice sessions — will be released at a later date, and the 2021 NASCAR National Series schedules remain subject to change.

Additional plans to include practice and/or qualifying in select NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events will be determined at a later date.

In 2020, NASCAR used both a “grouped random draw” and “performance-metrics” system to determine the starting lineup for races that didn’t feature qualifying. No further announcements have been made on if either of those formats will be used in 2021.

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