NASCAR has continued to add new races to its schedule and the newly released 2021 schedule is no different.
There are three new tracks on the schedule for next season, Circuit of the Americas, Road America and Nashville are added to the schedule for next year as well as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course replacing the traditional Indianapolis race.
The Circuit of the Americas is on the schedule for the first time ever and Road America returns to the Cup Series schedule for the first time since 1956. The Indianapolis road course debuted in the Xfinity Series this season, but will now be added to the Cup Series schedule.
Another big announcement made by NASCAR is that Bristol Motor Speeday will turn into a dirt track on March 28 for the first premier series race on dirt since 1970. The All-Star Race will move to Texas Motor Speedway on June 13 for the first time in the tracks 36-year history. This years All-Star Race was held at Bristol Motor Speedway, the first time the race had been away from Charlotte Motor Speedway in decades. With the move to Texas, the All-Star Race will return to a 1.5 mile track in 2021.
“We developed the 2021 schedule with one primary goal: continue to take steps to create the most dynamic schedule possible for our fans,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer in a release. “Extensive collaboration between NASCAR, the racetracks, race teams and our broadcast partners allowed NASCAR to create what promises to be an exciting 2021 schedule of races.”
The 2021 addition of three new venues is the most that NASCAR has added since 1969. The 36-race schedule kicks off with two consecutive races in the state of Florida. The Daytona 500 will kick off the season on Feb. 14 and the series will then head to Homestead-Miami Speedway on Feb. 21.
No major changes were made to the playoff schedule, with the swapping of Texas and Kansas in the round of eight being the only change from this years playoff schedule. Phoenix Raceway will serve as the host of the NASCAR Cup Series Championship race for the second consecutive year.
Bristol Motor Speedway, the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval and Martinsville Speedway will again serve as the cuttoff races in 2021.
Martinsville Speedway will host two races in the 2021 season, the first on April 10 and the last one being Oct. 31. Martinsville will serve as the final race before the Cup Series Championship race again in 2021, serving as the race that decides the final four drivers that will compete for the championship at Phoenix.
“For generations of race fans Martinsville Speedway is their home for NASCAR racing, so we look forward to continuing our short track tradition that began in 1949,” said Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell in a release. “With April’s Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 night race and the Xfinity 500 serving as the penultimate Cup Series race of the season, the battle for the Martinsville grandfather clock will be as fierce as ever.”