This season, NASCAR decided to shake things up a bit with some changes to the 2021 race schedule. What kind of changes you might ask? Well, we have a NASCAR Cup Series dirt race, more road courses and a return to Nashville. The following outlines all of the major schedule adjustments to the 2021 season calendar in detail.
Check out our recap of the NASCAR driver free agency movement and new Cup Series rookies for 2021!
NASCAR Cup Series Track and Schedule Changes for 2021
Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Race | March 28
For years, some NASCAR fans have been asking for a dirt race for the Cup Series drivers. Well, they got what they wanted…sort of. For the first time in years, Bristol Motor Speedway will have a dirt race on the track. This will mark the first time since 1970 that the NASCAR Cup Series will run a race on dirt. This should be a nice little experiment for NASCAR to try and see if the race is entertaining.
Circuit of the Americas | May 23
The wild, winding turns of COTA make their NASCAR debut the week before Memorial Day. The 3.426-mile track had a test a couple of years back with Tony Stewart to see if NASCAR could run on the track. We see how the test turned out. The race does not have a mileage or lap length yet as NASCAR is still deciding how long it will be.
Nashville Superspeedway | June 21
NASCAR is returning to the 1.33 mile concrete oval for the first time in years. 2021 will also see the first-ever NASCAR Cup Series race on the Lebanon, Tennessee, track. Nashville will host the Ally 400 on NBCSN, which is replacing a former Dover race. Will the return to Tennessee work?
Road America | July 4
Road America is another road course that was added to the NASCAR Cup Series schedule. The 4.048-mile track is located near Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The Xfinity Series has raced there every year, and now the Cup drivers have the opportunity to as well. The race will only be about 250 miles so hopefully, the drivers will be dialed in from the onset.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course | August 15
NASCAR threw a curveball for this season. They decided that the Cup Series will join the Xfinity series in running the Indy road course instead of the oval. This takes away a crown jewel of the sport in the Brickyard 400. The Xfinity Series race did provide excitement in last year’s installment, so that is something that helped NASCAR make this decision. As for whether or not this decision becomes permanent probably hinges on how the race is.