Story By: MATT NORDBY / NASCAR – DAYTONA BEACH, FL – NASCAR today announced the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule, a historic slate that includes the introduction of three new racetracks – and new layouts at two iconic venues – to the sport’s top level.
Not since 1969 has NASCAR added this many new venues to its premier series schedule.
The 36-race slate includes races at three new road course layouts, and the first Cup Series dirt race in more than 50 years.
The road course at Circuit of the Americas (May 23) joins the schedule for the first time, Road America (July 4) returns for the first time since 1956 and, after a thrilling debut in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2020, the Cup stars will race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course in 2021 (Aug. 15).
The high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway will transform into a dirt track for a NASCAR Cup Series race on March 28, the first premier series race on dirt since Sept. 30, 1970 (North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, N.C.).
And as previously announced, NASCAR returns to the Music City with a race at Nashville Superspeedway on June 20, which will kick off the NBC Sports portion of the season.
“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. “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.”
In addition, NASCAR announced the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race’s return to a high-speed 1.5-mile track in 2021, as the annual star-studded event moves to Texas Motor Speedway on June 13 for the first time in its 36-year history.
NASCAR will open its Cup Series season with two consecutive races in Florida. As is tradition, the season will kick off with the running of The Great American Race – the DAYTONA 500 – at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 14 live on FOX before heading south to Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 21.
The series will also double down on a pair of familiar venues in markets threaded deep with historical NASCAR ties and passionate fanbases. Cars will hit the track at Darlington Raceway for the first time on Sunday, May 9 and again to kick off the Playoffs on Sunday, Sept. 5 while Atlanta Motor Speedway will host NASCAR’s premier series on Sunday, Mar. 21 and Sunday, July 11.
After an overhaul for the 2020 season, the only change in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs will be a swap of dates between Texas and Kansas in the Round of 8. Wholly unpredictable venues – Bristol Motor Speedway (Sept. 18), the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval (Oct. 10) and Martinsville Speedway (Oct. 31) – will once again serve as the cutoff races in 2021.
Phoenix Raceway culminates the 10-race Playoffs slate as host of the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race for the second consecutive year.
NASCAR Cup Series races in 2021 will once again air on the FOX and NBC family of networks. Start times and specific networks will be announced at a later date. Schedules for the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will also be announced at a later date.
Below is the full 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule (Playoff races in bold font):
2021 NASCAR CUP SERIES SCHEDULE
|Date||Race / Track|
|Tuesday, February 9||Clash (Daytona Road Course)|
|Thursday, February 11||Duel at Daytona|
|Sunday, February 14||DAYTONA 500|
|Sunday, February 21||Homestead-Miami|
|Sunday, February 28||Auto Club|
|Sunday, March 7||Las Vegas|
|Sunday, March 14||Phoenix|
|Sunday, March 21||Atlanta|
|Sunday, March 28||Bristol Dirt|
|Saturday, April 10||Martinsville|
|Sunday, April 18||Richmond|
|Sunday, April 25||Talladega|
|Sunday, May 2||Kansas|
|Sunday, May 9||Darlington|
|Sunday, May 16||Dover|
|Sunday, May 23||COTA|
|Sunday, May 30||Charlotte|
|Sunday, June 6||Sonoma|
|Sunday, June 13||All-Star (Texas)|
|Sunday, June 20||Nashville Superspeedway|
|Saturday & Sunday, June 26-27||Pocono Doubleheader|
|Sunday, July 4||Road America|
|Sunday, July 11||Atlanta|
|Sunday, July 18||New Hampshire|
|Sunday, August 8||Watkins Glen|
|Sunday, August 15||Indianapolis Road Course|
|Sunday, August 22||Michigan|
|Saturday, August 28||Daytona|
|Sunday, September 5||Darlington|
|Saturday, September 11||Richmond|
|Saturday, September 18||Bristol|
|Sunday, September 26||Las Vegas|
|Sunday, October 3||Talladega|
|Sunday, October 10||Charlotte Roval|
|Sunday, October 17||Texas|
|Sunday, October 24||Kansas|
|Sunday, October 31||Martinsville|
|Sunday, November 7||Phoenix|