Column: NASCAR XFINITY & Truck Series Look To Their “Short” Track Roots With 2020 Schedule

Column By: JORDAN BIANCHI / NASCAR – DAYTONA BEACH, FL – The schedules for NASCAR’s Xfinity Series and Gander Outdoor Truck Series will have a familiar look in 2020, with both also returning to a track that it had a previous longstanding association with but have not visited for more than a decade.

The Xfinity Series will return to Martinsville Speedway for its first event there since 2006, a race that will be part of a triple-header weekend featuring all three of NASCAR’s national series. The Xfinity race will be held on Saturday afternoon, with the Gander Trucks race Friday night and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race Sunday afternoon. All three events are the respective series’ final cutoff race in the Playoffs, setting up the Championship 4 finalists a week later at ISM Raceway.

Martinsville recently installing lights around its half-mile track created the opportunity to have all three of NASCAR’s national series compete at the venue on the same weekend, said Ben Kennedy, NASCAR managing director of racing operations and international development. The Virginia facility is the oldest in NASCAR, having hosted a least one national series race every year since 1949, and the Xfinity Series every year from 1982-1994 and again in 2006.

The NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series will return to Richmond Raceway next April, a Saturday night race that precedes the Cup Series event the following afternoon on the Virginia short track. The Gander Trucks competed at Richmond from 1995-2005.

“The NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series were both built on short-track racing, and it is important that short tracks remain a prominent part of our series schedules,” Kennedy said. “We returned to our roots in many ways with today’s announcement. Martinsville and Richmond were part of the original Xfinity and Gander Trucks schedules, and we’re excited for their return as part of a strong overall slate.”

Additional adjustments to the Xfinity Series schedule include the road course race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course shifting to May, Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s date moving from September to July, and the second race at Daytona International Speedway sliding to late August.

During the two-week summer break for the Monster Energy Series, the Gander Trucks will race at Eldora Speedway on July 30, with the Xfinity Series competing at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 1.

The Xfinity Series Playoff opener is at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sept. 18. Postseason elimination races will be held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval (Oct. 10) and Martinsville (Oct. 31).

The Gander Outdoor Truck Series Playoffs commence at Gateway Motorsports Park on Aug. 21. Its two postseason elimination races will be at Bristol on Sept. 17 and Martinsville on Oct. 30.