The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule is looking a whole lot more interesting with so many additions, removals, and reconfigurations. NASCAR fans can expect a totally new regular season, although the playoff structure still looks and feels familiar.
In light of the changes, NASCAR betting will be impacted too, so it’s best to read up on how the 2021 NASCAR Cup series will differ from previous years. Here are some of the latest developments from NASCAR that you should know about.
NASCAR goes dirt racing…
For the first time in 50 years, the NASCAR Cup Series will include dirt racing at the legendary Colosseum of Motorsport, aka the Bristol Motor Speedway, which will reinvent the iconic race track.
Richard Petty won the last NASCAR Cup Series race on a dirt track in 1970. NASCAR organisers will haul in 15,000 truckloads of dirt to cover the concrete track. Many race fans have mixed feelings about this choice but it is sure to add a new dimension of excitement to the racing schedule.
“As everyone knows, Bristol Motor Speedway is the home to big events,” said Jerry Caldwell, Bristol Motor Speedway’s Exec VP, and General Manager. “And we feel like this will be one of the most anticipated races in the NASCAR Cup Series in quite some time.”
Homestead-Miami Speedway moves to second on the schedule
For the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule, Homestead-Miami Speedway will play host to the second race of the season, just after the Daytona 500. Fans will enjoy both some winter sun and track action at Homestead-Miami Speedway on February 21.
The second slot was previously held at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, so it will be interesting to see how drivers adjust to the venue change during the second race of the season.
Although for the teams and race crews, it’s no longer a major cross country haul to Nevada but rather a short 150 mile drive south from Daytona to Miami…
NASCAR debuts at COTA!
Motorsport fans can watch NASCAR Cup cars for the first time at Austin’s Formula 1 venue, the Circuit of the Americas It’s 3.426-mile road course has hosted both Formula 1 and NTT IndyCar Series races that have always pleased the fans.
For the NASCAR Cup Series event, the track will be reconfigured and shortened to its 2.2 mile long version that only has 15 corners instead of the 24 turn layout used by the IndyCars and Formula 1 machines. Still, it will be a major challenge for the NASCAR Cup drivers!
More road courses on the schedule
One of the highlights of the 2021 schedule is the inclusion of six road events. NASCAR fans will finally get what they’ve been asking for as iconic and legendary venues like Watkins Glen, Sonoma, and the new Charlotte ROVAL events are joined by the Circuit of the Americas, Road America, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. The first road race will take place at COTA on May 23, 2021.
The All-Star Race relocates to a new venue
As always, NASCAR fans can expect an annual exhibition race between race winners from the previous and current season, as well as the previous Cup Series champions. Fans have grown used to the event taking place at Charlotte Motor Speedway; however, the event was moved to Bristol in 2020.
But next year, the All-Star Race will move to Texas Motor Speedway. This means that the Texas venue will open its 2021 season with an IndyCar doubleheader on May 1-2 which will be followed by the NASCAR Cup All-Star weekend (June 11-13), and then finish with the traditional NASCAR Cup regular season race on October 17.
Nobody knows if the Texas Motor Speedway will be home to the All-Star weekend beyond 2021, but with the All-Star event replacing the points-scoring 500-mile event, NASCAR fans will be hoping for more thrilling action on the track.
Darlington gets more racing action
For 2021, Darlington Raceway is scheduled to host more than one NASCAR Cup Series date. The track really does produce some excellent racing and it will be the first time in 17 years that Darlington Raceway will host Cup Series races on separate weekends.
“A NASCAR tradition returns as Darlington Raceway will host two NASCAR Cup Series race weekends as part of the 2021 NASCAR schedules”, said Darlington Raceway President Kerry Tharp.
Both Chicagoland and Kentucky miss the 2021 cut…
Sadly, both Chicagoland and Kentucky Speedway are notably absent from the 2021 Cup Series schedule. It seems 1.5-mile tracks have been falling out of favor as fans find them to be boring.
More diversity was clearly needed on the 2021 schedule which means that NASCAR will not return to these two tracks next year. Some have also argued that the weather, traffic, and other local factors have resulted in fans feeling frustrated and many did not want to return to these two tracks.
One thing is for sure though; both the NASCAR Cup Series drivers and their fans can expect a whole lot of new action as we venture into the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule.
Are you ready for the action?
The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Schedule:
February 9: Clash (Daytona road course)
February 11: Duel at Daytona
February 14: Daytona International Speedway
February 21: Homestead-Miami Speedway
February 28: Auto Club Speedway
March 7: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
March 14: Phoenix Raceway
March 21: Atlanta Motor Speedway
March 28: Bristol Motor Speedway (dirt)
April 10: Martinsville Speedway
April 18: Richmond Raceway
April 25: Talladega Superspeedway
May 2: Kansas Speedway
May 9: Darlington Raceway
May 16: Dover International Speedway
May 23: Circuit of the Americas
May 30: Charlotte Motor Speedway
June 6: Sonoma Raceway
June 13: Texas Motor Speedway (All-Star Race)
June 20: Nashville Superspeedway
June 26: Pocono Raceway
June 27: Pocono Raceway
July 4: Road America
July 11: Atlanta Motor Speedway
July 18: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
August 8: Watkins Glen International
August 15: Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course
August 22: Michigan International Speedway
August 28: Daytona International Speedway (Regular Season Ends)
September 5: Darlington Raceway (Playoffs – Round of 16)
September 11: Richmond Raceway
September 18: Bristol Motor Speedway
September 26: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Playoffs – Round of 12)
October 3: Talladega Superspeedway
October 10: Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL
October 17: Texas Motor Speedway (Playoffs – Round of 8)