New Races at Knoxville, Circuit of the Americas Highlight NASCAR Touring Series Schedules

COTA, Road America, Bristol dirt among 2021 Cup Series additions | RACER
Photo credit: Simon Galloway/Motorsport Images

On Thursday, NASCAR revealed the 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule, completing the release of the three NASCAR national touring series schedules.

The NASCAR Cup, Xfinity, and Camping World Truck Series schedules have been overhauled for 2021 and includes racing at new facilities for the sport, including dirt racing at Bristol Motor Speedway and Knoxville Raceway, new road course races at Circuit of the Americas and a return to Nashville Superspeedway.

NASCAR Cup Series

NASCAR’s premier division will continue to host 36 championship points races in 2020, but is slated to begin on Feb. 9 with the annual running of the Busch Clash, NASCAR’s pre-season exhibition event. The Busch Clash is part of an overhaul of Daytona Speedweeks, which no longer will begin the Sunday prior to the Daytona 500. 

The Busch Clash, which has been run on the 2.5-mile Daytona tri-oval a week before the Daytona 500 in recent years, will now race on Tuesday night prior to the Daytona 500 on the 3.61-mile Daytona road course. Daytona 500 qualifying, which usually takes place on the Sunday before the Daytona 500, will now take place on the Wednesday leading up to the 500, Feb. 10. The Daytona Duel qualifying races will run on Thursday night, Feb. 11, all leading up to the 63rd annual running of “The Great American Race,” the Daytona 500, which falls on Feb. 14.

On March 28, NASCAR’s top series will return to dirt for the first time since 1970 when the series returns to Bristol Motor Speedway. Bristol will have dirt packed on top of the concrete surface for the weekend and the Bristol night race in September will remain on the regular concrete surface of the half-mile track.

The Cup Series will also be hosted by new venues to the series, including Circuit of the Americas on May 23, Nashville Superspeedway on June 20 and Road America on July 4.

The famed Brickyard 400 will run on the Indianapolis road course in 2021, marking the first NASCAR Cup Series races at Indianapolis to not be run on the 2.5-mile rectangular circuit.

Texas Motor Speedway will also see a first in 2021, as it will host it’s first-ever All-Star race. The non-points race has only been hosted at three tracks since its inaugural event in 1985: It was hosted by Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1986, by Bristol Motor Speedway in 2020, and by Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1985 and from 1987-2019.

In addition to these great additions to the Cup Series schedule, Darlington and Atlanta will now host two races each in 2021 as opposed to their usual one weekend each.

With all of these fantastic additions, some race dates had to be sacrificed. Dover will only host one race in 2021 as opposed to its typical two weekends. Michigan will also host just one race weekend, and Texas will only host one points-paying race next year. Chicagoland Speedway and Kentucky Speedway, two 1.5-mile race tracks that the series has been visiting since 2001 and 2011, respectively, have been dropped from the Cup schedule.

The tentative NASCAR Cup Series schedule can be found here.

NASCAR Xfinity Series

The NASCAR Xfinity Series will race 33 times in 2021, starting at Daytona on Feb. 13. Unlike the Cup Series and Truck Series, the Xfinity Series will not race on any dirt tracks in 2021. They will, however, join the Cup Series for a weekend of racing at Circuit of the Americas and for a second race weekend at Darlington Raceway in May and a second race at Atlanta in July. 

The Xfinity Series schedule remodeling also realigns Xfinity schedule dates with Cup Series race dates. The first of two races at Texas Motor Speedway has been moved to June 12, the same weekend that Texas will host the Cup Series’ All-Star Event. Road America’s race date, which usually is a stand-alone weekend for the Xfinity Series, has been moved to July 3 to coincide with the Cup Series’ inaugural event at the track the following day. The Xfinity Series will return to Nashville Superspeedway for the first time since 2011 on June 19, one day before the Cup Series is slated to race at the 1.33-mile track.

The Xfinity Series has also excluded Chicagoland Speedway and Kentucky Speedway from their schedule, as well as Iowa Speedway, which has been a favorite of fans in recent years due to its side-by-side, short-track style racing.

The tentative NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule can be found here.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Aside from a change in title sponsorship, the Camping World Truck Series will see quite a significant schedule change. The Truck Series schedule has been reduced from 23 races to 22. Like the Cup and Xfinity Series, there will be no Truck races at Chicagoland or Kentucky, and also like in Cup and Xfinity, the Truck Series will open their season at Daytona in mid-February.

The Trucks also won’t return to Eldora, which hosted NASCAR’s return to dirt back in 2013. Instead, the Trucks will join the Cup Series for dirt racing at Bristol Motor Speedway in March and will make their first-ever stop at the famed Knoxville Raceway, a half-mile dirt track in Iowa. The Camping World Truck Series will also return to Nashville Superspeedway with the other nation series and will return to Watkins Glen International for the first time since 2000.

The tentative NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule can be found here.

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