The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule includes a wide range of interesting and intriguing races to look forward to this season.
As the offseason slowly comes to an end, here are just five races of on the calendar that have already generated anticipation:
"The Great American Race" will top the list of races to watch, and listen to on the radio, pretty much every season and 2021 is no exception. The Daytona 500 is the sport’s biggest race and it just happens to kick off the new campaign. All eyes will be on "The World Center of Racing" Sunday, February 14 when NASCAR’s 73rd season begins. It will be the first opportunity for teams to set the tone for the season with a good performance while also giving drivers with new organizations a shot to get their relationships off to great starts. The build-up in Daytona with all the support races leading to the 500 is always anticipated and this year will be no exception.
CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS
NASCAR makes its first visit to the world class COTA complex in Austin, Texas in late May. It will be a tripleheader weekend with the Camping World Trucks, Xfinity Series and Cup Series all in action on the 3.41-mile long course. The 20-turn layout promises to provide one of the biggest challenges of the year to drivers. While NASCAR’s presence in the Lone Star State also continues at Texas Motor Speedway, bringing the sport to COTA provides another opportunity to grow and attract a different fan base.
Speaking of world class road course, the four-mile gem in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin will welcome NASCAR’s top series for the first time in more than six decades. The Xfinity Series has raced at Road America since 2010 and there has not been a repeat winner in 11 races. Now the Cup Series is part of the sanctioning body’s trip to the Dairy State with a Fourth of July Sunday date coming after Saturday’s Xfinity Series race. The beautiful course will be packed with race fans from around the Midwest for what should be one of the best races of the Cup season.
BRISTOL DIRT RACE
It’s been just over 50 years since the Cup Series raced on a dirt track but that will change in 2021. Bristol Motor Speedway will be transformed into a dirt facility for a March weekend that will include both the Camping World Truck Series and Cup Series. There is no way to tell what kind of racing the innovative layout will produce but there has been buzz for the concept since it was first announced late last year. Teams and drivers have already been hard at work preparing for one of the most unique races in the sport’s recent history.
All three national series champions will again be crowned at Phoenix Raceway in November. Last year marked the first time since the Championship 4 format was introduced titles weren’t decided at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The one-mile track located in the desert just outside Phoenix provided both a new venue but interesting and competitive races to crown the champs. It will happen again in 2021 as the season once again winds its way west to determine NASCAR’s best.
The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Motor Racing Network.