The much-anticipated 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule features a vastly different regular season schedule but a familiar playoff structure.
According to a copy of the 2021 Cup Schedule obtained by Motorsport.com, with a majority of the dates independently confirmed, the Cup Series will see more road racing, less races on intermediate tracks and its first race since 1970 on dirt.
The copy of the schedule obtained is the most recent distributed but is not final.
More road courses
Among the highlights of the schedule, which will be officially released on Wednesday afternoon in its entirety by NASCAR, are six road course events – beginning with a race at the Circuit of the Americas on May 23, 2021.
Other road course events in the Cup series will be June 6 at Sonoma, Calif., July 4 at Road America, Aug. 8 at Watkins Glen, N.Y., Aug. 15 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, and Oct. 10 at the Charlotte Roval.
Gone are races at Kentucky Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, one at Texas Motor Speedway, one at Michigan, one at Dover and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.
Other new races added include a spring race at Bristol which will be converted to a dirt track. The last Cup race held on dirt was on Sept. 30, 1970, at the half-mile State Fairgrounds Speedway in Raleigh, N.C.
Also new to the schedule: a second Atlanta race, the All-Star Race moved to Texas Motor Speedway and a race at Nashville Superspeedway.
The 2021 playoff schedule will contain the same races as this season with a likely swap of the Texas and Kansas dates.
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 schedule, particularly each race weekend schedule, will be subject to change.
Proposed 2021 Cup Series schedule
Feb. 14 | Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway
Feb. 21 | Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway
Feb. 28 | Auto Club (Calif.) Speedway
March 7 | Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway
March 14 | Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway
March 21 | Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway
March 28 | Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (dirt)
April 4 | Easter
April 10 | Martinsville (Va.) Speedway
April 18 | Richmond (Va.) Raceway
April 25 | Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway
May 2 | Kansas Speedway
May 9 | Darlington (S.C.) Raceway
May 16 | Dover (Del.) International Speedway
May 23 | Circuit of the Americas (COTA)
May 30 | Charlotte Motor Speedway
June 6 | Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway
June 13 | All-Star Race (Texas Motor Speedway)
June 20 | Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway
June 26-27 | Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (doubleheader)
July 4 | Road America
July 11 | Atlanta Motor Speedway
July 18 | New Hampshire Motor Speedway
July 25 | Off Weekend (Olympics)
August 1 | Off Weekend (Olympics)
August 8 | Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International
August 15 | Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
August 22 | Michigan International Speedway
August 28 | Daytona International Speedway
Sept. 5 | Darlington Raceway
Sept. 11 | Richmond Raceway
Sept. 18 | Bristol Motor Speedway
Sept. 26 | Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Oct. 3 | Talladega Superspeedway
Oct. 10 | Charlotte Roval
Oct. 17 | Texas Motor Speedway
Oct. 24 | Kansas Speedway
Oct. 31 | Martinsville Speedway
Nov. 7 | Phoenix Raceway
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