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bristol motor speedway Bristol Motor Speedway
Bristol Motor Speedway

For the first time in more than 50 years, a dirt track race is coming to the NASCAR Cup Series!

On Wednesday, NASCAR officials released the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule, which introduced three new tracks, expanded to six road course races, and threw in a dirt track race for good measure.

The Bristol dirt race, scheduled for March 28, marks the first NASCAR Cup Series race held on dirt since Richard Petty won the 1970 Home State 200 at the State Fairground Speedway in Raleigh, North Carolina. Bristol will also hold a playoff race on pavement on September 18.

?Bristol Motor Speedway has hosted many historic events over the years and we will be adding to that resume,? said Jerry Caldwell, general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway. ?We can?t wait to see how the stars of NASCAR take to the dirt.?

Other big changes to the Cup Series schedule includes races at Nashville Superspeedway — a 1.33-mile oval in Lebanon, Tennessee — on June 20, and Road America — a historic 4.048-mile road circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, that last hosted the Cup Series in 1956 — on July 4. There will also be a Cup race at Circuit of The Americas (COTA), a 3.426-mile road course in Austin, Texas that has hosted Formula 1 and IndyCar races in the past.

Along with the new track additions for next year, NASCAR dropped the Cup races at Chicagoland Speedway and Kentucky Speedway.

?We developed the 2021 schedule with one primary goal: Continue to take steps to create the most dynamic schedule possible for our fans,? said Steve O?Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer.

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?Extensive collaboration between NASCAR, the race tracks, race teams and our broadcast partners allowed NASCAR to create what promises to be an exciting 2021 schedule of races.?

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, NASCAR president Steve Phelps added that he was ?cautiously optimistic that many of the objectives that we would have had in a pre-COVID world, we will have during our 2021 season.? In other words, hopefully we can expect a return to normalcy for next season.

Read More: NASCAR Tracks Have Speed Limits, Including IMS and the Charlotte Roval

2021 NASCAR Cup Series Schedule

Feb. 14 ? Daytona International Speedway, Daytona 500

Feb. 21 ? Homestead-Miami Speedway

Feb. 28 ? Auto Club Speedway

March 7 ? Las Vegas Motor Speedway

March 14 ? Phoenix Raceway

March 21 ? Atlanta Motor Speedway

March 28 ? Bristol Motor Speedway

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

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June 26-27 ? Pocono Raceway doubleheader

July 4 ? Road America

July 11 ? Atlanta Motor Speedway

July 18 ? New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Aug. 8 ? Watkins Glen International

Aug. 15 ? Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course

Aug. 22 ? Michigan International Speedway

Aug. 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 Motor Speedway Roval

Oct. 17 ? Texas Motor Speedway

Oct. 24 ? Kansas Speedway

Oct. 31 ? Martinsville Speedway

Nov. 7 ? Phoenix Raceway

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