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NASCAR Cup Series Will Be Back on a Dirt Track for the First Time Since 1970

Published 11/30/2020, 7:05 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

The next couple of years are said to be important ones for the world of NASCAR. 2022 will herald the arrival of the Next Gen car, but the 2021 season will see a brand new schedule. This major change does not just apply to the Cup Series, but blankets all three. It is worth noting that for the first time in a long time, NASCAR will race on a dirt surface.

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The venue for such an occasion will be the Bristol Motor Speedway dirt track. A week earlier, the Truck Series included Bristol in its calendar alongside the Cup and Xfinity Series. Furthermore, Bristol marks the first of two dirt track races for the Truck Series in 2021. Additionally, the Cup Series will return to the dirt surface for the first time since 1970.

Another new addition to the calendar is the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas in late May. In 2012, The COTA track became a part of the F1 calendar. Since then, it has been a multi-purpose track, hosting Formula 1, MotoGP, IndyCar, IMSA, and the FIA World Endurance Championship. Now, NASCAR is set to finally join the fun in the coming season.


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One of the biggest features of the track is its 133-foot uphill climb into a blind, left-hander at Turn 1. The track also boasts of a very long back straight, which will be perfect for slipstream battles. Safe to say, a large majority of the drivers are excited to tackle the circuit for the first time in NASCAR machinery.

What other calendar changes are present for the 2021 NASCAR season?

Other newcomers to the calendar include the Nashville Superspeedway. This oval was conceived nearly 20 years ago but was closed a decade later. At last, after a major revamp, the Nashville Superspeedway is set to make its grandiose return to the fray.

During its tenure, it primarily hosted Xfinity and Truck races, but will now include Cup races in its schedule. It is worth noting that Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, and Joey Logano have visited Victory Lane at Nashville.


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Another returnee to the 2021 NASCAR calendar is Road America. After nearly 65 years, the Cup series will finally return to Road America for the new season. Its numerous overtaking hotspots and elevation changes, make it one of the best circuits in the world.

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After the Xfinity Series raced there earlier this year, the Indianapolis road course passed the acid test. In other words, the Cup Series will finally make landfall at the track.


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Another debutant is the Knoxville Raceway, which will host a Camping World Truck race in July. Additionally, it will also host sprint car events for the USAC National Sprint Car Series.

Finally, the Truck series will visit Watkins Glen for the first time in 20 years. In fact, this race will play host to the regular-season finale for the Truck series.



Dhruv George

14104 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.