When racing resumed last year after the pandemic shut down the sport, the NASCAR Cup Series eliminated practice and qualifying for the remainder of its revamped schedule. The only exemption was for the Coca-Cola 600. That will change in 2021 as the sanctioning body will bring those elements back, but with a caveat. Just eight events will have both.
NASCAR eliminated practice and qualifying in the Cup Series, and the other two touring series, to limit the amount of time drivers, teams, officials, and support staff spent at the track in order to avoid the spread of COVID-19. It will continue those protocols for much of the upcoming schedule. Despite the rollout of vaccines, cases are still on the rise.
The first Cup Series event where fans will see cars and drivers on the track in practice and qualifying trim with be for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 14. The other seven are as follows:
• March 28: Bristol Motor Speedway dirt
• May 23: Circuit of the Americas
• May 30: Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte Motor Speedway
• June 20: Nashville Superspeedway
• July 4: Road America
• Aug. 15: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
• Nov. 7: Phoenix Raceway
New style race, new venues for the Nascar Cup Series
The race at Bristol will be the first time the Cup Series series will be on dirt at Thunder Valley. The Circuit of Americas and Nashville Speedway are new additions to the schedule. So is Road America, although the Xfinity Series has been competing there since 2010.
The Coca-Cola 600 is the longest race on the Cup Series schedule, so both practice and qualifying would be parts of the event. NASCAR returns to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course for the second year, and Phoenix is the series finale, which will determine the champion.
At a later date, NASCAR will announce the amount of practice time at each event and the qualifying format. The schedule is also subject to change.Published 10 Jan 2021, 02:25 IST