2021 NASCAR Cup Series Season embraces road racing

Daytona International Speedway

For the first time in a NASCAR Cup Series season (1949-2021) the schedule calls for the series to visit seven different road course tracks – Daytona International Speedway Road Course, Circuit of The Americas (COTA), Watkins Glen International, Sonoma Raceway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course (ROVAL) and Road America. The previous most the NASCAR Cup Series competed on in one season was four back in 1964 and 1957.

SeriesTrackTrack TypeWinnerDateSeason
CupAugusta (RC)Road CourseFireball Roberts11/17/19631964
CupBridgehamptonRoad CourseBilly Wade7/12/19641964
CupRiversideRoad CourseDan Gurney1/19/19641964
CupWatkins GlenRoad CourseBilly Wade7/19/19641964
CupKitsapRoad CourseParnelli Jones8/4/19571957
CupLancasterRoad CourseMarvin Panch11/11/19561957
CupTitusville-CocoaRoad CourseFireball Roberts12/30/19561957
CupWatkins GlenRoad CourseBuck Baker8/4/19571957

The first of the seven road courses on the 2021 schedule is this weekend’s Daytona International Speedway Road Course. The series made its debut at the Daytona Road Course last season with the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion taking the checkered flag. This weekend’s race, the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 At DAYTONA is scheduled for 70 laps or 252.7 miles (3 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

The starting lineups for this weekend’s race was determined by Metric Qualifying and as a result Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott will start from the pole and 2021 Daytona 500 champion Michael McDowell will start on the outside front row (second).