Martinsville Speedway will again host two NASCAR Cup Series races in 2021, the second of which will be the penultimate race of the season before the championship
NASCAR announced the 2021 schedule on Wednesday morning. Martinsville will host the final race before the championship for the second straight year. The race, the Xfinity 500, will again take place on Halloween.
“For generations of race fans Martinsville Speedway is their home for NASCAR racing, so we look forward to continuing our short track tradition that began in 1949,” Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell stated in a release from the track. “With April’s Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 night race and the Xfinity 500 serving as the penultimate Cup Series race of the season, the battle for the Martinsville grandfather clock will be as fierce as ever.”
The track will next host the NASCAR Cup Series on Nov. 1 of this year, part of a playoff weekend that will also include the NASCAR Truck and Xfinity Series.
Martinsville Speedway will also host a Saturday race on April 10 next year, the week after Easter. It will be the second year in a row Martinsville’s spring race will take place on a Saturday under the lights. This year’s spring race was originally scheduled for Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend, but was delayed to June due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The NASCAR Cup Series will go to Richmond Raceway the following weekend for back-to-back April dates in Virginia.
Wednesday’s announcement of the schedule included many big changes from years past. The schedule included a dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway in March, the week before coming to Martinsville. The Bristol race will mark the first time the Cup Series will race on dirt since 1970. The track will fill it’s 0.533-mile track with dirt to replace the traditional spring race on the concrete.
Bristol will return to concrete for the playoffs in September.
The 2021 season will also feature six road courses, including a move from the oval to the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Road America in Wisconsin and Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas will also be added to the schedule. The series will also race at mainstays Sonoma Raceway in California, Watkins Glen in New York and the Charlotte Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The 2021 All-Star race will take place at Texas Motor Speedway to make up for a loss of a points race.
Kentucky and Chicagoland Speedways will not host Cup Series races next season, and Michigan International and Dover International Speedways will only host one.
Tickets for both 2021 races at Martinsville are on sale. The track has not announced if fans will be permitted to attend this fall’s race weekend races.
Cara Cooper is the sports editor of the Martinsville Bulletin. You can reach her at (276)638-8801 ext. 241.
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