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Odds on the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series

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NASCAR – Several 2021 Season Changes Coming

By Kent Whitaker

The 2021 NASCAR Cup Season kicks off in February with the running of the Daytona 500. High-tech versions of street-legal cars will be racing for a season, there will be amazing paint schemes, driver feuds, point battles, pit stop mistakes, and terrifying crashes that make news headlines.

To many, everything will look the same in the world of NASCAR. But there are several changes to the top racing series that many fans may not know about. Here are a few of those changes casual fans should be aware of in case you find yourself in a discussion with a die-hard racing gearhead.

More Road Courses

The 2021 season will increase the number of road courses on the schedule. Sonoma, Watkins Glen, and the Charlotte Roval return and the Daytona Road Course will host the Busch Clash. Added to the point-paying schedule are Circuit of the Americas, Road America, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.

Return to the Music City

NASCAR is returning to a traditional host city – Nashville, Tennessee. The last Cup Series race was held in the Music City in 1984 at the historic Fairgrounds Speedway. Then, Nashville Superspeedway hosted Xfinity Series, Truck Series, ARCA Racing Series, and Indy Car races for several seasons before closing in 2008. Now, Nashville Superspeedway will reopen and start hosting Cup Series races in 2021.

Venues Dropped

A few tracks on the NASCAR scheduled are being dropped to make room on the schedule for the addition of road courses and Nashville. Those tracks are Chicagoland and Kentucky Speedway.

A Dirt Track

The Cup Series is taking a page from the ARCA Racing Series and the Camping World Truck Series by adding a dirt track to the schedule. Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee will apply a dirt surface to the track for the Bristol Spring Race on March 28th, 2021.

Michael Jordan

Smaller NASCAR teams come and go while the mega teams seem to roll on. The coming 2021 season will not be any different. Levine Family Racing will close after the 2020 season and legendary basketball player Michael Jordan will become a team owner with Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin. The two will field the 23X1 Motorsports No. 23 with Bubba Wallace behind the wheel. Another new team will be Trackhouse Racing with the No. 99 car.

Big Names Leaving

The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series will be missing Seven-Time Champion Jimmie Johnson as he retires after the 2020 season. Johnson may run a limited schedule – not confirmed yet. What is confirmed is that he will be competing in the Indy Car ranks for Ganassi Racing 2021 for select races.

Clint Bowyer has announced that he will be leaving Stewart – Haas Racing ending his nearly two-decade career. He will be joining the FOX Sports NASCAR broadcast team in 2021. His last race will be at Phoenix which is the same place he started his first Cup Series race in 2005.

Author Bio: Kent Whitaker, also known as “The Deck Chef,” is an award-winning culinary writer and cookbook author. He’s also penned Young Reader, NASCAR, and History titles. The former winner of the Emeril Live Food Network Barbecue Contest also covers football, motorsports, and bass fishing. Kent currently lives in East Tennessee with his wife, son, and a couple of dogs that love when he fires up the smoker or grill. You can reach out to Kent at, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.