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Eight Cup Series events to be held with practice, qualifying in 2021


NASCAR competition officials have confirmed eight Cup Series races will be conducted with practice and qualifying in 2021.

NASCAR competition officials have confirmed eight Cup Series races will be conducted with practice and qualifying in 2021.

RELATED: 2021 Cup Series schedule

A majority of NASCAR national series races last season were held without any on-track sessions after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March, a measure taken to streamline events and limit the disease’s spread. Officials identified eight Cup Series events for the upcoming season — a mix of high-profile races and events at new venues — for practice and qualifying to be held:

- Feb. 14: Daytona 500
- 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

Official weekend schedules — including details on qualifying format and the amount of practice time — have not been released, and the 2021 schedule remains subject to change. Plans to potentially include practice and/or qualifying at NASCAR Xfinity Series or NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events will be determined at a later date, officials indicated.

Last season, starting lineups for events without qualifying were determined first by a random draw among groups in national series standings. That format was replaced by a performance-metrics formula that blended season-long performance with the previous week’s results to establish the starting lineup. Officials indicated the format for setting starting lineups at 2021 events without qualifying will be announced later.