2021 NASCAR Cup schedule faces “a lot of different variables”

The 2021 schedule was originally set to be released sometime in April but the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent two-month shutdown of the sport shelved those plans as NASCAR’s focus turned to getting the 2020 season completed.

NASCAR appears to have successfully achieved that goal as its three national series – Cup, Xfinity and Trucks – are all scheduled to complete their respective seasons with championship races the first weekend of November.

The pandemic, however, still remains, although its effects vary from state to state, which creates even more challenges.

New venues?

The 2021 Cup schedule is expected to feature significant changes both in the types of races on the schedule and the tracks on which they will take place.

During a Zoom call with media Tuesday, NASCAR President Steve Phelps could not give a timetable on when the 2021 schedule would be completed and said it may end up being released in “pieces.”

“There are a lot of different variables and factors that need to go into what our 2021 schedule is going to look like,” he said. “Do we want to continue to look at potential new venues? The answer is yes. Do we want to look at potential format changes? Yes. Do we want to consider continuing one-day shows in some form or fashion? Probably.

“That’s something that we have…

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