By Mark Gregory
Editorial Director 

Chicagoland Speedway will not host a 2021 NASCAR event

 

Last updated 10/21/2020 at 10:59am

The 2021 NASCAR schedule is expected to be released Wednesday and Joliet's Chicagoland Speedway will not be part of the lineup.

The NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, Gander Trucks and ARCA were all removed from the Speedway schedule.

Reports are that Kentucky has also been dropped as a 2021 NASCAR host.

"The move away from NASCAR racing at Chicagoland Speedway is one of many changes reflected in the 2021 schedule, and by no means a reflection of the support our fans have demonstrated," said Scott Paddock, president of Chicagoland Speedway in a letter to fans on the company website. "Rather, it is a desire and an important step for the industry to incorporate new markets and new courses into the schedule, and expand the variety of competition.

"All of our fans have exhibited a tremendous amount of allegiance and patience over the past year, during which time we all have experienced significant challenges. While we share your disappointment around this news, we truly appreciate and value your commitment to the sport and to the track. As far as NASCAR racing at the Chicagoland Speedway, it’s difficult at this time to speculate on what 2022 might bring. We will continue to work with NASCAR on potential future opportunities beyond 2021 and will keep you updated."


It is unclear yet who will replace Chicagoland on the schedule, however, NASCAR did announce in early June that Nashville Superspeedway would be added back to the schedule.

Nashville Superspeedway, a 1.33-mile concrete track, was built in 2001 and hosted NASCAR and IRL-sanctioned events from 2001 to 2011. The speedway sits on 1,000 acres just outside of Nashville, and currently has 25,000 permanent grandstand seats and lights for night racing.

"We are excited to bring NASCAR racing back to Nashville, a place where the passion for our sport runs deep," said NASCAR President Steve Phelps. "The Nashville market is a vital one for our sport, and bringing NASCAR Cup Series racing to Nashville Superspeedway will be an integral building block in helping us further deliver on our promise in creating a dynamic schedule for 2021."

Not only is Joliet losing the NASCAR race, Route 66 Raceway has also been pulled from the drag racing schedule in 2021.

Route 66 has, in the past, hosted the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. It was slated to host in 2020, but the race was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Due to the corresponding impact on the shared resources between Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway, and the future uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Route 66 Raceway will unfortunately not be hosting drag racing events in 2021," Paddock said in his statement.

 

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