DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The biggest change to next year’s NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the addition of World Wide Technology Raceway.
While the addition of the 1.25-mile speedway in Madison, Ill., is a welcome one, it comes at the cost of a race at Pennsylvania’s Pocono Raceway.
The 2.5-mile speedway first hosted the NASCAR Cup Series in 1974 with Richard Petty visiting victory lane. The series visited the venue for one race each season until 1981. The track hosted two races for the first time in 1982, with Bobby Allison winning both races.
In 2020, NASCAR announced plans for Pocono Raceway to host a weekend doubleheader for the first time, with Cup Series competitors racing on consecutive days. Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin split those races.
The doubleheader returned to the schedule this season as Alex Bowman and Kyle Busch picked up victories. The lone NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono next season is schedule for July 24.
In a statement, Pocono Raceway officials admitted disappointment in losing one of the track’s Cup Series races.
“Although we are disappointed, NASCAR has chosen to eliminate one of the two NASCAR Cup Series races at Pocono Raceway. We will continue to persevere and provide the best family-friendly experience and value to our guests,” the statement read. “Bringing the first NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader with fans to life was a privilege. The doubleheader concept was well-received by our race fans, partners and guests. It yielded a sold-out infield, sold-out suite level and a strong attendance.
“This change does not affect our resolve, our legacy and how we will approach promoting NASCAR races and hosting our guests. We have thrilled millions of spectators and thousands of the world’s greatest race car drivers over the past 47 years and, alongside NASCAR, we will host millions more.”
The lone Cup Series weekend at Pocono will include events for the NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Menards Series.
• Homestead-Miami Speedway will have its fourth different race date in as many seasons when the 1.5-mile speedway welcomes the NASCAR Cup Series back on Oct. 23. The track will host the second race of the penultimate round of the playoffs.
The venue hosted the season finale for 18 seasons until championship weekend shifted to Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Ariz., last year. Homestead hosted the NASCAR Cup Series on June 14 last year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the raced there on Feb. 28 of this year.
• Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials confirmed not only the return of the NASCAR Cup Series to the road course next year, but that the series will again share the bill with the NTT IndyCar Series.
The NASCAR Cup Series race will take place on July 31, with the NTT IndyCar Series event scheduled the previous day. The two series raced on the IMS Road Course this year on consecutive days, with A.J. Allmendinger winning the Cup Series race and Will Power capturing the IndyCar Series event.
• The second edition of the Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway dirt race will be run under the lights on Easter Sunday, April 17. The race, which was delayed by rain by a day, was held on March 29 this season and run during the afternoon.
It’s only the second time in the modern era NASCAR will race on Easter weekend.
• After a successful debut this year, Road America returns to the schedule and will do so with a new event sponsor. Kwik Trip has been named the entitlement sponsor of the NASCAR Cup Series race scheduled for July 3 as part of a multi-year agreement. The race will be called the Kwik Trip 250 presented by Jockey Made in America.
• While track officials didn’t confirm the date, Texas Motor Speedway will once again host an NTT IndyCar Series race next season. Track officials confirmed that detail while announcing the remainder of its major events schedule alongside the release of the NASCAR Cup Series calendar Wednesday afternoon.
• The All-Star Race will remain at Texas Motor Speedway, but will move forward on the calendar to May 22 after having been run on June 13 this year.
• For the second consecutive season, Speedway Motorsports will promote a Cup Series event at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas. After a soggy debut this may that saw torrential rain eventually end the race early, the race moves forward on the calendar to March 25-27 and will include the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series.
• Richmond Raceway’s second event next season moves forward on the schedule and will be run on Aug. 14. Richmond also hosts the series on April 3.