COVID-19 Pandemic Forces NASCAR to Make First 2021 Schedule Adjustment

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has canceled the NASCAR weekend scheduled for Feb. 27-28 at Auto Club Speedway in Southern California.

Instead, NASCAR will move the event from Fontana, California to the Daytona International Speedway Road Course the weekend after the Daytona 500 and two weeks after the exhibition Busch Clash takes place on the modified Rolex 24 layout.

The Daytona International Speedway Road Course made its NASCAR national touring debut in 2020 as a replacement event for the canceled races at Watkins Glen International in New York.

The adjusted schedule will also result in the Homestead-Miami Speedway event moving back a week to Feb. 27-28 to complete a three-week stretch in the state of Florida. Homestead was originally scheduled to be the second points-paying race of the season.

The schedule will resume as intended on March 5-7 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Austin Cindric won the inaugural Xfinity Series race on the Daytona International Speedway Road Course in August while Chase Elliott emerged victorious in the Cup Series. Both drivers went on to claim respective championships in the division.

“Daytona International Speedway is known for iconic moments, and last year’s historical, first NASCAR road course races were incredibly exciting and added to the legacy of the World Center of Racing,” said Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile. “It was also great to see our trio of winners go on and hoist Championship trophies at Phoenix. We’re thrilled to have all three series back.”

Auto Club Speedway will also postpone its reconfiguration from a two-mile superspeedway into a half-mile short track by a year to 2022. The 2021 race was expected to be the final race on the superspeedway configuration.

The track has hosted at least one race every year since its debut season in 1997.

Meanwhile, the NASCAR Cup Series will now feature seven road course races on its 2021 schedule.

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