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NASCAR reveals schedule through end of Cup regular season

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NASCAR has revealed its updated schedule through the end of the Cup regular season, plus dates for the Xfinity, Trucks and the ARCA Menards series.

The stretch of announced races begins Aug. 7 and ends on Aug. 30.

The Cup Series schedule includes doubleheaders at Michigan International Speedway (Aug. 8-9) and Dover International Speedway (Aug. 22 – 23) and two visits to Daytona International Speedway.

While the Cup regular season will end on Daytona’s 2.5-mile oval (Aug. 29), the first visit to the track will be for a race on Daytona’s road course (Aug. 16), which replaces the originally scheduled race at Watkins Glen International that was canceled because of COVID-19 quarantine restrictions in New York.

All three national series and ARCA will hold races on the 3.56-mile Daytona road course.

“Daytona International Speedway has a storied history like no other in motorsports,” track president Chip Wile said in a release. “The sport of NASCAR gets to add a surprise chapter of road course racing to the venue’s legacy. Throughout the years, we have had many memorable moments with sports cars and motorcycles, but now NASCAR will take center stage on the road course at the World Center of Racing.”

Complete details on the road-course weekend, including fan attendance, are being finalized and will be announced in the near future.

These will be the first NASCAR points races held on Daytona’s road course. The Cup Series originally was set to debut on the road course with next year’s Busch Clash.

This will be the first season without a NASCAR race at Watkins Glen International since the Cup Series returned there in 1986 after a 21-year absence.

The layout of the Daytona road course.“This is an unprecedented time in the history of our nation and Watkins Glen International,” WGI President Michael Printup said in a release. “The dynamic situation we are all confronting is impacting our daily lives and activities in unimaginable ways. While we are disappointed we will not experience NASCAR in New York this year, as we look broadly at the current pandemic in our country and around the world, we must focus first on everyone’s safety and well-being as NASCAR seeks the best way to continue delivering a remarkable on-track product week after week.”

The Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race at Daytona (Aug. 16) has been realigned from Iowa Speedway. The Truck Series also will not race at Eldora Speedway (originally scheduled for July 30) and Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (originally scheduled for Sept. 6). Those races will be realigned to dates and locations to be determined.

“As a community, racers and race fans need to heed the advice of our local doctors and nurses: practice social distancing; wear a cloth face covering, bandana or mask; wash your hands; and keep sanitizer at the ready,” Roger Slack, general manager of Eldora Speedway, said in a release. “The virus knows no county line or state border and it’s on all of us to do our part to stop the spread. Until we do so, Eldora and a lot of speedways are going to sit empty.”

The Xfinity Series will not race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (originally scheduled for May 30) and Michigan (originally scheduled for June 6). Those races will be realigned to dates and locations to be determined.

The Truck Series race at Gateway at WWT Raceway on Aug. 30 will be part of a same-day doubleheader with IndyCar. Fans will be allowed to attend the event.

Below is the full schedule slate announced by NASCAR.

(ALL TIMES ARE EASTERN)

Aug. 7 at Michigan: Truck race (6 p.m. on FS1)

Aug. 8 at Road America: Xfinity race (Noon on NBCSN)

Aug. 8 at Michigan: Cup race (4 p.m. on NBCSN)

Aug. 9 at Michigan: ARCA race (1 p.m. on MavTV)

Aug. 9 at Michigan: Cup race (4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN)

Aug. 14 at Daytona road course: ARCA race (5 p.m. on MavTV)

Aug. 15 at Daytona road course: Xfinity race (3 p.m. on NBCSN)

Aug. 16 at Daytona road course: Truck race (Noon on FS1)

Aug. 16 at Daytona road course: Cup race (3 p.m. on NBC)

Aug. 21 at Dover: ARCA race (2 p.m. on Trackpass)

Aug. 21 at Dover: Truck race (5 p.m. on FS1)

Aug. 22 at Dover: Xfinity race (12:30 p.m. on NBCSN)

Aug. 22 at Dover: Cup race (4 p.m. on NBCSN)

Aug. 23 at Dover: Xfinity race (1 p.m. on NBCSN)

Aug. 23 at Dover: Cup race (4 p.m. on NBCSN)

Aug. 28 at Daytona: Xfinity race (7:30 p.m. on NBCSN)

Aug. 29 at WWT Raceway: ARCA race (6 p.m. on MavTV)

Aug. 29 at Daytona: Cup regular season finale (7:30 p.m. on NBC)

Aug. 30 at WWT Raceway: Truck race (Noon on FS1)

Nashville Superspeedway to host Cup race in 2021

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The NASCAR Cup Series will race at Nashville Superspeedway in 2021, NASCAR announced Wednesday.

As part of a four-year sanctioning agreement with NASCAR, the track in Lebanon, Tennessee’s first Cup race is tentatively scheduled for June 21, 2021.

The 1.333-mile oval is owned by Dover Motorsports Inc., which also owns Dover International Speedway. One of Dover’s two race dates will be moved to Nashville. Next year’s Cup race at Dover is tentatively scheduled for May 16 or May 23.

According to a filing with the SEC, the cost of making Nashville Superspeedway ready to host a Cup race will be $7-$10 million over the next two years.

In an afternoon teleconference, Denis McGlynn, president and COO of Dover Motorsports, said the speedway is “in great shape. There are some needs to replace some SAFER wall that we cannibalized over the years to bring to Dover.  … The buildings need to all be gone over for all of the infrastructure that services them and the fixtures inside.  We’ll be spending money on new carpets, whatever, air‑conditioning units, all that other stuff.”

McGlynn said a sellout for a race at the speedway would be 25,000 people.

“As we’ve done in the past out there, we’ll augment our permanent seats with portable seats for this first go around,” McGlynn said. “We always like to make sure we have a solid market that we can rely on before we go to the investment for permanent seats.  But we’re targeting somewhere between 25,000 and 50,000 attendance for that.”

The SEC filing lists the total purse and sanction fees to be paid by Nashville for the events over the next four years: 2021 – $8.6 million, 2022 – $9.0 million, 2023 – $9.4 million and 2024 – $9.9 million. Estimated live broadcast revenue to be recognized by Nashville for the events is approximately: 2021 – $18.2 million, 2022 – $18.9 million, 2023 – $19.9 million and 2024 – $20.8 million.

“Thanks to the collaboration of Dover Motorsports and our broadcast partners, we are excited to bring NASCAR racing back to Nashville, a place where the passion for our sport runs deep,” NASCAR President Steve Phelps said in a release. “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.”

The move to the superspeedway likely means that Speedway Motorsports’ efforts to bring NASCAR back to Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville will not take place in 2021.

“The news that NASCAR will bring a Cup race to Wilson County and the greater Nashville region in 2021 is a positive move for the sport of NASCAR and for NASCAR fans,”   Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith said in statement. “In recent years, we’ve made it very clear that we think Nashville is a place where NASCAR should be for the future and not just the past. Our efforts to work with state and local government officials to revive the historic Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway will continue. We believe that the beloved short track in downtown Nashville provides tremendous opportunity to be a catalyst for year-round tourism and entertainment development.”

Nashville Superspeedway hosted Xfinity and Gander RV & Outdoors Series races from 2001-11.

Nashville will be the first new facility for the Cup Series since it began racing at Kentucky Speedway in 2011.

Denis said the discussion about adding Nashville to the schedule began during the Cup Series Awards Banquet in Nashville last December.

‘We had a chance to sit down with the NASCAR leadership and listen to where everybody was on this subject,” McGlynn said. “We talked about a list of possibly 10 markets that NASCAR had identified for penetration. And as it turned out, No. 1  on that list was Nashville. And, of course, us having a track already built in Nashville led to the conversation that basically resulted in what we’ve announced today.”

McFlynn called the deal a “win‑win‑win for everybody, specifically for our company now that we’ll be able to have two operating Cup tracks, one here on the East Coast in the middle of major metropolitan areas, and the other in what is going to be the hottest market in NASCAR.”

Dover has hosted two Cup races a year since 1971. It has had a race weekend postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dover is expected to host a Cup doubleheader Aug. 22-23.

“It looks more and more like we’ll be hosting a doubleheader,” Tatoian told the AP. “That’s a strong scenario and that’s what we’re focused on.”

 

Winners and losers at virtual Dover

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WINNERS

William ByronWon his third Pro Invitational Series race with his victory at virtual Dover. It marked his third win in the last four series races.

Christopher Bell Runner-up finish marked his first top-10 result in the Pro Invitational Series.

Timmy Hill He finished third at virtual Dover. He’s placed in the top three in all but one Pro Invitational Series race.

Fans — This weekend’s Pro Invitational Series will be at a virtual North Wilkesboro Speedway (3 p.m. ET Saturday, May 9) … and then a week after that Cup is scheduled to be back to real racing at Darlington Raceway (3:30 p.m. ET Sunday, May 17).

Denny Hamlin He made it to the finish this time.  That’s an accomplishment after his daughter accidentally turned off his screen during last weekend’s race. Hamlin finished sixth this time.

 

LOSERS

Matt DiBenedettoFinished last in the 36-car field and seemed to be involved in most wrecks early in the race. He finished 35th the week before at virtual Talladega.

Chris Buescher Finished 35th at virtual Dover. Has not had a top-20 finish in the past four races in this series. 

 

What Cup drivers said after iRacing event at virtual Dover

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William Byron — Winner:

Christopher Bell — Finished 2nd: 

Timmy Hill – Finished 3rd:

Erik Jones — finished 4th:

Michael McDowell – Finished 5th:

Denny Hamlin — Finished 6th:

Ryan Blaney — Finished 7th:

Alex Bowman — Finished 8th:

Garrett Smithley – Finished 9th:

Cole Custer – Finished 12th:

Kyle Busch — Finished 15th: 

Kurt Busch — Finished 16th:

Ross Chastain — Finished 17th:

Kevin Harvick – Finished 18th:

Corey LaJoie — Finished 20th:

Joey Gase — Finished 24th:

Tyler Reddick — Finished 25th:

Ryan Preece — Finished 29th:

Regan Smith – Finished 31st:

Parker Kligerman — Finished 34th:

Matt DiBenedetto – Finished 36th:

Results for Pro Invitational race at virtual Dover

William Byron
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William Byron led 79 of 150 laps to score the win Sunday in the sixth eNASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series event on a virtual Dover International Speedway.

Byron passed Timmy Hill for the lead with seven laps to go and held off Christopher Bell for the win.

The top five was Byron, Bell, Hill, Erik Jones and Michael McDowell.

With Byron’s win, a Hendrick Motorsports driver has won the last four Pro Invitational events.

Byron has led the most laps in five of the six races held so far as part of the series.

Click here for the results.