Chicagoland, Kentucky not on 2021 Cup schedule
Chicagoland Speedway and Kentucky Speedway will not be on the 2021 Cup schedule, both tracks announced Tuesday.
Chicagoland Speedway posted a statement on its website Tuesday announcing it will not host any NASCAR races next year.
“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,” stated a note from Scott Paddock, track president, on the speedway’s 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. ... 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. “
Chicagoland Speedway hosted Cup races from 2001-19. It was on this year’s schedule but its date was moved because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alex Bowman won the 2019 race for his first career Cup victory. Tony Stewart was the track’s all-time winner in Cup with three victories.
Mark Simendinger, general manager of Kentucky Speedway, stated “Of course, we’re disappointed the Bluegrass State is not on NASCAR’s schedule for 2021, as the past two decades have been filled with memorable moments that will last a lifetime. “This has been a tough year for so many, but there are still wild adventures ahead.
“We will evolve into a multi-use rental complex and also seek additional entrepreneurial prospects. Kentucky Speedway is open for business, and we have the potential to host special events, commercial television production, music festivals, other racing series and stand-alone RV rallies and camping events. Change is sometimes hard, but I’m looking forward to the many opportunities that lie ahead for our facility.”
Kentucky Speedway hosted Cup races from 2011-20. Rookie Cole Custer won the July race, going from sixth to first on the final restart. Brad Keselowski was the track’s all-time winner in Cup with three victories.
Kentucky is where Joey Logano won his first NASCAR national series race. It came in his third Xfinity Series start on June 14, 2008. Logano was 18. The track also was the site of one of the bigger upsets in recent NASCAR history. David Gilliland won a 2006 Xfinity race there with a part-time team. That victory helped Gilliland land a Cup ride with Yates Racing.
The 2021 Cup schedule is set to be announced Wednesday afternoon.