The 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (yes, that is the name again) schedule was revealed on Thursday, and boasts quite the diversity. Although the slate is reduced by one from twenty-three in 2020 to twenty-two, it will feature three road courses, the most in the series since 1999, and two dirt track races.
As usual, the season will begin at Daytona International Speedway before following the parent Cup Series to Homestead-Miami Speedway. After companion dates at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway, the trucks hit the dirt for the first time at Bristol Motor Speedway, a new configuration of the short track for NASCAR. Eldora Speedway, which hosted NASCAR’s lone dirt race from 2013 to 2019 (2020 was cancelled due to COVID-19), will not return for 2021; specific reasons for its removal were not given, but speculation points toward its preparation for track owner Tony Stewart‘s new Superstar Racing Experience series.
“Eldora Speedway will not be hosting a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event in 2021,” wrote a letter from track president Roger Slack to ticketholders. “Both Eldora Speedway and the communities our racetrack calls home are extremely proud of the collective effort we put into making NASCAR’s return to dirt a success. It was a truly collaborative endeavor between Eldora, NASCAR, the teams and FOX Sports that brought dirt racing back to NASCAR for the first time in almost 43 years.
“We had a great seven-year run that ushered in many firsts for NASCAR, namely heat races, last-chance qualifiers, four-wide salutes and stage racing. Rising stars and dirt-racing specialists ensured we never had a repeat winner and that all winners came from various racing backgrounds, from dirt and asphalt to open wheel and stock cars.”
The Trucks will then race at Kansas Speedway and Darlington Raceway, the latter now a mainstay after a nine-year absence before returning in 2020 as a temporary date to make up lost races to COVID-19. After a two-week break, the series visits Circuit of the Americas in the first of three road course events; it will be NASCAR’s maiden foray onto the Austin-based track and replaces one of the two races at Texas Motor Speedway. The now-lone Texas race is sandwiched between rounds at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Nashville Superspeedway, the latter of which returns to the Truck schedule following a decade-long dormancy. Nashville replaces Dover International Speedway, a track also owned by Dover Motorsports.
After Pocono Raceway is the second dirt race at Knoxville Raceway, one of the most iconic sprint car circuits in the world and host of the famed Knoxville Nationals. David Gravel, the 2019 Nationals winner, ran two Truck races in 2020, while 2018 Truck champion Brett Moffitt is the youngest winner in the raceway’s history when he won a SportMod feature in 2007 at the age of 14. The track maintains a partnership with Spire Sports + Entertainment, a management agency that also operates Cup Series team Spire Motorsports.
“With the help of NASCAR, Knoxville Raceway is ready to pen another chapter in the history that’s been created at the most legendary dirt track in the world,” track race director John McCoy stated. “We’re honored by the faith NASCAR has placed in our facility and staff to raise the already high bar in delivering the best racing to our fans. We’re proud to join NASCAR in bringing Knoxville Raceway to a national television audience and to showcase what sprint car fans have known for generations. There’s no where like Knoxville.”
The second road race will close out the regular season as the Trucks return to Watkins Glen International for the first time since 2000. With the Cup Series’ regular season finale being at Daytona and the Xfinity Series‘ at Bristol, all three national series will prepare for their playoffs at different track types.
World Wide Technology Raceway will kick off the playoffs, returning to the schedule after losing its 2020 date to the pandemic. This is followed by the third road course event at Candian Tire Motorsport Park, also a victim of COVID-19 in 2020, and Bristol as the elimination race. Las Vegas, Talladega Superspeedway, and Martinsville Speedway make up the Round of 8. As with 2020, Phoenix Raceway will host the championship race.
“The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series provides some of the most intense and entertaining competition in all of racing,” NASCAR vice president of racing development Ben Kennedy commented. “The 2021 iteration of the schedule will build upon that intensity through a wide variety of long-tenured race tracks and new venues like Knoxville Raceway. The variety of disciplines will increase the demand on drivers and culminate with a truly battle-tested champion at Phoenix.”
Besides Eldora, Dover, and Texas, other tracks removed from the schedule include Michigan International Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, and Iowa Speedway. Kentucky and Chicagoland lost races across all three national series for 2021, the latter also being unable to hold a race in 2020, while Iowa lost its Truck and Xfinity dates.
|1||Daytona International Speedway||12 February|
|2||Homestead-Miami Speedway||19 February|
|3||Las Vegas Motor Speedway||5 March|
|4||Atlanta Motor Speedway||20 March|
|5||Bristol Motor Speedway dirt||27 March|
|6||Richmond Raceway||17 April|
|7||Kansas Speedway||1 May|
|8||Darlington Raceway||7 May|
|9||Circuit of the Americas||22 May|
|10||Charlotte Motor Speedway||28 May|
|11||Texas Motor Speedway||12 June|
|12||Nashville Superspeedway||18 June|
|13||Pocono Raceway||26 June|
|14||Knoxville Raceway||9 July|
|15||Watkins Glen International||7 August|
|16||World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway||20 August|
|17||Canadian Tire Motorsport Park||5 September|
|18||Bristol Motor Speedway||16 September|
|19||Las Vegas Motor Speedway||24 September|
|20||Talladega Superspeedway||2 October|
|21||Martinsville Speedway||30 October|
|22||Phoenix Raceway||5 November|