The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will race at Darlington Raceway for a second time in 2021. On Tuesday, NASCAR announced the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park playoff race on 5 September will be moved to Darlington as the COVID-19 pandemic situation mounts in Canada.
The pandemic forced the 2020 race at the Bowmanville road course to be cancelled as the border between Canada and the United States was closed. Despite vaccine rollouts in the past few months in both countries and worldwide, travel restrictions continue to be in place at the northern border. The predicament had already forced the NTT IndyCar Series to call off the Honda Indy Toronto in early May. Mosport is the third track to lose a 2021 NASCAR date to the pandemic after Auto Club Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway in February, the former having its Cup and Xfinity Series rounds moved to the Daytona Road Course while the latter lost the Trucks to Daytona.
“We are obviously very disappointed to have to cancel this event for the second straight year,” CTMP president Myles Brandt stated. “Along with NASCAR we are focused on providing a safe environment for our competitors, fans, and the entire community.
“With the current border restrictions, it became apparent to all parties that the event could not go ahead for this season. We will now focus on the return of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2022, and making that event the best one yet.”
Despite the announcement coming on Tuesday, it had already been expected for some time. In February, various industry figures including reigning champion Sheldon Creed brought up rumours that the Mosport date would be moved to Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis, which hosted the Trucks from the inaugural season in 1995 to 2011.
With the loss of Mosport, the 2021 Truck schedule is now down to three road courses; the Daytona RC and Circuit of the Americas already hosted their races, while Watkins Glen International will be the regular season finale in August. Consequently, there are no road races in the seven-race playoffs; the Mosport/Darlington slot is the second race of the opening round.
The historic Darlington Raceway returned to the Truck schedule in 2020 as a temporary date after Mosport was called off before being elevated to a permanent spot for this season, albeit as a spring date in early May. Creed won that race in overtime. Prior to its addition to the 2020 slate, the track last hosted a Truck race in 2011.