Daytona Road Course will replace Fontana due to COVID-19 surge12/08/2020
NASCAR’s 2021 Cup Series schedule has already seen its first change and the season hasn’t even started yet.
Due to the raging COVID-19 pandemic, especially in California, the Feb. 27-28 race weekend planned for Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., has been canceled, Motorsport.com has learned.
Instead, NASCAR will host Xfinity and Cup series races the weekend after the Feb. 14 Daytona 500 on the Daytona International Speedway Road Course, which it used as a replacement venue during the pandemic-altered 2020 schedule.
The series would then move in its third week to Homestead-Miami Speedway, which was originally scheduled to be the second stop of the 2021 season.
An official announcement of the change is expected as early as Tuesday afternoon.
NASCAR declined a request for comment.
Since the 2-mile oval in California hosts one NASCAR race weekend per season it’s unlikely NASCAR will return to the venue later in 2021. The track has hosted at least one Cup series race every season beginning in 1997.
The move to the 14-turn, 3.57-mile road course at Daytona means the 2021 season will begin with three consecutive race weekends in the state of Florida and the first two at Daytona.
The series’ fourth race weekend would pick back up March 5-7 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Austin Cindric won the inaugural Xfinity race on the Daytona Road Course this past season while Chase Elliott claimed the victory in the Cup race, one of five wins on his way to his first series championship in 2020.
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