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January 8, 2021

Eight Cup Series events to be held with practice, qualifying in 2021

Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images
Jared C. Tilton
Getty Images
As teams and fans get ready for a new season, eight NASCAR Cup Series races will be conducted with practice and qualifying in 2021.

RELATED: 2021 Cup Series schedule

A majority of NASCAR national series races last season were held without any on-track pre-race sessions after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March, a measure taken to streamline events and limit the disease’s spread. Following last year’s racing pause, only one race had qualifying — the Coca-Cola 600.

Here are the eight Cup Series events for the upcoming season — a mix of high-profile races and events at new venues — for practice and qualifying to be held:

Feb. 14: Daytona 500
March 28: Bristol Motor Speedway dirt
May 23: Circuit of the Americas
May 30: Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte Motor Speedway
June 20: Nashville Superspeedway
July 4: Road America
Aug. 15: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
Nov. 7: Phoenix Raceway

Official weekend schedules — including details on qualifying format and the amount of practice time — have not been released, and the 2021 schedule remains subject to change. Plans to potentially include practice and/or qualifying at NASCAR Xfinity Series or NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events will be determined at a later date.

Last season, starting lineups for events without qualifying were determined first by a random draw among groups in national series standings. That format was replaced by a performance-metrics formula that blended season-long performance with the previous week’s results to establish the starting lineup. Officials indicated the format for setting starting lineups at 2021 events without qualifying will be announced later.