For the first time since 2011, the Kentucky Speedway will not be a part of the NASCAR Cup Series.
Initially reported by Jordan Bianchi of The Athletic and later confirmed by NASCAR, both the Kentucky and Chicagoland Speedway tracks will not be included in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series. Their removal marks the first time since 2004 that a track is being removed from the Cup Series.
— Jordan Bianchi (@Jordan_Bianchi) September 29, 2020
FOX Sports reporter Bob Pockrass speculated on Twitter that the two races will be replaced by Road America in Wisconsin and the Atlanta Motor Speedway. The schedule for the 2021 season is expected to be announced on Wednesday. As of the time that this post was published, no representative from Kentucky Speedway has commented on its removal. However, the Chicagoland Speedway did issue a statement:
“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,” Chicagoland president Scott Paddock wrote in the release. “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. “
From 2011-2020, Kentucky Speedway hosted what is officially known as the Quaker State 400. Several big-name drivers such as Kurt and Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, and Martin Truex Jr. won the race over the course of its history. Rookie driver Cole Custer won the most recent race back in mid-July.