NASCAR Cup Series Road America Race This Weekend Set to Snap 65-Year Hiatus

by Emily Morgan

For Independence Day weekend, NASCAR drivers will head to Road America for a top-level race— which hasn’t been done in over 60 years.

The weekend will make NASCAR history. A record seven road course races are on the 36-race 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule. Drivers will start their engines this weekend for four of those races.

In 2020, NASCAR fans only saw two road course races— which was the most of any recent season before 2020. That year, there were only three road course races. Additionally, only two of these seven road courses are new to the NASCAR Cup Series.

In late February, the Daytona International Speedway road course hosted the first race as the replacement for Auto Club Speedway as a result of COVID-19 protocol. This track has yet to be on an initial Cup Series schedule, but it did host a race last August as the replacement for Watkins Glen International also because of the virus.

Watkins Glen International will host its race on August 8, while Sonoma Raceway hosted its road course race on Sunday, June 6.

The Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval, which has hosted one race every season since 2018, was the only road course on the first schedule for the year. The North Carolina course hosted a race in 2020 and returned in 2021. Drivers will head back there on October 10.

Additionally, Circuit of the Americas had never hosted any NASCAR race before May when it hosted all three national series. However, the other “new” road course on this year’s schedule isn’t really that new— thanks to one day in 1956. Now, more than six decades later, drivers will return to Road America will host the Jockey Made in America 250 Presented by Kwik Trip on the fourth of July.

Families Look Forward to Fourth of July Weekend for NASCAR Race

Drivers will compete in the 62-lap race around the 14-turn, 4.048-mile natural terrain road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. It will mark the track’s second race. The last time it welcomed NASCAR Cup Series drivers was nearly 65 years ago, on Sunday, August 12, 1956.

“It’s going to be different, but Road America is arguably one of the most beautiful race tracks we go to, as well as one of the biggest fan bases we go to, one of the most passionate fan bases we go to, just a great facility,” said Justin Allgaier, who has an Xfinity win at the track.

We know drivers will be excited about the weekend’s events. As for the attendees, they, too, have a lot to look forward to. Families are welcome to camp at Road America. A crowd of 30,000 is expected to attend the race and enjoy the holiday with their families.

As for whether or not NASCAR fans can expect road course races to be the new normal, AJ Allmendinger, who has won in the Xfinity Series at Road America in the past, has some thoughts.

“Who knows what mainstay is going to be?” Allmendinger said. “It’s important to find places in the schedule that attracts people at that time of year. There’s so much camping and cooking out there, I would agree it feels like way more Fourth of July-ish than at Indy, where you’re standing on black pavement all day.”