Next year is shaping up to be a big one for NASCAR in Texas. Not only will Speedway Motorsports be celebrating its 25th season at Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas-Fort Worth, but the NASCAR Cup Series is coming to Austin's Circuit of The Americas for the first time ever in May.
The inaugural running of the NASCAR Cup Series at COTA will take place on May 23, 2021, according to a September 30 announcement.
"Everything is bigger in Texas, including our passion for NASCAR, and NASCAR will be even bigger and better in Texas in 2021 with the addition of this race in Austin," says Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in a release.
"Our company is proud to have a 60-year history of fabulous firsts in motorsports entertainment, and we are honored to bring America's premier racing series to one of the world's most renowned entertainment venues and cities for the very first time," says Speedway Motorsports president and CEO Marcus Smith.
The Cup Series is the top race for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, and COTA CEO and chairman Bobby Epstein says fans have long voiced their desire to see it come to Austin.
"Fans who've been here before will witness stock car racing at its finest for the first time, and first-time visitors will be amazed at the views and friendly experience. It will be our pleasure to write another chapter of motorsports history alongside Speedway Motorsports and NASCAR in 2021," Epstein says.
Designed to challenge the world's most talented drivers, Circuit of The Americas includes a 3.41-mile, 20-turn counterclockwise circuit and a newly reconfigured 2.2-mile, 15-turn short course.
COTA is America's only facility that annually hosts both Formula 1 and MotoGP races, and is also the only FIA-certified Grade 1 track in the United States. The 1,500-acre entertainment complex has also hosted ESPN's X Games as well as some of the biggest names in music including, Taylor Swift, Metallica, Kenny Chesney, and Justin Timberlake on the COTA Super Stage.
Three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart made a demonstration run at COTA last October, and the 2020 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee says of the course: "This will be a challenge for the drivers, a heck of a show for the fans, and Austin will be a great place for teams to entertain sponsors. This is a big-time addition to the 2021 NASCAR schedule."
Announcements regarding race length, course selection, and the full weekend schedule will be made at a later date. Fans can reserve a weekend ticket package to the inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race at the Circuit of The Americas by visiting the website, and can follow @NASCARatCOTA on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook for additional event updates.