Is there a NASCAR race today? Date, start time, TV schedule for next race after 2021 Olympic break

For those asking “Is there a NASCAR race today,” the answer is that NASCAR is taking a two-week break that coincides with the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

NASCAR’s top national series is off the track through early August. These are the first dark weeks of the season since the series took off a weekend in mid-June.

And they’re the last scheduled dark weeks of the year. Fans can use the time off to gear up for uninterrupted racing that will take them through the Championship 4 season-ending race in early November.

Here’s what you need to know about NASCAR this weekend and when the next race will be:

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Is there a NASCAR race today?

No, there is not a NASCAR race today, and there won’t be one until the second weekend of August. All three national series (Cup, Xfinity and Truck) are taking two weekends off during this year’s Olympics. Racing is scheduled to resume Aug. 7 when the Xfinity and Truck series run at Watkins Glen. The Cup Series will return on Sunday, Aug. 8, also at the Glen.

Why isn’t NASCAR racing during the Olympics?

The short answer is TV. NBC and NBCSN televise races during the second half of the NASCAR Cup Series season, but those networks (and the rest of NBC’s family of networks) will air Olympic programming over the course of the Tokyo games.

A similar break was put into the 2020 schedule when the Olympics were originally scheduled to take place, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced Olympic organizers to postpone the games by a year. The schedule interruption carried over to the 2021 schedule.

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When NASCAR announced its 2020 schedule in 2019, NASCAR vice president Steve O’Donnell told reporters (per The Charlotte Observer) that NBC asked for the break to avoid programming conflicts.

These are the final scheduled off-weeks in the 2021 NASCAR Spint Cup Series season. The final four regular-season races and the 10 playoff races this year will be run consecutively from Aug. 8 through Nov. 7.

NASCAR schedule 2021

Regular season

DateRaceTrackStart timeTV channelRadio
Aug. 8Go Bowling at The GlenWatkins Glen International3 p.m.NBCSNMRN
Aug. 15Big Machine Vodka 400 at the BrickyardIndianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course1 p.m.NBCIMS Radio
Aug. 22FireKeepers Casino 400Michigan International Speedway3 p.m.NBCSNMRN
Aug. 28Coke Zero Sugar 400Daytona International Speedway7 p.m.NBCMRN

NASCAR Cup Series playoffs

DateRaceTrackStart timeTV channelRadio
Sept. 5Cook Out Southern 500Darlington Raceway6 p.m.NBCSNMRN
Sept. 11Federated Auto Parts 400Richmond Raceway7:30 p.m.NBCSNMRN
Sept. 18Bass Pro Shops Night RaceBristol Motor Speedway7:30 p.m.NBCSNPRN
Sept. 26South Point 400Las Vegas Motor Speedway7 p.m.NBCSNPRN
Oct. 3YellaWood 500Talladega Superspeedway2 p.m.NBCMRN
Oct. 10Bank of America ROVAL 400Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course2 p.m.NBCPRN
Oct. 17Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500Texas Motor Speedway2 p.m.NBCPRN
Oct. 24Hollywood Casino 400Kansas Speedway3 p.m.NBCSNMRN
Oct. 31Xfinity 500Martinsville Speedway2 p.m.NBCMRN
Nov. 7NASCAR Cup Series ChampionshipPhoenix Raceway3 p.m.NBCMRN

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