The NASCAR Cup Series teams and drivers will have a challenge this weekend as they race for the first time ever on the Circuit of the Americas road course in Austin, Texas.
The teams have no notes to refer to for this road course. They have no past experiences from previous races to build on or avoid. They will have to attempt to use information from other road courses to find a jumping off point to start the race. They will then need to be able to make the right adjustments as the EchoPark Texas Grand Prix race progresses.
Circuit of the Americas Data
Track Type: Road Course
Track Size: 3.41-miles
Number of Turns: 20
EchoPark Texas Grand Prix Data
Season Race #: 14 of 36 (05-23-21)
Race Length: 68 laps / 231 miles
Stage 1 Length: 15 laps
Stage 2 Length: 17 laps
Final Stage Length: 36 laps
Because there are no drivers with experience in the NASCAR Cup Series racing on this track, there will be practice (Saturday 5/22). The starting line-up will also be determined through qualifying Sunday morning (5/23) prior to the race.
There are not any driver ratings to share with you since no driver has raced on the Circuit of the Americas road course as a NASCAR Cup Series driver. There are also no drivers to have won a NASCAR Cup Series race on the track.
However, I can share with you the top active drivers with road course wins in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Chase Elliott – 5 road course wins
Kyle Busch – 4 road course wins
Martin Truex Jr. – 4 road course wins
Kevin Harvick – 2 road course wins
Ryan Blaney – 1 road course win
Kurt Busch – 1 road course win
Denny Hamlin – 1 road course win
Joey Logano – 1 road course win
AJ Allmendinger – 1 road course win
Christopher Bell – 1 road course win
This weekend’s race could turn out to be the biggest wild card race of the season. Any driver can find the right strategy to have the chance to win at the end. That fact looms even bigger since nobody has the experience to draw from of past races and strategies that worked or didn’t work.
The list of 10 winners in 13 races could become 11 winners in 14 races during the 2021 Cup Series season. Maybe one of the nine drivers with a single win will join Martin Truex Jr. (3 wins) and Alex Bowman (2 wins) as a third multiple race winner for the season. Perhaps it will be Martin or Alex adding to their win lists for the year.
It’s hard to predict what will happen when NASCAR goes to a track for the very first time. It’s been even harder to predict what will happen any week this year it seems.
We will all see NASCAR Cup Series history begin at the Circuit of the Americas in the EchoPark Texas Grand Prix starting at 1:30 p.m. central time (2:30 p.m.) this Sunday, May 23rd.