What to Know About NASCAR’s Packed Weekend Schedule

NASCAR Atlanta

Getty Bubba Wallace (bottom) races Denny Hamlin (top) at Atlanta.

The top three series in NASCAR are back in action the weekend of July 9-11, providing more opportunities for the drivers to lock up spots in the playoffs. The schedule, while stacked, features the series competing in different states. Here is the important information to know ahead of the weekend.

The Camping World Truck Series will kick off the schedule with a race at Knoxville Speedway in Iowa. The Corn Belt 150 presented by Premier Chevy Dealers will take place at 9 p.m. ET and will air on FS1. The Xfinity Series will then take center stage on Saturday, July 10, with the Credit Karma Money 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The Cup Series will cap off the weekend with the second race of the 2021 season at AMS. The Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart will take place at 3:30 p.m. ET. NBC Sports Network will provide coverage for both the Xfinity Series and Cup Series races while PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will broadcast the audio.

The Truck Series Race Will Feature a Busy Friday Night

When the Camping World Truck Series drivers head to Knoxville Speedway, they will make motorsports history. The race at the half-mile dirt track will mark the first time that the Truck Series has competed at the “Sprint Car Capital of the World.”

The drivers will deal with an altered schedule due to the unfamiliar territory. Instead of simply heading onto the dirt track for the race, they will take part in a practice session on Thursday, July 8, in order to gain some experience. Additionally, the drivers will compete to set the starting order.

The schedule on July 9 features four total qualifying races, starting at 7 p.m. ET and airing on FS1. These races will send groups of drivers around the dirt track as they attempt to win the pole position or a spot near the front of the pack. Once all four races are complete, the drivers will prepare for the main event.

The Xfinity Series and Cup Series Will Rely on Formulas

Chase Elliott Kyle Busch

GettyChase Elliott (top) races Kyle Busch (bottom) at Kansas Speedway.

While the Truck Series drivers will have the benefit of practicing and qualifying for the race at Knoxville Speedway, the Xfinity and Cup Series will follow a different schedule. There will be no practice or qualifying sessions for the drivers as they prepare to take on Atlanta Motor Speedway. Instead, they will wait to learn the starting order.

NASCAR will release the grid information on Wednesday, July 7, after setting the lineup with its unique formula. The previous race at Road America will play a major role in determining the starting order. The fastest lap from the July 4 race will make up 15%, the driver’s finishing position will make up 25%, the team owner’s finishing position will make up another 25%, and the team owner’s points ranking will make up the final 35%.

Based on the formula, race-winner Chase Elliott will likely start the Quaker State 400 near the front of the pack. He had a very fast Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, he took the checkered flag, and his team owner sits sixth in points. The only drivers ahead of Elliott are Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, William Byron, Kyle Busch, and Joey Logano. Busch finished third at Road America, and he will likely line up on one of the first two rows.

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