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.

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

Date Race Track Start time TV channel Radio
Aug. 8 Go Bowling at The Glen Watkins Glen International 3 p.m. NBCSN MRN
Aug. 15 Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course 1 p.m. NBC IMS Radio
Aug. 22 FireKeepers Casino 400 Michigan International Speedway 3 p.m. NBCSN MRN
Aug. 28 Coke Zero Sugar 400 Daytona International Speedway 7 p.m. NBC MRN

NASCAR Cup Series playoffs

Date Race Track Start time TV channel Radio
Sept. 5 Cook Out Southern 500 Darlington Raceway 6 p.m. NBCSN MRN
Sept. 11 Federated Auto Parts 400 Richmond Raceway 7:30 p.m. NBCSN MRN
Sept. 18 Bass Pro Shops Night Race Bristol Motor Speedway 7:30 p.m. NBCSN PRN
Sept. 26 South Point 400 Las Vegas Motor Speedway 7 p.m. NBCSN PRN
Oct. 3 YellaWood 500 Talladega Superspeedway 2 p.m. NBC MRN
Oct. 10 Bank of America ROVAL 400 Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course 2 p.m. NBC PRN
Oct. 17 Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 Texas Motor Speedway 2 p.m. NBC PRN
Oct. 24 Hollywood Casino 400 Kansas Speedway 3 p.m. NBCSN MRN
Oct. 31 Xfinity 500 Martinsville Speedway 2 p.m. NBC MRN
Nov. 7 NASCAR Cup Series Championship Phoenix Raceway 3 p.m. NBC MRN

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