COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The NASCAR Xfinity Series will return to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course next year after the coronavirus pandemic removed this year’s race from the schedule.
NASCAR’s top feeder series will visit the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course in Morrow County on Saturday, June 5. It will be the 13th race in the series’ 33-race schedule. It is also the Xfinity Series’ only standalone event next year, as the other 32 races accompany the top-level Cup Series.
The Xfinity Series was scheduled to race at Mid-Ohio this past Memorial Day weekend before the pandemic upended professional sports schedules. NASCAR replaced Mid-Ohio’s spot on the revised schedule with a race at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.
The Xfinity Series had raced at Mid-Ohio every year since 2013. Past winners of the race include former series champion Chris Buescher (2014), northwest Ohio native and 3-time IndyCar champion Sam Hornish Jr. (2017) and Columbus native Austin Cindric (2019).
NASCAR’s top developmental series, the ARCA Menards Series, was supposed to be this year’s undercard for the Xfinity cars, but that race, too, was canceled because of COVID-19. ARCA has yet to announce its 2021 schedule.
The Xfinity Series schedule includes some of the major changes coming to the Cup Series slate next year, including more road courses and fewer intermediate ovals.
NASCAR’s minor leaguers returning to the Buckeye State should be welcome news to Ohio NASCAR fans, who drew the short straw last month when NASCAR announced the Cup Series won’t return to Kentucky Speedway or Chicagoland Speedway next year and Michigan International Speedway would lose one of its two Cup races.
The Xfinity cars will also not race at Kentucky or Chicagoland next year. But the series will keep its lone race at Michigan. That race will be Aug. 21, the second-to-last race before the playoffs, and it will accompany the Cup cars.
The Xfinity Series race at Mid-Ohio will be a month before IndyCar heads to Mid-Ohio on Independence Day weekend.