How this weekend marks a first in 30 years

The lack of a Cup Series race this weekend gives NASCAR something that the sport hasn’t seen since all the way back in the 1991 season.

Due to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan and the NBC/NBC Sports Network broadcast schedule, there are no NASCAR races to be run on Saturday or Sunday for the second consecutive weekend.

The most recent NASCAR race was a Cup Series race which took place on Sunday, July 18 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. This track also hosted the most recent Xfinity Series race on Saturday, July 17. Knoxville Raceway hosted the most recent Truck Series race on Friday, July 9.

All three national series are scheduled to resume at Watkins Glen International next weekend, with the Truck Series and Xfinity Series set to race on Saturday, August 7 and the Cup Series set to race on Sunday, August 8.

But before then, let’s take a look back at NASCAR history and what this means.

This weekend marks a first in three decades for the Cup Series, as this is the first time since the 1991 season that the Cup Series has had two consecutive scheduled off weeks.

The series obviously missed nine consecutive weeks, one of which was scheduled due to Easter, early in the regular season last year, but that was because of the unexpected impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The last time there were two consecutive scheduled off weekends for NASCAR’s top level of competition was in May 1991. Talladega Superspeedway hosted a race on Monday, May 6 (postponed from Sunday, May 5 due to rain), and the next race took place at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 26 as scheduled.

It is worth noting that last year’s schedule actually did have this current stretch of two consecutive off weekends due to the Summer Olympics. But with the Summer Olympics ultimately having been postponed until this summer instead, this two-week stretch ended up being postponed to this summer as well.

Last season, in order to fit in a full 36-race schedule and make up for lost ground from March, April and May, the Cup Series ended up running at least one race every week from its return at Darlington Raceway in mid-May until the season finale at Phoenix Raceway in early November.

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