NASCAR is set to return to Road America for the first Cup Series race in more than six decades. Who is the only winner at the track?
When NASCAR announced the 36-race 2021 Cup Series schedule, it was confirmed that six road course races would be on the schedule, a total which ultimately grew to seven when the Daytona International Speedway road course replaced Auto Club Speedway as a result of COVID-19-related restrictions in the state of California.
The Daytona International Speedway road course hosted a race for the first time last year, serving as the late replacement for Watkins Glen International in mid-August.
Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International, two regular road courses that were eliminated from the 2020 calendar as a result of the pandemic, made their returns, as did the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval, the only road course on the initial 2020 calendar that actually hosted a race last year.
The three new road course races on this year’s schedule were confirmed as Circuit of the Americas, Road America, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
But one of these three tracks isn’t actually 100% new to the Cup Series.
Prior to its May race weekend, Circuit of the Americas hadn’t ever hosted a NASCAR race across any series, and the only NASCAR series that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course has ever hosted is the Xfinity Series. That inaugural race took place last year.
Road America, however, has hosted a Cup Series race before — but not since 1956.
The 14-turn, 4.048-mile (6.515-kilometer) natural terrain road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin has hosted Xfinity Series races in each of the last 11 years going back to 2010, but this weekend’s Cup Series race at the track is slated to be its first in nearly 65 years.
Back on Sunday, August 12, 1956, Tim Flock, driving a Bill Stroppe-owned ’56 Mercury for the first of what would be three times in his illustrious career, started in sixth place and led 17 of 63 laps, including the final 10, en route to a 17-second victory over teammate Bill Myers in second place.
This weekend’s Cup Series race at the track is the Jockey Made in America 250 Presented by Kwik Trip, and it is set to be broadcast live on NBC beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET tomorrow afternoon.