NASCAR’s Coming to Wisconsin Next Summer

NASCAR’s top division hasn’t raced in Wisconsin since 1956.

NASCAR will bring its top division Cup Series to Road America in Sheboygan County next summer.

The iconic, sprawling road course in Elkhart Lake will host the top professional stock car racing series for a four-day event that culminates with a race on the Fourth of July. 

“The weekend is going to be memorable and exciting for everyone,” Road America’s President and General Manager Mike Kertscher said.

Expecting high demand as NASCAR’s elite drivers come to Road America and its scenic 4.048-mile, 14-turn layout in Sheboygan County for the first time in more than 60 years, Kertscher encouraged new and returning fans to get their tickets and campsites early.

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Road America is one of three new tracks on the Cup Series. It replaces the date from the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, which has hosted NASCAR’s Cup Series for 20 years but will not have a NASCAR race in 2021.

The coronavirus pandemic forced NASCAR to have one-day race weekends this year but four-day events, which include practice and qualifying, are expected at some courses, including Road America, next season.

Road America began hosting NASCAR’s Xfinity Series, formerly the Nationwide Series, in 2010 after the demise of the Milwaukee Mile at Wisconsin State Fair Park, which had held NASCAR’s second-tier races.

Wisconsin driver Paul Menard, a NASCAR top-level regular, won the Xfinity Series race at Road America in 2015.

“Since we welcomed the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2010, our fans have been asking for the NASCAR Cup Series, and we are very proud to make it happen,” Kertscher said.

Road America’s one and only NASCAR premier-series race took place in 1956 and featured a stellar lineup of 26 drivers that included Lee Petty, Junior Johnson, Buck Baker and Fireball Roberts. NASCAR Hall-of-Famer Tim Flock took the checkered flag, in the rain, driving a Mercury at a top speed of 71.4 mph. 

Next summer, fans will have the opportunity to watch NASCAR’s established stars, like Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano and up-and-comers such as Cole Custer, Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell, Chase Elliott, and Erik Jones.

The NASCAR Cup Series race will give Sheboygan County two major sporting events next summer. The Ryder Cup will be held at Whistling Straits in Kohler in September 2021 following a one-year postponement.

Tickets for NASCAR’s Road America race are now available, as are additional event details, ticket pricing, and camping information, at www.roadamerica.com or by calling 800-365-7223. 

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Rich Rovito is a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine.