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The 2021 NASCAR season is just around the corner. And after watching Chase Elliott sprint to his first NASCAR Cup Series title with a dominant playoff performance — as NASCAR somehow managed to run a full season in spite of the pandemic — fans can't wait for the green flag to drop on a new season.
The 19th edition of Athlon Sports Racing arrives just in time to provide the preseason analysis and predictions craved by race fans from Sonoma to Daytona and everywhere in between. It's the most complete preview available today at a whopping 144 pages — look for it on your local newsstand or order your copy now!
But before we look ahead to 2021, we pause to remember the event that rocked the sports world 20 years ago this February — the death of Dale Earnhardt at the 2001 Daytona 500. In his feature story "Death of a Legend," Matt Crossman takes us through that tragic day, which dawned with such possibility but ended in tragedy.
We take a few laps around the track, asking "10 Tough Questions," which explore hot topics like the continuing impact of COVID-19, the upcoming dirt race at Bristol, and the repercussions of Ryan Newman's dramatic crash at Daytona.
In this year's edition, Athlon gets personal with some of the sport's most compelling figures. We assess the sport's new socially conscious Dream Team, as Bubba Wallace takes the wheel for Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin in 23XI Racing's No. 23 Toyota with more in mind than just winning races. Our exclusive Q&As with Ryan Blaney and NASCAR president Steve Phelps provide some entertaining insights.
The NASCAR schedule is undergoing some significant changes, with a new emphasis on road course layouts, a return to Nashville, and the aforementioned dirt race at Bristol. We analyze these developments in our feature stories, "NASCAR's New-Look Schedule" and "NASCAR Hits the Road."
As always, Athlon Sports takes you inside the garage with anonymous, highly opinionated quotes from rival head wrenches, crewmen, and wheelmen. Every track is previewed extensively, as are the top 25 drivers and the best of the rest racing for the checkers. There's also a rundown of the Truck Series and Xfinity Series, both of which are populated by racing's future stars.