NASCAR

2018 NASCAR schedules released

NASCAR has released the 2018 schedules for its three national series. The release took place on Tuesday afternoon.

In the Monster Energy Cup Series, the Daytona 500 will move from its current slot at the final week of February to the Presidents Day weekend, where it was last held in 2010. As such, the 2018 Daytona 500 will be held on February 18.

Although the schedule does not see any new tracks, it will feature a new arrangement for certain dates. Chicagoland Speedway, which has served as the playoff opener since 2011, has been moved to July 1, where it will also be the location for NBC’s season debut.

Richmond International Raceway’s fall race will lose its status as the final event of the regular season as it becomes the second race of the playoffs, with Indianapolis Motor Speedway taking over the spot. Las Vegas Motor Speedway, who currently hosts the third race of the season, will host a second race in 2018: the playoff opener in September. With the addition of a second Las Vegas date, New Hampshire Motor Speedway loses its spot in the playoffs.

The third race of the playoffs and the elimination event in the Round of 16 will be at Charlotte Motor Speedway, though with a twist: it will be held on the track’s 2.42-mile infield road course. With 13 turns (including the four turns of the oval), it joins Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International as one of three road courses on the Cup Series schedule.

charlotte roval

Since its inception in 2004, the playoffs have featured a noticeable lack of road courses. In 2015, Executive Vice President Steve O’Donnell acknowledged fans’ requests for a road course to be added to the ten-race system, stating there was “certainly a lot of passion around it.”

In January 2017, A.J. Allmendinger tested a NASCAR stock car on the Charlotte roval. Rumors arose that the year’s Monster Energy All-Star Race and the fall race before NASCAR announced both races would be run on the oval. Allmendinger, whose lone Cup Series victory came at a road course (Watkins Glen in 2014) expressed his pleasure at the test. “I thought it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it. I think it can bring something new to the schedule if it was done. I’m all for it. I’m probably biased toward it.”

“I think a lot of it had to do with what we’ve heard from the fans over a period of time,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Jim Cassidy commented. “As the playoffs have continued to evolve and we’ve incorporated elimination into the playoffs, we’ve heard from our fans that they like to see some different variety in the places that we go during the playoffs.”

The race will be 130 laps and 500 kilometers long. It joins the two Phoenix International Raceway races and the other two road course races at Sonoma and Watkins Glen as the only races on the Cup schedule with its race distance determined by kilometers.

The remainder of the playoffs will remain the same as in 2017, ending with the one-race Championship Round at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

In the Xfinity Series, the schedule is similar to its predecessor, with certain races like the spring Dover event being moved in conjunction with the Cup Series doing the same. For the Camping World Truck Series, the month-long break between the second and third races (Atlanta Motor Speedway and Martinsville Speedway, respectively) is shortened by a week as a Las Vegas race is scheduled for March 2, making the weekend a triple-header with the other two series.

Cup schedule

# Date Track
February 11 (Clash) Daytona International Speedway
February 15 (Duel) Daytona International Speedway
1 February 18 Daytona International Speedway
2 February 25 Atlanta Motor Speedway
3 March 4 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
4 March 11 Phoenix Raceway
5 March 18 Auto Club Speedway
6 March 25 Martinsville Speedway
7 April 8 Texas Motor Speedway
8 April 15 Bristol Motor Speedway
9 April 21 Richmond International Raceway
10 April 29 Talladega Superspeedway
11 May 6 Dover International Speedway
12 May 12 Kansas Speedway
May 19 (All-Star Race) Charlotte Motor Speedway
13 May 27 Charlotte Motor Speedway
14 June 3 Pocono Raceway
15 June 10 Michigan International Speedway
16 June 24 Sonoma Raceway
17 July 1 Chicagoland Speedway
18 July 7 Daytona International Speedway
19 July 14 Kentucky Speedway
20 July 22 New Hampshire Motor Speedway
21 July 29 Pocono Raceway
22 August 5 Watkins Glen International
23 August 12 Michigan International Speedway
24 August 18 Bristol Motor Speedway
25 September 2 Darlington Raceway
26 September 9 Indianapolis Motor Speedway
27 September 16 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
28 September 22 Richmond International Raceway
29 September 30 Charlotte Motor Speedway (road course)
30 October 7 Dover International Speedway
31 October 14 Talladega Superspeedway
32 October 21 Kansas Speedway
33 October 28 Martinsville Speedway
34 November 4 Texas Motor Speedway
35 November 11 Phoenix Raceway
36 November 18 Homestead-Miami Speedway

Xfinity schedule

# Date Track
1 February 17 Daytona International Speedway
2 February 24 Atlanta Motor Speedway
3 March 3 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
4 March 10 Phoenix Raceway
5 March 17 Auto Club Speedway
6 April 7 Texas Motor Speedway
7 April 14 Bristol Motor Speedway
8 April 20 Richmond International Raceway
9 April 28 Talladega Superspeedway
10 May 5 Dover International Speedway
11 May 26 Charlotte Motor Speedway
12 June 2 Pocono Raceway
13 June 9 Michigan International Speedway
14 June 17 Iowa Speedway
15 June 30 Chicagoland Speedway
16 July 6 Daytona International Speedway
17 July 13 Kentucky Speedway
18 July 21 New Hampshire Motor Speedway
19 July 28 Iowa Speedway
20 August 4 Watkins Glen International
21 August 11 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
22 August 17 Bristol Motor Speedway
23 August 25 Road America
24 September 1 Darlington Raceway
25 September 28 Indianapolis Motor Speedway
26 September 15 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
27 September 21 Richmond International Raceway
28 September 29 Charlotte Motor Speedway
29 October 6 Dover International Speedway
30 October 20 Kansas Speedway
31 November 3 Texas Motor Speedway
32 November 10 Phoenix Raceway
33 November 17 Homestead-Miami Speedway

Truck schedule

# Date Track
1 February 16 Daytona International Speedway
2 February 24 Atlanta Motor Speedway
3 March 2 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
4 March 24 Martinsville Speedway
5 May 4 Dover International Speedway
6 May 11 Kansas Speedway
7 May 18 Charlotte Motor Speedway
8 June 8 Texas Motor Speedway
9 June 16 Iowa Speedway
10 June 23 Gateway Motorsports Park
11 June 29 Chicagoland Speedway
12 July 12 Kentucky Speedway
13 July 18 Eldora Speedway
14 July 28 Pocono Raceway
15 August 11 Michigan International Speedway
16 August 15 Bristol Motor Speedway
17 August 26 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
18 September 14 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
19 October 13 Talladega Superspeedway
20 October 27 Martinsville Speedway
21 November 2 Texas Motor Speedway
22 November 9 Phoenix Raceway
23 November 16 Homestead-Miami Speedway

Featured image courtesy of WFXT

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