NASCAR and its broadcast partners unveiled the 2018 national series schedules with the lineup getting a bigger overhaul than normal next year. Changes include the final regular season race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series taking place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway instead of at Richmond, while the Round of 16 for the Chase begins at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In addition, NASCAR added a second short track to the playoff slate, as Richmond International Raceway hosts the second playoff race for the first time, and Charlotte Motor Speedway serves as the first cutoff race, with the road course oval marking the first time the playoffs will see a road-course layout among its 10 races. Meanwhile, Dover International Speedway will now hosts the first race of the Round of 12. On the other end of the schedule, the Daytona 500 will now return to its traditional Presidents Day weekend on Sunday, February 18 on FOX, while NBC takes over on July 1 from Chicagoland.
“Fan feedback was a major driver in developing these schedules, and we worked very closely with the industry to set the stage for an exciting 2018 season,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “This season has delivered more dramatic moments to fans, and with the adjustments to the 2018 schedules we’re in a great position to build upon that success.”