Photo: Sarah Crabill/Getty Images

NASCAR Shakes Up Schedule for 2018 Season

By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor

In an effort to drive new life into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule, NASCAR announced a huge realignment to the 2018 schedule on Tuesday, with several key races undergoing changes for next year’s campaign.

The new changes to the 2018 schedule start right off the bat with the Daytona 500 moving back to President’s Day weekend, with the race running on February 18, 2018.

Jump ahead to April and Richmond’s spring date, which had been run on Sunday afternoon over the last few years, will move back to a Saturday night affair on April 21.

Richmond’s second date on the schedule had been the regular season cut-off race in September for a number of years, but that distinction now goes to Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Brickyard 400 on September 9.

The playoffs will also be undergoing a shake-up as the opening race of the playoffs that had been staged at Chicagoland Speedway will now be awarded to Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s second date on September 16.

Chicago now moves up to July 1 for NBC’s first race, a throwback to the mid-summer race dates they had when they first joined the circuit.

With Richmond losing their regular season cut-off race, they also move into the playoffs, as they will now host the second race of the postseason in another Saturday night race.

Charlotte Motor Speedway, which had traditionally held their fall date in October, moves to September as they will host the first round elimination race and will also use their road course layout to give the playoffs a road course date that has been clamored about for a number of years.

Dover also moves from the first round cut-off to the opening race of the second round and sees their spring date move to the first weekend in May from this year’s June date.

The remainder of the playoff races stay the same as 2017.

“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.”


Feb. 11: Daytona International Speedway (Clash / Daytona 500 Qualifying)

Feb. 15: Daytona International Speedway (Duel)

Feb. 18: Daytona 500

Feb. 25: Atlanta Motor Speedway

March 4: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

March 11: Phoenix Raceway

March 18: Auto Club Speedway

March 25: Martinsville Speedway

April 8: Texas Motor Speedway

April 15: Bristol Motor Speedway

April 21: Richmond International Raceway

April 29: Talladega Superspeedway

May 6: Dover International Speedway

May 12: Kansas Speedway

May 19: Charlotte Motor Speedway (Monster Energy All-Star Race)

May 27 : Charlotte Motor Speedway

June 3: Pocono Raceway

June 10: Michigan International Speedway

June 24: Sonoma Raceway

July 1: Chicagoland Speedway

July 7: Daytona International Speedway

July 14: Kentucky Speedway

July 22: New Hampshire Motor Speedway

July 29: Pocono Raceway

Aug. 5: Watkins Glen International

Aug. 12: Michigan International Speedway

Aug. 18: Bristol Motor Speedway

Sept. 2: Darlington Raceway

Sept. 9: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Sept. 16: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Sept. 22: Richmond International Raceway

Sept. 30: Charlotte Motor Speedway (Road Course)

Oct. 7: Dover International Speedway

Oct. 14: Talladega Superspeedway

Oct. 21: Kansas Speedway

Oct. 28: Martinsville Speedway

Nov. 4: Texas Motor Speedway

Nov. 11: Phoenix Raceway

Nov. 18: Homestead-Miami Speedway


Feb. 17: Daytona

Feb. 24: Atlanta Motor Speedway

March 3: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

March 10: Phoenix Raceway

March 17: Auto Club Speedway

April 7: Texas Motor Speedway

April 14: Bristol Motor Speedway

April 20: Richmond International Raceway

April 28: Talladega Superspeedway

May 5: Dover International Speedway

May 26: Charlotte Motor Speedway

June 2: Pocono Raceway

June 9: Michigan International Speedway

June 17: Iowa Speedway

June 30: Chicagoland Speedway

July 6: Daytona International Speedway

July 13: Kentucky Speedway

July 21: New Hampshire Motor Speedway

July 28: Iowa Speedway

Aug. 4: Watkins Glen International

Aug. 11: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

Aug. 17: Bristol Motor Speedway

Aug. 25: Road America

Sept. 1: Darlington Raceway

Sept. 8: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Sept. 15: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Sept. 21: Richmond International Raceway

Sept. 29: Charlotte Motor Speedway

Oct. 6: Dover International Speedway

Oct. 20: Kansas Speedway

Nov. 3: Texas Motor Speedway

Nov. 10: Phoenix Raceway

Nov. 17: Homestead-Miami Speedway


Feb. 16: Daytona International Speedway

Feb. 24: Atlanta Motor Speedway

March 2: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

March 24: Martinsville Speedway

May 4: Dover International Speedway

May 11: Kansas Speedway

May 18: Charlotte Motor Speedway

June 8: Texas Motor Speedway

June 16: Iowa Speedway

June 23: Gateway Motorsports Park

June 29: Chicagoland Speedway

July 12: Kentucky Speedway

July 18: Eldora Speedway

July 28: Pocono Raceway

Aug. 11: Michigan International Speedway

Aug. 15: Bristol Motor Speedway

Aug. 26: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

Sept. 14: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Oct. 13: Talladega Superspeedway

Oct. 27: Martinsville Speedway

Nov. 2: Texas Motor Speedway

Nov. 9: Phoenix Raceway

Nov. 16: Homestead-Miami Speedway


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David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.