NASCAR shakes up schedule for 2018 and adds road course


NASCAR has announced several changes to its 2018 schedule, including new tracks in the final 11 races of the season. Under the schedule released Tuesday, Indianapolis Motor Speedway will become the 26th race of the Cup season and final chance to set the playoff field. Las Vegas Motor Speedway will replace Chicagoland Speedway as the opening event in the 10-race playoff series. Chicago moves to a regular-season race in July. Richmond International Raceway, which had been the playoff cutoff race since the format debuted in 2004, will move into the playoffs. Charlotte Motor Speedway's playoff race will now be run on the venue's road course instead of its 1.5-mile oval. The opening three-race playoff round will be Las Vegas-Richmond-Charlotte. The next round will be Dover-Talladega-Kansas. The third round is Martinsville-Texas-Phoenix, with the championship finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 18. The season will open Feb. 18 with the Daytona 500.

The Cup races at Bristol Motor Speedway will be on April 15 & August 18.

2018 Cup schedule

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 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