|Will the grandstands still be 3/4 empty?|
The Brickyard 400 will enter a new era of excitement in 2018, as the annual Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will move to Sunday, Sept. 9.
The 400 will serve as the final race of the regular season, determine the regular season champion and set the field for the NASCAR Playoffs, which begin the following weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“The Brickyard 400 has been one of NASCAR’s premier events for 25 years, and we’re thrilled the race is moving to one of the most important dates on the NASCAR calendar," said J. Douglas Boles, IMS president. “Our fans will love the excitement that comes with crowning a regular season champion at The Racing Capital of the World, and the cooler temperatures of early September will make the race more enjoyable for everyone.
“The IMS team is focused this week on delivering a successful 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500, but we’re eager to continue working with our partners to make the Brickyard 400 a great experience for our fans, competitors and community."
More details about the 2018 Brickyard weekend schedule, including the Lilly Diabetes 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race, will be released soon.
The Brickyard 400 has taken place in late July or early August every year since the inaugural race in August 1994. The 2017 Brickyard 400, which includes the Lilly Diabetes NASCAR XFINITY Series race, is scheduled for July 21-23 at IMS. Tickets are available at IMS.com.
The first change is moving the annual Daytona 500 back to President’s Day weekend. The race will now be held on Feb. 18, 2018.
Richmond Int’l Raceway will see changes to both of its race dates next year. Richmond will, for the first time, host one of the playoff races in the opening round of the postseason. Richmond’s spring date will move back to a Saturday night event after being run in the daytime this year.
The regular-season finale will now go from Richmond to Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the famed Brickyard 400 on Sept. 9.
Chicagoland Speedway will be the site of NBC Sports’ season debut on July 1, scheduled a week before the annual summer stop at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway will get its previously announced second date, hosting the first race of the playoffs on Sept. 16. As rumored for many months, Charlotte Motor Speedway’s road course will be used for the first time by NASCAR during the fall race at the 1.5-mile speedway.
It will be the first time that NASCAR’s postseason will feature a road course. The event, scheduled for Sept. 30, will also be the elimination race during the first round of the playoffs.
“Charlotte Motor Speedway has always been about innovation," said Marcus Smith, president and chief executive officer of Speedway Motorsports Inc. “Hosting the first road course race in NASCAR’s playoffs, as well as the drama of closing out the playoffs’ first round, means that tension will be high and competition will be fierce as soon as the green flag drops.
“Fans are going to be in for a thrill, and drivers had better be ready for the most physically and mentally challenging race in the playoffs. With a 35-foot elevation change between ROVAL turn four and ROVAL turn 10, drivers in next year’s Bank of America 500 will truly experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows."
A major change to Daytona Speedweeks includes Daytona 500 pole qualifying and the Clash at Daytona preseason race held on the same day. Both events will be held on Feb. 11. The ARCA Racing Series opener will be held on Feb. 10 after Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs will now begin with three rounds at Las Vegas, Richmond and Charlotte. Round two will feature Dover, Talladega and Kansas, while round three is slated to include Martinsville, Texas and Phoenix. The championship will be decided on Nov. 18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 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 (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
2018 NASCAR XFINTIY Series Schedule
Feb. 17: Daytona International Speedway
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
2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Schedule
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