2018 NASCAR national series' schedules released

NASCAR today announced sweeping changes to the lineup of tracks that make up the playoffs as part of its 2018 national series schedules.

Next season, the final regular season race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be contested at iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the Round of 16 kicks off at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

NASCAR has added a second short track to the playoff slate, as the historic ¾-mile Richmond International Raceway hosts the second playoff race for the first time, and Charlotte Motor Speedway serves as the first cutoff race, with an intriguing twist - and turn. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will race on the road course oval at Charlotte, marking the first time the playoffs will see a road-course layout among its 10 races.

With Charlotte moving to the cutoff of the Round of 16, Dover International Speedway now hosts the first race of the Round of 12 - another playoff first.

Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Great American Race, the Daytona 500 returns to its traditional Presidents Day weekend on Sunday, February 18.

Speedweeks kicks off with an action-packed Sunday, February 11 at Daytona International Speedway, with a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season-opening double-header featuring the Clash and Daytona 500 pole qualifying.

"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."

Richmond's spring race returns to Saturday night, and the spring triple-header at Dover moves to the first week in May.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series joins NASCAR Goes West, the annual three-race trek to the West Coast, making March 2-4 a triple-header weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The fall weekend at Las Vegas serves as the final regular season event for the NASCAR XFINITY Series, with a three-race opening round of Richmond, Charlotte and Dover. The fall Bristol race will finalize the playoff field for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, with Round of 8 races at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Las Vegas and Talladega.

All races will air on either the FOX or NBC family of networks, MRN, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

-- NASCAR --

Additional notes:
• The spring Richmond race return to night at fans' request, says the track.
• Daytona International Speedway states that Daytona 500 qualifying will be held before the Clash.
• Charlotte Motor Speedway says the fall road course race will be 130 laps, 500k. It will be a day race.
• NASCAR says the Indianapolis race will be on the oval, not the road course.
• NASCAR confirmed that the All-Star Race will remain at Charlotte for at least next year.

See below for all three NASCAR national series schedules.