CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – 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.