On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, analysts Kyle Petty, Steve Letarte and NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett talked about all the changes that are coming for 2018, including drivers in new rides, new rules for the season and new rules for the Daytona 500.
They also talked about the significant changes to the makeup of the schedule.
Among those changes are Chicagoland Speedway moves from the start of the 10-race playoffs to July 1, Richmond moves from the last race of the regular season to the second race of the playoffs, the Brickyard 400 moves from July to the final race of the 26-race regular season.
Also, Dover moves from the Round of 16 opening round to the Round of 12, Charlotte moves to the final race of the Round of 16 and will be contested partly on the Charlotte Motor Speedway oval and for the first time, will also be contested partly on the track’s infield road course.
Gone is Loudon’s annual second race; it’s been replaced by the opening race of the playoffs in Las Vegas.
“I like that they’re willing to move things around, for the fan base as much as anything else,” Kyle Petty said. “But I’ll say this straight up, I don’t like Indianapolis being the last race of the regular season. … It is a big event, but it is not the race that I want to see as the final (regular) season race.
“… But any of the other changes, I am a big fan of mixing it up, I have to admit that.”
Added Letarte, “So it doesn’t happen often, but KP (Petty) and I are completely at odds on this one. I think Indianapolis as the final race of the season is a spectacular place. It gets it out of the heat of the summer for the fan base.
“… There’s not a lot of opportunity for a crew chief to do something strategy-wise at Richmond because tires are so important. But when I come to the Brickyard, a large facility, 2.5-mile racetrack, when I come to pit road and don’t lose a lap, that opens up a ton of different pit options and maybe creates an opportunity not for a surprise winner, but definitely a surprise front-runner.
“I think the Brickyard as the regular season finale has a lot of opportunity.”
Check out more of the analysts’ thoughts in the video above, and also check out the 2018 NASCAR Cup schedule below.
Date Location Network Race Start Radio 2/11 Daytona 500 Qualifying atDaytona International Speedway FOX 12 p.m. ET MRN 2/11 The Clash atDaytona International Speedway FS1 3 p.m. ET MRN 2/15 The Duel atDaytona International Speedway FS1 7 p.m. ET MRN 2/18 DAYTONA 500 atDaytona International Speedway FOX 2:30 p.m. ET MRN 2/25 Atlanta Motor Speedway FOX 2 p.m. ET PRN 3/4 Las Vegas Motor Speedway FOX 3:30 p.m. ET PRN 3/11 Phoenix Raceway FOX 3:30 p.m. ET MRN 3/18 Auto Club Speedway FOX 3:30 p.m. ET MRN 3/25 Martinsville Speedway FS1 2 p.m. ET MRN 4/8 Texas Motor Speedway FS1 2 p.m. ET PRN 4/15 Bristol Motor Speedway FOX 2 p.m. ET PRN 4/21 Richmond International Raceway FOX 6:30 p.m. ET MRN 4/29 Talladega Superspeedway FOX 2 p.m. ET MRN 5/6 Dover International Speedway FS1 2 p.m. ET MRN 5/12 Kansas Speedway FS1 8 p.m. ET MRN 5/19 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Open atCharlotte Motor Speedway FS1 6 p.m. ET MRN 5/19 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race atCharlotte Motor Speedway FS1 8 p.m. ET MRN 5/27 Charlotte Motor Speedway FOX 6 p.m. ET PRN 6/3 Pocono Raceway FS1 2 p.m. ET MRN 6/10 Michigan International Speedway FOX 2 p.m. ET MRN 6/24 Sonoma Raceway FS1 3 p.m. ET PRN 7/1 Chicagoland Speedway NBCSN 2:30 p.m. ET MRN 7/7 Daytona International Speedway NBC 7 p.m. ET PRN 7/14 Kentucky Speedway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. ET PRN 7/22 New Hampshire Motor Speedway NBCSN 2 p.m. ET PRN 7/29 Pocono Raceway NBCSN 2:30 p.m. ET MRN 8/5 Watkins Glen International NBC 2:30 p.m. ET MRN 8/12 Michigan International Speedway NBCSN 2:30 p.m. ET MRN 8/18 Bristol Motor Speedway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. ET PRN 9/2 Darlington Raceway NBCSN 6 p.m. ET MRN 9/9 Indianapolis Motor Speedway NBCSN 2 p.m. ET IMS 9/16 Las Vegas Motor Speedway NBCSN 3 p.m. ET PRN 9/22 Richmond International Raceway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. ET MRN 9/30 Charlotte Motor Speedway NBC 2 p.m. ET PRN 10/7 Dover International Speedway NBCSN 2 p.m. ET MRN 10/14 Talladega Superspeedway NBC 2 p.m. ET MRN 10/21 Kansas Speedway NBC 2 p.m. ET MRN 10/28 Martinsville Speedway NBCSN 2:30 p.m. ET MRN 11/4 Texas Motor Speedway NBCSN 3 p.m. ET PRN 11/11 Phoenix Raceway NBC 2:30 p.m. ET MRN 11/18 Homestead Miami Speedway NBC 2:30 p.m. ET MRN