Kansas will swap with Talladega and become second-round playoff cutoff race next season

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According to multiple track sources, NBC Sports has learned the second round of the 2017 playoffs will be changed with Talladega Superspeedway and Kansas Speedway swapping spots.

That will make Kansas the cutoff race for the winnowing of the championship field from the 12 to eight drivers and should allay much of the consternation about Talladega being the determining race.

Drivers and teams had complained it wasn’t fair to have the 2.66-mile oval play such a pivotal role in the playoffs because of its unpredictable nature. Last October, some drivers accused Kevin Harvick of intentionally causing a caution that ended the race and helped secure his advancement.

For the second consecutive season, Charlotte Motor Speedway still will open the second round of the 2017 Chase on Oct. 8, followed by Talladega on Oct. 15 and Kansas on Oct. 22.

There aren’t any other major changes expected when the 2017 national series schedules are unveiled Thursday by NASCAR. There had been speculation about shuffling Atlanta Motor Speedway’s date to later in the year, but the track will remain the second race on the schedule. Atlanta will play host to the March 5 race the week after the 59th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 26.