NASCAR confirmed Thursday that teams in its top three series will have less practice time this season.
Weekend schedules for upcoming races at Daytona, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Auto Club Speedway show that Cup teams will have at least an hour less practice time at each track compared to last year. Cup teams also will have one less day to practice at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the Daytona 500.
While the schedules are listed as tentative, NASCAR does not expect any major changes to them before those events.
Among the reasons given for the reduction of practice is that teams stated they did not need as much on-track time. The changes also are being done to make the weekend more efficient.
Most weekends are expected to have less practice time. There will be a few exceptions. NASCAR is expected to give teams additional practice in July at Kentucky (additional layer of asphalt added to track) and Texas in April (repave).
At Daytona, there will be nine total Cup practice sessions compared to 10 last year. However, each Cup team will able to take part in eight sessions (each qualifying race will have its own practice session). Last year, Cup teams had 10 hours, 35 minutes of practice time at Daytona. This year, teams will have a maximum of 7 hours, 20 minutes.
Elsewhere, Cup teams will have one less hour of practice at Atlanta, 1 hour, 25 minutes less practice at Las Vegas and 1 hour, 30 minutes less practice at Auto Club Speedway.
Those are the only weekend schedules that have been released by NASCAR at this point. Cup teams will have 1 hour, 45 minutes of practice (divided by two sessions) at each of those tracks this year
Xfinity teams will have 1 hour, 25 minutes less practice time at Daytona and 30 minutes less practice at Atlanta, Las Vegas and Auto Club.
Camping World Truck Series teams will have 30 minutes less practice at Daytona and Atlanta.