NASCAR America: Analysts give their take on 2018 Cup schedule changes

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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Gone is Loudon’s annual second race; it’s been replaced by the opening race of the playoffs in Las Vegas.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 at
Daytona International Speedway
FOX
12 p.m. ET
MRN
2/11
The Clash at
Daytona International Speedway
FS1
3 p.m. ET
MRN
2/15
The Duel at
Daytona International Speedway
FS1
7 p.m. ET
MRN
2/18
DAYTONA 500 at
Daytona 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 at
Charlotte Motor Speedway
FS1
6 p.m. ET
MRN
5/19
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race at
Charlotte 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