2018 schedule out next week?; some changes expected

UPDATE 2: The official 2018 NASCAR national series schedules should be released sometime next week, sources said.

The following changes appear set to take effect next season:

The second Cup date at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which Speedway Motorsports Inc. moved from New Hampshire Motor Speedway, will serve as the kickoff race to the Cup series playoffs, replacing Chicagoland Speedway.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which has traditionally hosted its lone Cup event in late July, will become the 26th race of the Cup season and the last chance for drivers to win their way into the playoffs.

Richmond International Raceway, which has hosted the 26th race since the playoff format debuted in 2004, will become one of the 10 playoff races, adding a second short track to the 10-race run to the championship.

Chicagoland Speedway, which has traditionally kicked off the playoffs, will likely move into the regular season.

-- Motorsport --

UPDATE: After track promoters initially were told the 2018 schedule would be released Monday, it now seems likely it will be out next week.

Though still much earlier than in previous years (thanks to five-year sanction agreements in place since 2016, the timing will be roughly two weeks behind when the 2017 schedule was unveiled last year.

-- NBC Sports --

Original post - 5/10/2017