Changes for 2018: Part 1

Daytona

A number of changes are set to take place when the 2018 NASCAR season officially kicks off at Daytona International Speedway next month. (Photo: Getty Images)

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A number of changes are set to take place when the 2018 NASCAR season officially kicks off at Daytona International Speedway next month.

Schedule Changes
For the first time in years the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule will have a much different look. A number of venue and date shifts have given the 2018 calendar a new flavor.

The regular season will end at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in early September, meaning the Brickyard 400 will determine the 16-driver line-up eligible for this year’s playoffs. Indy’s shift from summer to fall moves Chicagoland Speedway back to July, a return to the track’s tradition that started in 2001 when it first hosted the Cup Series.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway will remain on the summer swing but the track’s fall date has been moved to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The 1.5-mile track will host its annual spring race weekend and add a second, which will now serve as the playoff opener.

Richmond Raceway slides back from the regular season finale spot into the playoffs. And Charlotte Motor Speedway adds a road course into the championship picture with the debut of the track’s brand new road racing circuit that utilizes both the existed oval track with a new course built inside the facility.

Track Updates
In addition to Charlotte’s new road course, two other tracks will debut new looks for their fall races in 2018. 

Richmond is adding improved fan access in the infield and a fan viewing walkway in the newly designed garage, an overlook where fans can watch the inspection process, social engagement areas, and more space for RV campers.

The track also plans on moving Victory Lane closer to the grandstands and will construct a club level area where fans can get a rooftop view of all the victory celebrations. The modernized infield is scheduled to open for the first NASCAR playoff weekend at Richmond Raceway in the fall of 2018.

ISM Raceway (Formerly Phoenix Raceway) is undergoing a $178 million facelift. Most notably, the start and finish line will be moved to what is now Turns 1 and 2 and will be right in front of new grandstands. The changes, which includes a modernized infield, are set to be complete for the playoff race in November.

Crew Member Limitations
Teams will now only be allowed five crew members over the wall down from the six that were previously allowed. The move is part of a sweeping change NASCAR made to team personnel guidelines.

Starting in 2018, NASCAR will standardize the number of at-track individuals who work on each vehicle during a race weekend. Rosters across all three national series - Monster Energy, XFINITY and Camping World Trucks - will be comprised of three categories: Organizational, Road Crew and Pit Crew.

For each category, the team will decide how to distribute the positions for their respective rosters. For example, a Monster Energy Series team’s Road Crew (12 team members) could be made up of a crew chief, car chief, five mechanics, two engineers and three specialists.

Chevrolet Moves Camaro to Cup Series
Chevrolet announced last August it will begin using the Camaro model in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2018. The Camaro ZL1 will replace the SS. The Camaro SS has been used in the XFINITY Series since 2013.

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