NASCAR officials released start times Tuesday for the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.
The most notable shift involves the playoffs opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which will be a nighttime, primetime event next year. The 2019 slate for NASCAR’s top division features few other changes, save for a handful of 30- or 60-minute variations from the previous year’s schedule.
“Moving the start time for the September race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is fitting because it will deliver a better experience for our fans attending the race, and kick off the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in primetime,” said Steve Herbst, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Broadcasting and Production. “Each race weekend, including Las Vegas, is unique, and we work collaboratively with broadcast partners, teams and tracks to ensure the ideal timing is selected for our events.”
MORE: Full 2019 Schedule
The 1.5-mile Las Vegas track served as a September opener to the 10-race postseason for the first time in 2018. The daytime race began at 3 p.m. ET (noon local time) and brought with it hot late-summer temperatures. The race starting at 4 p.m. local time puts Vegas in a similar category as the prestigious Coca-Cola 600 in events that start under the sun and end under the lights.
Other notes from the 2019 start times:
• Green flag times for next year’s Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway are unchanged. Daytona 500 qualifying will be scheduled on the same day (Feb. 10) as The Clash invitational for the second straight year. The season-opening stretch will culminate with the Feb. 17 Daytona 500, starting at 2:30 p.m. ET.
• The March 31 event at Texas Motor Speedway will start one hour later in 2019, moving from a 2 p.m. ET start to 3 p.m. ET. The race also moves to NBC.
• The start time for New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s July 22 event will fire off one hour later, moving from 2 p.m. ET to 3 p.m. ET.
• Martinsville Speedway’s Oct. 28 race in the postseason shifts a half-hour later to a 3 p.m. ET start, which should mean a longer stretch of racing under the lights near the finish.
|Date||Race||Track||Race Start (ET)||Tickets|
|2/10||Daytona 500 Qualifying||Daytona Int’l Speedway||12:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|2/10||Advance Auto Parts Clash||Daytona Int’l Speedway||3:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|2/14||Duel at Daytona||Daytona Int’l Speedway||7:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|2/17||Daytona 500||Daytona Int’l Speedway||2:30 p.m.||Tickets|
|2/24||Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500||Atlanta Motor Speedway||2:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|3/3||Pennzoil 400||Las Vegas Motor Speedway||3:30 p.m.||Tickets|
|3/10||TicketGuardian 500||ISM Raceway||3:30 p.m.||Tickets|
|3/17||Auto Club 400||Auto Club Speedway||3:30 p.m.||Tickets|
|3/24||STP 500||Martinsville Speedway||2:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|3/31||O’Reilly Auto Parts 500||Texas Motor Speedway||3:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|4/7||Food City 500||Bristol Motor Speedway||2:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|4/13||Toyota Owners 400||Richmond Raceway||7:30 p.m,||Tickets|
|4/28||GEICO 500||Talladega Superspeedway||2:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|5/5||Dover 400||Dover Int’l Speedway||2:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|5/11||Kansas 400||Kansas Speedway||7:30 p.m.||Tickets|
|5/18||Monster Energy Open||Charlotte Motor Speedway||6:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|5/18||Monster Energy All-Star Race||Charlotte Motor Speedway||8:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|5/26||Coca-Cola 600||Charlotte Motor Speedway||6:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|6/2||Pocono 400||Pocono Raceway||2:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|6/9||FireKeepers Casino 400||Michigan Int’l Speedway||2:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|6/23||Toyota/Save Mart 350||Sonoma Raceway||3:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|6/30||Overton’s 400||Chicagoland Speedway||3:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|7/6||Coke Zero Sugar 400||Daytona International Speedway||7:30 p.m.||Tickets|
|7/13||Quaker State 400||Kentucky Speedway||7:30 p.m.||Tickets|
|7/21||New Hampshire 301||New Hampshire Motor Speedway||3:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|7/28||Gander Outdoors 400||Pocono Raceway||3:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|8/4||GoBowling at The Glen||Watkins Glen International||3:00 p.m,||Tickets|
|8/11||Consumers Energy 400||Michigan Int’l Speedway||3:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|8/17||Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race||Bristol Motor Speedway||7:30 p.m.||Tickets|
|9/1||Bojangles’ Southern 500||Darlington Raceway||6:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|9/8||Big Machine Vodka 400||Indianapolis Motor Speedway||2:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|9/15||South Point 400||Las Vegas Motor Speedway||7:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|9/21||Federated Auto Parts 400||Richmond Raceway||7:30 p.m.||Tickets|
|9/29||Bank of America Roval 400||Charlotte Motor Speedway||2:30 p.m.||Tickets|
|10/6||Dover 400||Dover Int’l Speedway||2:30 p.m.||Tickets|
|10/13||1000Bulbs.com 500||Talladega Superspeedway||2:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|10/20||Hollywood Casino 400||Kansas Speedway||2:30 p.m.||Tickets|
|10/27||First Data 500||Martinsville Speedway||3:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|11/3||AAA Texas 500||Texas Motor Speedway||3:00 p.m.||Tickets|
|11/10||Can-Am 500||ISM Raceway||2:30 p.m.||Tickets|
|11/17||Ford EcoBoost 400||Homestead-Miami Speedway||3:00 p,m.||Tickets|