Two changes for Dover’s 2018 NASCAR dates

DOVER — NASCAR announced its 2018 schedule on Tuesday which features a pair of changes for Dover International Speedway.

Dover’s spring race weekend will be Friday, May 4 to Sunday, May 6 while the fall race weekend is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 5 to Sunday, Oct. 7.

The spring Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race was moved a month earlier than this year’s date, Sunday, June 4. Meanwhile the fall weekend is no longer an elimination race for the first round of the playoff format, instead it is now the first race in round two.

The May 4-6, 2018 weekend will feature a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, May 4; the “OneMain Financial 200” NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, May 5 and the “AAA 400 Drive for Autism” Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, May 6.

This coincides with the annual Dover Days weekend traditionally held the first weekend of May in downtown Dover. It could also conflict with college graduations in Dover, Wesley College’s graduation ceremony was held on Saturday, May 6 this year.

“With so many stakeholders across the industry, it’s a great challenge for NASCAR to accommodate everyone, every year,” said Mike Tatoian, president and CEO of Dover International Speedway in a press release. “While the first weekend in May is not consistent with our historical spring race weekend dates, our fans know that our team will deliver a great experience for them as they arrive in Dover.”

May 6 will be the earliest race in the year since the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series started racing at the Monster Mile in 1969.

Dover’s spring race has been moved in the past to ensure the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte is contested on Memorial Day weekend. In 2016, Dover’s spring event was on May 15, though the three years prior it was held on either the final weekend of May or the first of June.

The Oct. 5-7 race weekend will include a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race on Friday, Oct. 5; a NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, Oct. 6 and a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, Oct. 7, which will serve as the fourth race in the 10-race NASCAR playoffs.

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