DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – The Daytona 500 is moving back to its traditional weekend in 2018.
The Daytona 500 had been held on Presidents Day weekend from 1968 to 2011. But NASCAR officials tweaked the date beginning in 2012, anticipating changes to the NFL schedule. At the time, the NFL was talking about expanding to an 18-game regular-season schedule and/or adding an extra bye week that could have ended up putting America’s biggest sporting event — the Super Bowl — on the same weekend as NASCAR’s season opener.
So NASCAR moved the Daytona 500. Now, with the NFL unlikely to expand its schedule anytime soon, NASCAR’s biggest race is moving back to its original calendar spot. Track officials made the announcement Wednesday.
Track president Chip Wile says “we wanted to let all of our fans, partners and stakeholders know about this date adjustment in advance and give them ample time to make their travel plans for `The Great American Race.”‘
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