NASCAR moves fall race at Charlotte to Sunday afternoon for first time since 2002The News-Journal — Zach Dean The News-Journal, Daytona Beach, Fla.
April 20--The only night race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs this season was scheduled to be at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, Oct. 7.
On Thursday, NASCAR announced that Charlotte will no longer need those lights.
For the first time since 2002, the fall Charlotte race will return to a Sunday afternoon start in a move NASCAR said is geared for on-track competition and a more family-friendly schedule over a three-day weekend.
"Charlotte's so tricky, especially when the sun's out," seven-time champion, and defending Bank of America 500 winner Jimmie Johnson said in a track release. "And, the track's finally aging and getting to a place with a lot of character (so) that a day race will allow us to run so many more lanes and, I think, create such an entertaining and compelling race.
"I'm really excited for a hot, slick, day race."
While this may be the first time in 15 years that the race is scheduled to run in the afternoon, it will actually be the third straight year it's happened. The past two years the race has moved from Saturday to Sunday due to inclement weather.
This year's new schedule will now include Cup Series qualifying on Friday, Oct. 6, and the Xfinity Series race 3 p.m. on Saturday. That race is an elimination race in the Xfinity Series playoffs as the postseason field will shrink from 12 drivers to eight following the event.
The Sunday Cup Series race will be the first race in the Round of 12.
"We've heard from fans and from several drivers about how much fun it is to race during the daytime at Charlotte Motor Speedway," said Speedway President and General Manager Marcus Smith. "A return to 'Daylight Racing Time' also builds on our commitment to being 'FANS FIRST' by providing families with affordable, world-class entertainment on a Sunday afternoon.
"Everyone should set their clocks for 'Daylight Racing Time,' because it's going to be an unforgettable weekend of racing."
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