Mixture of short and intermediate tracks along with a pair of road course events highlight the 14-race schedule.
One day ahead of activities set to begin in Charlotte for its postseason awards ceremony, NASCAR has announced the 2018 K&N Pro Series East schedule.
The schedule looks familiar from previous seasons but the addition of Gateway Motorsports Park gives the series two combination events with the K&N Pro Series West. Greenville Pickens drops off the schedule and New Hampshire Motor Speedway will now host two events.
For the fifth consecutive season the East season will kick off the year on Sunday, Feb. 11, as part of the 52nd Annual World Series of Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway. The high-banked half-mile, just 10 miles from Daytona International Speedway, is a key component of the NASCAR season launch.
The season will return to Bristol Motor Speedway for the next event in April and the series will visit a total of 13 tracks in 11 states with the season finale being held at high banks of Dover International Speedway on Friday, Oct. 5, for the fifth consecutive year.
“Over the last decade, we’ve seen the NASCAR K&N Pro Series transform into the primary developmental series for our next generation of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series stars,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “The 2018 schedule is designed to provide a proving ground for the next crop of young drivers looking to make their mark on our sport.”
Several notable graduates of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series include William Byron, Alex Bowman and Darrell Wallace Jr. They have all secured rides in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for 2018, where they will join fellow series’ graduates Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, Austin Dillon, Trevor Bayne and Daniel Suarez.
The first combination race will be at the traditional crossover event at Iowa Speedway on Friday, July 27, as part of the NASCAR Xfinity Series weekend. The second will be a brand-new event at Illinois’ Gateway Motorsports Park on Friday, Aug. 24.
Other highlights of the 2018 schedule include:
• The East series will be part of five national series event weekends. In addition to Iowa and Dover, the series will run at Bristol, New Hampshire and Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.
• Three of NASCAR’s historic short tracks will again host events. Virginia’s South Boston Speedway returns with its unique twin 100-lap championship events on Saturday, May 12, and is preceded by Virginia’s Langley Speedway on Saturday, April 28. Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park will host its popular throwback weekend on Saturday, July 14
• Memphis International Raceway will bring the series back to its three-quarter mile oval on Saturday, June 2. Last year, Burton scored the win at Memphis en route to his championship.
• The K&N Pro Series will also be part of the triple-header race day on Saturday, Sept. 22 at New Hampshire, along with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and Canadian-based NASCAR Pinty’s Series.
• New Jersey Motorsports Park race date has been moved to Saturday, June 16, and gives drivers a second chance to gain experience on a road course, along with the August Watkins Glen race.
2018 K&N Pro Series East schedule
|11-Feb||New Smyrna Speedway||New Smyrna, Fla.|
|14-Apr||Bristol Motor Speedway||Bristol, Tenn.|
|28-Apr||Langley Speedway||Hampton, Va.|
|12-May||South Boston Speedway*||South Boston, Va.|
|2-Jun||Memphis International Raceway||Millington, Tenn.|
|16-Jun||New Jersey Motorsports Park||Millville, N.J.|
|14-Jul||Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park||Thompson, Conn.|
|21-Jul||New Hampshire Motor Speedway||Loudon, N.H.|
|27-Jul||Iowa Speedway**||Newton, Iowa|
|3-Aug||Watkins Glen International||Watkins Glen, N.Y.|
|24-Aug||Gateway Motorsports Park**||Madison, Ill.|
|22-Sep||New Hampshire Motor Speedway||Loudon, N.H.|
|5-Oct||Dover International Speedway||Dover, Del.
*100-lap twin features
**Combination event with NASCAR K&N Pro Series West