NASCAR’s 2023 Cup schedule remains largely unchanged

Racers head down the front straightaway during a restart at a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

CHARLOTTE — NASCAR released its 2023 schedule on Wednesday that includes previously announced races at the new downtown Chicago street course and a return to North Wilkesboro in North Carolina along with only one notable date shift.

The Cup Series schedule is largely unchanged from the 2022 version, with the 10 playoff tracks the same, the exhibition Clash again returning to Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the Daytona 500 opening the season on Feb. 19.

The only notable date change is a second stop at Richmond Raceway being moved from August to July, and the shared NASCAR and IndyCar weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway moved from July to August. The event will again be on Indy’s road course.

NASCAR said the Feb. 26 race at Auto Club Speedway in Southern California will be the last on its 2-mile layout. NASCAR has wanted to convert the facility into a short track but the pandemic delayed any progress.

Speedway Motorsports announced last week it was moving the annual All-Star race to North Wilkesboro Speedway, and the race will be May 21. Texas Motor Speedway hosted the all-star race the last two years, and the shift to North Wilkesboro leaves Texas with only one Cup race for the first time since 2004.

There will be only two Cup races held on Saturday nights next year, at Daytona in August and Bristol in September. Atlanta Motor Speedway will also hold one of its two Cup races, on Sunday, July 9, at night.