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Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s spring race to follow Daytona 500

Updated March 26, 2019 - 2:50 pm

Las Vegas Motor Speedway received a more coveted spot for its spring race and had its fall race moved back two weeks, as NASCAR released its 2020 schedule Tuesday.

The Pennzoil 400 will be Feb. 23, a week after the season-opening Daytona 500. It will assume the spot on the schedule previously held by Atlanta.

The LVMS fall race will be Sept. 27. It no longer will serve as the playoff opener, with that designation going to Darlington Raceway on Sept. 6, with the trade-off being the possibility of cooler weather. The fall race at LVMS will open the second round of the playoffs.

“I think there are many upsides to both dates,” LVMS president Chris Powell said. “We’re excited to be the first race after the Daytona 500, and we’re also excited about the date in September moving back a couple of weeks. I think both will be very positive for us.”

After 18 years, the 2020 NASCAR championship race is moving from Homestead, Florida, to recently refurbished ISM Raceway in Phoenix on Nov. 8.

The struggling Brickyard 400 will move onto the July 4 weekend date previously occupied by the second Daytona race, with the final regular-season race that sets the playoff field moving to Daytona under the lights. Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania will host the first Cup Series doubleheader race weekend in NASCAR’s modern era in June.

“The fans and the industry as a whole have been vocal about the desire for sweeping changes to the schedule, and the 2020 slate is a reflection of our efforts to execute against that feedback,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer.

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

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