That’s because the Daytona 500 is being moved back to its traditional weekend.
From 1968 to 2011, the race had been held on Presidents Day weekend. 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 the Daytona 500. So NASCAR moved it.
Now, with the NFL unlikely to expand its schedule anytime soon, NASCAR’s biggest race is moving back to its original calendar spot beginning in 2018.
Track president Chip Wile, who made the announcement Wednesday, said “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.'”