When is Daytona 500 2018? Date, start time for Great American Race

The Daytona 500 in 2018 will run on its traditional, Presidents Day weekend for the first time in seven years.

The 60th running of NASCAR’s finest race is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 18 with a green flag time set for 2:30 p.m. ET and TV coverage on FOX.

This year’s Daytona 500 will include a notable absence for the first time in almost two decades, but Dale Earnhardt Jr. won’t totally be missing from the Great American Race. Earnhardt will serve as the Grand Marshal for the Daytona 500, starting the engines for the first race of the 2018 Monster Energy Cup Series season.

Here is all you need to know as the 2018 Daytona 500 approaches.

When is Daytona 500 2018?

The 60th running of the Daytona 500 is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 18. The green flag time is set for 2:30 p.m. ET.

The Daytona 500 ran on Presidents Day weekend from 1968-2011, and it returns to the weekend for its 60th running. The schedule adjustment was just one of several for the 2018 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series.

“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,'” Daytona International Speedway president Chip Wile said when the date for the 2018 race was set back in July 2016. “The 60th annual Daytona 500 is going to be a significant milestone in the event’s history and we look forward to a special celebration.”

MORE: Full 2018 NASCAR schedule

FOX will broadcast the 2018 Daytona 500, with MRN providing the radio call.

The Daytona 500 features 200 laps around the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Stage lengths for the 2018 running of the Daytona 500 have not been released. Last year, stage lengths of 60, 60 and 80 were announced in early February.

The 2018 Daytona 500 will be the first race under NASCAR’s new rules package for the season — though the changes for 2018 are not drastic. The addition of a common flat splitter and radiator/oil cooler (already in use at superspeedways) in 2018 won’t affect the Daytona 500 as much as the elimination of the ride height rule will.

“In (eliminating the ride height rule) we make a significant advancement in liftoff speed,” NASCAR vice president of innovation and racing development Gene Stefanyshyn said in October, via NASCAR.com. “Somewhere in the order of 30 mph; very, very significant.

“As we do that — we’ve had superspeedway specific shock absorbers and springs in the rear of the car. We can now do away with those and just use what we’ve got for the other tracks. It kind of brings all the packages together.”

How much are Daytona 500 tickets?

Daytona International Speedway’s website lists prices for a single 2018 Daytona 500 ticket from $95 up to $230. For seats in the middle of the trioval — the best in the house and closest to the start/finish line — the track sells two- or four-day packages ranging from $340 to $695.

According to the track, the Daytona 500 has sold out for the past two years since “Daytona Rising,” a $400 million renovation project, was completed.

The secondary market for 2018 Daytona 500 tickets is not necessarily cheaper. As of the second week of January, the cheapest single ticket on StubHub.com was $122.40. A dead-center, start/finish-line seat was listed as high as $1,134.

StubHub also had four-day packages available, starting at $449.

Daytona 500 qualifying: 2018 Speedweeks schedule

— Daytona 500 Qualifying at Daytona International Speedway

Date: Sunday, Feb. 11
Start time: 12 p.m. ET
TV channel: FOX
Radio: MRN

— The Clash at Daytona International Speedway

Date: Sunday, Feb. 11
Start time: 3 p.m. ET
TV channel: FS1
Radio: MRN

— The Duel at Daytona International Speedway

Date: Thursday, Feb. 15
Start time: 7 p.m. ET
TV channel: FS1
Radio: MRN

— Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway

Date: Sunday, Feb. 18
Start time: 2:30 p.m. ET
TV channel: FOX
Radio: MRN

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