NASCAR has confirmed virtually unaltered schedules for both of its top two championship series for 2016 after concluding an unprecedented new five-year deal with all 23 tracks involved in hosting events in the Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series competitions.

"NASCAR and the tracks take seriously our collective responsibility to the fans and each stakeholder to ensure the sport is healthy, strong and growing, so we can deliver great racing to the fans for many decades to come," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's executive vice president and chief racing development officer.

"Among the goals that we set out to accomplish with our track partners was to provide consistency for race fans and the industry stakeholders. We feel like we have a nice balance of that for 2016," he explained.

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"The stability of five-year agreements positions us well to deliver fans with schedules as early as possible over the next several years. This is a new approach for our industry, and one that benefits everyone: fans, tracks, teams, drivers, OEMs, media and partners."

The immediate effect of the new five year deals is that there are virtually no significant changes to either the Cup or Xfinity calendars for 2016. The schedule and actual placement of the dates within each given season's schedule beyond 2016 will be part of the on-going discussions between NASCAR and the tracks.

It means that the 2016 Sprint Cup season will once again start with Daytona Speedweeks, which begins with the Sprint Unlimited exhibition race on February 13 and concludes with the Daytona 500 on February 21.

The timing of Memorial Day holiday weekend - the traditional home of the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day as the Indianapolis 500 - means that the spring round at Dover International Speedway is pulled forward to precede the fortnight of events at Charlotte Motor Speedway. After that, the series will once again hold three back-to-back races out on the west coast leading up to the Easter weekend.

"We learned that NASCAR Goes West worked very well in keeping momentum and interest for NASCAR in these markets," said O'Donnell. "The tracks put a lot of effort behind making it successful and we think it can continue to have a positive impact as it gains traction from being an annual effort. The efficiency of conducting three consecutive events also is helpful to the teams and industry."

Other than the spring race at Richmond being moved from a Saturday night to a Sunday afternoon slot, the only other change to the Sprint Cup schedule for next year is to switch around the two August dates at Michigan and Bristol. None of the changes affect the final ten races of the year and make up the Chase championship play-offs.

The Xfinity Series schedule is largely set by the Sprint Cup races which it usually supports. The only other significant change to the line-up is that one of the two races at Chicagoland Speedway has been dropped in favour of the addition of a brand new race at Pocono Raceway on June 4, the first time that the Xfinity racers will have a chance to compete at the unique 'tricky triangle'.

The 2016 schedule for NASCAR's third national-level championship, the Camping World Truck Series, is still to be finalised and will be announced at a later time.

2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Schedule

February 13 - Daytona International Speedway: Sprint Unlimited February 14 - Daytona International Speedway: Daytona 500 Qualifying February 18 - Daytona International Speedway: Duel February 21 - Daytona International Speedway: Daytona 500 February 28 - Atlanta Motor Speedway March 6 - Las Vegas Motor Speedway March 13 - Phoenix International Raceway March 20 - Auto Club Speedway April 3 - Martinsville Speedway April 9 - Texas Motor Speedway April 17 - Bristol Motor Speedway April 24 - Richmond International Raceway May 1 - Talladega Superspeedway May 7 - Kansas Speedway May 15 - Dover International Speedway May 21 - Charlotte Motor Speedway: Sprint All-Star Race May 29 - Charlotte Motor Speedway June 5 - Pocono Raceway June 12 - Michigan International Speedway June 26 - Sonoma Raceway July 2 - Daytona International Speedway July 9 - Kentucky Speedway July 17 - New Hampshire Motor Speedway July 24 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway July 31 - Pocono Raceway August 7 - Watkins Glen International August 20 - Bristol Motor Speedway August 28 - Michigan International Speedway September 4 - Darlington Raceway September 11 - Richmond International Raceway September 18 - Chicagoland Speedway September 25 - New Hampshire Motor Speedway October 2 - Dover International Speedway October 8 - Charlotte Motor Speedway October 16 - Kansas Speedway October 23 - Talladega Superspeedway October 30 - Martinsville Speedway November 6 - Texas Motor Speedway November 13 - Phoenix International Raceway November 20 - Homestead-Miami Speedway

2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series Schedule

February 20 - Daytona International Speedway February 27 - Atlanta Motor Speedway March 5 - Las Vegas Motor Speedway March 12 - Phoenix International Raceway March 19 - Auto Club Speedway April 8 - Texas Motor Speedway April 16 - Bristol Motor Speedway April 23 - Richmond International Raceway April 30 - Talladega Superspeedway May 14 - Dover International Speedway May 28 - Charlotte Motor Speedway June 4 - Pocono Raceway June 11 - Michigan International Speedway June 19 - Iowa Speedway July 1 - Daytona International Speedway July 8 - Kentucky Speedway July 16 - New Hampshire Motor Speedway July 23 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway July 30 - Iowa Speedway August 6 - Watkins Glen International August 13 - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course August 19 - Bristol Motor Speedway August 27 - Road America September 3 - Darlington Raceway September 9 - Richmond International Raceway September 17 - Chicagoland Speedway September 24 - Kentucky Speedway October 1 - Dover International Speedway October 7 - Charlotte Motor Speedway October 15 - Kansas Speedway November 5 - Texas Motor Speedway November 12 - Phoenix International Raceway November 19 - Homestead-Miami Speedway

All dates remain subject to change