27 October 2015
NASCAR: 2016 Sprint Cup and Xfinity dates announced
NASCAR has announced next year's schedules for two of its three national-level championships, which bring only minor tweaks to the season.
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.
"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
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