Fans hoping for significant changes to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series or Xfinity Series schedules will have to wait until 2021 to see their wishes come true.
NASCAR announced agreements with 23 tracks to field NSCS races for the next five years, along with 24 tracks to host NXS events over the same time span in a release sent out on Monday afternoon. Each track will field NASCAR events through 2020 as part of the agreement.
“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 executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “The live event experience always will be important to creating a lifetime fan in NASCAR. 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. 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.”
NASCAR also announced the 2016 schedule for both national series in the release, with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule to be released at a future date.
While the same events are expected to be held each season as part of the new five-year deal with the tracks, the actual placements of dates each season are expected to be a part of on-going discussions between NASCAR and participating tracks.
While no new tracks will grace the NSCS tour in 2016, the schedule will see a small changeup in the form of date swaps for a few of the season’s events.
Richmond International Raceway will now host their spring event on Sunday afternoon instead of Saturday night. The event will stay on the same weekend, running on April 24, with the Richmond, Virginia track’s second event keeping its traditional Saturday night slot in September.
While Richmond moves from Saturday to Sunday, Daytona International Speedway’s July date will move back to its traditional Saturday night slot in 2016 after running on Sunday evening in 2015 to avoid coinciding with Independence Day.
Typically held in the final weekend of May, Dover International Speedway will see its spring date moved to May 15, one weekend before the series heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Sprint All-Star Race.
Michigan International Speedway will also see a date swap, moving from mid-August to Aug. 28, one week after the night race at Bristol Motor Speedway. The move was done to give NASCAR an off-week on the weekend of Aug. 14, when NBC will be airing the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio di Janeiro.
The Chase for the Sprint Cup will see no changes in 2016. The 10-race schedule will begin at Chicagoland Speedway, with rounds ending at Dover, Talladega Superspeedway and Phoenix International Raceway to set up the championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The NXS will see one significant change. The series will head to Pocono Raceway for the first time in series history on June 4. The date will replace the former summer NXS standalone event at Chicagoland.
TV rights for both series will remain the same as in 2015, with FOX maintaining rights for the first 16 NSCS events of the season through June 28 at Sonoma Raceway. NBC will then take over TV rights for the second-half of the season, beginning with the Coke-Zero 400 at Daytona and running through the series finale at Homestead.
2016 Sprint Cup Series Schedule
Feb. 13 – Sprint Unlimited (Daytona International Speedway)
Feb. 21 – Daytona International Speedway (Daytona 500)
Feb. 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
Aug. 7 – Watkins Glen International
Aug. 20 – Bristol Motor Speedway
Aug. 28 – Michigan International Speedway
Sept. 4 – Darlington Raceway
Sept. 10 – Richmond International Raceway
Sept. 18 – Chicagoland Speedway
Sept. 25 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Oct. 2 – Dover International Speedway
Oct. 8 – Charlotte Motor Speedway
Oct. 16 – Kansas Speedway
Oct. 23 – Talladega Superspeedway
Oct. 30 – Martinsville Speedway
Nov. 6 – Texas Motor Speedway
Nov. 13 – Phoenix International Raceway
Nov. 20 – Homestead-Miami Speedway
2016 Xfinity Series Schedule
Feb. 20 – Daytona International Speedway
Feb. 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
Aug. 6 – Watkins Glen International
Aug. 13 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Aug. 19 – Bristol Motor Speedway
Aug. 27 – Road America
Sept. 3 -Darlington Raceway
Sept. 9 -Richmond International Raceway
Sept. 17 – Chicagoland Speedway
Sept. 24 – Kentucky Speedway
Oct. 1 – Dover International Speedway
Oct. 7 – Charlotte Motor Speedway
Oct. 15 – Kansas Speedway
Nov. 5 – Texas Motor Speedway
Nov. 12 – Phoenix International Raceway
Nov. 19 – Homestead-Miami Speedway