Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Announces 5-Year Track Agreements, Unveils 2016 Schedules

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

About the author

A graduate of Ball State, Aaron rejoins Frontstretch for his second season in 2016 following a successful year that included covering seven races and starting the popular "Two-Headed Monster" column in 2015. Now in his third year of covering motorsports, Aaron serves as an Assistant Editor for Frontstretch while also contributing to other popular sites including Speed51 and The Apex. He encourages you to come say hi when you see him at the track.

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Tim S.

I am happy to read this news today and know that after next season, I will have no compelling reason to care what the schedule is beyond the two or three tracks I like. More of the same: two road course oases in a sea of Dull D’s and tracks that mostly race like them. Y’all have fun.


Yeah, right. We’ll fix the schedule. We’ll keep the same tracks but we’ll change the dates on some to make sure they can’t sell enough tickets and we can give their dates to other Johnson tracks.


I wholeheartedly echo Tim’s sentiments. As someone who has proposed numerous schedule changes for the past several years on numerous sites, I too am glad this issue will be put to rest, rendering any debate on the topic meaningless.

Yesterday’s announcement was yet another exercise by NASCAR in their devotion to corporate intransigence and an unwavering fealty to shareholder interests. As long as the people in charge of the sport have a financial motivation in maintaining the status quo (see: ISC), when it comes to the balance of revenue that the tracks make, nothing will change.

It’s becoming harder to justify investing any time or money to an entity that upholds such a model for doing business. Especially one that has a dictatorial power structure where the person in charge (BZF) attained his position not by hard work or climbing the ladder in the traditional form, but by birthright.

In closing, I believe the sport is going the wrong direction, and I frankly have better things to do than be a spectator to it!


Lets see, Nascar is owned by ISC, which owns about half the tracks,who hold half the races. So why would there be change? The only interesting thing is the pretense that the tracks are independent.

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