The 2016 Sprint Cup season will commence with the 58th Annual Daytona 500 on FOX on Feb. 21.
After months of waiting and speculation, NASCAR released its 2016 schedule for the Sprint Cup Series and XFINITY Series on Monday afternoon.
Along with next year’s much-anticipated race calendar for the sport’s top two series, NASCAR announced agreements with 23 tracks to field Sprint Cup Series races for the next five years. Additionally, 24 tracks will host NASCAR XFINITY Series races through 2020.
The schedule and actual placement of the dates within each given season’s schedule beyond 2016 will be part of the ongoing discussions between NASCAR and the tracks. NASCAR said details are still being finalized for the 2016 Camping World Truck Series schedule, which will be announced at a later time.
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"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 will kick off the 2016 season against the new backdrop of a completely reimagined Daytona International Speedway. DAYTONA Rising, the speedway’s $400 million redevelopment project, will be complete when both the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series launch at Daytona Speedweeks. The 2016 Daytona 500 will be held on Feb. 21 and will air live on FOX.
"We learned that NASCAR Goes West worked very well in keeping momentum and interest for NASCAR in these markets," O’Donnell said. "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."