2016 Sprint Cup schedule coming into focus

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NASCAR has yet to announce 2016 Sprint Cup race dates, but the schedule is starting to take form based on tracks announcing their dates.

Chicagoland Speedway announced Tuesday that it again will play host to the opening race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup in 2016. That race will be held Sept. 18.

Here are race 2016 race dates announced by tracks so far:

Feb. 21 — Daytona 500

March 6 — Las Vegas

March 13 – Phoenix

March 20 — Auto Club Speedway

March 27 – Easter (off weekend)

April 9 – Texas

June 5 – Pocono

June 12 – Michigan

July 2 — Daytona

July 31 – Pocono

Aug. 28 – Michigan

Sept. 18 – Chicagoland (first race in Chase)

Nov. 6 – Texas

Bristol Motor Speedway states on its site that its spring date will be in April 2016. Its night race again will be in August.

Darlington Raceway has not announced its date for next year, but NASCAR’s return of the Southern 500 to Labor Day weekend this year leaves no doubt that the race will be held on that weekend again next year. Charlotte Motor Speedway also has not announced its date for the Coca-Cola 600, but the event traditionally is held on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, the same day as the Indianapolis 500.