NASCAR sets Sprint Cup schedule for open tests, tire tests this year

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NASCAR Sprint Cup teams will have five open tests this season, according to the the testing schedule in the 2016 Sprint Cup Rule Book.

There also will be nine Goodyear tire tests this season.

Four open tests will be two-day events. Cup teams will have an open test July 12-13 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, July 26-27 at Watkins Glen International, Aug. 23-24 at Chicagoland Speedway and Oct. 18-19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

There will be a one-day test March 3 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. That will be on the Thursday of the race weekend there – the first race at a 1.5-mile track this season with the new low-downforce package. There also will be a new tire for that event. Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch took part in a Goodyear tire test Tuesday. That test continues Wednesday.

Each organization is allowed to send no more than one team to an open test.

Other than the Las Vegas tire test taking place this week, other tire tests are scheduled for Charlotte Motor Speedway (March 8-9), Richmond International Raceway (March 29), Pocono International Raceway (April 19-20), Indianapolis Motor Speedway (April 26-27), Kentucky Speedway (May 3-4), Watkins Glen (May 10-11), Michigan International Speedway (May 17) and New Hampshire Motor Speedway (May 31-June 1).

Sprint Cup organizations will be divided into groups of four, but it will not always be the same group of four as was done last year.

Each organization is scheduled to take part in four tests with the exception of Joe Gibbs Racing, which will participate in five tests.

Teams that take part in the tire tests must have finished 20th or higher in the owner points standings last year.