NASCAR moving closer to setting 2017 Sprint Cup race dates

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NASCAR will set 2017 race dates after completing discussions with track operators on or before April 1, according to Dover International Speedway’s sanctioning agreement with NASCAR.

No timetable is set for when NASCAR will announce the upcoming schedule but it is expected to be sooner than last year (October) and 2015 (Aug. 2014).

NASCAR announced five-year agreements with tracks that host Sprint Cup and Xfinity races in October and with tracks that host Camping World Truck Series races in November, assuring events through the 2020 season in each series. By having those agreements in place, it allows NASCAR to focus on dates earlier in the year.

Dover’s sanctioning agreement – recently released in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, also states that NASCAR will use “good faith” to maintain relative placement of races in the series calendar.

The clause about future schedules also includes: “Opportunities may stem from any number of factors including, but not limited to, requests for realignment, requests for date changes, requests from NASCAR’s then current transmission partners, the dates of other major sports events, changing local market conditions, and so on. Accordingly, (NASCAR Event Management) may make adjustments to the overall annual Series Calendar for one or more of the future calendar years that fall under the Term of this Agreement to maximize the value of the Series. Except as noted above, if such an adjustment requires an Event date change(s) of more than two (2) weeks, NEM will notify PROMOTER on or before April 1st of the preceding year and such change will only be made with the PROMOTER’s consent.”

The 27-page sanctioning agreement deals with a variety of topics from what tracks are responsible for and what NASCAR is responsible.

The sanctioning agreement also states the advent of a Promoters Council “to help develop standards, strategies and tactics that enhance and elevate the stature of the Series.’’ It is along the lines of councils NASCAR has with drivers and owners.

To read the sanctioning agreement for the May 15 race, go here.

To read the sanctioning agreement for the Oct. 2 race, go here.