NASCAR on Friday unveiled a new format for its annual All-Star Race which was created with input from the Drivers Council, and specifically former Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski.
The new format includes two 50-lap segments with mandatory green-flag pit stops in an attempt to shuffle the field. The event will culminate with a 13-lap final dash for the $1 million top prize.
“We worked with NASCAR and talked to several drivers to gather feedback for what they thought would make the very best race for the fans,” Charlotte Motor Speedway President and General Manager Marcus Smith said in a statement.
“The drivers don’t all agree on the perfect strategy, which means some drivers will be fighting on race-worn tires to stay up front at the end, while others will be charging through the field on new tires after the final pit stop.
“At the end of the final shootout, one driver will have a million reasons why ’13’ is a lucky number.”
Prior to the start of the final segment, a random draw will decide whether the top nine, 10 or 11 cars will enter pit road for a mandatory four-tire pit stop. The rest will stay out on older tires and lead the field to green for the final segment. Cars with four new tires will line up behind those with older tires.
“I believe this year’s format may offer up the best race to date,” said Keselowski. “I hope to be the one with a million-dollar check at the end. The last segment is sure to demand the ultimate performance. Winning the last segment will require the driver to masterfully navigate traffic and hunt down the leader, or hold off the best drivers with an ill-handling car on old tires with everything on the line.”
NASCAR SPRINT ALL-STAR RACE FORMAT (MAY 21):
Segment 1 (50 laps): Field set by qualifying, mandatory green-flag pit stop for a minimum of two tires;
Break 1 (3-5 minutes): Mandatory pit stop with a minimum two-tire change before Segment 2;
Segment 2 (50 laps): Field set by pit-road exit, one mandatory green-flag pit stop for a minimum of two tires before lap 85;
Break 2 (3-5 minutes): Random draw to decide whether the top nine, 10 or 11 cars must enter pit road for a mandatory four-tire pit stop, pit road closed for all other cars, pit-road exit determines Segment 3 starting order, cars leaving pit road line up behind cars that did not pit;
Segment 3 (13 laps): Only green-flag laps count (NASCAR Overtime procedures apply).
SPRINT SHOWDOWN FORMAT (MAY 20):
Segment 1 (20 laps): Field set by practice speed, winner advances to NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and does not continue in Showdown;
Segment 2 (20 laps): Field set by pit-road order after mandatory minimum two-tire pit stop, winner advances to NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and does not continue in Showdown;
Segment 3 (10 laps): Field set by pit-road order after mandatory minimum two-tire pit stop, winner advances to NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (NASCAR Overtime rules apply).
This story by Jim Utter originally appeared on Motorsport.com, the world’s leader in auto racing news, photos, and video.