NASCAR All-Star Race: Explaining the format and other details
Across the almost 40-year history of the NASCAR All-Star Race, the event has had enough formats, lengths and names to make a professional statistician dizzy.
The first race in 1985 was a 70-lap sprint with one pit stop required. Very simple. Over the years, a variety of formats have been introduced in attempts to spice the competition and, in particular, make the final laps frenetic.
Now, welcome to All-Star racing 2023-style, in which not only the format but also the track is different. The All-Star Race lands at North Wilkesboro Speedway for the first time, as the track celebrates a much-ballyhooed renovation and its first Cup event since 1996.
For those in attendance and those watching at home, here’s a quick look at how it will work:
- The All-Star Race (8 p.m. ET, Sunday) will be 200 laps.
- All laps will count.
- There will be a competition break at around Lap 100.
- Each team will start the race on sticker tires, with three additional sets of tires available. After the competition break, only one set of sticker tires can be used.
- Standard NASCAR overtime rules will be in effect.
- Technical rules for the cars will be the same as in other Cup short track races.
- The race winner will pocket $1 million.
- Cup race winners from 2022 and ’23 seasons.
- Former All-Star race winners who are competing full-time.
- Former Cup champions who are competing full-time.
- Three drivers who transfer from the Open (top two finishers and winner of a fan vote)
Pit Crew Challenge:
- Teams will be timed on a four-tire stop, with timing lines marked one pit stall behind and one pit stall forward.
- Results of the pit crew competition (5:45 p.m. ET, Friday) will determine the starting lineups for the heat races and the Open.
The starting grid
- Two 60-lap heat races Saturday night will set most of the field for the All-Star Race.
- All laps will count, and drivers will start on a sticker set of tires with another set available.
- Results of the first heat (7:20 p.m. ET, Saturday) will set the inside line for the All-Star starting grid. Results of the second heat (8:15 p.m. ET, Saturday) will set the outside line on the All-Star starting grid.
- The top two finishers in the All-Star Open and the winner of a fan vote will fill the final three starting spots in the All-Star Race.
- The Open (5:30 p.m., Sunday) will be 100 laps. All laps will count, and drivers will start on a sticker set of tires with another set available. There will be a competition break around Lap 40.