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Rules, format for Monster Energy All-Star Race

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race

CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 19: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Red Nose Day Toyota, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 5-hour Energy/Bass Pro Shops Toyota, lead the field during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 19, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

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It’s time to brush up on the rules and format for Monster Energy All-Star Race, which will be held Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The All-Star Race is 85 laps this year, an addition of five laps. It will be split up into stages of 30 laps, 20 laps, 20 laps and a 15-lap final segment. Only green flag laps will count in the final stage.

Each stage must end under green. Overtime procedures will be in place for each stage. If the race is restarted with two laps or less in the final stage, there will be unlimited attempts at a green, white, checkered finish.

There is no mandatory pit strategy.

Driver eligibility: Winners from last season and this season, previous all-star winners who are competing full-time in the series, Cup champions who are running full-time in the series, the three stage winners from the Monster Energy Open and the winner of the fan vote.

Fifteen drivers are already locked into the main event: Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr.

Four more drivers will transfer into the All-Star Race from the 50-lap Monster Energy Open (divided into segments of 20 laps, 20 laps and 10 laps).

For the second straight year NASCAR is using the All-Star Race to try features on the cars that could be used in upcoming seasons. There will be two technical changes that could be used in the Gen 7 car.

Jay Fabian, the Cup Series competition director, discussed the changes to the cars Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “SiriusXM Speedway.”
# A single-piece carbon fiber splitter/pan that is expected to offer improvements in ride height sensitivity for drivers. This is expected to provide a more stable aero platform and create more consistent performance in traffic.

“The splitter ... It’s about 48 inches wide and the center part is all carbon and it’s got an integrated pan that goes back about the same distance as the current pan does,” Fabian said. “It’s got the nose of the splitter turned up just a bit, and it’s still got the bull nose on the front and then out bore that is what you would see as the current splitter material that’s a little more high density. There’s a step between the bolt on ears to the center bit of about a quarter inch. So keeping that throat in the center should help cure some ride height sensitivity problems and it should help with some traffic. Once you get in traffic, that ride height sensitivity is important and keeping that throat open is important. So we’re optimistic that’s going to help in traffic.”
# The car will be configured with a radiator duct that exits through the hood as opposed to the current design, which exits into the engine component. This feature is expected to create improved aerodynamic parity and reduce engine temperatures.

“We had to work through some (manufacturer) styling on the hood to make sure they ended up where they needed to be,” Fabian said of the exit duct. “Also, we’ve kept them centered up enough so that the (air) stream stays over the greenhouse of the car cause those are all common elements. Keeping that flow across the windshield, roof, back glass, deck lid, spoiler, it’s important to keep it in that stream instead of letting it fall along the sides of the car.”