In light of the controversial yellow-flag finish Sunday at Talladega, there is one race on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule that guarantees a green-flag finish. It¿s the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge on Saturday night, May 22, at Lowe¿s Motor Speedway.

NASCAR¿s annual all-star event features a special, non-points race format of 90 laps run in three segments: 40 laps, 30 laps and 20 laps. Caution flags will not count in the final 20-lap shootout, guaranteeing a green flag-finish for participants and fans.

Celebrating its 20th year, this exciting event has seen its share of controversy through the years, but not because of a yellow-flag finish.

¿With its unique format, the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge allows NASCAR officials a little more latitude from normal race procedures,¿ said H.A. ¿Humpy¿ Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe¿s Motor Speedway. ¿It¿s a race designed to entertain the fans. That¿s what all-star events are supposed to do.

¿Today, if we started with a clean piece of paper, you wouldn¿t see as many 500-mile or 500-lap races. You would see some points races on certain tracks with formats similar to the one utilized for the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. It¿s easy to understand, fan-friendly and great for television,¿ said Wheeler.

Good seats, in various price ranges, are still available for the May 22 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge and can be obtained by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at