New NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Format Ignites the Night at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Charlotte Motor Speedway will host a new, thrilling format for the May 21 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, the biggest all-star event in all of sports, that will see the brightest stars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series dueling for 113 laps to decide the winner of a $1 million prize.
The unique format for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race includes two 50-lap segments with mandatory green-flag pit stops destined to shuffle the field. It all culminates with a 13-lap trophy dash that promises to deliver breathtaking racing, with a wrinkle sure to add intrigue.
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. It all adds up to a gripping fight-to-the-front finish for $1 million.
"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.
"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."
The new format is a throwback to the early years of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, when longer segments put more racing in the drivers' hands, while the final 13-lap sprint offers the thrill of the unknown as teams battle to the front on fresh tires. The 2016 rules package for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, which has provided two of the closest margins of victory in NASCAR history so far this season, also lends itself favorably to the updated format.
"The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race has always been a special race for our sport and I believe this year's format may offer up the best race to date," said 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski, who is still seeking his first NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race victory. "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."
"The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race has long been a fan favorite," said NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Jim Cassidy. "We think this year's format will ensure one of the best all-star races to date and we can't wait to see it play out."
Live coverage of the Sprint Showdown begins Friday, May 20 at 7 p.m. ET on FS1 and MRN Radio. FS1 and MRN will also carry the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 21 beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
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).
Drivers who have won a race in the current or preceding year, past NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winners, past NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions, Sprint Showdown Segment 1, 2 and last-chance qualifier winners and the Sprint Fan Vote winner are eligible to compete. The final order of the Sprint Fan Vote will fill any remaining spots until the field reaches the minimum of 20 cars. Sprint Fan Vote balloting ends prior to the Sprint Showdown on May 20.
Weekend passes for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway start at just $99 and include admission to the May 20 Sprint Showdown and North Carolina Education Lottery 200, and a pre-race concert featuring triple-platinum recording artist Andy Grammer. Fans can buy tickets, race-day upgrades and camping by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shopping online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.
Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served more than 58.8 million connections as of March 31, 2016 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Sprint has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America for the past five years. You can learn more and visit Sprint at http://www.sprint.com or http://www.facebook.com/sprint and http://www.twitter.com/sprint.
ABOUT CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY:
For more than 50 years, Charlotte Motor Speedway has set the standard for motorsports entertainment for fans of all ages. Charlotte Motor Speedway is the only race vacation destination where fans can immerse themselves in the heart of NASCAR country. Visitors can see spectacles including the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, the Coca-Cola 600 and the Bank of America 500; take speedway and race shop tours; explore the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and drive an 800-horsepower stock car. Charlotte Motor Speedway puts FANS FIRST with a never-ending commitment to enhance the fan experience, with unmatched value through affordable season tickets, unparalleled pre-race entertainment and more opportunities for fans to see their favorite drivers.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States. NASCAR consists of three national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™, NASCAR XFINITY Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), four regional series, one local grassroots series and three international series.
The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit http://www.NASCAR.com and http://www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat ('NASCAR').