NASCAR announced the format for its annual All-Star Race on Thursday evening, revealing a 125 lap event split between four different stages. The All-Star Race will be held at Texas Motor Speedway for the second year in a row on May 22.
The first three stages of the All-Star Race will each be 25 laps, with major incentives for drivers to win each. The winner of Stage 1 will start on the pole for the final stage provided he finishes 15th or better in Stages 2 and 3, and the winner of Stage 2 will start second in the final stage provided he finishes 15th or better in Stage 3. The Stage 3 winner will start third in the final stage.
In-between Stages 2 and 3, there will be a pit stop competition where each team must perform a four-tire stop. The team with the shortest time on pit road (Including pit entry and pit exit) will win the Pit Crew Award, while their driver will start the final stage in fourth.
The fourth and final Stage of the All-Star Race will be 50 laps. If a “natural” caution (i.e. a caution for an accident, debris, etc.) occurs between laps 15 and 25, standard race procedures will be in effect for the rest of the race. However, if there is no caution during that timeframe, NASCAR will throw an “All-Star” competition caution. The winner of the All-Star Race will receive $1 million.
“The NASCAR All-Star Race highlights our best athletes — from the driver to road crew to the pit crews — and this year’s edition brings that to another level,” read a statement by Scott Miller, NASCAR Sr. Vice President, Competition. “Fans will have a full weekend of exciting competition starting with a unique qualifying format and an All-Star Race that features the top talent in our sport.”
Eligible drivers for the All-Star Race include drivers who have won a points-paying race in 2021 or 2022, previous All-Star Race winners who are running full-time in Cup, and previous Cup champions who are currently running full-time.
One of the most major changes to All-Star Weekend is the introduction of a four-round knockout qualifying format. After an opening round of single-lap time trials, the fastest eight qualifiers will advance to a three-round head-to-head bracket. In these elimination rounds, each pit crew will perform a four-tire stop at the sound of an alert, and the driver will be free to leave pit road with no speed limit once the jack drops and their stop is complete. The first car back to the start/finish line will advance to the next round until a polesitter is determined.
NASCAR Cup Series drivers not already eligible for the All-Star Race will be able to qualify in through the NASCAR Open, which will be comprised of three segments of 20, 20, and 10 laps. The winners of each Stage will advance to the All-Star Race, as will the winner of a Fan Vote.
The following drivers have currently qualified for the All-Star Race as of the end of April (in order of car No.):
- #1 – Ross Chastain (2022 winner)
- #2 – Austin Cindric (2022 winner)
- #4 – Kevin Harvick (2x All-Star Race winner)
- #5 – Kyle Larson (2021/22 winner)
- #6 – Brad Keselowski (2021 winner)
- #9 – Chase Elliott (2021 winner)
- #10 – Aric Almirola (2021 winner)
- #11 – Denny Hamlin (2021/22 winner)
- #12 – Ryan Blaney (2021 winner)
- #14 – Chase Briscoe (2022 winner)
- #16 – A.J. Allmendinger (2021 winner)
- #18 – Kyle Busch (2021/22 winner)
- #19 – Martin Truex Jr. (2021 winner)
- #20 – Christopher Bell (2021 winner)
- #22 – Joey Logano (2021 winner)
- #23 – Bubba Wallace (2021 winner)
- #24 – William Byron (2021/22 winner)
- #34 – Michael McDowell (2021 winner)
- #45 – Kurt Busch (2021 winner)
- #48 – Alex Bowman (2021/22 winner)