NASCAR All-Star Race Format includes a chance to test the new ‘Choose Rule’ to add strategy to restarts at Bristol Motor Speedway later this month.
NASCAR and Bristol Motor Speedway have put together the format for the NASCAR All-Star Race, including the introduction of a ‘choose rule’ that will allow drivers to choose which lane they line up in for restarts.
The rule, which is popular among short track fans, will fittingly make its NASCAR national series debut during the first NASCAR All-Star Race held on a short track. NASCAR and Speedway Motorsports officials have previously announced the race is moving to Bristol from Charlotte Motor Speedway, which had hosted 34 of the race’s 35 previous editions.
What is the ‘Choose Rule?’
As drivers approach a designated spot on the track, they must commit to the inside or outside lane for the restart. The rule adds more strategy than traditional restarts, where drivers line up in the order they come off pit road.
“There has already been an incredible amount of buzz around this year’s NASCAR All-Star Race with the move to Bristol Motor Speedway,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president, and chief racing development officer. “In addition to the thrilling racing we’re used to seeing at Bristol, the ‘choose rule’ is going to add another dynamic to the race. Drivers and fans have been asking for this change and I can’t think of a better time to try it than the all-star race.”
“This NASCAR All-Star Race under the bright lights of Bristol is setting up to be a memorable event for ages to come,” said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president, and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway. “With a million-dollar payout and no championship points on the line in this all out high-banked short track clash, it’s surely going to be a race that fans will not want to miss.”
The race still has four stages, lasting 55 laps, 35 laps, 35 laps, and 15 laps. Both green flag and yellow flag laps count in Stages one to three, with only green flag laps counting in the Final Stage. In the Final Stage, if the race is restarted with two or fewer laps remaining, there will be unlimited attempts at a green, white, checkered finish under green flag conditions.
The NASCAR Open will take place before the NASCAR All-Star Race and will include three segments at 35 laps / 35 Laps / 15 laps. The winner of each stage will earn a spot in the All-Star Race as well as the winner of the Fan Vote.
Technical rules for the cars will remain the same as other NASCAR Cup Series short track races, including the May 31 race at Bristol. The liveries will sport a new look, however, as the car number will move from the door towards the rear wheel to give more exposure to the teams’ sponsors.
Who is Eligible?
Those eligible for the NASCAR All-Star Race include drivers winning a points event in either 2019 or 2020; drivers winning a NASCAR All-Star Race and compete full-time; and drivers winning a NASCAR Cup Series championship and compete fulltime.
Drivers who have already clinched an All-Star Race spot: Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Justin Haley, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, and Martin Truex Jr.
Coverage of the NASCAR All-Star Race, sponsored by NASCAR’s Premier Partners Busch, Coca-Cola, GEICO, and Xfinity, will begin July 15th with a pre-race show at 6 pm ET on FS1. The NASCAR Open will air at 7 pm and the NASCAR All-Star Race begins at 8:30 pm on FS1, MRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.